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Archive for the ‘National Register of Historic Places’ Category

City of Paris 1900

Long ago there was the City of Paris Dry Goods Company. It later became the City of Paris, an important department store in San Francisco from 1850 to 1974. The building survived the 1906 earthquake and fire but sustained damage. The interior remodel was redesigned by John Bakewell, Arthur J. Brown and Louis Bourgeois, graduates of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. It was rebuilt with a central, elliptical rotunda that was capped with a stained-glass dome. The skylit dome incorporates the store’s nautical origin and motto, Fluctuat nec mergitur(It floats but never sinks).

Dome SFL B&W

Detail 2

Detail 3

A forty-foot live Christmas tree was placed in the rotunda each year. The front doors of the store were specially designed to be removed and this allowed for an opening large enough for the tree to fit through. The tree was brought in, set up and decorated all in the same night. Staff and their families would help decorate. Scaffolding was placed around the tree to facilitate decorating it. Further reading reveals that the tree would be put outside on the sidewalk on January 2nd and one could walk by it and really get a sense of its size.

People familiar with the store recall the tree as beautiful and have very fond memories of their visits. I recall a similar large tree in the six-story atrium of the Marshall Field’s store in downtown Chicago. This atrium was topped by a Tiffany dome and the tree was known as the “Great Tree”. It was a wondrous sight, particularly to small children. It soared and filled the atrium space vertically. You can see a photo of the atrium here: Marshall Field’s Atrium

Christmas Tree SFL B&W

Christmas Tree in Rotunda SFL

Here are a couple of additional interior images.

Interior 2 City of Paris SFL

Interior City of Paris SFL

What a beauty. It was listed in The National Register of Historic Places as a California Historical Landmark. Alas, this fact and a protracted preservation campaign that went on for several years did not prevent it from being demolished in 1981 by the new owners, Neiman Marcus. The stained-glass dome was restored and preserved by the new owners. It has been reinstalled as part of the store’s entry and Rotunda Restaurant.

The new Neiman Marcus building was designed by postmodernist architect Philip Johnson. I haven’t seen the building in person. I don’t know that I would like seeing the elegant and beautiful dome inside a modern box. What about you?
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See this page for a photo of the current Neiman-Marcus building: California Historical Landmark – Noehill

Read an excerpt from a New York Times article here: NYTimes Excerpt – Review of Neiman Marcus

Wikipedia entry: City of Paris Dry Goods Co.
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In closing, I leave you with these words from Marshall Field & Company:

To do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way;
to do some things better than they were done before – 
The Marshall Field & Company idea.

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Photos of the Day
March 30, 2011

The Irvine Park Historic District is a wonderful place to take an architectural walk.

Read more about the Irvine Park neighborhood and see photos of other homes.

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Photo of the Day
February 15, 2011

Doorway number 9 at the Pratt School in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Read more about Pratt School and Community Center.

Read about the Prospect Park neighborhood.

Map showing location of Prospect Park.

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Related post: House No. 9

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265 Exchange Street South, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Former residence of the first governor of Minnesota Territory
and the second governor of the state of Minnesota.

This is one of the nation’s best preserved Victorian homes. It features carved walnut woodwork, marble fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, and many original furnishings. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was built in 1872 in the French Second Empire style. Tours of this 15-room, 11,000 square foot house are offered year-round by the Minnesota Historical Society which owns and operates the home as a museum. The home is currently decorated for the holidays.

This home sits in an area known as Irvine Park, one of the first trendy neighborhoods in Minnesota. At the center of the area is a public square with an ornate fountain. Numerous historic homes surround the park. The neighborhood district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the city of Saint Paul has also designated it a historic district. Tour the charming neighborhood as well as the Alexander Ramsey House. History buffs and fans of historic architecture will be delighted. The public square is located by Ryan Avenue and Walnut Street.

Read more about the Christmas tour at the Ramsey House by clicking on the link below. Tours run November 27th through December 26th. Call before going as reservations are required.
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A Victorian Christmas at the Ramsey House

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Hanging Garden

Global Tree Project

I came across this image on another blog and was immediately struck by the beauty and spirituality it portrays. This abandoned space, Holy Cross Church in Mount Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s beauty is still so evident even while it is fading from neglect. To me, this Hanging Garden breathes new life into the space, awakening hope, opening eyes to the beauty within its walls, creating a sanctuary once again, calling for a restoration of this 19th century church to its full magnificence–so like nature herself.

“Developing my Global Tree Project HANGING GARDEN at Holy Cross Church,” says Turner-Yamamoto, “I was drawn to debris in the abandoned church where pieces of fallen plaster and paint fragments melded with age-old dust. The material reminded me of the ruins I saw in Italy. It presented an extreme and insistent form of reconciliation between human and nature.”

“I found beauty in the decay of the church,” says Turner-Yamamoto. “There’s a beauty in how things crack. You can see nature’s power. It’s like looking at a bolt of lightning—it’s the same for me.”

Art installation and photos by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto

GlobalTreeProject.org – Press Release

yamamotoshinji.net

The artist Turner-Yamamoto discusses the project on this video:

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Bridge Photo for September 15, 2010

The Stillwater Lift Bridge

Built in 1931.
Listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1989.

The Stillwater Bridge is a rare surviving example of vertical-lift highway bridge construction of the Waddell and Harrington type. It spans about 1050 feet. Six vertical-lift bridges were built in Minnesota and Wisconsin prior to World War II; The Stillwater Bridge is one of three remaining in existence today. The vertical-lift span operates during the May to October navigation season.

Click on any photo below to see it larger.

And the vertical-lift is up!

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Learn more about the historic Stillwater Bridge at the Minnesota Historical Society website: Minnesota Historical Society

More articles on the bridge and Stillwater:

What’s ahead for the St. Croix River and the Stillwater Bridge:
St. Croix River Crossing Project

Wikipedia Article on the Stillwater Bridge

The bridge may one day get new life as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, along with a return to its original colors of deep green and silver.

If you plan to visit Stillwater, check here to learn more:
Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce

Related Posts:

Should This Bridge be Saved? — The St. Anthony Parkway Bridge in NE Mpls

“Hump Day” Now Seen in a Whole New Way — Let’s Declare Wednesday “Bridge Day”

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Grain Belt Brewery Gate

The former brewery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The seven structures that contribute to the listing in the National Register of Historic Places are an architectural treat and worth the trip to see.


This gate is located next to the former brewhouse (now home to RSP Architects)
and the former wagon house and shed (now home to the Pierre Bottineau
Branch of Hennepin County Library) in Northeast Minneapolis.

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