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Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

Using repurposed window frames and lumber, stained glass artist and jeweller Neile Cooper has created a tiny retreat in the woods that features dozens of her stained glass artworks. Glass Cabin looks like the perfect escape to recharge and even has a little working desk and couch. The New Jersey-based artist also sells unique…

via A Stained Glass Cabin in the Woods — TwistedSifter

Love this! Very creative, very colorful, and what appears to be such a peaceful setting.

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Ickworth’s Rotunda took 47 years to build and is 103-feet tall at its highest point. I’m fascinated by round buildings and this one (along with the park and gardens) is quite impressive.

Ickworth | National Trust website

The Ickworth Hotel – Looks like a grand place to stay and visit!

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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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One day I was out walking around one of the city lakes here in Minneapolis. I came upon this retaining wall and gate. Not so unusual except that the house that once stood behind this gate was no longer there.

Gate

Here’s the house that used to be on this lot. My thanks to Dorothy Childers for permission to use her photo. It was a white stucco house with a red tile roof. The design has some quirky features and there appears to be an addition (possibly two)made over time.

2358 W Lk Isles - DChilders

Here’s the new house that is going up.  I took this photo back in October, 2012. I haven’t been back to see if they’ve completed it yet.

P1140020

Here’s a shot of the back side:

P1140090

This new one has a lot of detailing:

P1140017

P1140023

P1140024

I like the copper accents. I’m not sure I care for the “wavy” brick exterior. No doubt there is a name for this look; I don’t know what it is. I think house numbers with a bit more polish would be better for a home of this stature. Perhaps the owners are creative types and preferred a bit of whimsy over elegance. What do you think? Do you like this new house or the old house better?

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Fluid Movement Against a Brick Wall

I came across this scene in a neighborhood composed mainly of modern architecture and design. I love this sculpture outside the front of the home where it can be enjoyed by passersby. It adds an artistic element to the home’s exterior as well as providing fluid lines and movement amongst the more angular lines of the home.

Bethesda Dancing CoupleDo you have any sculpture outside your home?

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Adaptive Reuse for Historic Post Offices

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Can you imagine a historic post office as a residential home? I can. The US Postal Service needs to cut expenses and this may well be an opportunity to create a cool home. Or a small shop. Coffee house. Cafe. Legal office. Literary loft. What other uses can you think of for a historic post office? What would you use the post office boxes for? Would you incorporate them into the adaptive reuse design? And how about the mural?

 

“Find a new use for the Geneva post office so that it will continue to be a vital part of the historic downtown. Work with the U.S. Postal Service and other agencies to save historic post office buildings across the country.”

 

http://www.savingplaces.org/treasures/historic-post-office-buildings

Milton Friedman's Salad

I’m afraid the few times I’ve used a ZIP code recently have been for credit card validation or online, to locate a retail outlet near me.   The vast majority of mail envelopes that I open are done so with a double click.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation describes historic post office buildings as National Treasures, put them on their list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, and hired me to document 60134, located in Geneva Illinois.  The building is like much of the real mail that arrives at my studio:  battle worn but mostly intact, and occasionally hiding a beautiful surprise.

Painted in 1940 by Manuel Bromberg, the WPA mural is titled “Fish Fry in the Park.”

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment
May 29, 2012

Minneapolis Public Library in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota

Setting the table at D’Amico Kitchen restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Children playing in a tree next to Lake Minnetonka

Learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Create
June 22, 2012

Washington Dulles International Airport
Wall of trees overlooking the terrace

This was the view that greeted me as I arrived on the ticketing level of Dulles last week. The window itself is beautiful; it’s further enhanced by the terrace beyond. It wouldn’t be nearly as pretty if it overlooked a parking lot. Also noteworthy is the reflection of the window, greenery and sky on the floor, all serving to double this picturesque setting.

Read more about the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

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Framing Art with Architecture

I attended an art exhibit one day. A glance upward brought this window into view. I found I liked this window more than much of the art hanging on the walls and displayed throughout the space below this window. (Photographed with a cell phone.)

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Real Homes. Real People. Real Ideas.
April 28–29, 2012

This weekend offers an opportunity to take a FREE, self-guided tour of 60 Twin Cities remodeled and/or reinvented homes. See homes projects that were both “on-a-budget” and “blow out”. You can tour examples of remodeled kitchens and baths, room additions, and whole house renovations.

These projects are unique in that they cover a wide range of housing eras. The home tour is also unique in that homeowners, contractors and/or architects are available to discuss the projects with visitors. This is a wonderful way to learn about remodeling, meet contractors and architects, and discover different neighborhoods.

This is the twenty-fifth year of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour. It all began when some Minneapolis real estate agents and city officials were concerned about suburban flight. They took it upon themselves to promote city living and the home tour was born.

Homes will be open to visitors:

  • Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The home tour will take place regardless of weather conditions.

Minneapolis–Saint Paul Home Tour Preview – a video showcasing information and home tour highlights.

Minneapolis Home Tour Map

Saint Paul Home Tour Map

msphometour.com – the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour website.

Visit HistoricSaintPaul.org for information on: “Historic Homes for Everyday Families” workshop, why preservationists will enjoy the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour, walking tours of “Storybook” houses with architect Bob Roscoe, and more.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate? Call Kate and Ellen Walsh and we’ll help you make all the right moves.

Ellen Walsh
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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What’s Your Style?

–Number 2–

This is the second image in a series on the master bedroom. I’ve changed the title of this post to Master | Mistress Bedrooms for several reasons. First of all, the main bedroom of the house used to be referenced as the mistress bedroom rather than the master bedroom. The master had to be invited into this room by the mistress.

Secondly, a majority of real estate purchases made today are by single women. I suspect most of these women would prefer to call their bedroom the mistress bedroom rather than the master bedroom.

The word mistress has several definitions. The first definition listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a woman who has power, authority or ownership”. Here’s the link to the Merriam-Webster site with the definition for mistress. I’ve given the abbreviated version.

And now on to the space pictured above. This bedroom features a vaulted ceiling, colorful walls and bedding, and an eye-catching graphic piece of art over the bed. Does this style suit you?

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Photo of the Day
April 4, 2012

A lovely bridge scene in Firenze, Italy.

Check out our About Us: A Bridge to Something New page.

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American Institute of Architects | Minnesota
Reinventing Your Home Event

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
International Market Square, Suite 185
5:30pm–7:30pm

Northwestern Knitting Company Factory in Minne...

At “Reinventing Your Home,” you’ll have an opportunity to talk to architects about your remodeling project. Five architects will hold a panel discussion to explore how to make a home livable for the long-term. They’ll also take questions from the audience, and judging from last year, will field queries about green building, how to get the most bang for the buck and hiring an architect. Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door (appetizers included).

For more information and to register: AIA Minnesota website

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A Feng Shui Perspective

A friend recently sent me a post about Whitney Houston’s home in New Jersey being for sale. I looked at the photos and had my usual REALTOR® curiosity about the house. I loved this stained-glass wall that appears to separate the foyer from the living room. The color and “movement” of the design reminds me of music–quite appropriate for the amazing musical talent that Whitney was.

Here’s a photo of what appears to be the living room, complete with circular skylight (wow!) and a curving wall of windows. Note also the clerestory to the right along the upper wall. The natural light in this space must be splendid.

The property reportedly has just over five acres of land. Here’s a view of the grounds. There are many trees, offering both beauty and tranquility. No doubt Whitney enjoyed many wonderful moments at this home and in her life despite her struggles.

Her modern home is said to be quite different from the other homes in Mendham Township. Most of the homes there are reportedly classic estates, historical homes, and farmhouses. As a REALTOR®,  I’ve seen modern homes sell very quickly when they are done exceptionally well or designed by a well-known architect such as Ralph Rapson. If they aren’t stunning, they can linger on the market due to feeling cold, having odd floor plans, having awkward and/or poorly proportioned rooms, etc.

I located some aerial photos of the property. There is a large pool, a tennis court, and a walking path. Here’s a link to a photo of the pool with her initials set in the bottom:

Photo of Whitney Houston’s Pool at her New Jersey estate

Unfortunately, the design has a helter-skelter aspect; It does not have the natural flow and orderliness of a rectangular or square house that would be beneficial. From a Feng Shui perspective, this home has a number of challenges due to what is known as “missing areas”. These “missing areas” symbolize missing areas of the bagua (a map placed over a floor plan and used in Feng Shui consultations), thus weakening these areas of life for the occupants. Anyone living in this home would benefit from making Feng Shui adjustments to either energetically or physically “fill in” the missing pieces.

The layout of this house may well explain Whitney’s addiction issues and subsequent problems with finances, relationships, and the decline of her magnificent singing voice which could no longer produce the perfect pitch and beautiful tonality it once did.

As I continued looking at the home from various angles, I noticed the heart-shaped portion of the house. It would be interesting to know what part of the house this occupies. The kitchen (often referred to as the heart of the home)? The main bedroom? No matter. From all I’ve read and seen, Whitney had a heart as big as her voice.

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This home is not currently listed on the MLS. Find more information here:

CarProperty.com

Here’s an article about a homeowner who hired Ralph Rapson to renovate her home in the Rolling Green neighborhood of Edina, Minnesota:

One Rapson Rhapsody

RapsonArchitects.com

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Weekly Real Estate Update
February 27, 2012


The week left yet another trail of evidence leading back to a housing market on the mend. This time, the encouraging signs were even less clandestine. Nationally, both new and existing home sales enjoyed improvements. Even some December numbers were upwardly revised. New home sales have real and noticeable impacts on GDP, thus generating jobs and driving down unemployment. The overall bias for the entire U.S. is firmly toward balance. Locally, market activity was mostly positive. Spring will still be the major tell.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 18:
• New Listings decreased 7.1% to 1,256
• Pending Sales increased 28.6% to 899
• Inventory decreased 23.2% to 17,756

For the month of January:
• Median Sales Price decreased 3.4% to $140,000
• Days on Market decreased 8.5% to 142
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.4% to 91.2%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 34.2% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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A Surprise in St. Paul

My sister and I were out showing homes to a client on Saturday when we drove past this home. It’s not often we come across this style of home. They tend to be rare here in the Twin Cities. This style is referred to as a “mushroom house” because of its roof.

The detailing of the roof and the beautiful stone captured our attention. This is a newer home, built within the last ten years. My compact camera doesn’t do it justice. It’s quite striking to see in person.

The Star Tribune did a story on this type of architecture last year. Read more about the Earl Young houses in Charlevoix, Michigan.

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What’s Your Style?

–Number 1–

People have a keen interest in the master bedroom of a home. It’s a place to get away, unwind, rest, heal, rejuvenate, and share special family time. Here then begins a series of photos of master bedrooms.

This bedroom is in an older home in the Lowry Hill area of Minneapolis. Note the various elements here: leaded French windows, four-poster bed, antique cane settee, oriental rug, soothing blue walls with white trim, antique light fixture, and scalloped-edged roman shades.

What do you look for in a master bedroom? Do tell.

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Home and Garden Show

February 29-March 4, 2012
Minneapolis Convention Center

$2 Off Discounted Tickets to the Home and Garden Show

The Home and Garden Show is taking place at month’s end. This is an opportunity to get lots of ideas and advice on these two topics. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the Minneapolis Convention Center. Show highlights include:

Innovation Avenue

Green Scene

The Ultimate Backyard Lounge

Glorious Feature Gardens

The Idea Home

The Chandelier Fashion Show

Taste on Third Avenue

Shop the Marketplace

The Annual Plant Sale (5pm on Sunday)


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What show would be complete without celebrity guests? Here’s a partial list of celebrities at the show this year:

Chip Wade of HGTV’s Curb Appeal, The Block and Designed to Sell

Mark Brunetz of Style Network’s Clean House

Pat Simpson, nationally recognized home building and remodeling expert

Marjorie Johnson, a national star in the world of baking (and a Twin Cities native)

HOURS:

Wednesday Noon – 9pm
Thursday 10am – 9pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday 9am – 9pm
Sunday 9am – 6pm

ADMISSION COSTS:

$13.00 adults;
$4 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show

Maps – Minneapolis Convention Center

More information on Gardens

Here’s a link to Entertaining–Green/Eco Tips–Recipes | Tips Trends and Tools for those who can’t make the show in person.

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