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Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

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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