One book leads to another...

Saturday, April 30, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - Z

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

Z

Zimmerman House


One of only two Usonian homes (the other is right down the street) in Manchester, New Hampshire, this home was designed almost entirely with the personal tastes of the homeowners in mind. By 1952 Frank Lloyd Wright had established his signature Usonian style in homes intended for middle-class families with modest requirements and was expanding the use of reinforced concrete in residential applications such as flooring.


For the Zimmerman couple, Wright’s attention to detail extended to include exterior garden design, interior furnishings, a small music stage, and to some extent, dishware.


The Zimmermans willed the home to the Currier Museum, which has maintained the grounds since 1988 and hosts tours for about 5000 visitors per year. Howard Mansfield was one such visitor.


 

An unusual home, undeniably. What do you think? Would you take a tour?

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by! You kept me at it ;-)

Friday, April 29, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - Y

 



A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

Y

Yountville Town Center



When it came time for an upgrade, the architects at Siegel and Strain knew just how to design a building that would seamlessly blend old and new, nature and architecture in the heart of Napa Valley’s wine country. As a result, the Yountville Town Center received the 2010 “Savings by Design” award of honor, AIA California’s highest award.


If I were to spend a day strolling this 1.5 square mile town, I’d hope to catch an event going on at the center, wouldn’t you? 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - X

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

X

San Xavier Del Bac

 


Founded in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, this Spanish catholic mission was named for Francis Xavier, a Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus in Europe. The original church served the mission and the O’odham people along the Santa Cruz River until about 1770 when it was destroyed by Apache raids.

The (new) mission that still stands today was commissioned with funds borrowed from a Sonoran rancher and constructed largely by native O’odham workers under the guidance of architect Ignacio Gaona between 1783 and 1797.

Following Mexican Independence in 1821, the Mexican government banned all Spanish-born priests. Once the last Franciscan departed in 1837, operations at the mission began to deteriorate.

The mission might have succumbed to decay by 1853 if not for the Gadsden Purchase which included San Zavier as part of the United States and the new Arizona Territory. The Diocese of Tucson was then formed, putting in place a priest and establishing services once again.

One of the finest examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the US, the San Zavier Mission is considered to be perhaps the best and oldest civilized structure in Arizona.

I’ve been to the mission many times and highly recommend a visit. Would you go? Have you been?

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - W

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

W

Wayfarer’s Chapel


The design of this place of worship may seem familiar, even similar to the one I showcased for the letter “H,” but there’s more to it than that, as this chapel was designed by architect Lloyd Wright (son of famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright).

While in keeping with his father’s love of glass, Wright departed from the traditional use of masonry in order, he said, “to achieve a delicate enclosure that allows the surrounding landscape to define the sacred space.” Placing his unique design on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean further compliments an already breathtaking effect.

Also known as “The Glass Church,” it is a popular choice for weddings and movie and television series settings. In addition, the American a cappella group, Pentatonix recorded a music video there in 2020.


If ever there was a perfect place to find – or lose yourself, this has to be it. Can you imagine the view from the pews? Would you visit? Have you been?


 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - V

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

V

Villa Savoye - France


Commissioned by the Savoye (pronounced Savwa) family as a country retreat just outside of Paris, France, architects Le Corbusier and (his cousin) Pierre Jeanneret had free range to design this modernist villa.

The Villa Savoye is undoubtedly Le Corbusier’s most notable project from the 30s and had an enormous influence on international modernism. His use of Pilotis (stilts), interior and exterior ramps instead of stairs, garden roof and terrace, horizontal ribbon windows, and an open floor plan devoid of load-bearing walls were all part of the “Five Point” architectural aesthetic that led to the house being affectionately referred to as a “Box in the Air” by the architect himself.

Interestingly, the building was registered as an official French Historical Monument (1965) while Le Corbusier was still alive.


It might be fun to tour this place. Would you go? Have you been? What do you think of the design?

Monday, April 25, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - U

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

U

Unity Temple – Oak Park, Illinois


When the original Unity Church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1905, noted American architect and loyal parishioner Frank Lloyd Wright was awarded the commission for a new building.

In keeping with his philosophy of organic architecture and a woefully tight budget, Wright submitted a design that defied nearly every concept of traditional church architecture.

Concrete, he reasoned, was both plentiful and affordable and allowed for repetition of a series of un-treated concrete forms that, to the busy street outside, would represent impenetrable protection of the sanctuary within.

Instead of a steeple or spire, Wright’s vision included the use of natural lighting; leaded glass skylights intended to impart “a sense of a happy cloudless day… “and a continuous band of clerestory windows that minimized street noise while providing further light.


The project was deemed another of a long list of masterpieces by the architect. And because the design is so unique, bearing no resemblance to other churches along Lake Street, parish commissioners decided to change the name to Unity Temple.

 

I bet the sanctuary truly is something to see. Would you visit? Have you been?

Saturday, April 23, 2022

A to Z Blogging - T

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

T

Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights


Italian immigrant and businessman Alessio Carraro hired Phoenix architect H.D. Frankfurt to design a “Boutique” Hotel that would attract buyers for a proposed 48-home subdivision he planned to call “Carraro Heights,” evidently without any intention of following the architect’s plan, as he instead pursued his own dream of a medieval Italian castle.

Besides the concrete basement, ascending floors are elongated octogons stacked on top of one another, each smaller than the one below, giving the building its colloquial “Wedding Cake” appearance.

The castle opened to festive fan-fare just after Christmas of 1930 – and right before Carraro realized his newest neighbor owned a stockyard, the sight, and smell of which could very well deter any prospective home-buyers. But then again, after the stock market crash, there might not be any home-buyers anyway.

The economy worsened before it got better, and Carraro was forced to give up his dream before ever breaking ground on the subdivision. His real estate agent accepted a (low-ball) bid from the highest bidder.

I can only imagine Carraro’s thoughts when he realized the highest bidder was his neighbor, E.A. Tovrea, the cattle mogul. Tovrea’s wife, Della, loved the castle so much that she moved right in and lived there until she passed away in 1969. She chose the basement as her main living area because there is no central cooling, and it gets hot in Phoenix, Arizona.

I’m glad that to this day, both the original builder and the longtime owner’s names are used in the title of this Historic Landmark. In addition, the castle is highly visible from surrounding areas, portions of the freeway, and several flight plans in and out of Sky Harbor airport.

Is it just me, or does this plaster ceiling look like icing on a cake?

The views alone are worth the tour, and the guides are engaging! Would you go? Have you been?

Friday, April 22, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - S

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula; it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

S

Singing Tower Carillon


Nearly as fascinating as this 205-foot neo-gothic art deco building is the man who commissioned its creation. Dutch-born American editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Bok was editor-in-chief of Ladies Home Journal for 30 years, subtly ensconcing his own ideas for American architecture, home furnishings, town buildings, and (if you can believe it) his disdain for women’s suffrage. Nonetheless, of Bok’s autobiography, one reviewer stated (in part) that Bok had been “Aesthetically probably the most useful citizen who ever breathed its muggy air,”

 

In perhaps a bold move in 1924, Bok’s wife Mary Louise founded The Curtis Institute of Music in honor of her late father. Three years later, construction began on Bok’s monument to music and nature atop Iron Mountain, north of Lake Whales, Florida.

 

Designed by famed architect Milton Medary and crafted by noted stone sculptor Lee Lawrie, the Singing Tower houses one of the world’s finest 60-bell carillons (concerts in the garden at 1 and 3:pm daily). The Bells of Singing Tower

Among historical photos and documents located on Level Two is the original guest register signed by President Calvin Coolidge and Edward Bok in February of 1929.

Samuel Yellin, America’s premier metalworker at the time, crafted the Great Brass Door on the north side of the tower, which depicts the Book of Genesis, starting with the creation of light and ending with Adam and Eve being ousted from the garden at the hand-crafted wrought iron gates.  

 


I've added this to my list of things I want to see in Florida! Would you visit?

Thursday, April 21, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - R

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

R

Rosenbaum House

 


The first of dozens of Usonian homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Rosenbaum house is the only one located in Alabama and employs many of Wright’s signature features such as the L-shape, steel cantilevered roof, and mainly natural building materials. One of the more distinctive elements is the characteristic use of floor-to-ceiling glass – whenever and wherever possible or practical - to “blur the line between indoors and outdoors,” as one periodical describes it, and as evidenced by exit doors in every room. The Rosenbaum House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and is the only Usonian home (to date) open to the public.

I find the similarities of this house to the one the Byrds of “Ozark” live in fascinating. So much so that I actually checked to be sure, and while they’re both genuine and cool as rain, they are two different houses. It matters not to me; I just love windows!

Nice place for a house with glass walls, don’t you think? Would you visit? Have you watched the “Ozark” drugs-and-crime drama series?

 


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - Q

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

Q

Queen Sofia Palace of the Arts

 


Widely considered one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world, at 17 stories high Queen Sofia is also the tallest opera house and cultural center in the world. Designed by internationally known Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the sweeping mosaic roof is undeniably the most impressive part of this landmark located in Valencia City, Spain (birthplace of the architect.) In keeping with a nautical theme, the innovative upswept wing-like design allows spectators to watch rehearsals through glass panels from boat-like opera house “decks”.

Well, I am impressed! How about you? Have you been? Would you visit?

 

 


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - P

 

A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

P

Petronas Towers

 


Known as the world’s tallest twin towers since 1996, the Petronas Towers are a major landmark in Kuala Lumpur and are visible pretty much throughout the entire city. While 88 stories are not the highest in the world, the honorable distinction lies in the “Tallest Twin Towers” status.

Designed by Argentine-American architect, Cesar Peli, the postmodern style was intended to create a 21-century icon for the city. In addition to a large shopping mall and the Petronas Philharmonic Hall below, the towers provide 580 thousand meters of column-free office space to several high-profile companies such as IBM and Reuters.

The double-decker skybridge is the highest two-story bridge in the world and connects the towers at the 41 and 42nd floors. It is not attached to the towers, instead designed to slide in and out to prevent breakage, as the towers sway in high winds. The skybridge is also considered a safety device in case evacuation is necessary from one tower to the other. It is open to the public but tickets are sold on a first-come basis.

Notable events include a new world BASE jumping record set by Felix Baumgartner in 1996 (possibly since broken,) by jumping off a window cleaning crane, and after two failed attempts that ended in arrest, French urban climber Alain “Spiderman” Robert scaled the top of Tower 2 in just under 2 hours using only his bare hands and feet, without the use of any safety devices.

Awesome to look at, wouldn’t you say?

Monday, April 18, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - O

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

O

One Fen Court


Described by the “Guardian” as “a candy-striped miracle in the central London skies.” Eric Parry, the project architect, had in mind to create “a city blockbuilding that speaks to the street.” And indeed, the ground level does present a prominent street presence from the grand entrance featuring an LED ceiling that displays live feed of rooftop views, to the modern retail shops, bank, and HQ offices, the building gets more amazing with every floor. Vertical Terracotta tile-clad pillars accented by i
ridescent horizontal brisesoleil profiles and gleaming strips of dichroic foil produce colorful effects both inside and outside of the building while providing natural light on all four sides. These panels also provide energy-efficient thermal and acoustic insulation which in turn affords maximum year-round comfort within. Further enhancements include a panoramic view of the city, and a free public Skygarden on the rooftop.

I would certainly enjoy a visit. Even the sidewalk view is mesmerizing. Would you go? Have you been?




Saturday, April 16, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - N

 

A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

N

Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum

 


The futuristic design by renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer has become a landmark of modern architecture for the city of Niteroi in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visitors can feast their eyes on the remarkable design and breathtaking 360 views of the Rio de Janeiro Harbor and still not have seen it all as yet another treasure lies within. The museum holds the honor of hosting the Joao Sattamini Collection, the second most extensive contemporary art collection in Brazil.

 

 


I’m already captivated by the views, and I haven’t even seen the art collection! What do you think? Would you visit? Have you been here yet?

Friday, April 15, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - M

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

M

Mystery Castle

 

On the off-chance that anyone out there hasn’t heard of this fascinating place, I’m going to talk about the Mystery Castle today because I think you ought to know ;-)

 


Designated a “Phoenix Point of Pride,” the castle doesn’t so much as rise but appears to erupt from the desert floor in a cacophonous mix of objects, ornate and abstract, mundane and creatively practical. A spoke rim from an old car serves as a window frame. An upside-down bathtub serves as a kitchen range hood. Hemingway would have appreciated the prevalent presence of cats, statues, paintings, and quite alive (back in the day). The castle contains an underground room called “Purgatory,” guarded by a knight and a leashed crocodile, that affords access to both a tavern (to the left) and a chapel (to the right) with a pump organ; said to have belonged to the “Widow of Tombstone,” who buried six husbands at Boot Hill. The castle creator’s daughter, Mary Lou, played the organ for numerous private weddings conducted in the Chapel.


Many prominent people have reportedly visited the castle, including John Wayne and Frank Lloyd Wright, who admired the masonry. An Arizona senator and the governor donated pieces of fine furniture. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the deed to the land as personal property of Mr. Boyce Gully, replacing the original mining claim.

I wouldn’t mind being on the list of visitors, would you?





Thursday, April 14, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - L

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

L

Longwood Mansion

or Nutt’s Folly

 


Located in Natchez, Mississippi, and designed by Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan, Longwood is the largest octagonal house in America.  Also known for its byzantine onion-shaped dome; this remarkable antebellum abode remains to this day – unfinished. Construction began on a lavish home for Dr. Haller Nutt and his wife Julia in 1860 but halted in 1861 when civil war broke out and craftsmen, dropping their tools where they were, fled the scene.

After Dr. Nutt died from pneumonia in 1864, Ms. Julia was left to raise her children in the home on only the ornately finished ground floor as the upper five floors were never completed.


Since dubbed “the last burst of southern opulence,” Longwood has survived decades of neglect to become a popular attraction as a Historic House Museum owned and operated by the Pilgrimage Garden Club. It is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.

According to natcheztracetravel.com, there are many places like this, in and around the scenic outreaches of the Mississippi River. At one point in time, Natchez was home to the most millionaires in the entire United States. Now it is docent to most of the antebellum homes they built.

I would love to see Longwood! Would you visit? Have you been?

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

A to Z Blogging Challenge - K

 


A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

K

Kansas City Library Bookshelf

…and parking garage

 

Isn’t it amazing how creativity in design can transform an unremarkable building into a literary treasure and visual work of art?


 

When, in 2006, it became necessary to build a parking structure for the ever-expanding number of library patrons, the Kansas City community members as well as patrons, were asked for input on fa├žade designs. Once was “Books” was chosen as a design, they all voted on what titles to use on each 25’X9’ book. It is now considered one of the “Most striking features” of downtown Kansas City, MO.

 


I have to admit, I was disappointed to find this was only a parking garage! No matter, I’m still impressed. How about you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A to Z Blogging - J

 



A to Z April (2022) Blogging Challenge

 

Hello, dear readers!

I’d like to thank you all in advance for stopping by, and I hope that at least a few on my list of remarkable buildings pique your interest as they did mine.

“Design is not a coincidence or a formula, it is a result of human reflection and vision in response to a specific challenge.” ~ Unknown

 

J

Jeddah Light


At 431 ft, this could credibly be the tallest lighthouse in the world. It serves as a port control tower and active lighthouse at the northern entrance to Jeddah Seaport in the Red Sea.

Although this is not at all what I think of when I hear the word “Lighthouse,” I imagine this one has no problem serving the purpose ;-)

Are you a fan of lighthouses? Is there a lighthouse in or near your city?