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September 26, 2017 3:04 pm

Travel to the Northeast

Ellen recently enjoyed a family vacation on the east coast, and took the opportunity to learn more about the history and architecture of New Jersey and New York.

Courtesy of the Chester Historical Society

Interior of the Cooper Gristmill

First stop was the Cooper Gristmill in Chester, New Jersey. Built in 1826, the restored building is one of the only extant water-powered mills in the state. A volunteer demonstrated the mill’s interior workings, including the massive water wheel.

Next stop was Waterloo Village in New Jersey. Built as a canal village, it is now a protected historical park, with a working smithy, a gristmill, and other interpretive centers that illustrate daily life in 1872.

The Finger Lakes region of New York was next, with two particularly interesting sites. The first was the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion in Canandaigua. The house was the country home of wealthy banker Frederick Ferris Thompson and his wife, Mary Clark Thompson. It was designed by prominent New York City architect Francis Richmond Allen. Even more famous than the house are the restored gardens, which were designed by landscape architect Ernest W. Bowditch.

The second site in the Finger Lakes area was the Seneca Bark Longhouse and Seneca Art & Cultural Center in Ganondagan, two sites that form an interpreted landscape exploring the culture and history of the Seneca and Haudenosaunee peoples and the village of Ganondagan. The longhouse has been faithfully reproduced from archaeological evidence dating back to the seventeenth century. The Seneca Art & Cultural Center opened in 2015 with an award-winning design by Francois de Menil in conjunction with DeWolff Partnership architects.

Canal workers’ housing, Waterloo Village, New Jersey (soon to be restored)

Smithy at Waterloo Village, New Jersey

Mill at Waterloo Village, New Jersey

Waterloo Village, New Jersey

Sonnenberg Mansion, Canandaigua, New York

Sonnenberg Italian garden, Canandaigua, New York

Seneca Bark Longhouse, Ganondagan, New York

Seneca Art & Cultural Center at Ganondagan. Designed by Francois de Menil, AIA, in conjunction with DeWolff Partnership Architects, 2015.

August 21, 2017 5:08 pm

“Dark and Sciency”: Happy Solar Eclipse!

Lani and Larry managed to secure a last-minute berth in Corvallis, Oregon, and so were in the path of totality for this morning’s solar eclipse! We hope you all got to see at least the partial eclipse, whether through viewing glasses, a pinhole viewer, or the leaves on the trees.

Overheard in the crowd along the riverbank in Corvallis: “It’s going to get all dark and sciency!”

Approaching totality

 

Totality!

The light shining through the trees shows the progress of the moon across the sun.

 

 

 

May 23, 2017 10:00 am

AIA National Conference on Architecture

At the end of April, our colleague Howard Miller attended the 2017 AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando. This was a great opportunity to learn about the latest trends and technology and the ways architecture is contributing to the wellbeing of communities in the United States and around the world. The program included speakers from Africa addressing the life-changing effect of architecture on small communities when priority is given to working with locals and using local materials. Keynote speaker Michelle Obama inspired us to listen and be inclusive rather than discriminatory. On the convention floor, one of the standout products was Flowstone, a translucent calcite stone that can be glazed and used on kitchen counters, table tops, spa surfaces, and more. On display were also innovative updates to windows, design software, and home automation. Offsite activities included a bicycle tour of Orlando, highlighting the progress the city has made towards being more bike-friendly. Overall it was a great convention. Next year it will be in New York City!

Convention over, time to clean up.

Convention over, time to clean up.

Jim Belushi concert

Jim Belushi concert

Orlando's brutalist library

The Brutalist Orlando Public Library, designed in 1966 by John Johansen.

The City symbol is a fountain in a lake. Lots of lakes in Orlando.

Orlando is full of lakes, and the fountain rising from Lake Eola (shown here) is the symbol of the city.

An architectural bicycle tour is a nice way to get around. Orlando's bicycle infrastructure is not to Seattle's level, but they are progressing.

An architectural bicycle tour is a nice way to get around. Orlando’s bicycle infrastructure is not at Seattle’s level, but they are progressing.

Michele Obama made he first public speaking appearance since leaving the White House at the convention. Inspiring.

Michelle Obama’s first public speaking appearance since leaving the White House was at the convention. Inspiring.

Orlandos new cultural building.

Orlando’s new cultural building: the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

The line waiting for Michele Obama.

The line waiting to see Michelle Obama speak.

A little Fake History that has become iconic none the less.

A little Fake History that has become iconic nonetheless.

June 17, 2016 10:23 am

Philadelphia area homes—Chestnut Hill

While in Philadelphia in May, Larry & Lani enjoyed touring residential neighborhoods in suburban Philadelphia. George Bryant, Architect and Historian, led one of the AIA convention tours; his focused on the development and architectural richness of the Wissahickon/St. Martin’s neighborhood in Chestnut Hill. After the excellent tour, we spent additional time in this historic area, looking an amazing variety of homes. Here are just a few examples:

George explains the concept of a "twin," two houses built together. George explained that these 1886 Queen Anne style twins designed by GW & WD Hewitt were typical of smaller houses developed in this area.

George explains the concept of a “twin,” two houses built together. George explained that these 1886 Queen Anne style twins—designed by brothers (though not twins!) G.W. & W.D. Hewitt–were typical of smaller houses developed in this area.

 

1917 homes designed by Edmund Gilchrist to create an "integrated streetscape."

Lovely 1917 home designed by Edmund Gilchrist, showing Arts & Crafts influences.

 

Vanna Venturi house, designed by Robert Venturi, 1962-64

Vanna Venturi house, designed by Robert Venturi, 1962-64.

 

Esherick House designed by Louis Kahn, 1961.

Esherick House designed by Louis Kahn, 1961.

 

Houston-Sauveur House. This 1885 home is a fine example of a Queen Anne shingle style. Below is a detail of the "spider" window.

Houston-Sauveur House. This 1885 home is a fine example of a Queen Anne Shingle style. Below is a detail of the “spider” window.

 

1885 "spider" window.

1885 “spider” window.

 

A stately colonial designed by Charles Barton Keen, 1913.

A stately colonial house designed by Charles Barton Keen, 1913.

 

What style do you think this is?

What style do you think this is?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-century modern homes were built on the grounds of a demolished mansion. Do you think the Jetson's live here?

Mid-century modern homes were built on the grounds of a demolished mansion. Do the Jetsons live here?

 

 

May 25, 2016 11:19 am

AIA Convention in Philadelphia

Lani and Larry Johnson attended the 2016 National AIA Convention in Philadelphia last week. The Pennsylvania Convention Center fills four city blocks and is HUGE! Larry focused on historic preservation and attended a full-day workshop on preservation issues for Modernist architecture. The related EXPO was gigantic, and we learned about all kinds of interesting new architectural products and technology. Along with our friend George Bryant, a Philadelphia architect and historian, we also did a lot of architectural touring. Watch for another post later showing some interesting examples of residential architecture.

The Philadelphia City Hall reigned as the largest habitable building in the world from 1894 until 1908.

The Philadelphia City Hall reigned as the largest habitable building in the world from 1894 until 1908.

 

The cavernous entry to the Philadelphia convention Center from Reading Terminal. We were able to travel to and from the Convention Center by rail.

Entry to the Philadelphia Convention Center from Reading Terminal. We traveled to and from the convention center by rail, so this was how we arrived. The main entrance to the convention center totally dwarfs this!

 

Right across the street from the multi-block Convention Center is this architectural gem—The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts designed by Frank Furness, built in 1871-1876.

Right across the street from the huge, multi-block convention center is this architectural gem: the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, designed by Frank Furness and built in 1871-1876.

 

Did you know that the oldest hospital in the US is in Philadelphia? Pennsylvania Hospital was founded by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Bond in 1751, and this building was built in 1755.

Did you know that the oldest hospital in the USA is in Philadelphia? Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Bond; the main building was built in 1755.

 

Lani enjoyed visiting Longwood Gardens, an amazing horticultural garden with over 1,000 acres of gardens, fountains, meadows, woodlands, conservatory, topiary garden, outdoor theater, and other garden delights. This photo shows the Italian Water Garden.

Lani enjoyed visiting Longwood Gardens, an amazing horticultural garden with over 1,000 acres of gardens, fountains, meadows, woodlands, a conservatory, topiary garden, outdoor theater, and other garden delights. This photo shows the Italian Water Garden.

 

 

May 10, 2013 1:34 pm

Larry and Lani are recognized in the latest Washington Trust News

wash trust-1

 

Larry and Lani sent photos to the Washington Trust of the Cedar Creek Grist Mill near Woodland, WA. Lani recommends it as a great place to visit! If you’re in the area during blooming season, also check out the Hilda Klager Lilac Garden in Woodland.

November 22, 2012 11:58 am

Happy Thanksgiving from TJP!

We all wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and we give our thanks to you—to all the wonderful people we work with!

Photo is of the Olmstead House, a 1899 Queen Anne style home located in the Browne’s Addition neighborhood of Spokane, WA. Lani and Larry enjoyed seeing many fine vintage houses during their trip to Spokane for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Society of Architectural Historians conferences.

November 16, 2012 12:29 pm

Hanford, WA

 

 

When Larry & Lani attended the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Society of Architectural Historians conferences in Spokane week before last, they had also a rare chance to visit the Hanford nuclear reservation and to tour the inside of Reactor B, which was developed as part of the Manhattan Project.

In 1943, agricultural towns were relocated from the vast Hanford site to allow development of nuclear facilities during WWII. The remains of 1916 Hanford high school pictured above are about all that’s left of the former town of Hanford, and a crumbling remnant of a bank marks the site of the former town of White Bluff, which had a population of about 3,000 before the mandated wartime relocations. Residents were given only 30 days to relocate elsewhere.

Reactor B, pictured below, was the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world and is a stunning example of a wartime effort to jump from scientific theory to large-scale production with hardly any time for testing or development. Ongoing cleanup of contamination is also part of that legacy. Did you know that about 80% of all plutonium in the world was produced on the Hanford reserve? All in all, an interesting, yet eerie, part of our country’s past from which to learn.

 

November 7, 2012 4:15 pm

National Trust & SAH Conferences in Spokane

Larry and Lani attended the back-to-back national National Trust for Historic Preservation and regional Marion Dean Ross Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians conferences last week in Spokane, WA. Many excellent presentations. Larry found an especially interesting session on window restoration, but there was so much more to see and learn, in addition to enjoying Spokane’s architectural heritage.

June 17, 2011 2:52 pm

Vieux Carré (French Quarter)

More snapshots from our visit to New Orleans during the AIA convention, this time of Vieux Carré, also known as the French Quarter. The French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans and is one of about twenty National Historic Districts in this amazing city. The French Quarter is one of America’s highly distinctive historic neighborhoods, and it certainly remains vibrant today

It is interesting to note than many of the buildings in the French Quarter were built before New Orleans became part of the United States in 1803, as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The colonial French settlement was established in 1718 by the French Mississippi Company, lead by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. In 1788, a great fire destroyed most of the original French colonial buildings, and most of the extant 18th century buildings in the French Quarter were built after this fire, during a period of Spanish rule (1763 to 1801). Thus, many French Quarter buildings may show Spanish influences. New Orleans briefly was returned to French rule from 1801 to 1803.

The French Quarter’s rich architectural heritage also includes buildings by Benjamin-Henry Latrobe, who is considered America’s first formally-trained, professional architect. Latrobe and his son both worked on projects in the French Quarter between about 1807 and 1820. Buildings by the elder Latrobe around the French Quarter include the New Orleans Customs House (1807) and the central tower of St. Louis Cathedral.

The French Quarter is famous for its restaurants and lively nightlife, as well as its historic architecture. Actually, the Quarter seems lively 24 hours a day, and is wonderfully fun to visit!

Check back week after next for another post on New Orleans.

Royal Street

 

Colorful shops and residences in the French Quarter

 

Evening street scene from Arnaud's restaurant balcony

 

Off-hours interior view of Arnaud's, one the district's historic fine dining establishments

 

Bourbon Street on a weeknight

 

 

Residence along Esplanade Avenue, along the edge of the French Quarter

Sunny morning in Jackson Square, looking toward statue of Andrew Jackson. St. Louis cathedral, shown in my first 2011 New Orleans post, fronts onto Jackson Square