A Passion for Architecture – The Bungalow- Part 4

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You might say it is my age, but I have always looked at the world through an emotional blur. I count this as a gift that includes observation, memory, and a propensity for nostalgia. It makes me do things like hastily pull to the curb, a quick glance in the rearview mirror hoping that an outraged driver is not about to plow into the rear of my car. This was the rash move I made the other day. I caught sight of a bungalow that called to my imagination. Blinker on, I left the car running while I took the photographs you find here.  Blinker on, I left the car running while I took the photographs you find here. The watercolor app on my phone helps cover up the work this house needs, and also helps us imagine the American story we connect to bungalow architecture.

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 Here is a direct quote and brief example from my research on the bungalow

At the turn of the century bungalows took America by storm. These small houses, some costing as little as $900, helped fulfill many Americans’ wishes for their own home, equipped with all the latest conveniences. Central to the bungalow’s popularity was the idea that simplicity and artistry could harmonize in one affordable house. The mania for bungalows marked a rare occasion in which serious architecture was found outside the realm of the rich. Bungalows allowed people of modest means to achieve something they had long sought: respectability. With its special features – style, convenience, simplicity, sound construction, and excellent plumbing – the bungalow filled more than the need for shelter. It provided fulfillment of the American dream.

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A Passion for Architecture – Chicago – Part 3

557261_568450953202435_491016055_nFor me, one of the most important buildings in the magnificent City of Chicago sits on the corner of LaSalle Street and Elm. It is The Church of Ascension, the Anglo-Catholic Episcopal Parish in the Chicago Diocese. There is a bronze sculpture of Christ afixed to the front of the church, which faces busy LaSalle street. Underneath the sculpture is this inscription.  Is it Nothing to You, All Who Pass By.  Chicago, glorious in architecture and culture has at its heart a spiritual life that permeates this city of neighborhoods with its diverse religious and ethnic  population. While visiting Chicago, I hope you can spend some time visiting the churches and synagogues of the city.

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Chicago is universally recognized as the cradle of modern architecture and has long been connected with some of architecture’s most important names—Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, Holabird & Root, and Daniel Burnham, architect of the famous Rookery Building of the 1890s. It is known worldwide for the development, beginning in the late 1800s, of the renowned “Chicago School” of commercial building. In the early 1900s, Chicago saw the birth of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Prairie School” of residential design, which gave rise to the modern, open-plan house we know today.

The 1940s saw the completion of Mies van der Rohe’s revolutionary Illinois Institute of Technology and his Lake Shore Drive apartment buildings. Skidmore Owings & Merrill’s landmark Inland Steel Building was finished in 1954, their John Hancock Center in 1970, and their Sears Tower in 1974. Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s 190 South LaSalle Street office tower went up in 1987. This litany of names  are responsible for some of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Google the Chicago Architectural Foundation and start your Bucket List in Chicago.

IMG_3639In June 2016 my husband and I took one of the Chicago River Boat Architectural Tours. It is a MUST! The 70 minute tour was information overload as far as remembering everything we were told, but the majesty and awe of what we were seeing from this unique vantage will never be forgotten. Beholding the famous buildings up and down the Chicago River, the new Trump building that appears to rise up out of the river as if some magical spell has been cast upon it, was an architectural fix I wish for you all.

“Chicago has so much excellent architecture that they feel obliged to tear some of it down now and then and erect terrible buildings just to help us all appreciate the good stuff.”
― Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife12391964_10153919235716162_566245265261688901_n (1)

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A Passion for Architecture – The House I Grew Up In – Part 2


IMG_3591I was born in Chicago, but celebrated my 6th birthday in Evanston, IL. where we moved to a Colonial Revival style home on the corner of Asbury Avenue and Lyons Street. This beautiful home is where I return when I remember the little girl I once was, my mother reading to me at the breakfast room table, my father in his basement workshop making furniture. Here we remain in the dust mots floating in the sunlight on the staircase. My passion for architecture began in this house in a neighborhood filed with a mired of styles, Victorian beauties in particular. The streets were canopied with stately Dutch Elms that guarded over the years I walked to and from school, eventually rode my bike, and the car I learned to drive. I brought my first born child home to his grandparents in this place.

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We continue this series on architecture with a brief description of  Colonial Revival – 1876-1955 – This style became popular when it was showcased at the 1876 US Centennial Exposition. It is very similar to the Georgian and Federal styles, with a symmetrical front elevation, that emphasizes the front entrance, with a portico (a covered porch supported by columns), and with fanlights, sidelights, and transom around a paneled front door. Windows tend to be multi-pane, and double hung, and are accented with shutters. Colonial Revival is a clear reaction to the lavish Victorian styles, and was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Influenced by the design of this home, to this day, I have a passion for architecture.

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Identifying Colonial Revival Architecture
2 or 3 stories Symmetrical façades
Formal entrances: porticoes topped by a pediment
Paneled doors with sidelights, topped with transoms or fanlights Brick or wood siding
Simple, classical detailing
Gable roofs Pillars and columns
Multi-pane, double-hung windows with shutters
Dormers
Center entry-hall floor plan

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A Passion For Architecture – Part 1

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It is never too late to have a grand passion. I have several….and today it is architecture! I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and was  exposed to the magnificent architecture of the city. My interest was renewed when I started writing a second blog, Main Street Rocky Mount, a place rich in history and with a vast architectural inventory. It is more than structures that call to me. “Architecture is the very mirror of life. You only have to cast your eyes on buildings to feel the presence of the past, the spirit of a place; they are the reflection of society.” I. M. Pei

I am taken with the work of R. Kenton Nelson (born 1954), an American painter and muralist from California. He has a large body of work that goes beyond these commercial and residential examples, but when I look at his work, I can imagine the beginning of a story…another  reason to acquire a passion for architecture.

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I heard a noise from the adjoining building. Even the cat, nestled beside me, looked up from where she slept. The sound was implausible coming from the silent and vacant space on the other side of the wall, a welcomed barrier that separates me from any neighbor who tries to interfere with my life and solitude.  SFH

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I invite you to FOLLOW this blog for more about A Passion for Architecture

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A Writers Writer – Christopher Fowler – Bryant and May Mystery Series


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Here is what research will tell you about Arthur Bryant and John May who are Golden Age Detectives in a modern world. They head the Peculiar Crimes Unit, London’s most venerable specialist police team, a division founded during the Second World War to investigate cases that could cause national scandal or public unrest. The technophobic, irascible Bryant and smooth-talking modernist John May are partners I have grown to appreciate as I read my way through Christopher Fowler’s well written and amazing mystery series.

51ZB88ZubOL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I started Seventy-Seven Clocks Saturday night at bedtime. I never got out of my PJ’s on Sunday, propped up in bed most of the time, delighted once again to be in the company of  two of my favorite characters. Late Monday morning I bid them farewell until next time. The following few lines will help introduce you to these two interesting men.

“That was the difference between himself and May, John had no attachment to the past, sentimental or otherwise. He was interested in moving on. He saw life as a linear progression, a series of lessons to be learned, all extraneous information to be tossed away, a continual streamlining of ideas. Bryant collected the detritus of historical data as naturally as an anchor accumulates barnacles. He couldn’t help it; the past was as fascinating as a classic beauty, infinitely fathomable and for ever out of reach.”

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Fowler’s writing is irresistible as far as I’m concerned. There is little doubt of his brilliance providing layers of fascinating information about London, the underground trains, pubs, theater, art, all depending on his settings for each intricate mystery. FYI: The novels are written chronologically, but you can read them out of order.

Here is one more example of Fowler’s writing in Seventy-Seven Clocks: “Here they were, he thought, the Family Whitstable, well schooled, well shod, and well connected, the cream of British society. The kind of Hard Tory, High Church, pro-hunt landowners idolized in magazines like Tatler. Photographed at weddings or debutantes’ balls they appeared affable and elegant, but gathered en masse, they forget the rest of the world existed.” 

I give each of the books I have read in this series a #10 – Let me know what you think

1. Full Dark House (2003)
2. The Water Room (2004)
3. Seventy-Seven Clocks (2005)
4. Ten Second Staircase (2006)
5. White Corridor (2007)
6. The Victoria Vanishes (2008)
7. On the Loose (2009)
8. Off the Rails (2010)
9. The Memory of Blood (2011)
10. The Invisible Code (2012)
11. The Bleeding Heart (2014)
12. The Burning Man (2015)
13. Strange Tide (2016)
14. The Wild Chamber (2017)
Bryant & May’s Mystery Tour (2011)
The Casebook of Bryant May: The Soho Devil (2013)
Bryant & May and the Secret Santa (2015)
London’s Glory (2015)

 

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Thanks To Bookworm Buffet – A Review of Greening of a Heart

A special Welcome to those participating in the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip or have just read my reflection posted on the #Challenge Blog Site

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I owe a big THANK YOU to Barb Radisavijevie who blogs at Bookworm Buffet. She lives and writes in California. She has written a detailed review of Greening of a Heart. Never doubt the far reaching consequences of the blogging world. This was my 4th year to participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. This year I wrote 26 posts on the architecture and impact on the community of historic hotels and inns. It was well received judging by the stats surrounding the posts. Bookworm Buffet must have liked what she found when visiting, did a little exploring, and downloaded from Amazon, Greening of a Heart.  I’m delighted that her appreciation for the novel led to this review and recommendation.

Here is the link to review. Perhaps the setting and characters will call to you too!

An excerpt from the review……My Recommendation

I got very involved in this book. I began to really care about these new book friends. If you enjoy books that are more character than plot based, if you like watching people examine their lives with a mind to understand themselves and others, you will find this a rewarding read. You will see people falling in love, reconciling their differences, and experiencing spiritual and marital renewal through relationships begun in a garden.

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If you thrive on relationships with people and like to observe positive changes in their lives, you will want to read Greening of the Heart. It will make you think about your own life and relationships as you watch the drama unfold. If you are also a gardener, this book will have an added layer of meaning for you. If you enjoyed reading the Mitford Series or Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fanny Flagg, I would also expect you to find Greening of the Heart appealing. If you haven’t read any of these, what are you waiting for? You won’t want to miss any of these books.

 

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One of These Mornings, You’re Gonna Rise Up Singing – June 25

Welcome if you are visiting because you are on the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip This is a series during the month of June celebrating Summertime

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“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
                                 John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

One More Time: Click on the music for this Summertime Series

We have been remembering with great fondness, a collidescope of images from the past that mean summertime to each of us. We’ve been thinking about what our summers are like now. I hope you have enjoyed the quotes I have used to add richness to these posts. Your great comments have added interest for sure.

June has long been associated with weddings, so I think it is appropriate for this last post in this series to remember a wedding in South Carolina; a daughter of dear friends. This is a second marriage for the bride and groom, the merging of two families. Another wedding filled with laughter, music, and the scent of flowers in the air. Not kids any more, I feel sure the bride and groom have acquired the ability to rest in idleness from time to time watching the clouds float by. Let all of us remember that this is not a waste of time, but something we learned how to do while growing up, something summer provided time for, a moment we can still benefit from. Wishing everyone a great rest of the summer!

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The Cotton is High – June 24

Welcome if you are visiting because you are on the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip This is a series during the month of June celebrating Summertime

images-3“Every summer, like the roses, childhood returns.”
― Marty Rubin

I am blessed with young children in my life. Their parents have been posting fabulous summertime photographs. Because I love these delightful children, the photos are special to me, and they are perfect examples of what I have been writing about in these summertime posts. Together we have been remembering our own child free summers… I hope you enjoy these photo and use them as prompts in your remembering.

Summer Childhoods – Making memories

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1979700_10206148241492360_6962718311526144961_nFrom a beach trip, to a summer birthday party, the village fair, and off to a week of camp…I remember when, do you?

Summertime and the living’ is easy, fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.

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Cotton Is High – June 23

Welcome if you are visiting because you are on the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip This is a series during the month of June celebrating Summertime

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“Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o’clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There’s no hurry, for there’s nowhere to go and nothing to buy…and no money to buy it with.”                      

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

What could be more wonderful on a hot June day than to read or reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I have used two of Harper Lee’s quotations from the book in this series of summertime posts. The word sweetness lingers in my mind after I reread To Kill…. a few months ago. Don’t forget you can watch the Gregory Peck movie too. In combination, it will be one of your best memories this summer, I guarantee it. Treat yourself to a summer only Harper Lee can give you.

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The Cotton is High – June 22

Welcome if you are visiting because you are on the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip This is a series during the month of June celebrating Summertime

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“summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. for those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. you can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
                    Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

This quotation puts me in a mood, how about you? I can feel my breath quieting as I walk out into my garden, with no eyes on me as Caletti mentions. The mower next door is the only disturbance yet provides that cut-grass smell. I am grateful and easy. I repeat a morning ritual….this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it, only this time not from my bed, but standing outside on this June day. There is the past to consider. The summers when we were let out and looked forward to endless days of freedom, and then a past filled with things done and left undone, as the prayer book says.

I think we should be quiet people today, not required to be what others think we are. Rejoicing in the past, both good and bad, for after all, it took both sides of that coin to make us who we are today. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

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The Cotton is High – June 21

Welcome if you are visiting because you are on the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip This is a series during the month of June celebrating Summertime

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“It is easy to forget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer.”
 Anna Godbersen, Bright Young Things

This series of summertime posts have been about remembering a younger time in our lives, when in my generation at least, we were free to roam and play, to use our imaginations and pretend all manner of things. Because I am an addicted reader I have used the writing of others to highlight the posts with thoughtful quotes from their work. How surprised they would be to know that their words have influenced our own introspection about the summer in each of our lives.

In my mind, I can only think of summers rolled into one, where things happened over and over, yet are highlighted with memories like the summer I learned to ride a bike and kept falling into the neighbors bushes. All the twilight times that signaled it was time to go home. Many first two weeks in August when the girls took over Camp Echo, the YMCA camp in Fremont, Michigan.  All the times of sunburn, new shorts and sleeveless blouses. The summers I went to Hobby Horse Stable to ride my horse; summer horse shows, and a few ribbons. Falling in and out of love on a regular basis. I was effervescent then and if that translates to enthusiasm, eagerness, and curiosity, than I am still that way. This June we are all free to recapture some of the things that summers were once about. Thank you for joining me and leaving wonderful comments about how this summer is working out. See you tomorrow if you are free to come out to play.

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The Cotton Is High -June 20

Welcome if you are visiting because you are on the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip This is a series during the month of June celebrating Summertime

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“The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don’t, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.”
                  Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures

You have to catch your breath after reading this long sentence, but I liked the reminder of what it was like to visit the library during  summer. When we moved two years ago to  ‘the cottage for two,’ I headed to the little library in town to get a library card. I didn’t have my new drivers license yet, and was told I would need to return with a piece of mail, a bill, that showed my address in order to prove residency. You don’t know me well enough to know that I am a political junkie, so this rule in order to get a library card made me want to lean over the counter and kiss the woman behind the desk. It was either that or stand there bent over laughing. You can tell which side I come down on when it comes to Voter ID.  Get the damn photo taken or whatever, if you want to vote!

But I have strayed from the gentle thoughts of selecting library books to bring home for the week, able to read at my leisure, morning, noon, or night. A life long habit of reading started in the school library, taking me on to the big Evanston Library, and beyond.

Here are a few book titles I recommend for this summers reading. #1 Facing East-Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin, #2 Magic Time-Doug Marlette #3 Under An English Heaven-Alice Boatwright #4 Death at La Fenice- 1st in the Donna Leon Series #5 Bury Your Dead- Louise Penny series, but do read them in order. #5 The Death of Santini-or anything else written by Pat Conroy. Please add your recommendations in the comment section.

Don’t forget, you can’t have a LIBRARY CARD without identification, needed for most everything else in life except maybe to vote! Go figure.

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