Thursday, September 30, 2010

Artist J.D. McGuire at Flux and Artist Trifecta Gallery

Welcome to J.D. McGuire. He's down from New York as a Flux artist. In the meantime he's doing a one week one-man show at Artist Trifecta Gallery.

The Artist Trifecta Gallery reception was last night. It was the scene for Blayne Beacham's first big show. There was a quiet excitement about Flux this Friday, the oddest art event in Atlanta's oddest neighborhood. How big, how fun, how odd? Who knows, but the Architecture Tourists will be there.

Here is Artist Trifecta grand commandress Amanda Brown with J.D. His work: strange collages, spooky, witty, not too serious, requires a lot of looking to take in.

Artist Trifecta is a cool space in a a cool building in a cool neighborhood.


Some silliness was involved but we shouldn't blame Nora Wiley, owner of Wine Shoe who provided refreshments. She was just doing her job.

I really, really like J.D.'s sculptures out of corrugated cardboard. Here is "One Quarter Self Portrait."

"The Hat Makes The Man or The Man Makes The Hat"


See you at Flux, OK? J.D. will be projecting in the Courtyard of Castleberry Point Lofts. Say hello. Take advantage of Wine Shoe while you are there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cloudy with a chance of dinner from Alon's

I'm so far behind, so many gallery receptions behind. And a whole brigade of the Architecture Tourist Auxiliary will be at Flux is this Friday, an overload for sure. Switch Modern and Artist Trifecta Gallery Reception on Wednesday. Hagedorn Foundation Gallery reception on Thursday. The Ansley Tour of Homes too with 100% Neel Reid all weekend. The Beltline Lantern Parade on Saturday evening will rock in every way. "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy."

Naturally, I'm thinking about dinner, Dinner from @Alon's yesterday. Alon's isn't so crowded at dinner, but the eclairs are usually sold out ... sob .... We got Caesar no chicken SOS ( sauce on the side), roast beef sandwich, fingerling potato salad. Split between the priestess and me it's a highfalutin meal at our empty nest.

From the parking lot , before I went in, without even getting out of the car I took these:





Which is nice.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mourning the entablature, weeping for the 12 foot ceilings lost in the fire

I'm an architecture optimist: Neither great architecture nor great design should require millions or mansions.

When this bungalow with a Greek temple for a front porch burned last fall, we nearly lost a great small house in a modest neighborhood. They are rebuilding. It will be the best of modern living. But we lost the porch's entablature, the Parthenon porch.

I can't find anything about the history of this house. All I know is that it was "neck-snapping good."

It's not on any historic preservation list.

Only the very best new houses approach this. This reminds me a little of Spring Island in South Carolina by Historical Concepts.

They saved the columns.

They restored the wonderful windows.
P1020238-2010-05-22-Whiteford-Burn-Restoration-Gerie-Gilbert-Diamond-Panes-Basket-Handle Arches

It's looking good.

But you can't tell from here ...

... but we lost the porch's entablature.




The original house had 12 foot ceilings. With rare exceptions nobody would rebuild a 12 foot ceiling. So they are doing 10 foot ceilings. It's huge cost savings, much cheaper to heat and cool, and provides livable space upstairs where there was none before.

The house is back better than ever But I continue to mourn a bit.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I walked the 4 Portman atria today

I hope you can do this walk yourself. Call me if you want company. I don't get tired of it.

While the architecture tourist commandress in chief "took" a meeting downtown today, I walked the 4 Peachtree Center Atria by John Portman & Associates. Opinions are divided on Mr. Portman and Peachtree Center but Mr. Portman is one Atlanta's most consequential men. At nearly 2 million square feet, Peachtree Center has been the name of the game in downtown Atlanta for 50 years.

I started with Portman's first hotel, the Hyatt Regency (1967). Is it old hat now? Not to me. The first of it's kind, a jaw-dropping trendsetter, it put Atlanta on the architectural map. Atrium hotels are commonplace today but the "Regency" holds its own. It's MY atrium hotel.

Next, Portman's tallest hotel (at the time) The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, (1976). I watched them build it. I never thought it beautiful but always thought it huge. You enter the brutailst facade from Peachtree and make your way through a cozy tunnel-like hall to the lobby. My sensation is that I am directly under a 73 story skyscraper and I mean under it. Ride the escalators from top to bottom. Here it is after the downtown tornado.

The Marriot Marquis (1985) atrium is 515 feet of the strangest big space in Atlanta. It's also the very best party room, THE place to be for Dragon Con.

The Sun Trust Plaza (1993) is the tallest building in Peachtree Center. Unless you work there or eat at Mortons I can't think of a single reason that you might have visited. Let me give you a reason: the atrium. The squarish footprint of the skyscraper hovers over the round, light filled lobby, a square in a circle.

In the center, the impossibly arched elevator lobby.

Watch this High Museum video to see how Peachtree Center came together.

P.S. Not all of Portman's atria buildings are skyscrapers. The Dana Fine Arts Building (1965) at Agnes Scott College contains studio spaces, a lecture hall and an auditorium, as well as the Dalton Gallery. It's delightful inside and out. A few details.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Mansions of Howard Street, Kirkwood, Atlanta

Howard Street starts here. You should find something you like on Howard Street.

Believe me. Kirkwood isn't on the way to anywhere that folks go these days unless you live nearby. It's a shame. One of string of neighborhoods north and south of the railroad between Atlanta and Decatur, it used to be independent city, one of the areas first streetcar suburbs. It's been around the block a few times.
"By 1910 streetcars provided express service to and from Atlanta three times daily, and street cars continued service along some streets including Kirkwood Road until the early 1950’s. " - Kirkwood Neighbors' Organization
Unless you are really trying, you'll never see wonderful Howard Street. Here is what you do. From Decatur, or Agnes Scott, from the East Lake Marta Station, wherever, head west on College Avenue until you see this beautiful building. That's Howard Street, turn left.

Let's ride.



This was until recently a funeral home. Perhaps a mansion before. You have to see this in person.




New? Probably an old one refurbished.

Something a bit different.

This one has the details...

Serious gingerbread on Howard Street.


On the come back.


Two superb churches, one brick

and one stone.

There is more to see in Kirkwood.

P.S. Thanks, double thanks and triple thanks to James at Limestone and Boxwoods for blogging today about one of my favorite houses in "Ride-by: A Charming Italian City House"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pictures from The Sartorialist's (Scott Schuman) visit to Atlanta Sep. 17

Were you there? What a party, what a beautiful bunch of Atlantans.

We hereby award Scott Shuman the first Architecture Tourist Award for Courageous Good Humor at Book Signings on Wa'wm Atlanta Evenings.

Here is Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist at the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery in Atlanta getting job the done.

Here is the back office before it got crowded.

This is early on.

Later the crowd picked up outside.

Iinside they brought the heat.


Many photographers had cameras bigger than my head. I defer to them for the best pictures. So I'll leave you my little slide-show and you can be on your way.

First I want to think folks who said hello to me. To Barry Leach of The Blue Remembered Hills and partner Rory Carlton, to Zenobia Morrow, graphic designer and school bud of my children, to Debbie Chapman who I hadn't seen in like forever, to Marianne Lambert, Swan Coach House curator, consultant and art maven, the folks from The 2econd Floor.

Were you there?

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