Monday, December 26, 2011

Wow Renovation to Philip Shutze's Academy of Medicine

Georgia Tech has bought (or were gifted, I'm not sure how it worked) and renovated the Historic Academy of Medicine at Georgia Tech and offers it as an event facility. That is a very fine thing for architecture tourists and for everyone else.

"The new contract clearly stated each architects responsibilities. (R. Kennon) Perry maintained his position as principal architect in charge of working drawings and supervision, (Phillip Trammell) Shutze would design the building." Quote from American Classicist: The Architecture of Philip Trammell Shutze by Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

In 1968 all I knew is that it was a classy building with a front yard on West Peachtree. I lived across the street from the Academy of Medicine (1941) my senior year at Tech. I saw it every single day. I hadn't the slightest idea what they did in there or what it looked like inside.

I was fortunate to attend the grand re-opening on December 15, 2011 and took a few pictures.

This is a per-renovation picture.

Event planning staff and volunteers from Tech showed us around.

Eye's up.

Eyes up again and again.

"In 1980 the entire building was renovated...but Shutze...was not consulted...the sparkling clarity of the original white no longer in evidence...." Quote from American Classicist: The Architecture of Philip Trammell Shutze by Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

I think the "sparkling clarity" is back. Don't you? Who managed the restoration? I hope to find out.

The clerestory windows from outside. "...square tower containing coffered semicircular skylights."

I don't know my terms. Aren't these Acroteria?

The entrance hall / foyer / rotunda is uncanny. It feels colossal yet cozy, grand but comfortable, elaborate but reserved. To me a great place can impress without making me feel small.

A little panorama from the rotunda. Eyes up yet again.

The auditorium is to the east, nice place for a wedding.

Columns in antis frame the stage.

From the stage looking towards the rotunda.

Detail of the mirrored sconces and wallpaper in the auditorium. Do you suppose Shutze designed these?

I'm looking across the rotunda towards the north wing and north entrance. There is a library down there, a good place for the bridesmaids to hang out, also a parlor for the bride.

The north entrance from the outside. It rocks.

I'm standing in the library, looking across the hall into the parlor.

Panorama of the library with its fine furnishings. Not a spec of dust.

The stair is in the north wing too. It delighted every glance.

It's just a few steps from the rotunda yet seems part of an immense space.

It's u-shaped with curves galore.

Downstairs is a bit more modest with meeting rooms. Ample space for the groom's party and more. Look in the mirror.

Crawford Long keeps watch down there.

The south wing is a large hall, suitable for the wedding reception and dance. It has this bodacious highly-modeled painting. My other pictures didn't come out very well.

Do you recognize the artist? We don't know.

How about a few outside pictures.

The portico overlooks the only lawn on West Peachtree.

Severe detailing.



Right now you can see the Cavalia tent framed by Midtown highrises.

The north side has a sunken patio for the reception spillover.

It's enclosed with a view of the midtown skyline.

The north entrance again, the parlor is on the right, the library on the left.

The entrance to the rusticated terrace level has plenty of charm.

The auditorium bumps out of the east facade.

The back door with the transom would enter the stage.

Stairs and a ramp lead to the sunken patio.

Now that I've convinced you, I hope you'll invite me to the wedding.

Thanks to Anne Minty and Shawn Stinson, event coordinators for the Historic Academy of Medicine at Georgia Tech. They are the ones to call.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas 2 - The BBQ from Home & Cheerwine

We architecture tourists are neither snobs nor purists when it comes to BBQ. We don't even care how you spell it.

But around Christmas time a whiff of Kepley's Bar-B-Q from High Point brings back memories we don't even have words for.

We are long gone from High Point and we don't get through there much anymore. So we've taken to having it shipped.

And it's so easy.

Our batch arrived today and made our place look and smell better.

This year it's 5 pounds BBQ, 2 quarts slaw, 6 dozen hush puppies, and one bottle of sauce.

It's pretty simple:
Barbecue: Warm at 200 degrees, stir barbecue from bottom to moisten. Heat 15-20 minutes. DO NOT HEAT IN ALUMINUM CONTAINERS (due to vinegar base sauce).
Some folks are fond of Cheerwine with their BBQ, It's a bit more available than it used to be. You can click here to find Cheerwine in your neighborhood.

Last year we sent our beverage committee to David's Produce 3561 Lavista Road Decatur, GA 30033. It's a wonderful place.

You needn't be nervous about ordering from Kepleys. Just call 336-884-1021. They know exactly what to do.

You might even talk with owner, Bob Burleson (on the right) who was kind enough to have his picture taken with me.

Merry BBQ Christmas to you and all your loved ones.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Faux Chateau is No Mo and I'm sad.

It was a big 1952 brick rancher on a half acre. I don't exactly when, before 1990 for sure. I don't know by whom, but they turned it into a lovable modern - a POMO - and gave it a nickname: "The Faux Chateau" during construction.

Inside it was breathtaking, spacious, and fun. It was a gallery; the owners were collectors.

It wasn't a 1952 rancher anymore.

Now it's an $800K tear-down.

I saw it for the first time on a Morningside - Lenox Park Tour of Homes in the late 80's I think, soon after the conversion.

They haven't yet leveled the garage, but they will.

I saw it again last year when it was for sale. It was perfect both times.

But at 2,719 square feet, 3 bedrooms, and 2 baths, it was no longer "in" in this neighborhood.

Here is was with it's rancher neighbors.

The rancher next door is now a mansion.

That's what you do these days.

John Willis Custom Homes' sign is in the yard and and they do fine work.

But I'm feeling sad.

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