Sunday, February 26, 2012

The slow way home via West End Atlanta

After I took loved ones to the airport yesterday I skipped the Interstate and headed toward West End looking for landmarks. I took all these pictures from the car.

Loop Road, to Atlanta Avenue (Hapeville), Central Avenue, East Washington, Main Street (East Point) which becomes Lee Street. Left on Avon (Border of Venetian Hills and Oakland City), south on Oakland to Donnelly (West End). Left to Ralph David Abernathy, West End's main street.

Auto Audio is 1200 Central Ave Cleveland Avenue between Hapeville and College Park. If you enjoy hard-working light-industrial streets - and who doesn't - this is a fine one.

Oops, wasn't I headed to West End?

The West Hunter Street Baptist Church, in 1961 Ralph David Abernathy became pastor here.

It's an impressive landmark and we must learn more about it.

Giant pilasters and urns galore.

You can see the Hammonds House Museum from I-20 as you race by.

I'm never here at the right time to photograph the north side. This is St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Church Website.

This former school building is for sale.

Maybe it was a church school. Does anyone know?

There are many photographs of Brown Middle School (formerly Brown High School) by Pringle & Smith in 1924.

But you really need to see it in place. It's not so imposing in person. It lends dignity to the surrounding streets and houses. It feels good. It's why we shouldn't put great buildings off by themselves.

The Higher Hope Christian Ministries building is a crisp creamy-colored beauty.

Calvary United Methodist Church's education building has a personality of its own. I'd guess these aren't the original windows.

The Calvary steeple looks traditional enough and it's almost in the street.

The Citadel Of Hope Evangelistic Church of God in Christ is an architecture-tourist-neck-snapper, all that wood on all that granite.

It's on a 3-point intersection, the granite curve is smack on the street, stairs lead to 3 separate porticoes. My brain is still processing. There are plenty of corner churches in Atlanta but none like this.

I haven't showed you a single cute house which the West End has in abundance. That will have to wait.

I'll leave you with this.

Westview Cemetery is worthy.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Virginia-Higlands Teardown is Done

I'm participating in Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Thanks to Susan!

This spec teardown sold before it was complete and Stoney River Homes built it in a hurry. They know what they are doing.

Built: 1930, 1,444 square feet, on .2296 acres. Pretty big lot for around here.

The new one has about 3,900 square feet, and a garage.

This Google streetview isn't the most flattering. But this was the least house on the street. You couldn't build anywhere around here these days.

Others on had been renovated, but this is the 2nd full-on street-front 2-story.

Other renos hide their bulk towards the rear while preserving keeping their original street-front details. This one didn't have much charm worth keeping.

I think it's like the Stoney Rivers' "Avery" Plan plus a garage.

I like the north side better than the driveway side because more bumps.

I don't think it a big clash with it's neighbors. The old one was rather sad. This one make the neighbors look better. You need to see this in person and judge for yourself.

I think this accounts for the quick sale. It's 2 1/2 short level blocks to Yeah! Burger and Murphy's.

I think the new owners are going to enjoy living here, enjoy it a lot.

Thanks to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cloistered courtyard with an arcade replaces tennis courts at Columbia

Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur will dedicate the Vernon S. Broyles Jr. Leadership Center on March 7. I'm hoping to be there so I can see it in person.

It's named "Columbia" because it was IN Columbia South Carolina for 97 years until 1927 when the Presbyterian Church moved it to Decatur. I wonder what Columbia Drive was before the seminary moved there. Most Atlantan's have never heard of Columbia Seminary; fewer still have seen it.

So I want to show you the new arcade.

The arcade frames and highlights this 80+ year old arch.

The Simons-Law's Building's historic arch is a walkway to the Oldenburg Quadrangle.

It illustrates Columbia's "Collegiate Gothic" style shared with Oglethorpe and Georgia Tech.

You don't mess with this. Who could afford this today? It's out of style anyway.

Lord Aeck & Sargent architects preserved the old while adding the new.

That beautiful Georgia red clay mound is where the tennis courts were. The
Simons-Law arch is under the gable above the "A" in "SHUMATE." They did a big renovation of the Simons-Law building in the process. It was originally a dorm.

What would the medieval master builders have thought?

I pretty much understood the building except for the tall, narrow part.

What can you do in a room like that?

The curvy stuff in the rafters must be meant to show.

Today it was time to have a look.


I'm getting it.

I need to try this on foot.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Modern Teardown is Done

I'm participating in Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Thanks to Susan!

This spec house sold long before it was done.

I blogged another spec teardown a few weeks ago. It is traditional and quite handsome. It hasn't sold 3 months after completion.

I guess folks who want moderns want moderns, and moderns are rare. This proved to be a good bet.

I took work-in-progress tour on caravan. It got offers when it looked like this.

Though I'm not instinctively attracted to moderns, I developed a crush.

Before: a flat lot on a hilltop, fronted by a giant oak, served by a rare alley, in one of Atlanta's great neighborhoods, about 4 blocks from George's.

The lot is 8250 square feet, 0.189393 acre. It's narrow and deep. The house was built in 1930 at 1,156 square feet. The alley frees up the lot, you don't need a driveway.

Brian and Jeff told me that the original intent in 1930 was to build the big house later. That never happened.

The ally. Houses here have way more than you'd suspect from the street.
Some folks want to show all they got to the street. Others prefer a bit of modesty.

The no-driveway look is uncanny in Atlanta. Even our mansions have prominent driveways.

Our little house was so small and so far from the street it seemed to be from another planet.

You might think the new house is from another planet too, but inside, it made sense to me.

The ground floor has the garage. The bedroom suite/office windows make you feel like you are in the garden.

The main floor is one big room with windows on all four sides. See the panorama below.

The top floor has the bedrooms.

The rooftop deck is probably the highest on a single family home in the city limits and yet it's in the canopy.

It has stacked closets ready for an elevator.

This is the CDC in a hazy day.

The master is spectacular but cozy. How it manages to be cozy amidst all the glass I don't know. But it does - secret architect trick I guess.

Here is the big room.

The head on view. Isn't it great not to have a driveway?

Here is is in context with neighbors and the big oak.

Congratulations to architect Brian Ahern of Studio BA and Jeff Darby of Darby Studio.

If I've learned anything it's that pictures are no substitute for being there; and that being there often changes my mind.

Thanks to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Little Chapel Magic - Calder Loth Presents Palladio

There are places that delight every time, on the first visit or the 100th. When we get a chance to attend a great event in a great space, out of our way.

The invitation read:
"Please join the ICAA the morning of the Shutze Awards Celebration for a lecture with Calder Loth: Palladio and the American Architectural Image.

"The Little Chapel at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church"
LinkRodney Cook, Calder Loth, and Carl Gable found a comfortable place to chat before the lecture.

Words fail, the Little Chapel is so elaborate, so over the top, so unexpected, so retro, it just doesn't seem very democratic. Isn't it intimidating; isn't it too high highfalutin? Thomas Jefferson didn't think so. He thought such places elevate the human spirit.

I'm with Tom all the way on this. I found the room full of smiles.

There is a tiny Narthex with a checkerboard floor.

It's an easy place to chat; it's cozy. Marble, wood, plaster, and brass seem just right.

From the narthex oval windows frame the chapel.

Here is some of the over-the-topness I was talking about.


But folks feel comfortable inside.

The high-backed pews makes us feel comfortable enough to be chatty. But Palladio looks a bit impatient.

The space gathered us into cozy groups after the lecture.

I wasn't the only one who left happy.

The Rachel Willet English memorial window.

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