Sunday, October 5, 2008

2008 Castleberry Hill Loft Tour

I went t0 the Castleberry Hill Loft tour in downtown Atlanta today. Here are some pictures. See the originals in Flickr here.

Great place to visit once a year but…well the fact is that I am fascinated.

I had a great time. I went to 7 of the tour lofts, revisiting 2 of them. I hit 5 of the open houses along the way, 2 of them at Castleberry Point. I went solo and at my own pace so I didn’t have to discuss anything.

I graded everything on: Would I want to live here? Could I afford to live here? Who in the world lives here? Quick answers: Probably not. Probably but not in a place I’d like. I’ll never know.

1. Castleberry Hill is a child free zone, or should be.
I think I saw one stroller. No evidence of children anywhere, inside or out. There were plenty of kids toys used as art. I don’t think of it as a school kid’s mecca.

2. One loft per building please and I mean the whole building.
You have a chance of windows on more than one side.

3. Persistent violation of Design Pattern 159.
LIGHT ON TWO SIDES OF EVERY ROOM ”When they have a choice, people will always gravitate to those rooms which have light on two sides, and leave the rooms which are lit only from one side unused and empty.” So in nearly every loft, no matter how big the wall of windows was, I fell like I was in a deep swimming pool turned on its side, looking up to see the light.

4. Grocery Marathon.
Even if your chauffeur drove to the front door of your building, you’ve got many long trips back and forth (with dizzying stairs for good measure) from car to pantry.

5. Golf Carts for the Castleberry Point Grocery Marathon.
They’ve got convenient parking and elevators. But your unit may be impossibly far from the elevator. Shared hall wagons are a must. A shared golf cart would be better; the halls are wide enough.

6. You’ll meet many neighbors at Castleberry Point.
You’ll pass many units on the way to yours.

7. Labyrinths in the hard lofts.
You’ll meet your neighbors in the hard lofts too: Johnson & Johnson, Loftman, Walker Street, Swift and Company, and Storehouse Lofts. In the first year you’ll be asking for directions in your own building.

8. The stairs, the stairs, the stairs.
They twisted, they turned, they climbed to 10, 12, and 15-foot ceilings, some were clear glass, some were grated, some were in your own loft! They were everywhere but you couldn’t tell from the street.

9. Skylights.
A Johnson and Johnson unit I saw had amazing skylights that lit up the center of the two floors. Three cheers. But there were still windows on only one wall. The skylights enforced the bottom-of-the-pool-effect.

10. Rooftop decks – wonderful if you’ve got ‘em.
Castleberry Hill has “long” views in every direction. There aren’t any trees in the line of sight. There are no natural wonders to see.

11. Funky loft spaces can be nauseating.
I toured an open house loft. It was very odd space or rather is was a collection of very odd spaces bound into an very, very odd loft. I had to get out of there quickly. It left a bad memory. Nobody should live there.

12. The art alone made the tour worthwhile.
Many of the owners were collectors. Art at home is better than art in a gallery.

13. Where you residents park? Where do guests park?
If you have to ask, I guess you don’t belong there.

14. Human scaled exteriors on Peters and Walker Street.
Street walking isn’t bad when the buildings are 4 stories or less. There aren’t many places like this in Atlanta. Atlantic Station. Downtown Decatur. The Buckhead Party District before they tore it down. Highland Avenue and East Atlanta are smaller scaled and cozier.

15. Not much Green
I’m not big on green but little would go a long way.

16.Besharat Gallery is a whole ‘nother thing
There may be a living space there but it is a gallery, done to the 9’s. Cobblestone floors, glass stairs (acrophobics beware). Visit when you can, it’s a great space.

I really did enjoy it. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. And to owners who's places looked so great and so clean.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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