Monday, May 30, 2011

The little one that moved twice.

I think preserving beautiful things in public places ennobles us all.

Christ Church (c. 1895) in Hapeville looks brand new after it's second move.

It's just the building. There's no longer a congregation. The city owns it. You can get married there or have a meeting.

When I took these photos, folks were cleaning it for a wedding the next day, cleaning every single pew with Windex.

They moved it the first time in 1986 due to an airport expansion.


It's second home was next to the depot right on the railroad tracks.

It was right here on the gravel next to the 1890 depot.

That wasn't such a good idea. Train vibrations shook it up pretty good.

So on July 10, 2010 they moved it again a bit further from the tracks to Jess Lucas Park, the former site of the Georgia Baptist Children's Home.

You'd think new foundation, new roof, new paint would make it a bit inauthentic.

It's been restored several times based on early pictures.


From the Narthex.

Anyone know the name of this trussing system? Are they scissor trusses?

The windows are so elegant...

...inside and out.

So what do you do? What if you have a beautiful little church on your hands?

I say, put it out there where we can all enjoy it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

North Avenue School (1929) Hentz, Adler and Shutze in Hapeville

Two Shutze's in Hapeville? Who knew? Both are modest compared to their downtown and Buckhead cousins. Neither are in original condition but both are still in service. I've already blogged Hapeville's First Methodist Church.

Here is North Avenue School in Hapeville, Georgia.

The original windows didn't survive 80 years on a school board's budget.

Still looks like a school though. The 3-part plan, chunky quoins, blind arches, and comfortable sheltering doorways have that "Shutze" look.



What did it look like in it's heyday? Get a hanky ready and have a look at a 1954 picture from the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Original or not, I'd still be happy go to work though this door.

The kids now go to Hapeville Elementary School on North Fulton. It's pretty handsome too. The old school soldiers on and I think that's a good thing.

Here is the business end. These sturdy school houses take a beating yet they continue to perform.

North Avenue School is part of Cofield Park, a modest neighborhood with impossibly quiet green streets.

If you've got the notion to take the slow route back from the airport give me a call and I'll help you plan a route.

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The little blonde El Nazareno Presbyterian Church, formerly Hapeville Presbyterian, is an unexpected delight. It's just south the school on Whitney Avenue.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Steve Nygren's "Artist Talk" at Serenbe

What a Saturday: Steve Nygren showed us around Serenbe.

If you've been around Atlanta much, you'll recognize Steve. He's giving an incidental thumbs up.

It was actually an artist talk from the man who has the whole concept in his head.
We got a walking tour, a house tour, a neighborhood tour, a new urbanism tour, a government relations tour, and a land use planning tour, a TND tour, a sustainability tour, a form based code/transect tour and more.

Steve even showed us his kitchen and introduced his dog. That's what we give our highest awards for.

For me the day started with a carpool meet-up at Glenwood Park with some Young ICA&A folks. That's Clay Rokicki in the baseball hat and Capella Kincheloe in the straw hat. You know who they are, right?

The Young Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (Young ICA & A) put the event together. If you join the ICA & A, you'll find out about events like this. So join already!

We rendezvoused at Serenbe's Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop and Steve took it from there.

Here is Steve discussing using porches instead of lawn chemicals.

Then we went for a walk, taking advantage of the Omegas. Ask me about Omega design some time.

This the Serenbe real estate office, a mighty nice room. This is where we started our talk and walk...

To a southern vernacular single family. This shape is etched my brain from childhood drives in Randolph County with my parents.

A shady hill-side balcony in the live-work building.

Steve led us down some stairs to a gravel courtyard with arbors and fountain hiding 30 geothermal wells. It's by Ryan Gainey.

We followed Steve another few steps to a shady gravel path that linked Omegas.

We couldn't see houses from the path but we soon emerged on a street of single families.

Steve told about porch requirements, yard requirements, streetlight requirements, and the composting garbage concierge. It seemed like a lot of requirements.

But Steve's explanation of the concepts helped us grok the details. This was an artist's talk after all.

We took another path through the woods to the dog trot house. I'd be happy with the steps, even one step like these.

We'd only seen a tiny bit of Serenbe but it was plenty to get us thinking.

If you'd like to play "Where's Waldo," find
Thanks to Steve, the Young ICA&A, Colleen O'Keeffe from Historical Concepts, and fellow tourists, what a pleasure.

So Join the ICA&A.

Before I leave I want to mention folks I've met via my blog who have Serenbe connections: Peter Block designed the Serenbe Stables. Lance Carlson and Marc Mosley of Carlson & Mosley Architects worked with Ryan Gainey on Serenbe landscapes. Designer and blogger Claire Watkins just happened to be visiting Serenbe.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Zigzag Church Alert in Forest Park -update-

We visit relatives in Stockbridge, Flippen, and Hampton. When I have time, I'll cruise home on Jonesboro Road, Highway 54. I'm probably the only one. It's darn interesting but it's not Paces Ferry.

This church reminds me of a home in a very upscale neighborhood in Oklahoma City that I was in once, many years ago, as a small child. The sharp peaks are glass or some other clear material allowing light in. It has always stuck with me. Fascinating and talk about immaculate. You can see pictures of it on our county assessors web site as follows: here and here
Going north on 54 last week I glanced left across the cemetery next to the tanks and spotted zigzags and diamonds.

Good grief. You could put your eye out with that thing.

Next time you are at Scott Antique Market go south a few miles and turn west at the tanks.

It stands proud on a huge level lot, as if it's on the coastal plains. It's immaculate.

It's the Evangelistic New Life Apostolic Church in Forest Park, just a block west of Jonesboro Road at Forest Avenue. I suspect it started life with a different congregation.

How did this come to be?

Are the points on the peaks skylights?

Like it or not, its a complete concept.

Who designed this? When?

What is it like inside?

Monday, May 16, 2011

I visit Paradise for my birthday

My birthday festivities began on Sunday, the eve of my birthday. JoAnn and I cruised to Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens for Finster Fest. It was a warm and gentle afternoon with folk artists, food, music. Here I am with Katherine Michael's self-portrait on cardboard.

Down here the closest we get to paradise is family. So road-tripping to Paradise with JoAnn seemed like a stolen base. We were architecture tourists in unfamiliar territory in no hurry to get home.

We got off I-75 at Adairsville and found a double porch

a town square

and the Adairsville United Methodist Church.

We made a bee-line to Summerville then north to Pennville on 27 to Rena Street and Paradise Gardens. We found my dream car, a red Cadillac convertible with angels.

I don't know what to tell you about Paradise Gardens. Howard Finster died in 2001. I understand the gardens took a beating after that. It's not a huge place. But we could sense the huge energy and passion of the man. He collected, he built, he painted, and he preached all at once.

Where else can you find a mountain of metal and bicycle frames.

The "L" shaped "bridge" had everything inside, everything that Howard hadn't yet made into art.

It was a gentle place. Folk artist SANDY told me that she started the day by painting miniatures. It helped get her motor running.

Folk artist Sam G's devil woman warning signs were working fine.

There was much fine music. We enjoyed the New Binkley Brothers, bought their CD and listened to "Greasy Coat" and "Indian War Whoop" on the way home.

After I had a pulled pork sandwich from Big Kev's Barbecue and JoAnn had a slaw dog we were felling good.

We bought a cup of boiled Peanuts and aimed towards home, the slow way.

The First Methodist church was up the west hill of Summervile.

On the east side was this grand, abandoned school house from 1914-1915.

We headed toward Rome. Isn't there a college there? Berry? Shorter? Both, but Berry takes the cake. JoAnn and I were in awe.

It's the worlds largest contiguous college campus with more than 12 acres per student. The dining hall is a cathedral.

There is a log chapel.

There are classic buildings galore.

And uncanny tornado damage.

JoAnn and I were close to overload but we soldiered on to Rome.

Rome, good grief. Broad Street has buildings like this.

The churches start in the next block up the hill.



Up the hill are houses, amazing houses of all sizes. JoAnn and I love pink houses and salmon houses - depends on your monitor.

Green with gingerbread.

Modest. lived in, and perfect.

Details only a couple of alert architecture tourists in love would spot.

We weep bitterly for crunched yellow shingled houses.

I think by this time the police were following but didn't think this old man was very dangerous.

Our camera was near meltdown so we vowed to return to Rome with a bigger boat.

We couldn't resist a detour though Cartersville to snap the Bartow County Courthouse (1902).

That was just my birthday eve.

Today my family took me to Mary Macs Tea Room.

If you are wondering and still reading: I am 61 today.

If you don't mind, I'm feeling sentimental about family:

"Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline."
-- GK Chesterton
"There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies."
-- Winston Churchill

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