Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Church Caused My Bloggers' Block

When I can get 3 or 4 coherent sentences together, I've got a blog post. There's no shortage of ideas, inspiration, motivation, it's the coherence, the focus that troubles me. I lost it "Sunday week."

I was rocking The Phoenix Flies for 2012, gathering enough pictures for a month of posts.

Things were going well. We'd finished 2/3's of the Downtown Progressive Organ Recital. I was surprised and delighted to find a John August Swanson exhibit at Central Presbyterian. Imagine that: un-ironic, contemporary religious art. Let's hope Earl Scruggs is enjoying this band right now.

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Yes, things were going quite well. We were headed to a place I'd never been, Trinity Methodist (W. T. Downing 1911), the third capitol church. It's the one kitty-cornered towards the southwest from the Georgia's state capital building.

Old and new City Hall to the north, traffic court to the west, expressway gulch to the south, it's a serious sight. It doesn't seem very big in all that space.

We were about to hear Trinity's great theater organ, the refurbished 100 year old Austin.

We anticipated the organ and those giant stained glass windows.

This is where I lost it. Churches impress, Trinity was no exception. It's brick, minimal, with a greenish-yellow light. There was a smell of age. I don't think it was love at first sight.

This is where my brain has been stuck for 10 days, not in a bad way, not in a good way, just stuck.

This is the east window, it's big but my impression was slender, vertical, yellow/green, the motif - slender lampposts.

The north and south window elements are wider.

The symbolic elements are compact and elevated. I couldn't take them all in. Has anyone photographed them for the record?

The pipes blend with the brick rather than "pop" with a bright shiny finish. It's line and texture in monochrome, windows too. The old woodwork is what "pops." The pews are 1856, from the old church that burned. Sherman slept his troops on these pews.

Organist Bruce Wynn told is a bit about the church and organ.

You can see some of the brick and wood details.

The brick tricked me: my brain felt more outside than inside.

The view from the chancel. The choir loft is small, Bruce said it was intended for 2 quartets.

Theater organs are voiced differently than church organs, it was certainly different to my ears. We were happy to hear Bruce demonstrate.

We walked inside the wind box / air box / air chest. When Bruce turned on the air, the box went air tight and you couldn't open the door.

It is a 100 year-old example of handmade functional woodworking. It's not furniture but it is beautiful.

There is a bit of fresh wiring.

"Austin developed the Universal Air Chest System" "During the second world war the company contributed gliders to the war effort."

That wasn't all.

The pipe room extends behind the sanctuary into this room where Bruce can play from a second console.

This hexagonal, balconied room is a tiny Victorian chapel surrounded by a kitchen and Sunday school rooms. It took my be surprise.

I'll let it go there. I hope this cures my bloggers' block. I may have to return to the scene.

Thanks to the Atlanta Preservation Center and to the Atlanta Chapter — American Guild of Organists.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Good Stuff Recap from "The Phoenix Flies" 2012

Staci Catron said that Atlanta holds it own in the "good stuff" department. It's just not concentrated in a "good stuff" district. Staci is Director of the Cherokee Garden Library and she ought to know.

Thanks to the Atlanta Preservation Center and to hundreds of people and organizations who put on "The Phoenix Flies 2012 to help us discover some of it.

I've gathered material for many blogs but it's overwhelming. Do you mind skimming some of my pictures? Click here to see them all here, if you have the time.

Ponce is a big street by car and even bigger by foot. Thirty feet westbound, thirty feet eastbound and thirty feet for the trolly down the middle.

Young artists show in the oldest house at the Grant Mansion.

The Bitsy Grant Tennis Center is a pastoral sports paradise off of Northside Drive. The restored building seems transparent, a good place to sample human scaled modern architecture.

The Cathedral of St. Philip seems ageless yet doesn't show a spec of dust.

The roof on the Ponce is a playground for people and ladybugs.

The Wren's Nest unexpectedly floored me. It's been a museum for 99 years, kept almost as if Mr. Harris just walked out. It's a time capsule of history and culture.

The Progressive Organ Recital was overwhelming. A block from the state capital: three of Atlanta's oldest congregations, three of the oldest church buildings, three organs, three organists, 3 tunes each. Above: Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

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Above: Central Presbyterian Church.

Downtown can make you you feel small. Above: Trinity United Methodist Church.

Inside Trinity United Methodist Church.

I took one more trip to the Grant Mansion to hear Rick Spitzmiller talk about restoring his house.

Good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grant Mansion Photographers and Patinas.

Will I love it as much when it's finished? I'm talking about the 1854 L.P. Grant Mansion, home of the Atlanta Preservation Center.

It was a ruin in 2001. There were no ceilings, no floors. But oh the walls - patina is an inadequate a word for them.

You should see for yourself on Saturday March 24 from 2-5pm for a couple of Phoenix Flies events.

May I show you a few pictures from the Grant Mansion's first art show on March 14?

WonderRoot partnered with Atlanta Preservation Center on the exhibit, "The Future is Behind Us."

I arrived about dusk. It's only a rancher so far, it's got some growing to do.

The walls are about all that's left from the original structure. but what walls.

The porch is grand and makes me feel grand.

I rushed straight though the house to see the new back porch. Folks were so comfortable back there.

I peeked from the porch into the parlor and found the party amid the patina. (I'm going to get into big trouble for this sentence.)

Stephanie Dowda (above) curated the show for WonderRoot and Atlanta Preservation Center.

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Photographer John Paul Floyd.

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Photographer Nikita Gale.

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Photographer Chris Carder.

Photographer Chris-McClure.

I arrived too late to photograph photographer Jill Frank.

A mansion with plywood floors makes for a comfortable party.

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Smiles were the order of the evening.

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The 3 Chris's wanted a picture: Chris Carder, Chris McClure, Chris Appleton.

It was time to go home.


I'll see you there on Saturday, OK?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cameron Adams' Atlanta Street Fashion secrets.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Cameron Adams yesterday at "The Ponce" for The Phoenix Flies. Right before my eyes he teamed up with Megan for an Atlanta Street Fashion shoot.

Cameron Adams and Megan review pictures for an Atlanta Street Fashion blog post.

Of course we know Cameron as "Best of Atlanta 2011: Local Fashion Blogger.", Right? Well now you know.

Cameron gently shows us familiar sights that often make our day. He finds folks who try just a little harder to look good. Cameron knows that people are the best content.

It was only minutes after we got on the roof that I spotted Cameron introduced himself to Megan and they headed for a shoot on the west belvedere.

I followed to get these exclusive, top secret photos.

Cameron is in his trademark sleeveless sweater (behind the lady in white) consulting with Megan on where to shoot.

We were at Peachtree and Ponce after all, on the roof of the Atlanta's coolest and curviest: The Ponce Apartments, now called The Ponce Condominium.

Megan posed with her back to Peachtree and Cameron shot.

Quite a view I think even with Atlanta's hazy pollen-sky.

A look in the monitor.


I think they got it.

What a delight. Check it out: Atlanta Street Fashion : Saturday, March 17, 2012 Phoenix Flies: Ponce De Leon Apartments. Do you tweet? Follow Cameron @CameronAdams.

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