Saturday, September 28, 2013

Eleven Months into the Church Demolition - Edging Granite

"With the benefit of hindsight, maybe it wasn't such a hot idea." - H I McDunnough in Raising Arizona.

I've followed the demolition since November 2012. It was all but inevitable but nobody wanted it. In 2013 we lost the J.A. McCord Apartments, most of Crum & Forster, and we're about to lose E. Rivers but this one hurts me more. But as performance art it's unmatched in the city.

Yesterday at the remains of old stone church at Hapeville Baptist. The men are trimming the granite matrix back to the corner.


This is from 1954. The portico was still there and the stained glass. Image purchased from the Atlanta History Center.

Fall 2012, though abandoned it was a stunning sight, weight and presence galore.

The southwest wall. The 1964 building wrapped around the east end of the stone church.

They couldn't go all the way to the edge without damaging the new building. Could they have sawn though the granite?

They had to do the rest by hand.

That's what they were doing yesterday.

Here are 47 seconds of delicate, choreographed jackhammer teamwork.


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I regret that few interior pictures have surfaced.

The scar from the old stone church.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Best Blogger(s), LikeMinds, Preservation, Artists - What a Week

My brother called: "How'd you get best blogger?" Me: "Because I'm the best blogger?" He wasn't buying it.

I got a tweet on Thursday morning: I'm Creative Loafing's "Best Blogger" staff pick. I'm not worthy. (If you tweet, please follow me @terrykearns.)

Best blogger
: Terry Kearns
Staff Pick

If you find an Atlanta building charming, chances are Terry Kearns has blogged about it. If you're wondering what happened to one of your favorite structures, he's probably videotaped its demolition, complete with commentary. The bespectacled Web designer and architecture buff is a ubiquitous presence at art gallery happenings around town, and painstakingly details the cornices, columns, and goings-on in the local development world.
So THAT'S why they wanted a picture. Caricature by Tony Stewart. Last year's staff pick was one of my blog heroes Cameron Adams who does Atlanta Street Fashion.

That was Thursday. Then it was LikeMind on Friday morning at Octane for coffee courtesy of MailChimp.

Folks who can smile at 8 a.m. are better than I am. Lori Buff, Jen Soong, Tripp Cook, and Maigh Houlihan move, shake, and smile before coffee.

Wearing black is optional.  In this picture Jennifer Schwartz in black next to me, Jessica Weiss in blue behind Lori, and Sherri Copeland in black 2nd from right between Maigh and Jen.

Ashley Putnam was there, he's Atlanta's Burger and Brew blogger. He can only blog burgers and brew because he's a marathoner. See y'all next month.

Friday wasn't done. Reggie Darling (THE Reggie Darling) visited Atlanta on Friday and invited bloggers for cocktails at the Four Seasons. No pictures I regret.

I am NOT an erudite blogger. But Reggie is, and Blue, Jennifer, and Julieta are. They know stuff and know how to write.

Reggie Darling - The View From Darlington House has been restoring a circa  1817 house in New York state for more than a decade. Reggie is the nom-de-blog of a New Yorker. He doesn't just have readers, he has "dear" readers.

"Blue" author of The Blue Remembered Hills taught the history of design. In the world of sugar-sweet design blogs, Blue contributes a tiny but welcome bit of bite.

Jennifer Boles who blogs at The Peak of Chic is a design writer / historian. Jennifer has a book coming out in October, In with the Old: Classic Decor from A to Z. We Atlanta bloggers will be at the first book-signing, right?

Julieta Cadenas blogs at Lindaraxa, she's a banker with a food blog. She cooks 'em, she photographs 'em, she eat's 'em, she blogs 'em. (Mmmm...) I met her for first time on Friday.

There are so many great bloggers in Atlanta and room for plenty more.

More for Friday: The Atlanta Preservation Center Features the Rose House: A Rose on Peachtree Photography, Videography & Artifacts.  

The show is in my favorite Atlanta space, the drawing room in the L.P. Grant Mansion, patina galore.

IMG_5228-2013-09-20-Atlanta-Preservation-Center-A-Rose-On-Peachtree-Jason-Travis--Jessica Sheppard--Michael-Joe-Morgan
Jason Travis, Jessica Sheppard, and Michael Joe Morgan presented art, photography, and video at the Grant Mansion. Author / historian / collector Jeff Clemmons (not pictured) provided some Rose artifacts for the exhibition. It's open through October 11, 2013 Gallery Hours - Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm during the exhibit and by appointment.

Thanks to M.H. Mitchell, Inc. for supporting the show.

The Rose House is at 537 Peachtree Street. It was the forlorn old museum across from Crawford Long. "The Rufus M. Rose House has been on the APC's Most Endangered Historic Places List since 2007."

Saturday: Student Art in Grant Park and Established Art at Beep Beep.

I love student art shows because it's their very best stuff, it takes some courage, and who knows where they'll be in 5 years. Matt Haffner insists his Kennesaw State students do a show away from school this time at the Arts Exchange in Grant Park. The exhibit: "'waxing:waning' - an exhibition of photographic installations" was curated by Ben Goldman. 'waxing:waning' has a spot in the Atlanta Celebrates Photography 2013 Festival Guide. You can see it at the Arts Exchange until October 22, 2103.

Tracie Hinnant.

Jenny Woodall.

Sara Hollis.

Taylor Tolbert.

I finished off at Beep Beep Gallery with "Everythingalltogetherallatonce" new work by Jason Kofke.

Beep Beep Gallery is across Charles Allen from Grace Methodist. You can't imagine a gallery in this little space but it works. It's a bit intimidating for the gallery shy; there's no place to hide.

Jason was elsewhere stuck in transit but his "everything" was here.

Drawings, paintings, video, humor, and everything worth a close look.

Voyager's and Jason's message to ET. I really like these. Maybe it's a guy thing, if we look long enough we'll learn something.

Art requires time to grok. So you take little timeouts to chat with friends. Artist Craig Cameron, Art dealer Yu-Kai Lin.

What a week and it was only 3 days.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Eight BIG Lions of the Ponce de Leon Apartments

Folks always ask: "Where is that?" Maybe lion spotting will help.

Though it's kitty-cornered from the Fox Theater, has a unique curvy front, and is 100 years old nobody knows where "The Ponce" is. There's a map at the bottom if you are skimming.

It's The Ponce Condominium now and you can live there. It was designed by William Lee Stoddart (1868–1940) who also designed the lion infested (60 lion heads) Ellis / Winecoff Hotel.

Thanks to the Atlanta Preservation Center's Phoenix Flies and the fine Ponce residents I've had a close encounter. This one face east watching Ponce City Market, The Briarcliff Hotel, Decatur, and Stone Mountain.

Let's start the safari.

The Ponce is the one with belvederes, curvy front, and lions at the corner of Peachtree and Ponce de Leon.

Can't see the lions?

They are way up there holding shields guarding the belvederes. From down here, they don't look so big.

Now that I've got you looking, check out all the detailing up there.

Up close they are totally lion sized.

The Candler Building's 31 Lions are huge and they hold up the cornice. The Ponce lions need only step off their plinth.

When you visit the Fox they are totally watching you.

Let's do the count.

The northwest tower: Lions 1 and 2 face east. Lions 3 and 4 face north.

Lions 3 and 4 face north. Lions 5 and 6 face west.

Lions 5 and 6 face west. Lions 7 and 8 face south.

So now you know.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Last Look at E. Rivers Elementary With Friends and Families

The E. Rivers Elementary building is dead; long live E. Rivers.

They are tearing down E. Rivers Elementary again and rebuilding it again. The Atlanta Preservation Center and the PTA had a little celebration at the old building on September 7.

This a long post, there's a map at the bottom, pictures of the cornerstones next to the bottom, and a brief tour next to the next the bottom.

More than 70 people were there, perhaps 4 generations of E. Rivers students. We had a great time, not a bit of excitement but loads of memories and good cheer.

It's the only grade school on Peachtree. It's hard to see, a low-slung mid-century modern building above the Peachtree Creek flood plain. The "front door" is at 8 Peachtree Battle.

Folks of all ages trickled in from all directions.

We had a few speakers. Left: Robert Craig professor emeritus at Georgia Tech is an architectural historian and author. Center: Ellen Cody is chair of the Atlanta Preservation Center's Advocacy Committee, she helped organize the event. Right: Boyd Coons is executive director of the Atlanta Preservation Center and does everything, much of it behind the scenes.

IMG_4843-2013-09-07-E-Rivers-Elementary-School-Celebration  Robert Craig
Dr. Craig explained why the 1949 building was significant enough to be featured in Time Magazine. It was one of the very first mid-century modern schools. He said it generated many commissions for the designers/architects Stevens and Wilkinson.

IMG_4862-2013-09-07-E-Rivers-Elementary-School-Celebration-wake Robert Craig, Shepard Ansley, Boyd Coons
Shepard Ansley (center) was a student before the fire and after the fire. He told us how it was.

"In 1948 the original stone structure burned to the ground in a furnace fire accidentally caused by a maintenance worker in an attempt to destroy a wasps nest. While planning and construction for the new building was underway, classes were held at The Temple, Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church and Garden Hills Elementary. Even though the 7th graders were using Garden Hills classrooms, they were still considered to be E. Rivers students. When the new structure opened for classes in 1950, it received an architectural award for excellence in design and was featured in Time Magazine." From the History of E. Rivers.

After the talking we wrangled everybody into group picture formation. The "classic" alumni got the front row seats.

IMG_4880-2013-09-07-E-Rivers-Elementary-School-Celebration left: principal Matt Rogers with (center) Ellen Cody
Left: Principal Matt Rogers, Center: APC Advocacy Chair Ellen Cody.

You could sign the picture, another memento of the celebration.

Folks drifted off. This is the last such gathering at E. River's trademark drop-off awning.

IMG_4904-2013-09-07-E-Rivers-Elementary-School-Celebration Art Cofelice, Boyd Coons, and Beauchamp Carr
The crowd finally dwindled down to me and three others. Art Colfice (left) is the superintendent for Parrish Construction. He offered us one last look. Center: Boyd Coons. Right: Beauchamp Carr, another E. Rivers alum.

So let me show you:

Classrooms have their own octagonal pad.

Classrooms line up in 3 "fingers" with green-space between. Each "finger" has classrooms on the south side, the common hall of the north side. There was no air conditioning when built but plenty of cross ventilation.

The classrooms are all the same, I think. Hall on the north (left), classroom on the south with south facing windows shaded by "mod" awnings.

The mod awnings shade the south facing windows of this classroom "finger."

I think this lion will see service in the new school building.

Functional mid-century library.

They'd cleaned up the spitballs I think.

How old are the ramrod straight longleaf pines?

The office.

The gym / auditorium / office wings are from the 1995 project. This is the music room.

This is delightful: the music room window has a balcony view of the gym. Next time you are feeling down on modern architecture - which can be pretty often - think of this.

 IMG_4920-2013-09-07-E-Rivers-Elementary-School-Celebration-wake auditorium has classrooms built inside
They'd built 4 classrooms in the auditorium. The 1995 auditorium sits atop the 1995 cafeteria.

The stage.

IMG_4924-2013-09-07-E-Rivers-Elementary-School-Celebration-wake flag
Time to say goodbye.

Let's see some cornerstones.

The 1917 cornerstone.

IMG_3740-2013-08-16-E-Rivers-Elementary-teardown-3 cornerstone--perhaps-1927-Hentz-Adler-Shutze-Masonic-1917-Battle-and-Barili-detail
The 1927 cornerstones feature Hentz, Alder, & Shutze.

The 1949 cornerstone. This is the building we're tearing down.

The 1957 plaque.

The 1995 plaque.

See you at the new E. Rivers in the winter of 2015.

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