Saturday, May 31, 2014

Atlanta's Roundhouse and Round Townhouse - Embracing Spaces, Gladiator Meetups

I'd have never found these places but for TEDxAtlanta and the Inman Park Tour of Homes. I didn't actually attend TEDx, I just explored the building and bingo! These are Architecture Tourist knockouts, one a lot more cozy than the other.

Of course A Pattern Language has something to say about "covex" spaces:
Outdoor spaces which are merely 'left over' between buildings will, in general, not be used. Therefore: Make all the outdoor spaces which surround and lie between your buildings positive. Give each one some degree of enclosure..."

This is the roundhouse at Atlanta Northyards re-purposed as lofty offices. They hold TedX Atlanta in this building. Bauder College is across the green to the left of this picture.

"All of the Southern passenger trains were serviced at the North Avenue Roundhouse and Shops, light repairs were made and excursion trains assembled, A turntable in front of the Roundhouse allowed for an engine to be put in any of the bays inside. The steam engines were watered, and coal loaded."  - Marietta Street Artery

IMG_4394 2014-04-26 Inman Village Townhomes Round Townhouse from Inman Park Festival
This is the round townhouse in Inman Park Village. This is rare: Townhouses NOT fronting a street or parking lot. The BeltLine and Rathbun's are behind these to the right of this picture.

The turntable was here. It's not a particularly comfortable place to hang. There's no transparency in these blackout windows. You feel like everyone is watching you. There's only one door. Very cool place though.

Here's how to find your way.

IMG_4395 2014-04-26 Inman Village Townhomes Round Townhouse from Inman Park Festival
Even when no one's around this shows signs of life, many doors, many homes.

Here's how to find it.

It's a good place for a gladiator meetup.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Walked Downtown McLean and Found...

I went for a short photographic walking tour of  picturesque downtown McLean. But I didn't find it.

A place this pretty, upscale and practical should have a city center, a city center with public landmarks, a city center with an image I could keep in my head. It should be a destination that entices families to hang out.

But nope.

"By taking care with the relativity very few spots that are inevitable eye-catchers, much character, interest and accent can be given to a whole scene by suggestion..." The Death and Life of Great American Cities - Jane Jacobs

Nope. I guess they leveled all the old places when they upscaled. That's what prosperous communities did in the day.

It is because it's not a town at all? "McLean (is a) ... census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia ...West McLean is the most expensive ZIP code in the Washington metropolitan area." - Wiki

Thanks to Linda who sent this fine "Brief History of McLean."

I did find two terminated vistas on Chain Bridge Road that tell the tale. These are what catches your eye driving south on Chain Bridge looking ahead to where the road bends.

The Sunoco roof is the most colorful thing on the street. I like it but I'm a little off.

The po-mo Monticello shaped sign above Total Wine needs some neon or something. It's what catches the eye.

Aren't there any churches in "downtown" McLean?

McLean Baptist Church faces away, shows is backside to the town. That steeple would look nice on Chain Bridge.

IMG_5793-2024-05-23-First Baptist Church of Chesterbrook-McLean-Virginia
First Baptist Church of Chesterbrook is over on Kirby, modest yet the noblest building in the neighborhood. There's a rumor it's a teardown. Maybe they'll move it downtown instead.

They could use a few more of these too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Loves of the Architecture Tourist: Which of These Should I Blog?

I have a backlog of 50+ blogs but that sounds like work.

Will you help me prioritize?

1. Are their lovable places on the Beltline or do we just love the potential?

2. What are the dimensions of urban lovability / livability according to Reid Ewing?

3. What are three lovable things about sprawl according to Reid Ewing?

4. Why should we love the vernacular mindset according to Andrés Duany?

5. What are 4 things Andrés Duany loves about Atlanta?

6. Why don't I don't love "buildings so cool I can't tell what they are?"

7. Why do I love live painting?

8. Why should we love public monuments?

9.  Any lovable suggestions?

Not this:


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Two Favorite Small'ish Houses are by Pak Heydt and by Adam Stillman

I noticed the feelings not the things.

All I can tell you is that I felt great in these places. I saw both on home tours, lucky me. The design effort is in the proportions, practicality, light, and flow rather than elaborate detailing, finishes, and fixtures.

I've seen at least 150 houses in the last year, probably more. I remember these two above all one in Virginia-Highland one in Inman Park. They illustrate the high value of design and the good fortune of starting from scratch. They aren't so big. They compliment their neighbors. They seem as if they've been there all along.

In these neighborhoods there are three ways to go.

If you renovate your 80-year-old house, you usually end up with the 80-year-old flow. That can be charming or not.

If you build a maxi, traditionally styled spec house, it's "if you've seen one you've seen them all." They are market-safe with shock and awe details. These can be fine houses or not.

Then there are the modernist tear-downs. They specialize in awesome spaces, infinite vistas, and light. Most become landmarks of  "difference" which can be good or not.

I present these two as the fourth way. They compliment the street and live modern. Marketing-wise I think these would sell before the sign went up. But I can't imagine why the owners would ever leave.

This is the Pak Heydt design before from 1922. It's a pop-top effectively a tear-down.

After, about 2,900 square feet. They "saved" the first floor - a good thing. I want to live in the great room.

In context.

This is the Adam Stillman design before from 1917, it was burned out.

After, about 2,300 square feet. It's great room is one of the greatest I've ever visited.

In context.

If I was a spec builder, I'd do these over and over. I'd hire the architect to tweak the design for the lot and setting.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Anyone Know Artist / Muralist: K .Tester?

Victoria Greenhood is a having a jewelry sale this weekend on Zonolite, you should go.

Though I often accompany my loved ones to Vicky's sales, these are scary events for most men. So I spend my time exploring out back.

IMG_4813 2014-05-09 K Tester mural Victoria Greenhood Jewelry Design
Glad I did, I found two giant ladies by "K. Tester" in the midst of a remodel.

Whoa. I love warehouse / light industrial!

IMG_4811 2014-05-09 K Tester mural Victoria Greenhood Jewelry Design
A singer.

IMG_4810 2014-05-09 K Tester mural Victoria Greenhood Jewelry Design
A musician / dancer.

IMG_4814  2014-05-09 K Tester mural Victoria Greenhood Jewelry Design
Who did them?

Nice. I guess this will be a showroom of some sort.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Artists and Bunny Cake

At the first sign of bloggers block I go for the bunny cake, then the artists, then the bunny cake.

But first an invitation, we'd sure like to meet you: Please join us for a city-living-blogger smackdownMike Hadden - New Urban Roswell and Darin Givens - Atlanta Urbanist and Coner Lee - History Atlanta, and me on May 15, 2014, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Steel Restaurant and Lounge - 950 West Peachtree St NW. More info.

The bunny cake (thanks Rachel) did its duty for family and friends.

John Ishmael, during Atlanta's First Thursday Downtown Art Walk.

Troy Farina, First Thursday Downtown Art Walk

Michelle Merringer, First Thursday Downtown Art Walk

Lonnie Holley (standing) "It's Like Coming Home" at Cash Rojas Projects

Kris Pilcher and Kelly Blackmon, "ICONNED" at Artmatch Gallery

Craig Drennen (with Christina Caudill) "Characters" at Stanley Beaman & Sears

Cardboard chair models, many artists, Georgia Tech School of Architecture

IMG_3657-2014-04-02-paint-awning-sign-636-N-Highland-Ave-next-to-Highland-Inn detail
Day job, didn't get their names

Imperial Opa Circus rehersing, McTell Street for Flux Projects 

IMG_3967 Sam Parker
Sam Parker "Returning Home" Kai Lin Art

IMG_3977  Peter Ferrari TK
Peter Ferrari "Returning Home" Kai Lin Art

IMG_3980  Larry Jens Anderson
Larry Jens Anderson "Returning Home" Kai Lin Art 

Jessica Caldas "Two Houses" at Chastain Arts Center Atlanta

Aubrey Longley Cook "Two Houses" at Chastain Arts Center Atlanta

IMG_4135 2014-04-17 GTlork | GaTECH Laptop Ensemble & New Music Ensemble at the Goat Farm Arts Center Georgia Tech Music
GTlork: the Georgia Tech Laptop Orchestra at the Goat Farm.

Georgia State Opera performs "The Crucible" for lunch at the Rialto.

MOMO for Living Walls at the Boulevard Tunnel

Jon Ciliberto and Jimmy Lo - poetry artists McTell Street for Flux Projects 

IMG_4237 Tuba Choir West End
Tuba choir at Streets Alive - West End

Ashley Anderson helping MOMO for Living Walls at the Boulevard Tunnel

IMG_4356 2014-04-26 Max and Maggie were at the Inman Park Festival. — with Max Godfrey and Maggie Hall.
Max Godfrey and Maggie Hall aka Max and Maggie busked at the Inman Park Festival and I'm glad they did.

Ben Steele "From This a Mountain" at {poem88}(sorry about the reddish face Ben, maybe my camera was having a blood moon or something)

Pandra Williams at "Second Nauture" Barbara Archer Gallery and The Goat Farm

The Boulevard tunnel was a lot of work by a lot of people.

IMG_4538 2014-05-02 Mary Jane Huegel herself  Marietta Square first Friday Artwalk Georgia Red Door Art Gallery & Studio
Mary Jane Huegel at Red Door Art Gallery

IMG_4540 Donita Pendered herself  Marietta Square first Friday Artwalk Georgia Red Door Art Gallery & Studio
Donita Pendered at Red Door Art Gallery 

IMG_4525 2014-05-02 Marietta Square first Friday Artwalk Georgia dk Gallery
Thanks to Donna Krueger proprietor of  dk Gallery for getting out the my first Marietta Square Artwalk

Boulevard Tunnel gear.

Whew, time for Bunny Cake.


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