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historic preservation

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Flickr Faves on Fridays: Another Motel


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
1 Comment »

Ken McCown’s photo inspired me to search “motel” on flickr and it is a REALLY fun photographic subject! So many fabulous patio chairs, kitschy signs, great compositions, nostalgia, Wigwams/Tepees we saw Oprah and Gayle stay in on their road trip, bright colors and just plain old Americana. It makes me want to hop in the car right now with a cooler full of sammies and sodas and hit Route 66!

This photo comes from flickr member jody9:

The composition reminds me of a Diebenkorn painting. The rust, the faded colors, and the weeds make it so beautiful. The combination of colors is dreamy beachy to me – palm green, sea blue, off white with a few touches of pink and hay – it’s so serene, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, The North Shore Motel was bulldozed in 2008, but at least jody9 was able to grab a turquoise tile and some blue painted stucco from the remains!


Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Brick and Mortar Stores: fourTwelve Main


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

I think I truly mourned when G.F. McGregor’s in Rockland Maine closed. You know how you find that very small handful of shops in your life that truly inspire you? They are curated and merchandised to perfection, and you just want to move in? That was how I felt about G.F. McGregor’s, but yesterday, I found a shop to fill the void.

My aunt bought some gorgeous Thomas Paul pillows for our family place in Maine (much to my chagrin, as I could have ordered them at DP), but when I asked her where she’d found them, she sent me to fourTwelve Home in Rockland. Formerly just the clothing and accessories boutique, the shop acquired the space next door and opened up a home store.

Home Goodies to the left, Clothing to the right…hey, there’s my Mom!

This shop combines just the right combination of historical preservation and regency glamor. The original wooden floors are painted light gray with a tiny hint of green/blue in it. The original exposed brick walls are painted white. The ceilings are covered in white tin tiles, and the exposed pipes are painted white. That’s where the the old patina shows through; everything else is shiny and fresh. It is a perfect balance. There are fabulous light fixtures hanging in a line down both halves of the store, there is oversized floral wallpaper in the dressing rooms along with benches, there are gorgeous mirrors and mirrored furniture, there is a large velvet ottoman in the boutique (it looks like it came straight from Nanette Lepore’s closet), and there are little peacocks peeking out at you here and there from the tops of shelves.

Included in the home items were John Derian decoupage, Jonathan Adler vases, Thomas Paul pillows, Bob’s My Uncle sea life plates, emu furniture, funny books, gorgeous soaps and bath items, those cool Caspari long match matchbooks, and a fun array of letterpress cards. It’s a perfect stop for accessorizing one’s own home or for picking up a great gift for just about anyone for any occassion at any price point.

By the way, among all the great articles of clothing they had in there, I kept pulling out the cutest pieces and they were all by Beth Bowley, whom I hadn’t heard of before. It turns out she is the owner, a Parsons grad, and she launched her clothing line in 1998.

Overall, the decor reminded me of the jewelry available in the store. The newer lines are very delicate, and handcrafted from silver and gold. In addition, they have a wide array of vintage pieces that are unique with some hints of funk and a few well-earned signs of age. It’s a new inspiration I know I’ll keep in the back of my mind whenever I am decorating.




Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

A Moment to Honor Penn Station


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

I was watching Mad Men the other night, and I loved the scene where that scumbag Pete Campbell was trying to woo the Madison Square Garden developers to let him provide their P.R. and squash the nutball commie preservationists who were trying to save Penn Station (McKim, Mead, and White, 1910). I love that Mad Men focuses in on these pivotal points in history, and evokes a feeling of being on the cusp of momentous change. A phoenix of historic preservation rose from the ashes of Penn Station; its demolition was the catalyst that brought people like Jane Jacobs, Ada Louise Huxtable and a slew of like-minded architects together to fight the good fight for preservating historic buildings and better urban planning. The episode inspired me to take a moment of silence to honor this Beaux Arts Masterpiece.

all images from


Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Facebook Faves on Fridays


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

Alright, I’ve gone a little bit off the flickr grid – my friend Lucia just posted some absolutely gorgeous photos of Best Farm on her facebook page and I wanted to share them. I believe her husband Brian took these and I felt compared to share:

Is there anything more beautiful than these simple American vernacular buildings?

I tried to research Best Farm online and found this shot. The property became part of the National Park Service in 1993, and I think this building is the same one shown above:

Does anyone know anymore about the preservation and restoration of this site? I believe it was a Civil War Battlefield in Maryland.

first two photos property of Lucia and Brian Hall. Last photo taken from here.


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