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Preserving Modern Architecture

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Owl’s Head Light

Becky

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The other day I had a truly thrilling experience of space. After climbing to the top of the stairs to check out the view from the base of Owl’s Head Light, I realized the front door was open and I could go in and climb up to the top. In the sixty some years my mother has been visiting this lighthouse, this has never been possible, and were were psyched! I couldn’t get over how beautiful the inside of this small cylinder was, yet the space was so nice and not at all claustrophobic:

Did I mention that restoration was completed on the lighthouse just a few weeks ago? The restoration was made possible by The American Lighthouse Foundation, as well as The Friends of Rockland Breakwater. Lighthouses are such special places and have such long and heroic histories. I wanted to let you know about this organization so that if you have a passion for lighthouses, you can think about donating.  Just look at how spiffy she looks!

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Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Modern Real Estate: Preservation Alert

Becky

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Thanks to Maya of VisuaLingual for tipping me off to this fantastic house that is a total steal. I grew up very close to this house, and my good pal Jennifer Jowaisas lived right down the street. I had never seen it before. It was the personal home of modern early modern architect Ray Roush, and it’s in Anderson Township, Ohio (a Cincinnati burb, about 10-15 minutes from downtown). Roush served as a mentor to Michael Graves, who later wrote the forward to a book about Roush and his colleague, Carl Strauss.

This house seems to have gone into foreclosure and is on the market for $135,000. The original realtor, Susan Rissover, would love to see it preserved so much that even though it is no longer her listing, she is making people aware of it on her website. It is a wonderful modern preservation opportunity. While Susan took these pictures in 2007, she went back to check out the property a few months ago and discovered that it had been vandalized, which makes us both sick to our stomachs. While it wasn’t anything that sounded terribly expensive to fix, original fixtures were stolen or damaged. To learn more, check out cincinnatimodern.com. Oh, and P.S. Susan lists the pros and cons of the house, and from spending a lot of time in the area as a kid, I can tell you there are big scary snakes on all around Five Mile Road. I don’t know if any of them were poisonous, but they are big, and they made me avoid going outside at Jennifer’s house as much as possible.

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

P.S. Speaking of L.A. …

Becky

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…Richard Neutra’s former home, one of the only buildings of his open to the public, needs a whole lot of help. I’m surprised none of the stars are stepping up, because I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: When Hollywood types like to talk like they know something about architecture they say they love Neutra, and when they really think they’re being impressive, they say they love Lautner. This place needs Pamela Anderson to swoop in with a big fat check. I think Diane Keaton’s into FLW and Brad Pitt’s off working on architecture that actually houses real people. I’m out of ideas. Anyway, so far no one has stepped up, so to find out more about what’s going on with this Silver Lake gem and how you can help, click here.

photo by David Hartwell via Preservation Magazine

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Access to The Glass House – Start Planning!

Becky

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Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan Connecticut is opening up for tours again starting May 1 and running through November. Tickets start at $30 and go up to $400 for a private tour that includes dinner at The Four Seasons in NYC (this is my nerdy architectural dream date – forget all those The Bachelor-esque dates that include helicopter rides or wine tasting lessons). Click here for more information on the tours. Also, if you are a member of The National Trust for Historic Preservation, you will receive 50% off the Standard Tour (90 minutes) and the Extended Tour (2 hours, take all the pictures you want).* Seriously, if you are not already a member, why not? I mean, The Governator recently proposed SELLING California’s historic sites in order to raise cash! Get on it! Click here and join today – you’ll get all sorts of discounts at historic sites and you’ll receive a subscription to Preservation – it’s a wonderful magazine.

Image swiped from The Glass House website.

*members pay full price when ordering and then receive the 50% discount when attending the tour.

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Friday, January 8th, 2010

Flickr Faves on Fridays: Another Motel

Becky

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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!

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