Posts Tagged With: Architheming

Chicago – That Toddlin’ Town

Foyer TouristChicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town… The city of Chicago has some really unique architectural history. The Cultural Center located near the Loop and Millennium Park. when it was completed in 1897 it served as the city’s central library.

Tourist DomeThe center of the Grand Army of The Republic Memorial hall is a massive Tiffany dome. This massive installation is the world’s largest Tiffany dome and went through a major restoration in 2007.

Library OwlChicago’s Harold Washington Library replaced the Central Library (now the Cultural Center) in 1987. The roof is adorned with 7 Acroteria or archiectural ornaments. On the corners and center can be found large sculptures of Owls, the symbol of the goddess of knowledge, Minerva. This Great Horned Owl sits over the center of the State Street entrance on Printer’s Row.

Peacock JewelersAnother bird hanging around the loop is the majestic peacock. The Jeweler’s CD Peacock store at State St. and Monroe. The House of Peacock was the first retail jewelry store in Chicago and catered to such big names as Mary Todd Lincoln, Marshall Fields and Mick Jagger. Hotel Sconce

Carson Pirie 2One of the coolest facades in Chicago has to be the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building. Built after the great Chicago fire, the Sullivan Center as it is known today, was built as a major retail center. Today, the building hosts a Target on the bottom floors, but the ornamentation is still intact. The ornate floral details are bronze cast iron and were meant to appeal to the female clientele.

Carson Pirie

FaceMetropolitan Capital Bank on the Magnificent Mile features details from the Prairie School of the Arts and Crafts movement, Frank Lloyd Wright once had a studio at Chicago’s Tree Studios artist’s enclave.

Whacker DriveAt one time, the Jeweler’s Building at 35 Whacker Drive was considered the tallest building in the US outside of New York City. Movie fans may recognize the building from Batman Begins and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Water WorksThe Chicago Water Tower was one of the few buildings to survive the great fire. It’s tower was built to house a massive pump that would pump water directly form Lake Michigan. Built from Joliet limestone, it stands 154′ tall, Oscar Wilde said it looked like “a castellated monstrosity with pepper boxes stuck all over it.

Gargoyles TribuneThe Chicago Tribune Building completed in 1925 is adorned with gargoyles and grotesques designed by American sculptor Rene Paul Chambellan.

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Boston Through A Fisheye

On my recent trip to Boston I decided to give a new lens a try. I made a point of only shooting with my new fisheye and here are some of the results.

BurrageHouse

There are several buildings that have always captured my imagination, I frequently find myself returning year after year and finding new angles. One of these buildings is the Burrage House on Commonweath Ave at Hereford St. This unusual mansion is currently divided into 6 condos, former residents included New England Patriot’s Tom Brady.

BurrageHouse2

Similar homes werre built on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Modeled after Chenonceaux, a chateau located in the Loire Valley of France. Covered in Gargoyles and Grotesques, it represents the only example of the “chateauesque” style in Boston.

CommAve2

Walking along the mall at Commonwealth Ave, one encounters a number of sculptures representing some of Boston’s noteworthy citizens. Merdith Bergmann’s The Boston Women’s Memorial features likenesses of Lucy Stone, Phillis Wheatley and Abigail Adams,

CommAve

                All along Commonwealth Ave, you can see architecture ranging from the typical Boston Brownstones to the fabulous marble mansions.

PublicGarden

At the end of Commonwealth Ave, heading towards the State House, is the Boston Public Gardens. This public park features the Swan Boats, beautifully manicured lawns and one of my favorite statues.

Duckling

Robert McCloskey’s children’s book, Make Way For Duckings, tells the story of a pair of mallard ducks that raise their family on the Public Gardens Lagoon. Through the years, pranksters have duck napped individual ducklings, only to return them. The story is so popular that a sister to the statues was installed in Russia.  The Boston residents take great in their duckings, each spring they don straw Easter bonnets. And in remembrance of this year’s Marathon bombings, they wear their own Marathon runner’s bibs.

PostOffice

The Post Office in Beacon Hill on Charles Street, is the oldest operating Post Office in the city. This 2 window Post Office is one of the most popular in Boston , due in part to the friendliness of the customers and workers.

ScoreAntiques

Stephen Score Antiques is nestled among 18th and 19th century buildings in the Back Bay. The vivid blue paint and the French Clown standing guard above the sign welcome you to a gallery full of antiques and fine arts. Previous owner, Israel Sack installed many of the period arcitectural details found throughout the gallery. Many were taken from an old mansion in Marblehead.

SteinartHall

Steinert Hall on Boylston Street was built for piano dealers, M Steinert and Sons in 1896. The six story Beaux Arts style building used to feature a concert hall frequented by the elite of Boston’s arts scene.

PartyStore

This unique facade is at 356 Boylston Street and currently houses iParty with a Twist. In a past life, this was the site of a Schrafft’s Restaurant. Schrafft’s was the kind of place you could see an old lady sipping a cocktail at one table, a group of businessmen having lunch and a gaggle of kids enjoying ice cream cones over at the counter. Schrafft’s was closed on Sunday with the exception of this one location, where Sunday church goers needed somewhere to have lunch.

TheBerkeley

The Berkeley on Boyslton Street was built in 1906 and long considered the crown jewel of Boston’s Back Bay. Designed by Désiré Despradelle, a professor of architecture at MIT had been educated at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The magnificent facade is encased in terra cotta details and panes of glass.

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Eastern State Penitentiary

     Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison that stressed the reformation of it’s inmates over punishment. Prisoners were completely separated from each other and never knew who was in the cell next to them. They lived in complete isolation every day, never seeing another living soul, eating, sleeping, showering and exercising alone. In reality, the guards developed cruel and hideous tortures, to show their dominance over the prison population.

     In 1966, the prison was designated a National Historic Landmark. By then end of it’s life as a prison it had abandoned the solitary concept and prisoners lived as a community until it was abandoned in 1971. One can only imagine what kind of terrors are imbedded in it’s aging walls.

     The old prison has found new life as a movie set. The decaying building has been featured in Terry Gilliam’s TWELVE MONKEYS and in 2008, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

     The possibility of actual ghosts still haunting the prison has led to paranormal investigators conducting numerous explorations of the site. GHOST ADVENTURES, GHOST HUNTERS, MTv’s FEAR and Great Britain’s MOST HAUNTED LIVE have all produced episodes at Eastern State.

The building is in a state of preserved decay. Areas that are less safe for the average tourist are off limits.

     Among the hauntings witnessed are a shadow figure that quickly scoots away when approached and mysterious ghostly faces in Cellblock 4.

In addition to being a historical site, the building is also home to more than a dozen art installations. My favorite one was called GHOST CATS. Amongst the grounds and cells are sculptures of 39 cats, representing the colony of cats that had inhabited the prison since it was abandoned in 1971. Artist, Linda Brenner created the cats out of a clay that will slowly dissolve over time to represent the inevitable decaying of all living things.

     Eastern State had it’s share of celebrity guests during it’s prime. “Slick Willie” Sutton, a bank robber known for over 50 robbieries. One of the unusual inmates was #C-2559, a dog named Pep. The story goes that Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot was sentenced to Eastern State for murdering his wife’s cherished cat.

Perhaps the most famous or infamous of Eastern State’s residents was Al Capone. He served his first prison term of 8 months, for possession of a concealed weapon, at Eastern State. His cell was quite comfortable compared to the others, he was allowed to decorate it himself with rugs, art and antiques.

Capone was also Eastern State’s most famous paranormal victim. He claimed that he was haunted by the ghost of James Clark, the brother-in-law of Capone’s rival, murdered in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Fellow inmates reported hearing Capone screams nightly, begging “Jimmy” to go away and leave him alone.

     Is Eastern State Penitentiary haunted ? I can honestly say that after visiting, you certainly get a feeling of the oppressive isolation and despair felt by the inmates. EVP’s have captured disembodied voices and more than one person has seen ghostly figures in the Guard Tower. At least for a few days a year, Eastern State is definitely haunted and a scary experience is guaranteed.

“Terror Behind The Walls” happens every Halloween. In 2012, the prison will be the host to 6 different haunted experiences. You can check it out at http://www.easternstate.org/halloween/preview

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Boston: City of Angels and Demons

I grew up in and around Boston. I went to Emerson College in Boston and worked for various theatre companies around Boston.

One thing I love to do when I go home for a visit is to walk around the city. I always find something new and unique to photograph.

For a city as old as Boston, it can be magical in broad daylight.

High above Boylston Street, this Angelic face watches the masses of people below.

A winged Lion stands guard over the old Armory.

The Masks of Comedy and Tragedy adorn the Emerson Majestic Theatre. It’s hard to believe that this was once a run down movie house showing martial arts flicks. Now it’s been restored to it’s original glory.

These Gargoyles stare out from their perches high above Wall St.

I imagine that they come to life at night when the city is still and all of us humans have gone to bed.

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Tenerife, Part II

Did you know the Canary Islands are named for Dogs and not little yellow Birds ?

The Church of San Francisco dates back to the 18th century. It’s adjacent convent now houses The Museum of Fine Arts.

Like many Cruise Ship ports, Tenerife offers a variety of activities for tourists, Bingo Parlors, Casinos and Shopping !

The theater Circulo de Amistad of Santa Cruz de Tenerife opened in 1904. Architecturally, it is a curious building where the bourgeois architecture of the XIXth century and the Art Nouveau architecture of the Canary Islands meet. The building houses a social organization known as “The Recreation” where members enjoy dominoes, swimming, card games, volleyball and a myriad of other sports and activities.

Just a few steps off of the Calle Castillo, I found this unusual building.

Balconies were on almost every building I saw.

Incredible colors and tiles

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Castle Hogwarts

High above the town, looms the magnificent castle of Hogwarts Wizarding School.

We enter the Castle via the massive underground labyrinth. You never know what you may find in the basement of Hogwart’s. This statue of a Hunchbacked Witch figures into Harry Potter’s tale.

Roaming the twisting and turning corridors of Hogwarts castle you are sure to see some amazing things. These portraits aren’t content to smile pretty, they talk to each other and even leave their frames to visit their neighbors.

Our day at the school has come to end as the night envelopes the castle.

We make our way back though the dark streets of Hogsmeade.

Perhaps we have time for one last drink before we leave. It’s a rather quiet evening at the Hogshead tavern in the town. Normally, the place is bustling with witches and wizards.

The namesake of the Hog’s Head Tavern. Here’s a tip, tip the bartender and you may see something fun.

After a delicious frozen Butterbear, we grab an ice cold Pumpkin Juice for the walk back to the Hogwarts Express and reality.

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A Side Trip To A Magical Place

Make your way to Platform 9 3/4 at Charing Cross Station and take the express train to Hogsmeade.

If you’re looking for a new hat, be sure to stop by McHavelock’s Wizarding Headgear.

Maestro’s Music Shoppe has everything you need for the musically inclined. From trombones to sheet music to guitar lessons, Maestro’s has it all.

Be sure to stop by Ollivander’s new location in Hogsmeade for the chance to let a wand choose you. The staff is very helpful and friendly.

A great way to waste an afternoon is browsing all of the wonderful confections of Honeyduke’s. Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott’s Beans of Every Flavor and Cauldron Cakes are just a few of the treats awaiting you.

More delicious, sugary treats from Honeyduke’s.

Stop by the Owl Post to send your letter home and get a special cancellation stamp.

You can send anything and everything from The Owl Post. A full range of postal options is available day and night.

The Owlry provides some much needed shade for the hard working birds of the Owl Post. Be careful where you sit.

Even in the heat of Summer, Hogsmeade maintains a fresh blanket of snow.

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The Magical Reeperbahn

I didn’t discover the Reeperbahn until a day or two before we were scheduled to sail out of Hamburg. The Reeperbahn is a street in the St. Pauli district and is lined with Casinos, theatres, bars, discos and even sex clubs. The Beatles played several clubs in the Reeperbahn during their climb to fame.

Police Station No. 15 is better as Davidwache. The building has been used as locations in German film and tv shows and Paul McCartney and Pete Best were held here on suspicion of Arson in 1960, when they set a condom on fire in a Reeperbahn club.

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Christmas in July (in Germany)

Being in Germany around the holidays was alot of fun. There were several Weinachtsmarkts or Christmas Markets around the city and we hit every one.

Monckebergstrasse was lit with twinkling lights.

On Spitaler Strasse, a giant Weinachtspyramide took centerstage.

At the largest of the city Markets in front of the Rathaus, vendors sold everything from candles and leather sketchbooks to mistletoe.

On a side street, a carousel with some very familiar characters was set up.

A canopy of Christmas lights at the Rathaus Weinachtsmarkt.

Gingerbread Cookies to hang on your Christmas Tree.

Santas in every shape and size

The carousel at Rathaus Markt

The highlight of the Rathaus Weinachtmarkt was the arrival of Santa Claus. Santa rode a motorcycle across a wire while and Angle was suspended underneath in a cloud.

A trio of animated Santas outside St. Petri’s.

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To The Forbidden Mountain

Dawn

Overlooking the MountainsEarly Morning in the village of Serka Zhong. Gupta's Gear

As dawn tries to banish the night, I make my way through the desolate village. Other trekkers have already made their way to the local coffee shop and are getting ready for the climb.

The Temple Mandir

Not quite daylight and not still night. A blue light is cast over the temple.

The Trekking Office

The Trekking Office in the village isn’t open for business yet, so I wander around the buildings.

Mr. Panika's Shop

Mr. Panika’s Shop is getting ready. If you can’t find it here, you probably don’t really need it.

Wall of Art ?

I walk through the empty Yeti Museum. The locals have a special relationship with the Protector of the Forbidden Mountain.

THe Yeti Museum

The Yeti

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