Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

Architectural History!

May 27, 2018

Did you know that on this date in 1930, the Chrysler Building opened to the public and was, at the time, the tallest man-made structure in the world?  It would only hold this distinction until May 1st of the following year when it was surpassed by the Empire State Building which remained the tallest building in the world until 1970 when it was surpassed by the north tower of the World Trade Center.  It remains the tallest “brick” building in the world.  Here are some other fun facts about the Chrysler Building . . .

  • address: 405 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan, New York,  NY 10174
  • 1,046 feet tall (antenna spire)
  • 77 floors
  • Art Deco architectural style
  • 1,196,958 sq ft of area
  • 32 elevators
  •  391,881 rivets
  • 29,961 tons of steel
  • 3,826,000 bricks
  • 3,862 windows
  • the lobby contains the world’s very first digital clock
  • construction averaged four floors per week (quick!)
  • no one was killed during the construction
  • architect: William Van Alen
  • Chrysler refused to pay Van Alen (initially). Van Alen had to sue Chrysler to get paid (and did), but Van Alen’s reputation was tarnished by the incident.
  • designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976
  • designated a New York City Landmark in 1978

Necktie of the Month – January 2018!

January 3, 2018

Necktie - Fireplace ReliefHappy Wednesday!  Here is the latest necktie that I have added to my collection. This one represent an architectural design (courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright) and is titled: “Fireplace Relief.”  I found this particular necktie while visiting the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art back in September.  I had just completed a wonderful holiday weekend in the Eureka Springs (Arkansas) area and strategically planned a trip to this museum on the way back to Tulsa.  So, while perusing the assorted art-related items in the gift shop, I came upon several neckties and ended up taking this one home.  I also found an amazing table lamp that I purchased (will post this lamp sometime next month). This necktie will pair best with my browns and other earth-toned dress shirts.  Shown here with my beige shirt, it should also go well with my brown shirt for sure (not quite the same brown that is the background of the tie, but it should compliment this hue quite nicely) as well as my standard white shirt.  And for that really bold look, my bright orange shirt (or possibly even the pale orange one) will really make this necktie pop!   Woohoo!

A Couple of Recommendations!

October 25, 2017

If you ever find yourself in the Eureka Springs area (northwestern Arkansas), there are several neat things to see and do.  Disclaimer: I certainly have not seen or done everything that there is to see or do in Eureka Springs, but there are a few things worthy of mention as “not to miss” if you get the chance (and depending on your interests).  In addition to the numerous art shops and galleries (always worthy of visiting in my opinion), I would highly recommend a visit to the Thorncrown Chapel.  Whether you are interested in the architecture (or not), or just merely want to enjoy the beautiful setting, it would be time well spent.

Another activity that was really well done and that I totally enjoyed was the Great Passion Play.  I’m not exactly sure I was surprised by this but it really exceeded my expectations tremendously and was a very enjoyable way to spend an evening (especially if you arrange to take advantage of the buffet dinner preceding the play).

Another really unique attraction: Quigley’s Castle, aka, “the Ozarks strangest dwelling.” Very unique indeed, but very interesting as well.

Or discover your own “treasures” and favorite attractions in this quaint and charming community nestled in the Ozarks of northwestern Arkansas!

Was Gaudí Gaudy?!

June 25, 2017
Sagrada Familia nave roof

Ceiling of the nave

In my opinion, no, but very artistic.  Happy Birthday Antoni!  On this the anniversary of Antoni Gaudí‘s birth, let’s take a moment to honor and acknowledge one of the most famous Spanish architects who spent more than 40 years designing the Temple of the Sagrada Familia (most visited attraction and Gaudí’s most famous ) in Barcelona, Spain.  And, while the Temple is not yet complete (the anticipated completion date is in 2026 — the centenary of Gaudí’s death), it does not diminish this great accomplishment.  I was privileged to have been able to visit Barcelona (in 1998 or 1999) and got to see this structure firsthand.  Truly remarkable.

Here’s to Libraries, Week Fifteen!

May 7, 2014

Library_15The Philologic Library (or Philologische Bibliothek in German) is on the Dahlem campus of the Freie Universität Berlin nestled in the heart of Berlin.  This library is an architectural masterpiece designed by the internationally acclaimed British architect Norman Robert Foster, Lord Foster of Thames Bank.  He is one of Britain’s most prolific architects and has won numerous awards, including the AIA (the American Institute of Architects) Gold Medal (1995), the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1999) — also known as the Nobel Prize of architecture, and the Prince of Asturius Award [in the Arts category] (2009).  This library opened in 2005.  What makes this library unique?  It is in the shape of a human brain.

“I was a hugely unchaperoned reader, and I would wander into my local public library and there sat the world, waiting for me to look at it, to find out about it, to discover who I might be inside.”  (Patrick Ness)

Source: photo courtesy of  (BuzzFeed).

Here’s to Libraries, Week Thirteen!

April 16, 2014

Located in St. Gallen (Switzerland), the Abbey Library of Saint Gall Abbey-St_Gallis not only the oldest collection in Switzerland, but is “one of earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world.” (Wikipedia)  The library (along with the Abbey) was built in the Rococo style and was named a World Heritage Site in 1983.  It represents an excellent example of a Carolingian (north European, Pre-Romanesque architecture from the late 8th and 9th centuries) monastery.

The collection includes:

  • nearly 160,000 volumes.
  • 2,100 manuscripts from the 8th through the 15th centuries.
  • 1,650 incanubula (printed pre-1500) and older books.

“A library is a hospital for the mind.”  (Anonymous)

Source: photo courtesy of  (BuzzFeed).

The Marriage of Architecture to Art to Music!

August 23, 2012

Question: What do you get when you cross architecture with art and music?  Answer: the Singing Ringing Tree . . . a wind-powered sound sculpture constructed in the Burnley district of East Lancashire, England, by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu (of Tonkin Liu).

This sculpture won the National Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for architectural excellence in 2007.

Source: This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license and is attributed to Mr. Andrew Kline at the English language Wikipedia.

Marvel-ous Monday!

May 23, 2011

An engineering marvel, indeed!  For the next several weeks (on Monday), I will be highlighting a different engin-eering or archi-tectural “marvel.”  An excellent way to start the week (in my humble opinion).  This week, the Henderson Waves.  At 12 stories high, Henderson Waves is the tallest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. It snakes across Henderson Road, connecting Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park. The bridge, which opened in 2008, is made of seven undulating curved steel ribs that alternately rise over and under its deck. The curved ribs form alcoves that function as shelters with seats within.   This pedestrian bridge is part of the Southern Ridges, a 9-kilometre (5.6 mi) trail that connects parks along the southern ridge of Singapore.

Distance: 0.3 km
Difficulty level: easy
Walking Time: 5 mins

Not Afraid of Heights?

May 11, 2011

Then the next time you are in Chicago, check out the views from the Ledge at Willis Tower (the former Sears Tower).

The five-sided balconies, which opened in 2009, are suspended 1,353 feet in the air and jut out four feet from the building’s 103rd floor Skydeck. They’re actually more like boxes than balconies, with transparent walls, floor and ceiling. You can see unobstructed views of Chicago from the building’s west side, and a heart-stopping vista of the street and Chicago River below — if you’re brave enough to look straight down.   Ah, the marvels of modern architecture and/or engineering!

I’m adding this to my “must do/must see” list for my visit to the Windy City next summer.

Job Security?

November 4, 2010

And I thought that some of my projects took forever to complete . . .

“Yes, Antoni Gaudi‘s mad, monumental church (the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família) has been under construction for 125 years.  But 250 craftsmen have been hurrying to get the central nave finished in time for the visit next weekend by Pope Benedict XVI, who will consecrate the church as a Basilica.”  Enjoy the full article here.

I was fortunate to have been able to visit this architectural marvel several years ago when I visited Barcelona.  It is truly a magnificent church and I’m glad that they are finally getting around to completing the work . . . or are they

From these articles, it sounds as though they are just working feaverishly to finish the nave and altar for the Pope to use . . . who knows how much more of the structure is left to actually complete.  Regardless, I would highly recommend a visit to this church if you ever find yourself in Barcelona.