Friday, May 28, 2010

The Delaware Water Gap

For my friends in the NY/NJ/NEPA area…

Cordes Building, San Francisco

The Cordes Building, built in 1909 and designed by Albert Pissis. Pissis, who was born in Mexico to French parents and grew up in San Francisco, was one of the first Americans to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. (Another noteworthy Bay Area architect, Julia Morgan, was its first female student.) He also designed the Flood Building below (see entries for March 2010), as well as a few other favorites that I'll photograph eventually. Apparently, his buildings were thought rather reactionary at the time of their construction, but they've aged better than most and have an undeniable grandeur that derives from more than mere scale.

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Art Deco drive down Wilshire Blvd.

That little black one is for sale: just $3,700,000 for an Art Deco gem designed by Morgan, Walls & Clements in 1929. Given its Miracle Mile location, that really is a bit of a bargain.
At the top is the former Desmond's Hancock Park department store, designed in 1928 by Gilbert S. Underwood.
The other two remain obscure, but still cool to zoom in on despite the window air conditioners that deface the tan building!

Banksy in SF

Two works by Banksy in North Beach/Chinatown.

Goldfield, NV

Not quite a ghost town yet, Goldfield, NV is still home to some 400 people, down from a high of some 30,000 at the turn of the last century. Of course, the mines were still giving forth a lot of gold back then, $48 million worth in 1918. Today, it's just a spot in the road with some weathered buildings surrounding a rather handsome courthouse, though Dusty's Roadhouse will serve you a pretty good veggie burger if you're hungry.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Ben Franklin Institute

At the center of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (vintage 1938) is this enormous room modeled on the Pantheon in Rome, as best evidenced by the fragment of the roof visible in the photo. Unlike the Pantheon, however, the central oculus is covered in glass rather than left open to the elements...I guess architect John T. Windrim didn't like the open-air aspect of the Pantheon's design.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Miami Beach

A stroll around Miami Beach

The Art Deco Historic District, miraculously spared from redevelopment until it could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.