Taliesin West || Peeking Inside

Every single detail bears the signature of the landlord. Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and school in the Sonoran desert from 1937 until his death in 1959 at the age of 91. Visiting FLW houses is always a pleasure, but walking inside his own home was a real privilege.

Taliesin West (where even coffee is part of the brand, bearing the distinctive stamp of honour)

January 31st, 2019

One Church I Would Gladly Attend

At least once, if only to see how the light filters through the spire’s stained glass onto the floor of the sanctuary.

In 1949 the president of Phoenix’s Southwest Christian Seminary commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a Classical University.

Wright’s drawings, completed in 1950, reveal his vision for an eighty-acre campus replete with a chapel, administrative buildings, seminar rooms, library, Greek theatre, and faculty homes. However, the seminary ceased operation before the campus could be built.

In the early 1970s, the First Christian Church approached Wright’s widow, Olgivanna, who granted them permission to use Wright’s triangular chapel design. Meant to evoke the Holy Trinity and reflect an attitude of prayer, the chapel’s roof and spire rise seventy-seven feet, supported by the 23 slender triangular pillars. Light filters through the spire’s stained glass insets onto the floor of the 1,000-seat diamond-shaped sanctuary.

The addition of the baptistery and choir loft, as well as the 1979 addition of an administrative wing, completed by Taliesin Architects, are the only modifications to the original design.
[source]

First Christian Church, Phoenix, AZ

January 30th, 2019

Concrete

The List Art Building, home to Brown’s Visual Arts and Art History departments is a love-it-or-hate-it work of art in reinforced concrete designed by Philip Johnson, in sharp contrast to his glass structures.

Completed in 1971.

Brown University

Providence, RI

November 24th, 2018

Walking in Providence

Following H.P. Lovecraft’s stepsThe majestic Union Trust Company Building, once home to the homonym Providence-based bank, now in the National Register of Historic Places, still a commercial building, but the upper floors have been converted to residences. 

The massive Art Deco ”Superman” Building, aka Industrial National Bank Building standing empty since 2013! 

The ”John Carter House”, in 21 Meeting Street, aka ”Shakespeare’s Head” since colonial times when the building was used as a print shop and post office by John Carter, who had trained with Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. The enterprises were advertised by a sign featuring the head of Shakespeare on a pole outside the building. This is where the city’s first newspaper, The Providence Gazette, was printed until 1793.  

A lovely dedication to the firefighters who lost their lives on duty – 9/11/2001

What Cheer Garage is now a studio for RISD. ”What Cheer” refers to the Narragansett Indians’ greeting to Roger Williams on his landing at Providence (a contraction of “What cheer with you?,” the seventeenth-century equivalent of “How are you?”). Many Rhode Island businesses perpetuate the historic greeting. [source]

The Old Brick School House, 1769 (PPS Office & Meeting Hall)

Climbing Meeting Street

H.P. Lovecraft’s last home – still standing. Originally located at 66 College Street, it was moved to 65 Prospect Street to make space for an expansion of Brown University.

Brown University. Lovecraft walked among it’s buildings most of his life. 

The John Hay Library at Brown University, home to the largest collection of H. P. Lovecraft materials in the world.

Providence, RI

November 24th, 2018

My Providence!

My Providence! What airy hosts
 Turn still thy gilded vanes;
What winds of elf that with grey ghosts
 People thine ancient lanes!

– from ”Providence”, a poem by H.P. Lovecraft

A fanlight’s gleam, a knocker’s blow,
     A glimpse of Georgian brick—
The sights and sounds of long ago
     Where fancies cluster thick.

From the ”Superman” Building to the Fleur-de-Lys that Lovecraft despised – and made sure to tell the world, when he wrote in ”The Call of Cthulu:

”Wilcox still lived alone in the Fleur-de-Lys Building in Thomas Street, a hideous Victorian imitation of seventeenth century Breton Architecture which flaunts its stuccoed front amidst the lovely colonial houses on the ancient hill, and under the very shadow of the finest Georgian steeple in America, I found him at work in his rooms, and at once conceded from the specimens scattered about that his genius is indeed profound and authentic.”

The spirit of H.P. Lovecraft is alive, in Providence.

November 23rd, 2018