Chapel of the Holy Cross

Pilgrimage (yet, still no vortex).

Designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, inspired by the Empire State Building in New York upon which Marguerite perceived a cross, had it not been for the Second World War, the Chapel would have been built in Budapest, Hungary overlooking the Danube, co-designed with Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright.

As fate (or was it the hand of god) would have it, the Chapel of the Holy Cross came to be in Sedona, where Staude, together with Richard Hein and August K. Strotz of the Anshen & Allen architecture company, ”decided upon a twin-pinnacled spur 80m-high jutting out of a 300m rock wall which Staude described as being as solid as the rock of Peter”. [source]

It was completed in 1956 and received an Award of Honor by the American Institute of Architects, in 1957.

On the other hand, the huge mansion simply known as ”The House”, obstructing the view across from the Chapel, was commissioned by Dr. Ioan Cosmescu, an inventor and biomedical engineer who obviously did very well financially, was completed in 2008 and received the ”Eyesore Award” by the local community, every year since.

Sedona, AZ

May 2nd, 2019

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Expressionistic in name and style.

Introduced by President John F. Kennedy and written by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a lifelong advocate for urban design excellence, the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture promoted federal government architecture that would “reflect the dignity, enterprise, vigor and stability of the American National Government” and “embody the finest contemporary American architectural thought.” The Department of Housing and Urban Development Building, the first to be built according to the principles, also symbolized the values of a newly created cabinet-level department committed to addressing the urban decline caused by the wave of post-World War II suburbanization.

The HUD headquarters was designed by world-renowned French architect Marcel Breuer and his associate Herbert Beckhard for a site in the Southwest urban renewal area that would show the federal government’s commitment to urban reinvestment. Breuer used concrete in bold and innovative ways to create an Expressionist building with a sweeping, curvilinear X-shaped form. This represents the first use of precast and cast-in-place concrete as the structural and finish material for a federal building, and it was also the first fully modular federal building.

The building was renamed in 1999 to honor Washington native Robert C. Weaver, who served as Lyndon Johnson’s HUD Secretary from 1966-68 and was the first African American member of a Presidential cabinet. The building was constructed from 1965 to 1968 and includes a 1990 plaza redesign by landscape architect Martha Schwartz. [source]

It is -unsurprisingly- listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Washington, D.C.

March 23rd, 2019

The Healy Hall, Georgetown University

Sitting on a cliff overlooking the Potomac River, an imposing Gothic structure – Gothic Revival to be exact, the Healy Hall was built between 1877-1879 and named after Patrick Francis Healy, the 27th president of Georgetown University.

Its first student was William B. Gaston, who was 13 years old when he arrived on campus in 1791 and went on to become a member of Congress. Gaston Hall (see penultimate photo) is named after him.

Designed by architects John Smithmeyer and Paul J. Pelz, who also contributed to the design of the Thomas Jefferson Building in the Library of Congress.

Washington, D.C.

March 19th, 2019