Civil Rights Monument

 Posted by on March 31, 2017
Mar 312017
 
Civil Rights Monument

Capitol Park Richmond, VA March 2017 The Virginia Civil Rights Memorial sits on the grounds of Capitol Square in Richmond VA and commemorates the protests which helped bring about school desegregation in the state. Unveiled in 2008 this $2.8 memorial was designed by Stanley Bleifield. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “A Commonwealth once synonymous with defiance of court-ordered school integration celebrated the latest symbol of its often-difficult embrace of equality with the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial in 2008. It represents a key moment in the history of the civil-rights movement in Virginia. The statue spotlights the African-American students in rural Prince Continue Reading

Reconciliation Triangle

 Posted by on March 28, 2017
Mar 282017
 
Reconciliation Triangle

East Main Street Richmond, VA March 2017 Reconciliation Triangle has a fascinating and worldwide story. The statue represents Richmond, Virginia’s place in slave history.  With the addition of Liverpool, England, and the republic of Benin, West Africa, identical statues by Liverpool artist Stephen Broadbent are in place in each country marking the three points of the infamous slave trade triangle. The statues symbolize a commitment to new relationships based on honesty, forgiveness and reconciliation. In 1999, President Mathieu Kerekou of the Republic of Benin convened an international gathering at which he apologized for Benin’s part in selling fellow Africans to Continue Reading

Woodward Garden

 Posted by on February 4, 2017
Feb 042017
 
Woodward Garden

Woodward Gardens Duboce and Woodward Street Mission/South of Market On January 19, 1873, 12,000 people showed up at Woodward’s Garden in the Mission District to watch Frenchman Gus Buislay and a small boy soar aloft in a hot air balloon. The man who made it happen was Robert B. Woodward. Woodward had made his fortune in the grocery store business. In 1849, he opened a store right off the waterfront to serve the ever-increasing number of people flooding into the Port of San Francisco for the Gold Rush. With the acumen of a savvy businessman, he realized the ’49er economy Continue Reading

Shadow Kingdom

 Posted by on January 27, 2017
Jan 272017
 
Shadow Kingdom

16th at Missouri Potrero Hill The plaque at the site reads: This artwork is inspired by the history of Mission Bay, a 5,000 year-old tidal marsh that was once the habitat of a rich array of flora and fauna.  Growth of the city in the 19th century brought shipyards, warehouses and railroads and this part of the bay was eventually filled with sand and dirt from nearby development, as well as debris from the 1906 earthquake. The five panels that form Shadow Kingdom evoke this layered history. Ship masts intersect with topographical and architectural references. Some of the plants and Continue Reading

Mosaics of Balboa Park

 Posted by on December 13, 2016
Dec 132016
 
Mosaics of Balboa Park

Ocean and San Jose Avenue Mission Terrace/Outer Mission There are several mosaics throughout the new Balboa Park Playground.  This bench sits on the exterior of the playground and explains about the restoration of the park, it also lists all the donors that helped  to make the project possible. The mosaic work is by Rachel Rodi.  Students from Denman Middle School and Lick Wilmerding helped to design and build the mosaics on the two stairways, under the supervision of Rachel Rodi. Rachel received a BA in Ceramics from Regis University, Denver Colorado and studied at the Institute of Mosaic Art in Continue Reading

Balboa Park’s Art Fence

 Posted by on December 10, 2016
Dec 102016
 
Balboa Park's Art Fence

Ocean and San Jose Avenue Mission Terrace/Outer Mission Balboa Park became part of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department in 1908.  In the 1950s a swimming pool and baseball fields were added.  Then in 1953 a 3,000 person soccer stadium was included in the park.  The 1970s brought a tot park, and then age and neglect brought about the need for a complete overhaul. The playground was completely rebuilt by the neighbors, along with tennis courts in 2008, as of 2016, the city is still trying to find the budget to upgrade the swimming facilities, but the park itself is Continue Reading

Monarch

 Posted by on December 7, 2016
Dec 072016
 
Monarch

1600 Owens Mission Bay, San Francisco Cliff Garten Studio is internationally recognized for creating integrated public art projects which collaborate with urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and engineering to challenge the assumptions of how public places are built and used. Through a diversity of materials, methods and scale, the studio is committed to exploiting the artistic and expressive potential of public spaces and infrastructure in varied urban and natural contexts. Cliff Garten has a Masters of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University GSD. He has served as a visiting Continue Reading

The Park Emergency Hospital

 Posted by on August 29, 2016
Aug 292016
 
The Park Emergency Hospital

811 Stanyan Golden Gate Park The Park Emergency Hospital is part of a system of Emergency Hospitals that existed in San Francisco during the early 1900s.  There were four of them.  Park, Central (in Civic Center and still functioning), Alemany and Harbor (since torn down). This particular hospital has been designated City Landmark #201. Built in 1902, at a cost of $8488, it functioned as a hospital until 1978.  It remained an ambulance station until 1991, and it now serves as offices for the Rec and Park District. The architect was Newton J. Tharp.  The San Francisco ran his obituary on Continue Reading

Anima by Jim Sanborn

 Posted by on August 24, 2016
Aug 242016
 
Anima by Jim Sanborn

1700 Owens Street Mission Bay, San Francisco This piece, in Mission Bay, is titled Anima, and is by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn (1945 – ). Sanborn is best known for creating the encrypted Kryptos sculpture at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, a piece of work that has captured the imagination of cryptologists around the world for years. He attended Randolph-Macon College, receiving a degree in paleontology, fine arts, and social anthropology in 1968, followed by a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the Pratt Institute in 1971. He taught at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, and then for nine years was Continue Reading

Central Emergency and Detention Hospital

 Posted by on August 23, 2016
Aug 232016
 
Central Emergency and Detention Hospital

50 Dr. Tom Waddell Place previously 50 Lech Walesa previously 50 Ivy In the alley, somewhat behind the Public Health Building that dominates the corner of Polk and Grove in San Francisco’s Civic Center is a small building that was once the Central Emergency and Detention Hospital. According to the 1918 Municipal Record Volume 11 the building included a court room, and also housed the Social Services Department of the Public Health Department. The architect is not known, although it was most likely a city architect. The contractor was Anderson and Ringrose, they were paid $78,140 for their work.  Other Continue Reading

Overflow X

 Posted by on August 19, 2016
Aug 192016
 
Overflow X

1500 Owens Street Mission Bay, San Francisco Overflow X  is a stainless steel sculpture by Jaume Plensa. Jaume Plensa was born in 1955 in Barcelona, where he studied at the Llotja School of Art and Design and at the Sant Jordi School of Fine Art. He has been a teacher at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and regularly cooperates with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a guest professor. This particular design is not new.  Plensa has been utilizing the seated figure created from letters in various installations around the world.  They range in Continue Reading

Elevators and Marine Engines

 Posted by on August 18, 2016
Aug 182016
 
Elevators and Marine Engines

235 First Street Foundry Square This wonderful building, sitting amongst all of the surrounding high-rises brings joy to the eye and a question to the mind. The City of San Francisco has labeled this the H.N. Cook Belting Company designed by Ward and Blohme.  However the American Architect and Architecture Magazine, Volume 113 disputes that fact with this photograph. The photo was accompanied by a full length article in the January to June 1918 issue. The Western Architecture and Engineering Magazine – Volume 40-41 states that the building is the home to the B.C. Van Emon Elevator Company. This 1915 Continue Reading

The Metropolitan Laundry Company

 Posted by on August 15, 2016
Aug 152016
 
The Metropolitan Laundry Company

7 Heron South of Market, San Francisco The lovely trumpet vine on this building is hiding a lot of the detail of the brick work, but the buildings history is the real charm. Built around 1907, this was once part of the Metropolitan Laundry Company and Power Plant. According to the January 8, 1910 Journal of Electricity, this was a modern, cutting edge plant. It was touted as the largest and most up-to-date in the U.S. The whole laundry facility was housed in two buildings and covered an acre of land. The second building, at the corner of Berwick and Harrison, is Continue Reading

The Bethlehem Steel Building

 Posted by on August 12, 2016
Aug 122016
 
The Bethlehem Steel Building

Pier 70 Dog Patch The Bethlehem Steel Office Building, also known as Building 101, was designed by San Francisco architect Fredrick H. Meyer. The building anchors Pier 70, sitting at its entry on the corner of Illinois and 20th Street. Built in 1917, the building is Classical Revival in style. The three story building consists of 56,268 square feet. There is an iron perimeter fence framing the entrance to the building that originally extended down both 20th and Illinois Streets. Building 101 was designed as a new main office building in 1917, at this point Bethlehem Steel was growing by leaps and bounds Continue Reading

1176 Harrison

 Posted by on August 10, 2016
Aug 102016
 
1176 Harrison

This 9,796 square-foot building is actually two: the east section was constructed in 1912 and the west section was constructed in 1929. The buildings were unified by the present façade in 1929, This 1-story, steel and reinforced concrete industrial building was designed in the Art Moderne style. The interesting architectural details include an incised sign that reads “San Francisco Galvanizing Works,” concrete beltcourses, a stepped recessed bay, galvanized metal rivets, and a parapet. Like its neighbor at 1140 Harrison it to sits in the Western SOMA Light Industrial and Residential Historic District.  Also likes it neighbor it is historically significant due to Continue Reading

1140 Harrison Street

 Posted by on August 4, 2016
Aug 042016
 
1140 Harrison Street

This nondescript industrial building is about to be torn down for a giant condominium project.  I thought it time to get it documented before it disappeared. Part of the SOMA Light Industrial and Residential Historic District, the building has been marked historical due to its age, but that does not prevent it from being torn down, it is simply a designation. Built in 1907, the building is a 75,625 square-feet, 1-story, brick masonry industrial building in a modified Renaissance Revival style. The rectangular-plan building, clad in smooth stucco on the primary façade and brick on the secondary facade, is capped by Continue Reading

Lily Pond

 Posted by on July 21, 2016
Jul 212016
 
Lily Pond

125 W. Fullerton Parkway Lincoln Park Chicago, Illinois Chicago’s official motto is “Urbs in Horto,” which translates to “City in a Garden”, much of the garden aspects of this town can be attributed to Alfred Caldwell and his mentor Jens Jensen. Lily Pond is the work of Alfred Caldwell. During the depression, Caldwell worked on and off for the Chicago Park District. It was a tumultuous relationship, but it was also steady work. In 1936, under the guise of the Park District and with WPA money Caldwell designed the Lily Pool. Caldwell suggested that “besides being a nature garden,” the Continue Reading

Boulder Man

 Posted by on July 19, 2016
Jul 192016
 
Boulder Man

951 Chicago Avenue Oak Park, Chicago On the piers flanking the entry to Frank Lloyd Wrights 1898 architectural studio in Oak Park, Illinois, sit these two pieces, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and executed by Richard Bock. “Boulder Man” is the most valuable of Richard Bock’s work.  He originally designed and modeled the piece to top a gate post.  The body, apparently half buried in the earth is stunning from every angle.  These sculptures are reproductions.  They were re-created from photographs.  The originals had disintegrated beyond repair, the replicas were done during the 1980s restoration of Frank Lloyd Wrights home Continue Reading

Standing Lincoln

 Posted by on July 17, 2016
Jul 172016
 
Standing Lincoln

Off N. Lake Shore Drive near W. North Avenue Chicago This is one of the two sculptures in Lincoln Park that were bequeathed to Chicago upon the death of lumberman Eli Bates. This 12 foot tall figure known as the “Standing Lincoln” was the first of Saint-Gaudens’ statues of Lincoln. He received the commission for this monument in 1884 and began work the following year. Lincoln had made quite an impression on Saint-Gaudens when he saw Lincoln in 1860 . “Lincoln stood tall in the carriage, his dark uncovered head bent in contemplative acknowledgement of the waiting people, and the Continue Reading

Shakespeare in Chicago

 Posted by on July 16, 2016
Jul 162016
 
Shakespeare in Chicago

N. Lincoln Parkway West and W. Belden Avenue Chicago According to the Chicago Parks Department: “When Samuel Johnston, a successful north side businessman, died in 1886, he left a sizeable gift in his will for several charities as well as money for a memorial to William Shakespeare in Lincoln Park. A competition was held to select a sculptor. The winner was a Columbia University graduate, William Ordway Partridge (1861–1930), who had studied sculpture in France and Italy after a short stint as an actor. This commission presented a unique challenge for Partridge since the only known portraits of William Shakespeare Continue Reading

Eli Bates Fountain

 Posted by on July 15, 2016
Jul 152016
 
Eli Bates Fountain

This whimsical fountain is known as both the Eli Bates Fountain and “Storks at Play”. Eli Bates was a Chicago lumberman who died in 1881. He bequeathed a fund for the commission of Standing Lincoln, also by Saint-Gaudens, and this fountain, both to be placed in Lincoln Park. Installed in 1887 it was a joint collaboration between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his student Frederick W. MacMonnies The figures for the fountain were cast by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company of New York. Augustus Saint-Gaudens has been in this site before, you can read about him here. In 1880 MacMonnies began an apprenticeship Continue Reading

Columbus Circle

 Posted by on July 14, 2016
Jul 142016
 
Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle In front of Union Station Washington D.C. The fountain, which was co-created by Lorado Taft and architect Daniel Burnham, was influenced by a fountain designed by Frederick MacMonnies that was displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. MacMonnies work depicted a figure of Columbia sitting on a ship with a figure of Fame standing on a ship prow holding a trumpet and a representational figure of Time dominating the stern. With this sculpture Lorado Taft has Columbus standing, arms crossed, facing the Capitol. He is flanked by an American Indian, representing the “New World” facing Continue Reading

Fountain of Time

 Posted by on July 11, 2016
Jul 112016
 
Fountain of Time

6000 Cottage Grove Avenue Chicago, Illinois Fountain of Time, or simply Time, is a 126 foot long sculpture by Lorado Taft, within Washington Park in Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture was inspired by Henry Austin Dobson’s poem, “Paradox of Time”. “Time goes, you say? Ah no, Alas, time stays, we go”. The sculpture includes Father Time, hooded and carrying a scythe. He watches over a parade of 100 figures showing humanity at various stages of life.   Although most of the figures are generic Taft included himself, with one of his assistants following him, along the west side of the sculpture. He is Continue Reading

Fountain of the Great Lakes

 Posted by on July 9, 2016
Jul 092016
 
Fountain of the Great Lakes

Nichols Bridgeway Off E. Jackson and South Michigan Avenue Chicago Fountain of the Great Lakes or Spirit of the Great Lakes Fountain is an allegorical sculpture by Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The fountain was moved to this spot in the 1960s. Created between 1907-1913, the bronze fountain depicts five women arranged so that the water flows through them in the same way water passes through the Great Lakes. The fountain is Taft’s response to Daniel Burnham’s complaint at the Columbian Exposition in 1893 that the sculptors charged with ornamenting the fairgrounds failed to produce anything that Continue Reading

Eternal Silence

 Posted by on July 9, 2016
Jul 092016
 
Eternal Silence

  The Eternal Silence, (also called Eternal Silence or Statue of Death)  marks the grave of Dexter Graves, who led a group of thirteen families that moved from Ohio to Chicago in 1831, making them some of Chicago’s earliest settlers. Graves died in 1844, seventy-five years before the creation of the statue, and sixteen years before Graceland Cemetery was founded; his body was presumably moved to Graceland from the old City Cemetery.  The funds for the monument were provided in the will of his son, Henry, who died in 1907. The will provided $250,000 for a Graves family mausoleum, they received the Continue Reading

Adam’s Memorial

 Posted by on July 9, 2016
Jul 092016
 
Adam's Memorial

Section E Rock Creek Cemetery Washington D.C. I visit the Adams Memorial whenever I am in Washington D.C. This hauntingly beautiful sculpture is one I can never tire of.  It is by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The Smithsonian probably writes about it best: Marion Hooper “Clover” Adams, wife of the writer Henry Adams, committed suicide in 1885 by drinking chemicals used to develop photographs. Adams, who steadfastly refused to discuss his wife’s death, commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create a memorial that would express the Buddhist idea of nirvana, a state of being beyond joy and sorrow. In Adams’s circle of artists Continue Reading

Clara Porset

 Posted by on July 7, 2016
Jul 072016
 
Clara Porset

Nespresso is running an ad for Cuban Coffee. On Sunday June 26, 2016, they took out a full page ad using Hemingway’s home in Havana as the perfect backdrop. There in the photo were two exquisite Clara Porset chairs. I thought it time to talk about her. Clara María del Carmen Magdalena Porset y Dumás was born in Matanzas, Cuba on May 25, 1895. Born into wealth she had the luxury to be educated in New York at Columbia University’s School of Fine Arts, as well as in Paris, where she attended classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the Continue Reading

Casa de Velazquez

 Posted by on July 7, 2016
Jul 072016
 
Casa de Velazquez

Parque Cespedes Santiago de Cuba Diego Valazquez was the first governor of Cuba.  He was a cruel despot by all accounts, but his home, built in 1515 still stands as the oldest colonial-era house on the island. The home is of the Mudéjar style (or Hispanic-Moorish).  This style is characterized by its balconies, carved ceilings and the intricate geometric patterns found in the tile, metalwork and even the furniture. The one outstanding characteristic of the Velazquez house are its celosos.  They greet you at the front door, covering the second floor balcony, and then are found throughout the house screening Continue Reading

Parque del Ajedrez or Chess Park

 Posted by on July 6, 2016
Jul 062016
 
Parque del Ajedrez or Chess Park

Santo Tomás and Enramada Streets Santiago de Cuba This small corner park was designed by American architect Walter Betancourt. Betancourt was born in 1932 in New York, son of Cuban parents that had escaped to Florida during the Cuban War for Independence. As a child of Cubans, Betancourt vacationed often in Cuba. After graduating with a degree in Architecture in 1956 from the University of Virginia, Betancourt entered the US Navy where he served, coincidentally enough, at Guantanamo.  Significantly, Betancourt was in Cuba during the July 26th coup attempt on the Moncada Barracks by Fidel Castro. After leaving the military Betancourt moved Continue Reading

The Mosaics of the Marquette

 Posted by on June 23, 2016
Jun 232016
 
The Mosaics of the Marquette

The Marquette Building 140 South Dearborn Chicago This spectacular, and difficult to photograph, mosaic is in the rotund of the Marquette building.  Designed by J.A. Holler of the Tiffany Company it depicts the Mississippi voyage of Louis Jolliet and Father Marquette. Louis Tiffany was the son of jeweler Charles Tiffany. His career took off after the display of his mosaics in the chapel at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, also known as the Worlds Fair in Chicago. Jacob Adolph Holzer was a Swiss artist who worked for Tiffany as chief designer and art director,  he was responsible for the design and execution Continue Reading