Thursday, August 28, 2014

[work] days

even though iv'e been out of school for eight years, the school calendar is still ingrained in me.  late august always gives me the sense i should be starting something. the collage of "back to school" photos on my facebook feed only strengthens this feeling.  shorter days reminding me summer activities are coming to an end elude to the start of something new.  what? i don't know, but isn't that point of a new school year? you have no idea what to expect.  to capture this feeling, last week i took my own version of "the first days of school" pic and if my rusty math skills are correct, i'm entering the 28th grade.  so outside my classroom, my office, i posed in business casual attire along with the only school supply i seem to need these days, a hot cup of coffee.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

seer[sucker] for the east coast

last weekend found me vacationing on the east coast.  every picture i took reminded me of home. a field of blue sea reminded me of amber waves of grain; a silhouette of a lighthouse along the shore, a silo standing solitary against a mid western sky. tug boats and ferry's hard a work mimicked tractors and combines doing the same. seagulls were meadowlarks and wooden beach fences, limestone posts. even the seersucker jacket i wore reminded me of the pillow ticking on the back of an old quilt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

creativity is [contagious]

i'm fascinated by origami. something about creating a self supporting structure from a single piece of paper is so intriguing to me. creased folds serving two purposes; giving a flat 2d piece of paper strength to become three dimensional, while at the same time creating beautifully abstract pieces of art.  it's no stretch to the imagination why an architect would be captivated by this ancient art.

in my spare time i've been dabbling with a few easy sculptures. paper normally sent to the recycle bin have slowly, and through the use of youtube videos, become a swan, a crow and a crow sans tail i think looks like a penguin. believing you should always surround yourself with inspiration, i've kept these little sculptures a my office desk.

apparently, i'm not the only one to find inspiration in them....

when i walked into work today i found another tiny sculpture in the collection. next to the swan, crow, and penguin, was in incredibly intricate paper dragon.  i was beyond baffled until i saw the dragon was standing on a post it note.  i picked up the note and read it;

"liked your origami. thought you would like this - luke (cleaning crew)

as you can imagine, i was beyond impressed. i was completely fascinated someone i never met or had interaction with, took the time to create this beautiful piece of art. not only was i inspired at his craft, i was incredibly thankful he decided to share it.

luke gave me a reminder today.  always keep your eye out for inspiration, and when you find it, share it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

hidden in [plane] sight

this weekend found me and my girlfriend visiting the kansas aviation museum. it had been five years since i had visited and i was excited to see it again.

planes are exciting in their own right, however being an architect found me studying more of the building than the biplanes. walking around i noticed architectural details i hadn't noticed before; aviation related design was embeded everywhere.  there were references to air travel in the hand painted ceiling stenciling, the metal work, masonry, and terrazzo floors.  it was almost like the "hidden mickey's" at disneyland.  not only did this little "hidden airplane" game enrich the museum experience, but it gave me an overwhelming appreciation for the architecture of the past.  i couldn't help but acknowledge the time, consideration, design and craft the architects put in this structure; now being appreciated long after the buildings original use had ended....beautiful details now enhancing the building as it houses a new use as the kansas aviation museum.

Monday, July 14, 2014

lord of the [bachelors]

bachelor parties should be as unique as the bachelor they're intended to celebrate, and my buddy tim's couldn't have fit him better.  the best man secured a large house on the shores of the lake of the ozarks for 15 of us to enjoy a long weekend.  time was spent fishing, grilling, floating, watching soccer and of course drinking. for the most part we all lived like complete bachelors for a few days have no contact with the outside world.  most of us spent the majority of the time covered in a mix of sunscreen and bbq sauce, using the lake to rinse off occasionally.  meals consisted of grilled meat of all shapes and forms and beer.  with this group of hob heads we probably had the best selection of beer on the lake, and as much as we hate to admit it, the occasional "mangarita" thrown in for variety.  the only thing missing was a conch shell. 

all in all it was a perfect way to send tim, a guy who loves the company of his brothers and friends, off to get married.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

manmade [conections]

what is it about bridges that makes them so intriguing?

i think there are several reasons, ranging from simple reasons like "they're cool" to the more philosophical like "it's a physical connection between two places nature separated."

i just think they photograph really well.  here are some shots of the lake overholser bridge near oklahoma city.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

what [gear] in history

by some strange series of events, the wonderful people in charge of the wichita riverfest asked me to lead an architectural bike tour last saturday.

i agreed, i mean, why not? i've lived downtown for the past eight years! how hard could it be to talk about a bunch of buildings in front of people?  

i knew some stuff.....


the more i thought about it, the more i realized my "stuff" wasn't exactly what you'd call "facts." i couldn't "bs" the wonderful people on the tour. by some fluke i had been placed in a role where people might actually believe what i say, a position i was not familiar with.  thankfully we live in a modern world with access to the wonderful information available on the internet.  a glorious place where even the most inane mind, can appear wise.

the days before the tour found me scouring the net, searching for details, facts and stories on some of my favorite buildings downtown. between information from the kansas historical registry and some fascinating articles by local historian michael carmody, i was able to piece together enough information to not look like an architectural ass.  thankfully the tour went we'll, and those who rode their bikes down douglas last saturday seemed to enjoy it.

finding all this information fascinating, i wanted to share the few facts i've learned about some of the architecture of our city.  i hope you enjoy!

also, if you have history to correct or add to any of these buildings, please feel free to comment!

broadview hotel
year: 1921
architect: Ed Forsblom
style: ?
notes: named the "broad view" because of the broad view it offered of wichita.  the basement held a speakeasy which could hold 600 people.

century II
year: 1969
architect: john hickman and roy k. varenhorst - both apprentice's to frank lloyd write
style: usonion?
notes: color and shape of pillars meant to mimic wheat stalks and fields. blue doomed roof meant to mimic the vast sky over the prairie

central library
year: 1967
architect: schaefer, schirmer and eflin
style: brutilist
notes: one of only a few buildings in kansas to have won a national award - an aia merit award for library design 1968

wichita city hall
year: 1892
architect: proudfoot and bird
style: romanesque

carnegie library
year: 1915
architect: crowell anthony allair
style: beaux arts
notes: the cities library until the new central library was built across the street

kress building
year: 1929
architect: g.f. mackay
style: gothic revival
notes: one of many kress buildings around the country

caldwell murdock building
year: 1908
style: early modernism
notes: wichita's first building with a steel structure, making it the cities first "skyscraper." also the tallest building in the city when it was built. built by louise caldwell-murdock in memory of her husband.

douglas building (ambassador hotel)
year: 1926
architect: vizthum and burns
style: chicago school
notes: site of the 1958 dockum sit-in 

fourth financial center (bank of america center)
year: 1974
architect: skidmore, owings and merrill
style: modern
notes: the large reinforced concrete pylons house the fire stairs as well as mechanical and electrical systems.

eaton hotel
year: 1887
architect: terry and dumont
style: late victorian/ 2nd empire
notes: in 1900 carrie nation took and axe to the hotel bar

union station
architect: louis s. curtiss
style: beaux arts

keen cuter building (hotel oldtown)
architect: mauran,  russell and garden
style: warehouse

year: 1922
architect: john eberson
notes: atmospheric theatre

scottish rite building
year: 1887
architect: proudfoot and bird
style: romanesque
notes: original ymca