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Arches 140#CP

 

I rarely believed retired folks when they said that they became so busy after retirement that they didn't know when they had time to work ... well, I'm singing a different song now. Either I'm slowing down significantly, finding more to do, or am more distracted - but the days seems to whiz by in a blur of motion, and I fall into bed each night and think "where did the time go!" Perhaps it's a bit of all of that that has me as busy as I was before, though I've exchanged 'work' obligations for home and family obligations. I'm finally spending a bit more time with my grands, getting some VERY much needed things done in and around the house, and my social life has picked up too. All good things -- and I have to admit, busier than I had anticipated in any of my retirement imaginings.

 

I painted this 'splash and splatter' simply for the colors .... I hadn't worked on a S&S for a while - the method I enjoy when I want to focus and find something recognizable from a page of freely tossed water and paint. I find the method relaxing, challenging and fun ... and so, anemones...

 

My garden tomatoes have gone gangbusters -- but the 5 vines I have are all the salad type tomatoes - especially Juliets and cherries. I have found over the years that the Juliets (those 2" grape shaped tomatoes) to be the very best for surviving North Carolina's extreme summer heat and humidity and most of all, semi-drought conditions. These last two weeks, we've had significant rain, and the vines are now over the porch rail making picking a challenge - it's like finding the jewels in the jungle ....

 

I've been dehydrating some tomatoes and mostly enjoying a simple meal of tomatoes and onions sauteed in butter and olive oil, flavored with basil, and served over spaghetti. My summertime favorite for a quick, light, easy to fix dinner or lunch.

 

We matted a few more paintings this weekend for an upcoming festival in August - a one-day event at one of my favorite retail nurseries. This is a first time event for them as well as for me, so we'll see how it goes.

 

I hope you have a super week!!!

Wise retail is a company which develops software solutions for different companies. It offers services like vendor management system, pos software, crm software etc and helps to grow your business.

Proxy Falls taken with my Holga last Fall on the same day as this other shot captured with my Pentax 6x7.

 

Working retail as I do, I deal with a lot of different types of customers, most of those I sell cameras to though are students, relative newcomers when it comes to purchasing cameras. As such, a lot of what I do over the counter involves educating as well as selling. Or put another way, re-educating.

 

See, many people operate under a fair number of misconceptions when it comes to photography, and I want to take a bit of time tonight to combat one of them in particular; in order to take professional quality photographs you need professional quality cameras.

 

Frankly, if the person selling you a camera tells you this, it really means they are just trying to sell you something more expensive, that and they are probably paid on commission. And they would probably auction off a family member for the right price.

 

I know, many you already realize this is bogus thinking, nonetheless many of us succumb to it. There is something reassuring in knowing your camera has a price tag to rival your social security number. I mean, come on, if you have to skip two mortgage payments how can that camera NOT be good right? Well chances are it is a good camera. Doesn't mean it is the right camera for you though.

 

And I guess it all depends on how we define good. Oh boy, that is a topic that requires about three hours and four beers...

 

I always stress that it is how you USE the camera, not the camera itself that makes the most difference and I stand by that. If I sound like a broken record at times, it is merely because it is true and a very valuable lesson to learn. It is one of the things I try to demonstrate with my stream. I shoot five main cameras, though I cycle in others here and there. My main 35mm is my Nikon FM2n. In the store I work at, this camera costs $200 in perfect working order with a warranty. That $200 buys me a camera that will last for decades, will cost about $120 to refurbish when it wears out every 10-15 years or so and will stay in the family my entire life unless I drop it in the ocean as I seem to be more than capable of doing. Plus it takes images that are incredibly sharp and can be printed as large as 24x36 with a fairly high degree of quality. Sure I could have bought an F3 ($300-400), an F4 ($400), an F5 ($500) or an F6 ($1000 or more). Heck the F6 is the latest and greatest film camera out there. It does everything except sweep the kitchen floor. I have shot it, everytime you press the shutter it sounds like the camera is silkily whispering "damn fine shot". Then again, with the same lenses it will take the exact same quality image as my FM2. And sure, it is whiz-bang, but then again pretty much every automatic feature on cameras these days can be duplicated manually. These cameras don't allow you to do things less expensive and sophisticated cameras won't, they generally just tend to make those things quicker and easier. That is what all that extra money tends to buy you, speed and convenience, not necessarily better quality. More on that possibly in a bit.

 

My second camera, also my main landscape camera these days, is my Pentax 67. This was once a top of the line medium format camera. It produces large 6x7cm negatives with detail and resolution that still blow my mind. I would even go so far as to say it produces a higher resolution, sharper image than all but the most expensive of digital cameras can compete with. It also cost me $200. I am on my third one due to two unfortunate accidents. I have spent less than $700 combined on all three.

 

My third is my pinhole, brand new for $250. For those who are familiar with my pinhole images, not much more needs to be said. For those who are not, it is an incredibly interesting camera that captures a perspective unlike most other photography. All without the benefit of a lens, auto-focus, a meter of any kind, not a single gear, wire or circuit. It scoffs if you mention LCD in fact.

 

My fourth, which this image was taken with, is my Holga. $25. No, I am not missing a zero. It is a plastic toy camera that retails for about $25. Certainly not a perfect camera, but then again is there such a thing? No, there isn't. And if the person behind the counter tells you there is, well see the fourth paragraph above. I was down in Yosemite last year browsing the Ansel Adams gallery in the park, and there is a piece by a photographer named Ted Orland. It is an amazing work and though I do not remember the price on it, it was a lot and well worth it. It was taken with a holga.

 

My fifth is my Leica M3, which is a contradiction to the point I am trying to make, that camera sold for about $700. Though these days, that is about average for most DSLRs. Though honestly it is more of a specialty camera for me and of all the cameras listed above, is one of the ones that gets used the least.

 

I am not trying to trumpet my nifty frugalness or impress upon you my ability to not irrationally and impulsively spend my camera budget. The point I am trying to make is that it has always been, and always will be good photographers behind cameras that make good images. Note I have not attached any adjective to cameras, because none needs to be. To be blunt, a photographer is either skilled at what they do, or they are not, or they are somewhere in between hopefully moving towards the former and not the latter. A camera will not change this, though it may seem like it does. And true, cameras can help us see differently, they can help us take different pictures, but that is all they do at the most. Help. We take the pictures, good or bad, and it can be done on all cameras, expensive or not.

 

Buying the best camera is very very very rarely buying the more expensive camera. Rather it is a moderately tricky process of figuring out what you want to do as a photographer and buying the camera that is the best fit. Want to take odd, alternative artsy photos? Buy a holga, a lomo or a fish eye. Photojournalism? Then you probably want a rugged DSLR. Landscape with the intent to make murals? Medium or large format. Do you want something lightweight? You will want to buy a plastic camera (which will also break on you in a matter of a few years). Do you prefer a heavy and rugged camera for backpacking? Go with one of the SLRs of the 60s or 70s like a Minolta SRT or Pentax K1000. Want to try out medium format on a budget? Get a twin lens. A top notch Yashica Mat 124G can be found for $250 or less.

 

There are options, sometimes a seemingly overwhelming number of them. Start with yourself. Figure out what you need in a camera (much less than you might think). Plan how and where you will use a camera. Make a list and stick to it. Otherwise you are just going to be paying for a number of features you never actually get around to using. Expensive is not always the answer, but then again neither is cheap. It really revolves around your needs. You are matching a camera to yourself, not the other way around.

 

Anyway, hope that is somewhat intelligible. And hope you enjoy the photo. I find it interesting to compare the two images, both medium format, but one shot through a high end glass lens, the other a toy plastic camera. I like them both, a lot. And both are very different images taken from almost the exact same spot. That too is the beauty of different cameras, they allow photographers to realize different visions. Just remember, photography begins and ends with living, breathing human beings. Cameras are just means to that end.

  

This beautifully decrepit structure is the former Skate Arena.

 

Built as an open outdoor theater in 1920, the building at the time was initially name Red Hill Picture Pops Theatre before a roof was built in 1927 when it was renamed the State Theatre. Architect Reupert T. Erskine and builder W Tinnerman were responsible for these 1927 alterations. This structure operated as a theatre until 1964 when it was converted into a sound lounge by the name Teen City in which artists such as Little Pattie, Col Joy and the BeeGees played. Teen City's life didn't last very long as it was in 1965 when the the former theatre/sound lounge became the Red Hill Skate Arena.

 

The Red Hill Skate Arena was Brisbane's most popular cultural hubs at the time for decades and served the surrounding community a thorough purpose in recreational activities until skating culture phased out in the late 1990's. Following its closure around this time, the Skate Arena sat idle and unused. Pending a development application in the early 2000's it was in fact Boxing Day - the 26th of December 2002 - when the Skate Arena suffered a "mysterious" arson attack which led to the Skate Arena's eventual demise, where it now suffers a life of abandonment exposed to graffiti vandal's and the harsh hand of Mother Nature.

 

Its new owners face the challenge of selling the location to have the structure restored into a multi-use commercial building consisting of retail, restaurants, cafe's etc however due to noise pollution, parking restrictions etc the development application has been rejected time and time again by Red Hill residents.

 

The Red Hill Skate Arena sits neglected and unloved, lacking the community embrace and purpose as it once did. A place where life long friends and life long lovers met one another now rots in the rain being damaged by disrespectful vandals.

 

In 2016 and 2017, as a part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival it appears the Skate Arena was given a facelift by street artist Drapl. Drapl's works can be seen on his facebook page here:

 

www.facebook.com/DRAPLART/

 

Significance:

 

✓✓ Criteria A

 

It is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the City's or local area's history

for the evidence it provides of the development of popular forms of entertainment in Brisbane throughout the twentieth century including cinema going, roller-skating and live pop music.

 

✓✓ Criteria B

 

It demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of the City's or local area's cultural heritage

as a rare example of a former 1920s cinema and 1960s skating rink in Brisbane.

 

✓✓ Criteria D

 

It is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural places

as a rare example of a former 1920s cinema and 1960s skating rink in Brisbane.

 

✓✓ Criteria G

 

It has a strong or special association with the life or work of a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons

for its social significance over a period of 80 years to several generations of the local community who have enjoyed recreational pursuits on the premises.

 

Source: Brisbane City Council Heritage Register.

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Hollywood Is Addicted to Politics – National Review

 

Los Angeles — “Black Range Rover!” calls the parking valet at Soho House in West Hollywood, and a row of tanned and unlined and well-tended faces with practiced, thoughtful, I’m-listening-to-you-really-listening-not-just-waiting-for-my-turn-to-talk expressions on them pop up and prairie-dog over the tops of their iPhones and squint, because this is a place where a lot of people drive a lot of black Range Rovers, and nobody is sure which is whose.

 

Hollywood has outgrown its red-car years and embraced its black Range Rovers, its muted grey German sedans backed up bumper to bumper on Westlake Boulevard, its conscience-clearing Teslas and — if you must have a little flash — BMW i8 hybrids. It has sworn off the late nights and the cocaine and the sort of sexual promiscuity that once made Warren Beatty feel obliged to issue a public denial of a report that he had slept with 12,775 women (“That would mean that there was no repetition!” he scoffed), and not only the celebrities but also the operators and middle managers and creatives and money-runners of the entertainment world have taken up politics and yoga (two young women waiting for their cars debate the merits of the various styles of yoga offered at the local $200-an-hour spots, kundalini vs. set-and-flow, Bikram having become both passé and, as one insists, sexist) and early meetings and politics and clean living and politics and the endless endless rows of juice bars down Hollywood Boulevard.

 

“You really need to think about whether your yoga practice is feminist,” one young lady scolds the other.

 

The bars host only a few sad Hard Rock Cafe–type Eighties-holdover tourists in Guns N’ Roses T-shirts who probably would be having a better time in Vegas, and one of Larry Flynt’s Hustler retail outlets is located next to a diabetes clinic, which seems apt enough, but the juiceries are jam-packed full of the same class of people you run into at Soho House, people who can really pull off that elegantly understated Californian thing, sober and gentle and groomed and clean and giving the impression that they were raised on diets of kale and heirloom tomatoes and cold-pressed beard oil and self-esteem, people who would never participate in baroque tax-evasion schemes (Return of the Jedi has never made a profit . . . for tax purposes) or trade sex for professional advancement or quietly tolerate the rape of children by powerful filmmakers or–

 

“Black Range Rover!” Scuffle, scuffle, scuffle, the Hermès sneakers shuffle.

 

Hey. Is that Lenny Kravitz?

 

Warren Beatty’s Hollywood is gone, and politics is the new cocaine.

 

The characteristic activity of Hollywood isn’t making movies. It is having lunch. “I want to give you a real Hollywood experience,” says my host, a longtime entertainment-industry observer. Soho House, a private club owned by Ron Burkle, is, like all establishments in Hollywood, judged by who is there, and judged maybe even more significantly by who is not here: “The horror of every establishment in town is being overrun by agents,” my host says. Soho House isn’t expensive, but they don’t have to let everybody in, either, and the club relishes the vague and opaque membership requirements that keep certain powerful executives out while their junior colleagues and nebulously employed creative types get in. Etiquette is an issue: Like most such clubs, it has rules about where you can use a telephone or do work. In deference to its celebrity members, the club has a strict rule against photography.

 

A private club for businessmen doing business while pretending not to do business: Hollywood has grown so bourgeois that it has reinvented the Union League.

 

“The thing you have to understand is the extent to which politics has come to dominate social life here,” says my lunch companion. “This isn’t a night-life city anymore. You’re expected to attend breakfast meetings. You’re not up late partying. And politics fills that role. You go to fundraisers and dinners. It has become central to how you live here now.” Constant politics means the constant use of politics for status-seeking, showing oneself to be the most sensitive, insightful, confrontational, etc. Everyone appreciates how well Meryl Streep’s political grandstanding at the Golden Globes went over. Harvey Weinstein took out a cynical ad in his Oscar campaign for Lion lamenting that, if Donald Trump has his way, child actors such as Sunny Pawar, star of that film, might not be able to get visas, because obviously what this is all about is the plight of child actors.

 

The ladies next to us ask for tea.

 

Hollywood’s more-clean-and-sober lifestyle has been driven in part by economics. This isn’t a town for people trying to make it — it’s a town for people who have it made. The days of a young dreamer from Iowa getting on a bus and waiting tables while spending a few years going to auditions and waiting for The Break are as dead as Warren Beatty’s chances of ever being asked to present another Academy Award. You can’t afford to do that here now — hell, there are a fair number of working professionals in the entertainment business who can’t really afford to live the Westside life, either. Increasingly, people enter the movie business the way they enter the book-publishing business or journalism: with help from Mom and Dad. “A lot of the people now come from money,” says my host, “and now you’ve got this new thing of people having parents in the business. You’ve always had a Carrie Fisher or two, but now you see a lot of the children of studio executives entering the business.”

 

Going into the family business. Selective clubs. A social calendar dominated by charity fund-raisers and benefits for cultural organizations. Tea with the ladies. You can blame Hollywood’s loopy liberal politics partly on its newly conservative lifestyle.

 

Warren Beatty’s Hollywood is gone, and politics is the new cocaine.

 

Nathan Schields, who runs the Malibu News Stand, has interesting business problems. “Yeah, sometimes customers come in and buy a newspaper and pay with a hundred-dollar bill, and I have to make change. They’ll walk in with this big wad of cash, like five grand, and I’m like, ‘Why do you carry so much cash?’” Schields, unfortunately, isn’t carrying a lot of cash out of the newsstand these days. He seems to be a pretty solid businessman — an older lady stops by and he brings her the cigarettes she’s come in for without even needing to ask — but the print business isn’t what it used to be, and Malibu is not a big reading kind of town. “This is an entertainment town, and we sell a lot of entertainment magazines,” he says, though there has been an uptick in the consumption of political literature since the election of Donald J. Trump, which has shocked and horrified the sort of California liberals who drink tea at Soho House or live in Malibu, and so the Malibu News Stand moves a few more copies of The Nation than it used to, which surely will be good news to Katrina vanden Heuvel when it reaches her in the Hamptons. Schields is all sold out of National Review. “We don’t order very many,” he says, apologetically. “We’re pretty liberal here.”

 

Schields has set up a GoFundMe page to help maintain his little island of literacy in the middle of all that sunbaked vagueness and vacuity, but he has raised only $1,795 of his $30,000 goal. He has four children, and his political views are more or less conventional 21st-century Democratic-party progressivism: He worries about health-insurance costs, and his is one of the families that have done well under the Affordable Care Act. “Our premiums had been going up 20 percent a year,” he says. “It was eventually going to mean not having health insurance.” He worries that whatever Paul Ryan and the gang are cooking up in Congress will put him back on the path toward being priced out of the health-insurance market.

 

Politics is never about policy. Politics is about people, and how we feel about groups of people who are not like us.

 

But politics is never about policy. Politics is about people, and how we feel about groups of people who are not like us. What worries Schields about the Trump movement isn’t what’s going to happen with the tax treatment of carried interest in private-equity partnership, but the people. “I get worried when I see all this bigotry and intolerance, the racism, and the hatred. And I think you’re seeing more of that, now. Trump has empowered that.”

 

Trump represents those people. You know: them.

 

Down the street at the local Starbucks, where a white man with a long and wild sadhu’s beard and a saffron-colored turban (not Rick Rubin) is enjoying an afternoon cappuccino in paradise, an entertainment lawyer and a film investor are less gentle: “He’s a Nazi,” he says of Trump. “Steve Bannon is a Nazi. The people who voted for him are Nazis.”

 

Nazis?

 

Nazis. They are sure of it.

 

The Hollywood Left thinks the Trump element are Nazis, lunatics, haters, foot-washing Bible-thumpers with brown teeth and black hearts, and the Facebook friends of LA County for Donald Trump are here to prove them right.

 

“You suck!”

 

Hollywood, too, can build a wall — a lot of them — practically overnight, and for that Samuel L. Jackson must be grateful as he gives the friends of Trump a slow, ironic wave and a satisfied smile from behind the blocks and blocks of fencing that separate those attending the Academy Awards from those who come to gawk at them.

 

The Friends of Donald wave placards and chant: “Hollywood, stop the hate!”

 

They chant other things, too.

 

“You suck! Your movies suck! You’re boring! You’re all going to hell!” This old guy has been flipping the bird at the arriving celebrities for so long that he has worn himself out. He has now jammed his hand up through the chain-link fence, so he’s kind of hanging there by the wrist, but he is not retracting that middle finger until the last B-lister in the back of a Chevy Tahoe has rolled through.

 

The protesters are ugly and brutish and angry and more or less everything the Hollywood Left believes the Trump element to be, desperately wants them to be, and maybe needs them to be.

 

A bearded foreigner in a snazzy suit and an ivy cap walks by, and a man with an amplified bullhorn begins screaming in his face, maybe four inches away. An elderly woman turns to join in and scream at him: “You want our Christian boys to fight your wars! You want our Christian boys to fight your wars.” She is in a frenzy, and he, an Englishman not used to hostility from Americans, is confused. He is just on his way to help set up an after-party. A woman wearing a hijab comes down the sidewalk. More screaming: “Mohammed was a pedophile! No sharia law! No sharia law!” A young Latino man working at Mel’s Drive-In, wearing a little retro paper counterman’s cap, comes out to see what the ruckus is all about, and the crowd turns on him, too: “Build the wall! Build the wall!”

 

“Dude. I was born here.”

 

Inside the Dolby Theater, the scene is a great deal more subdued. A few political statements are made, with Gael García Bernal insisting that actors, too, are “migrant workers.” The Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi declines to attend. But there is nothing like, say, Marlon Brando’s stunt with Sacheen Littlefeather in 1973. In fact, with the exception of Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue, no one even deigns to speak Trump’s name. But he is there in spirit, and part of what he stands for is outside, chanting and making obscene gestures, angry and vulgar and full of resentment.

 

Them. Those people.

 

And while President Trump talks a great deal about “winning” while his Hollywood critics talk a great deal about their concern for the struggling and downtrodden, it is obvious which side here represents the people who have won in life and which represents life’s losers.

 

Sure, your yoga practice is feminist. But is it feminist enough?

 

— Kevin D. Williamson is National Review’s roving correspondent. This article first appeared in the March 20, 2017, issue of National Review.

 

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City of Almere and MVRDV present Vision 2030

(Almere, June 26, 2009) Dutch new town Almere plans to grow with 60,000 houses, 100,000 working places and all related facilities. By this Almere will grow into the fifth city of the Netherlands in an effort to relief and to offer qualities to the urbanised west of the Netherlands. MVRDV was commissioned to collaborate with the city to design a concept structure vision to accommodate this growth. The growth will take place in four main areas: Almere IJ-land, a new island off the coast in the IJ-lake, Almere Pampus, a neighbourhood focussed on the lake and open to experimental housing, Almere Centre, an extended city centre surrounding the central lake, and Oosterwold, an area devoted to more rural and organic urbanism. Together the proposals form the new framework to accompany the growth of the city until 2030. Together with the entire board of city councilors and the mayor, Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere and Winy Maas of MVRDV, presented the concept structure vision to the ministers of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (V&W), Camiel Eurlings and minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, Jacqueline Cramer (VROM) on June 26th. The design of IJland has been a collaboration with Adriaan Geuze of West8 and William McDonough of McDonough and Partners.

 

“The structure vision for Almere is more than an urban masterplan…” said Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere, “…it describes how the city can develop in economic, cultural and social terms. The expansion is not a quantitative effort. Even though the number of 60,000 new homes is impressive, the main objective is the addition of new qualities. Almere wants to serve the demand of the Randstad and at the same time needs the chance to develop into an ecologic, social and economically sustainable city”.

 

The Axis: Nowadays Almere is a city with 185,000 inhabitants, 30 years ago it was an empty stretch of land reclaimed from the sea. The growth will preserve and further expand Almere’s model of a poly-nuclear city. It will diversify the existing city by adding various densities, programs and characters that do not exist yet is the current situation,

The vision consists of four major development areas, each with their own character, logic and identity. These new area developments are connected by an infrastructural axis which connects the metropolitan area of Amsterdam with Almere. Between the two cities the Almere IJ-land (referring to IJ-lake) is a connector, literally as well as in economical and cultural perspective. The axis then leads to Almere Pampus, the Centre of Almere and Oosterwold in the east and will in the future be continued to connect Utrecht.

 

Almere IJ-land: Together with West 8 and William McDonough, MVRDV worked on the unique opportunity to design a series of urban and nature reserve islands. The new rail connection to Amsterdam and a needed ecological intervention in the IJ-lake offered the potential to propose the creation of a living area with 5,000 up to 10,000 homes, combined with this nature development. IJ-land combines ecological and infrastructural interventions with the possibility to live and work in a natural riparian environment. The island could also be part of the possible Dutch bid for the 2028 Olympic Games.

 

Almere Pampus: This area will combine the feeling of a coastal town with high density and make room for 20,000 homes, all streets are all leading to the boulevard at the lake. The existing maintenance harbour will be reused for leisure and floating villages. There will be a new train station with a plaza at the coast.

 

Almere Centre: The current centre will grow and extend to the southbank of the Weerwater , turning the central lake into the Weerwater-park and becoming in time the cultural and economical heart of the city. On the junction of the new axis, a motorway and the rail connection the motorway will be covered which makes it possible to develop up to 5,000 homes, offices and public amenities. The central station will be developed into an economical hub and will be surrounded with new program.

 

Almere Oosterwold: This large area in the east offers room for up to 18,000 new homes and a variety of functions such as business and retail centres. It will be developed following individual and collective initiatives, from small scale to large scale, with plots that are always surrounded by nature development, urban agriculture or local parks. The area will reserve areas for future development after 2030.

 

The vision 2030 is not a blueprint but a flexible development strategy. Duivesteijn: “It is a framework which can be filled in by the people of the city. By remaining flexible we create possibilities to adjust the plans to future opportunities.” Almere wants to develop according to this structure vision in order to become an ecological, social and economically sustainable city. For this large investments in infrastructure are needed to connect the city with in future 350,000 inhabitants to its surroundings and to Amsterdam

 

Winy Maas will remain involved in the further development of the concept structure vision in a supervising role. MVRDV has a long history of engagement with Almere: Earlier projects included two studies on new ways of organic urban development for Almere Hout and Almere Homeruskwartier, a study for the A6 Boulevard and the study for Pampus harbour, a neighbourhood of 500 floating dwellings. MVRDV’s Jacob van Rijs currently works on part of Olympiakwartier, a dense urban district of in total 220.000m2 mix use with public facilities.

 

Enterprise@Lincoln part of the campus of University of Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

 

The University of Lincoln developed from a number of educational institutions in Hull including the Hull School of Art (1861), the Hull Technical Institute (1893), the Roman Catholic teacher-training Endsleigh College (1905), the Hull Central College of Commerce (1930), and Kingston upon Hull College of Education (1913). These institutions merged in 1976 to form Hull College of Higher Education, with a change of name to Humberside College of Higher Education in 1983 when it absorbed several courses in fishing, food and manufacturing based in Grimsby.

 

In 1992 it was one of the many institutions in the UK to become full universities as, briefly, the University of Humberside, growing to 13,000 students by 1993.

 

The cathedral city of Lincoln was without its own university, so the University of Humberside was approached to develop a new campus to the south west of the city centre, overlooking the Brayford Pool. The University was renamed the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside in January 1996, taking in its first 500 Lincoln students in September 1996, intending to grow to about 4,000 Lincoln based students within four years.

 

Opened by Queen Elizabeth II, the University's main campus in Lincoln was the first new city centre campus to be built in the UK for decades. More than £150 million has been invested in the Brayford Pool campus, transforming a city centre brownfield site, revitalising the area and attracting investment from the retail, leisure and property sectors. Economists estimate that the University has created at least 3,000 new jobs within Lincoln and that it generates more than £250 million every year for the local economy – doubling previous local economic growth rates.

 

The consolidation involved the University acquiring Leicester-based De Montfort University's schools in Lincolnshire: the Lincoln School of Art and Design in uphill Lincoln, and the Lincolnshire School of Agriculture's sites at Riseholme, Caythorpe and Holbeach. Caythorpe was later closed permanently and its activities moved to Riseholme. Courses held in Grimsby were also moved to Lincoln around this time.

 

In 2012 all Further Education provision was transferred from Riseholme College to Bishop Burton College. Bishop Burton College are now responsible for the Riseholme College to the north of the city.

 

Throughout the late-1990s, the University's sites in Hull were considerably scaled down as the focus shifted towards Lincoln. In 2001 this process was taken a step further when the decision was made to move the administrative headquarters and management to Lincoln and to sell the Cottingham Road campus in Hull, the former main campus, to its neighbour, the University of Hull; the site is now the home of the Hull York Medical School. Until 2012 the University maintained a smaller campus, the Derek Crothall Building, in Hull city centre. A smaller campus and student halls on Beverley Road, Hull, were also sold for redevelopment.

 

When I immigrated to Canada at the age of 17 I went through a culture shock. The most differences between the Canadian society and the Iraqi society are the lack of commitment, and how lightly love is treated here. I first came to realize that commitment is not highly valued here at my first summer job: people simply didn't care about the company, the products they were producing, their co-workers, or the owners—they only wanted their pay checks. I don't even want to start talking about love here, because I don't know where to start and where to end! I just want to make one comment about love:

 

Love is not only a feeling, if it was our Lord Jesus Christ wouldn't command us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Because when was the last time you felt love towards your enemy? So love is also a commitment: while a feeling is something you can't control, a commitment you certainly can. It is after you make the commitment to pray and do good to your enemies that the feeling of love may come.

 

I remember while I was new in Canada I watched on a Judge Judy show a woman suing her common-law husband who is 25 years old because he does not work or help her around the house because he only plays video games with his friends, while she takes care of their 2 children. I had to laugh when I heard that, as I was new to this concept of a 25 years old man who does nothing with his life but play video games! Then around that time I heard in the morning news that a man was wanted in a drive-by shooting related to gang wars, and they said he was 35 years old! I was very shocked to find out that a 35 years old man is still in a gang and he goes around shooting people! It took me few years to figure out what is going on to a high percentage of people here: people (both males and females, but it seems males have a higher percentage) seem to go through infancy, childhood, adolescence, but have such a hard time passing into adulthood. Let me give you an example:

 

Boys in Iraq when they grow up they are constantly reminded that one day they are going to be men. For example, when my brother-in-law (who is from Egypt) goes to do a business deal he takes my 6 years old nephew with him because he wants his son to see that life is not all playing and that it requires seriousness and responsibility. And we are also told to keep our word—that is if we say something we stick by it. Because Iraq is a cultural society a man's worth is valued by how he values his own words. Let's say a man promises his neighbour to help him fix his car in the evening. If evening comes and the man doesn't show up then he cannot be trusted, if he cannot be trusted then he is not dependable, which mean his services will not be required, and if you are not needed in the society then you are not important. This idea here is almost non-existing. At university for example students are constantly being formed into groups of about 5 people and have to work as a group to get a project done. It is almost always that one group member or more either doesn't show up to a meeting, or is late, or has not done his or her part. Many have no feelings of responsibility or commitment. Yet, those same students are expected to graduate in a year or so and become leaders of families and our society!

 

The problem lies in that most people live here by preference rather than convictions. Their thoughts pattern usually goes like this: I feel like it therefore I will do it, or I don't feel like it therefore I won't do it. People live by preferences when they are selfish and self centred. But living by convictions and commitments requires selflessness and sacrifice. And as Christians it is essential that we keep our words and promises. Because if we desire to be like our Lord then we have to be trustworthy, faithful, selfless, and committed like Him. It is essential that we live by convictions.

 

Imagine marriage run by feelings alone? Who feels like taking the garbage out? Who feels like changing diapers? Who feels like waking up 3 times a night to a crying child? Who feels like paying the mortgage? Who feels in love the same with their spouse after 30 years?

 

Another problem people face here is that at such a young age they engage in sexual immorality, and associate love with it, and experience rejection. If a person has had multiple sex partners by the time they are 20 years old, what value does marriage, love, or commitment have to them anymore? That's why it is so important that Christians raise their children on Biblical principles and enforce those principles.

 

I am not saying that in Iraq people don't break their promises, and people in Canada are not trustworthy, all I am saying is that the percentage of people who are untrustworthy, take love easily, and don't value commitment is much higher here. And I am not saying that if you promise something you have to always keep it. If you promise in your anger to commit a sin then don't do it. Or if you promise doesn't fit God's will then don't do it. And I am also not saying you should become like a machine living without feelings but by commands alone. The goal here is not to be become a perfectionist or ignore your humanity; the goal here is to be trustworthy, dependable, and not disappoint God and people as long as it depends on you. The idea here is to be a adult (responsible) man or woman.

 

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Few months ago I read in the February 2009 InTouch magazine a story of a Christian man's divorce that really touched me. I cried when I read it because the emotions he expressed were so true of a rejected, fooled, deceived, mistreated, and disesteemed person. The story reminded me of a movie that was based on a true story of a man committing adultery with his secretary, and then divorcing his completely unsuspecting wife to marry his mistress. The sad part of the story is that he only felt guilty for a while, while she had to live with the feelings of being rejected, unloved, unimportant, deceived, and had to deal with disappointment, shame and labels (because of society), and having no support in raising their sons for many years. On top of that, when holidays came her sons went to spend time with their dad while she stayed home alone. It is amazing how the actions of one person can harm another so greatly. Sometimes we think that the person who does the wrongdoings reaps the consequences for his or her actions immediately, but often times this is not the case and that the victim suffers for much longer. At least that's sometimes true here on earth, but in heaven everything is fair and no time is longer than an eternity in hell.

 

Sometimes people say that it takes two people to ruin a marriage. I don't believe in that: I think it needs only one person to ruin a marriage (of course, it can also take two people). You only need one hand to be missing for you not to be able to clap. Few years ago at work a woman discovered her husband was committing adultery with a co-worker who was 20 years his junior. The wife was very crushed. Then a co-worker told me that her sons say that she doesn't even cook at home. I answered her, "That's non-sense, if he was that hungry he should cook himself, order food, or take them out for dinner. How is food connected to adultery?" It seems that we humans love to blame the victim for the crime, but this doesn't please God.

 

I also know a very godly Iraqi man who loved a girl with all of his heart for 3 years. There was nothing he wouldn't do for her as long as it made her happy and it wasn't a sin. Then one day she told him that she couldn't marry him because he was a construction worker, and even though he made good money he was worth nothing because he doesn't have a degree. He was shocked when he heard her say that to him, because he wanted to marry her! After all those years, money spent and efforts from his part, and all that love, that's what she thought of him? Few months later he heard that she got married to a doctor. Six months later she sent him an e-mail apologizing, asking his forgiveness saying that she still loves him. He wrote her back with the supervision of his pastor and addressing her as "sister" saying that what happened has happened, and he prays for her and her husband, wishes them the best, and that he doesn't want her to contact him anymore because she is a married woman now. Since then I wondered: Why make a mess of your life? Why not value someone who you know in your heart that this person genuinely loves you? And we all know how difficult it is to find someone who loves you unconditionally and is committed to you. Why marry someone for the wrong reasons and regret it later? I want to say this to the ladies reading this:

 

There is nothing more attractive in a woman than knowing she is wise, and have a strong character. (That's why so many men find girls who wear glasses attractive!) It is a beautiful thing in a woman to have an independent character. And by independent I don't mean rebellious or that she doesn't respect other people's thoughts, but I mean to be dependent on God's Word and to know who she is in Him and what His will is and to live a godly life—that she is not easily persuaded to do things. I am saying this because in the Middle Eastern culture and even among many Christians, women seem to be so easily influenced by whatever a man says. When I get married, if it is God's will, I want my wife to have her own character, her own thoughts and to ask, "Is what my husband saying correct? Is it supported Biblically?" And if it is not then I would love for her to correct me. Just as I am supposed to be the man of the house, she is supposed to be my helper, and how can she helps me when she just duplicates my thoughts, and doesn't question my decisions?! Interestingly, the most independent in her thinking godly woman I know is also the best wife I know. The Bible says in Proverbs 31:

 

"{10} A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth far more than rubies.

{11} Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value."

 

[How can a husband have full confidence in his wife if he knows she is easily influenced?]

 

"{13} She selects…. {14} She bringing…. {15} She gets up…she provides…. {16} She considers… she plants…. {17} She sets about her work…. {18} She sees that her trading is profitable…. {19} She holds…. {20} She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy…. {21} She has no fear…. {22} She makes…. {25} She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. {26} She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

 

[This is a woman has an independent mind and a strong character, works hard, and make profitable deals, she is confident and makes wise decisions, and her husband has confidence in her and is respected—that's a godly woman.]

 

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So for few months now I have decided to take a photo to illustrate the pain a man or a woman go through when the wife or the husband commit adultery. And yesterday at university with the help of few classmates I was able to take that photo. The photo is dedicated to William Ryder (whose story is posted below), and all wronged persons out there whose only crime is that they loved so purely that they didn't see evil coming.

 

I hope you like the photo and the writing :)

 

PS: The one thing I don't understand about adultery is how come it is not against the law! I mean, marriage is a contract and both parties agree on its terms and sign it, right? Then how come the breach of this contract is not against the law? I mean, if you do it in business you get sued and have to pay for it. So why is destroying a family, and the lives of the wife or husband, and the children is not punishable by law?

 

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This (unexpected) Life

Surviving the pain of labels and “good intentions”

by William Ryder

 

I will always remember that night with crystal clarity. We had just moved to a new city eleven days earlier to enable Amy, my wife of three years, to begin a Master’s program. Having graduated from seminary ten weeks prior, I was working a retail job while I searched for a church ministry position. Weary from a ten-hour workday framed by a one-hour commute, I slowly climbed the steps to our new apartment.

 

Inside, I sank gleefully into my favorite chair and turned my attention to Amy, who was sitting at the edge of the couch beside me. She nervously cleared her throat and said, “We need to talk.” I was not prepared for what came next. In what seemed like a single breath she said, “Well, I have not been very happy lately. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why, and I think I’ve finally realized the truth. I don’t love you. I don’t have the feelings for you that I think a wife should have for her husband. I think marrying you was a mistake, and I don’t want to be married anymore.”

 

Wow. There was simply no response in my mind to what she had said. I was numb. I stood up and paced the floor as I desperately strove to work through this information. I understand that in most divorces, both parties usually see it coming; however, there is occasionally that hapless idiot who’s caught completely off guard. That was me, catching butterflies in left field while my wife decided she no longer loved me.

 

Almost immediately, Amy moved out of our apartment to stay with a friend. She would speak to me only through e-mails and, soon after, her attorney. I stayed there alone for several weeks, pleading with her to change her mind. However, two months after the initial bombshell, Amy had divorce papers drawn up, and I realized that our marriage was truly over. Knowing her decision was final, and because I had no job or friends in the new city, I agreed to leave town.

 

I remember walking through the apartment, trying to separate “my” things from “her” things. It was impossible—like reaching inside of a baked cake, trying to pull out the individual ingredients. No longer was there a unity of belongings, but rather a collection of two people’s possessions thrown together. Looking over all our stuff, I was no longer able to see any gray; everything was either black or white, hers or mine, staying or going.

 

As I made the last inspection after packing all of my things into a U-Haul, my attention paused at a framed wedding picture on the kitchen table. For a moment, I stopped breathing. Picking it up, I looked into the eyes of that beautiful bride, and I trembled. Returning the photograph to the table, I became painfully aware of the now-defunct piece of gold on my left hand. I slowly pulled the wedding band off my finger, gently kissed it, and sat it on the table beside the portrait. Then I turned, walked outside, and locked the door behind me. At that moment, in every way, I was a man with no home.

 

Weeks later, I suffered the tremendous indignity of piecing together the abhorrent truth behind Amy’s departure. Her “rational, adult decision” to leave our marriage was a sham; she’d actually been embroiled in an affair with another man for almost a year—one third of our marriage. This was the “friend” with whom she was staying while I pled for her to return. With this insight, my last hopes were destroyed, and I signed the divorce papers . . . two days before Thanksgiving.

 

This is my story. Tragic? Absolutely. Pitiful? Without a doubt. The real question, though, is, Why should you care about all of this? Why did I have to invite you into the darkest part of my private nightmares? The answer, sadly, is that if you do not have such a painful story yourself, you can be certain that you know someone who does. Roughly half of all marriages in America end in divorce; for born-again Christians, the percentage is, surprisingly, higher. Despite all of these “newly single” people populating American churches, the church in general has no idea how to react, relate, or respond to the needs of this heartbroken crowd.

 

I believe the first obstacle that must be conquered is a matter of identity. Let me explain: In the past few years, I have become painfully aware of how, when, and where the word “divorce” is used. It often appears in a checklist under the heading “Marital Status,” which gives people four options: single, married, widowed, or divorced. I’ve seen this in the most unexpected places, from a church visitor information card to an application for health insurance.

 

The issue is that people have grown accustomed to categorizing others according to certain “pegs” in their social life. The problem with this, however, is that there is no such thing as a “divorced person.” Divorce is an event, not a condition. My divorce was something that happened to me, a tragedy in my past. However, that misfortune should not characterize my whole life from now on.

 

The church can go a long way toward ministering to the expansive population of “new singles” by simply striking the word “divorced” from its vocabulary. Using the term as an adjective simply identifies an individual by a horrible event in his life. In this, saying, “Will is a divorced person” is tantamount to saying, “Frank is a pancreatic cancer person.” No one would be insensitive enough to say the latter, so why should it be acceptable to commonly say the former?

 

The most shocking and hurtful appearance of the “divorce check-box” that I have seen was actually church-related. I had taken myself out of the ministry search for almost a year while I worked through my divorce. Then, as I began to test the waters, I wrote to local denominational associations, asking for help in finding possible positions in their areas. One group mailed back a Personal Inventory Checklist to be stapled to my résumé. The checklist contained a brief list of yes/no questions that inquired about any involvement in child abuse, spousal abuse, and other indiscretions. There, wedged neatly between “Obscene/Harassment Phone Calls” and “Do you use illegal drugs?” was the question, “Have you been divorced?” It was then I realized that, in many people’s opinions, my new peer group consisted of wife beaters and child molesters. I completed the form, but obviously never heard from any church in that area.

 

Another problem is the “civilian’s” inability to understand what divorce does to a person. Unfortunately, many well-meaning people attempt to help their hurting friends by uttering the five most potentially destructive words imaginable: “Get on with your life.” This encouragement is built on the premise that their friend’s life is still there, but he has just removed himself from it. This is a mistake. Even though he may still be breathing, your friend’s life, for all intents and purposes, was terminated by his divorce.

 

Let me demonstrate this point from my own experience. For eight long, continuous years I worked hard in school, held a full-time job, took on various church leadership roles, got married, and began making long-term career and family plans. However, my wife’s actions effectively ended that life. In a real sense, my divorce murdered the man and the minister that I was becoming. I will simply never be that man again.

 

The miracle is that God has raised a new life from the ashes. I now have a new career and ministry that I adore. I honestly cannot imagine being happier doing anything else. Does this mean that my current life will always be second-string to what “might have been”? I don’t think so; however, I do know that this life came about only through time, patience, and the determined work of God. Do not be quick to urge the newly single person to “get on with his life”; he may actually be stuck between the old life and the new. Only the Holy Spirit and a hearty amount of patience will truly enable him to get on with his new life.

 

When my ordeal first began in August of 2000, I met with a trusted mentor—a minister who had been through a similar situation. He said something to me that I’ll never forget: “William, nothing I say can make this less painful. But I do know that if you get through a major crisis like divorce with your faith intact, you will understand some things about God that a lot of people never realize.” Now, looking back, I see that he was right. I have never been more aware of the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit than I have these past few years. I have never before known the complete joy and release of casting everything at the foot of the cross and coming to God with a broken heart and empty hands. Mostly, though, I never expected to actually like my new life, but God was more gracious than I ever imagined.

 

If you are standing where I have been, or if you love someone who is going through the whirlwind of divorce, do no expect any trite words of comfort and solace here. However, if you are a hurting individual who is crying out to God for the strength to endure, be encouraged by His response through the apostle Peter: “[Cast] all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you . . . And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:7, 10). Even if the present seems insurmountable, you can trust that the future is wide open for your success, love, and happiness. How do I know? Because God said so, and because He has done it for me.

 

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Source: InTouch Magazine, February 2009

 

(Toronto, ON; fall 2009.)

 

The founding families of Sharon first settled on a flat plain bordering the Shenango River (this area is situated between two hills and is the current location of Sharon's downtown business district). According to local legend, the community received its name from a Bible-reading settler who likened the location to the Plain of Sharon in Israel.

Initially a center of coal mining, Sharon's economy transitioned to steelmaking and other heavy industry following the Industrial Revolution. Following the extensive national deindustrialization of the 1970s and 80's, the city's economy diversified and is now based primarily on light industry, education, health care, and social services.

NRHP District ~ Historic Downtown District

In an effort to improve its overall shopping experience, Oakbrook Center has undergone the largest renovation in its history; enhancing its common areas and expanding them to accommodate special events and social gatherings.

 

One of the Center’s noteworthy additions is a new vortex inspired water feature located at one of the complex’s main entrances. The fountain’s innovative design creates multiple effects with a single jet. The basin alternatively drains and fills, building up to form a bubbling pool before gradually ebbing away, revealing brightly illuminated columns of water arranged within the spiral. Over 50 of Crystal’s nozzles and LED lights entertain shoppers throughout the day.

Designed in 1924 as a Lodge for the Order of the Elks, the building remains as one of the finest examples of the neo-classic revival style that grew in popularity during the 1920s. After the Elks left the building it operated as the Henry Clay Hotel for almost 40 years, then as a YWCA until 1988. This building was restored by City Properties and now has retail shops, condos, office space and rental space for events. This building is a great example of the adaptive reuse of a building, combining all the different uses into one property.

This image represents the FINAL key outcome of the eyes } world { hands 2008 project.

 

The image is a composite, equally representing all 364

individual eye images taken during 2008 (on the first and last day of the year, the cameras D80 and D300 photographed themselves, hence there are not 366 eye images for 2008).. As such, then, this image represents the average eye for the year.

 

The superimposition concept was inspired by the Australian National Photographic Portrait Project by Raimond De Weerdt, Karen Donnelly and Tony Nott. In 2002 I had the opportunity of being one of 50 faces contributing to the male portrait of the Faces of Albury.

 

Here are the individual images for the months of January, February, March, April, May, June, July , August, September , October, November, and December. Or see here for a combined poster of all monthly eyes.

 

The cameras used for the project were a Nikon D80 (until mid June) and then a Nikon D300. The mainstay lens used was a Nikkor AE-S f3.5-5.6 18-200mm VR

.

 

The images were taken at the following LOCATIONS: Albury, Alma Park, Anchorage, Arkaroola, Avenel, Balranald, Beechworth, Bendigo, Berrigan, Berrima, Bethanga, Bremerton, Brisbane, Cameron Corner, Canberra, Chiltern, Edgehill, Guam, Gundagai, Hepburn Springs, Holbrook, Homer, Hurricane, Iga Warta, In-Flight, Jindera, Kawanna Waters, Lake Boga, Lake Mungo, Lavington, Melbourne, Menindee, Mount Kembla, Mutawintji, Narrandera, Nowra, Olive Downs, Pine Lodge, Pooncarie, Saipan, Seattle, Strzelecki Desert, Taipei, Tarcutta, Temora, Thurgoona, Tibooburra, Tidbinbilla, Uranquinty, Wagga Wagga, Wetootla Gorge, Willandra NP, Wodonga, Yass

  

And the following PROFESSIONS are represented: academic, accountant, admin assistant, administrative assistant, administrator, adventure ecotourism student, adventure tour operator, anthropologist, anthropologust, applications programmer, aquatic ecologist, archaeologist, artist, assistant registrar, assistant tourism officer, author, director & radiohost, bank officer, bar manager, barista, baseball player, bell ringer, bookseller, brick salesman, builder, building designer, business manager, business owner, café assitstant, cafe owner, care giver, carpenter, casual retail assistant, cemetery manager, chairman athenauum trust, champion shearer, church volunteer, cleaning supervisor, clerk, climate change researcher, co-director, collections & exhibitions officer, communications coordinator, communications technician, community volunteer, computer technician, concierge, concreter, conductor, Conservationist, courier contractor, creator & cyclist, cultural anthropologist, cultural development, cultural manager, curator, customer service agent, director, diving consultant, doctoral student, driver, ecologist, educational designer, environment officer, environmental historian and museum curator, environmental manager, executive assistant, executive director, executive officer, farmer & aviator, farmer & historian, finance officer, firefighter, fishing woman, fishmonger, fixologist, flight attendant, floorsanding business, florist, fruiterer, futurist, gallery trainee, games shop retailer, genealogical researcher, graphic designer, groundsman, hairdresser, hairdresser & barista, happy camper, health professional, heritage consultant, heritage officer, heritage specialist, heritage student, historian, historian of photography, hospitality supervisor, hotel manager, illustrator, insurance branch supervisor, insurance claims adjuster, interpretation aide, IT officer, IT Specialist, IT systems administrator, jack-of-all-trades, janitor, journalist, kids activities, Koorie academic, laboratory manager, lecturer, lecturer in education, legal assistant, leisure specialist, librarian, library assistant, library officer, linesman, mail sorter, maintenance staff, manager, market development officer, market stall holder, marketing officer, masseur, media officer, mediator, medical receptionist, milk truck driver, minilab operator, mother, motor mechanic, museum curator, museum director, museum guide, museum manager, museum president, museum student, museum volunteer, musician, NPWS area manager, NPWS Field Officer, observationist, occupational therapist, occupational thrapy student, operations manager, optometrist, outdoor retailer, owner of the Niagara Café, PA & secretary, pacific historian and curator, pacific scholar, painter, Pakantyi/Malyankapa tour guide, park ramger, park superintendent, parking enforcememtn officer, parks manager, parks project officer, pathology collector, pavior, pawn broker, personal lending manager, pest controller, pharmacist, photographer, photographic retail, picture framer, pilot, pizza chef, plumber, poet, political consultant, postal service officer, postal worker, printer, programmer, public servant, publican, publisher, p-u-d drivver, purchasing officer, quarantine officer, race driver, radio producer, railway employee, ranger, real estate agent, real state agent, receptionist, research assistant, research officer, research scientist, restaurant proprietor, retail, retail sales assistant, retailer books, retired, retired professor, Rotary volunteer, sales, sales & marketing, sales assistant, sales associate, sales clerk, scientist, second hand dealer, security officer, senior field officer, senior ranger, shop assistant, shopkeeper, social researcher, solicitor, spatial analyst, stamptrader, store manager, store owner, student, student admin assistant, student services officer, student support officer, system administrator, systems officer, taxi driver, teacher, technical officer, telecommunications administration & sales, telephone tecnician, theatre student, tour guide, tourism operator & geologist, town planner, truck driver, tyre fitter, university lecturer, upholsterer, volunteer guide, waiter, waitress, web site designer, wildlife refuge manager, wildlife rescue assistant, windscreen repairs & sales, writer, zoo photographer.

  

Comments and critiques are welcome!

  

Image made EXPLORE on 6 January 2009. Max position: 206

 

:copyright: Dirk HR Spennemann 2009

All Rights Reserved

  

Theater District, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States

 

The Music Box Theater survives today as one of the historic playhouses that symbolize American theater for both New York and the nation. Constructed shortly after the end of World War I, the Music Box was built by producer Sam Harris to house Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Sam Harris was a legendary Broadway producer, who first reached fame through his successful partnership with George M. Cohan, and then collaborated with Irving Berlin and later with Kaufman and Hart. Irving Berlin is among the greatest and best-known American songwriters of this century. Together they staged Berlin's Music Box Revues for the first five years of the 1920s.

 

C. Howard Crane was a nationally prominent theater architect when Harris and Berlin hired him, along with his associate E. George Kiehler, to design the Music Box. Besides his two Broadway houses (the Music Box and the Guild -- now the Virginia), he designed legitimate theaters and grand movie palaces in cities across the country, and later in England.

 

The Music Box Theater represents a special and important aspect of the nation's theatrical history. Beyond its historical importance, its facade is an unusually handsome Palladian-inspired design.

 

For over half a century, beginning with the Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues, the Music Box Theater has served as home to countless numbers of the plays through which the Broadway theater has come to personify American theater. As such, it continues to help define the Broadway theater district, the largest and most famous concentration of legitimate stage theaters in the world.

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

The development of the Broadway Theater District

 

The area of midtown Manhattan known today as the Broadway theater district encompasses the largest concentration of legitimate playhouses in the world. The theaters located there, some dating from the turn of the century, are significant for their contributions to the history of the New York stage, for their influence upon American theater as a whole, and in many cases for their architectural design.

 

The development of the area around Times Square as New York's theater district at the end of the 19th century occurred as a result of two related factors: the northward movement of the population of Manhattan Island (abetted by the growth of several forms of mass transportation), and the expansion of New York's role in American theater. The northward movement of Manhattan's residential, commercial, and entertainment districts had been occurring at a steady rate throughout the 19th century. In the early 1800s, businesses, stores, hotels, and places of amusement had clustered together in the vicinity of lower Broadway. As New York's various businesses moved north, they began to isolate themselves in more or less separate areas: the financial institutions remained downtown; the major retail stores situated themselves on Broadway between 14th and 23rd Streets, eventually moving to Herald Square and Fifth Avenue after the turn of the century; the hotels, originally located near the stores and theaters, began to congregate around major transportation centers such as Grand Central Terminal or on the newly fashionable Fifth Avenue; while the mansions of the wealthy spread farther north on Fifth Avenue, as did such objects of their beneficence as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

The theater district, which had existed in the midst of stores, hotels, and other businesses along lower Broadway for most of the 19th century, spread northward in stages, stopping for a time at Union Square, then Madison Square, then Herald Square. By the last two decades of the 19th century, far-sighted theater managers had begun to extend the theater district even farther north along Broadway, until they had reached the area that was then known as Long Acre Square and is today called Times Square.

 

A district of farmlands and rural summer homes in the early 1800s, Long Acre Square had by the turn of the century evolved into a hub of mass transportation. A horsecar line had run across 42nd Street as early as the 1860s, and in 1871, with the opening of Grand Central Depot and the completion of the Third and Sixth Avenue Elevated Railways, it was comparatively simple for both New Yorkers and out-of-towners to reach Long Acre Square. Transportation continued to play a large part in the development of the area; in 1904 New York's subway system was inaugurated, with a major station located at 42nd Street and Broadway. The area was then renamed Times Square in honor of the newly erected Times Building. The evolution of the Times Square area as a center of Manhattan's various mass transit systems made it a natural choice for the location of legitimate playhouses, which needed to be easily accessible to their audiences.

 

The theater business that invaded Long Acre Square at the end of the 19th century consisted of far more than a few playhouses, for at that time New York was the Starting-point for a vast, nationwide entertainment

 

network known as "the road." This complex theater operation had its beginnings in the 1860s when the traditional method of running a theater, the stock system, was challenged by the growing popularity of touring "combination" shows. In contrast to the stock system, in which a theater manager engaged a company of actors for a season and presented them in a variety of plays, the combination system consisted of a company of actors appearing in a single show which toured from city to city, providing its own scenery, costumes, and sometimes musical accompaniment. Helped by the expansion of the nation's railroads after the Civil War, the combination system soon killed off the majority of stock companies. By 1904 there were some 420 combination companies touring through thousands of theaters in cities and towns across the country.

 

Of crucial importance to the operation of the combination system was a single location where combination shows could be cast, rehearsed, tried out, and then booked for a cross-country tour. Since New York was already regarded as the most important theater city in America, it is not surprising that it became the headquarters for the combination system. In addition to the many theaters needed for an initial Broadway production for the combinations before they went on tour, New York's theater district encompassed rehearsal halls, the headquarters of scenery, costume, lighting, and makeup companies, offices of theatrical agents and producers, theatrical printers and newspapers, and other auxiliary enterprises. Close to the theater district were boarding houses catering to the hundreds of performers who came to New York in the hope of being hired for a touring show or a Broadway production.

 

As theaters were built farther uptown, the auxiliary enterprises also began to move north. By the turn of the century,

 

the section of Broadway between 37th Street and 42nd Street was known as the Rialto. Theater people gathered or promenaded there. Producers could sometimes cast a play by looking over the actors loitering on the Rialto; and out-of-town managers, gazing out of office windows, could book tours by seeing who was available.^

 

The theater district that began to move north to Long Acre Square in the 1890s was thus a vast array of business enterprises devoted to every facet of theatrical production.

 

The movement of the theater district north along Broadway had proceeded at a steady pace during the latter part of the 19th century. The Casino Theater was opened on the southeast corner of Broadway and 39th Street in 1882. A year later, it was joined by a most ambitious undertaking--the construction of the Metropolitan Opera House on Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets. In 1888, the Broadway Theater was erected on the southwest corner of Broadway and 41st Street. Five years later, the American Theater opened its doors at Eighth Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, as did Abbey's Theater at Broadway and 38th Street and the Empire Theater at Broadway and Fortieth Street.

 

It remained for Oscar Hammerstein I to make the move into Long Acre Square itself. At the close of the 19th century, Long Acre Square housed Manhattan's harness and carriage businesses, but was little used at night,

 

when it seems to have become a "thieves' lair."^ In 1895 Hammerstein erected an enormous theater building on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets. The original plan for the Olympia called for a "perfect palace of entertainment--which would have included three theaters, a bowling alley, a turkish bath, cafes and restaurants." Only part of this visionary plan ever became a reality. On November 25, 1895, Hammerstein opened the Lyric Theater section of the building, and a little over three weeks later he inaugurated the Music Hall section. Never a financial success, the Olympia closed its doors two years after it opened. Nevertheless, it earned Hammerstein the title of "Father of Times Square."

 

By the turn of the century Hammerstein had built two more theaters in the Long Acre Square area, and in the years 1901-1920 a total of forty-three additional theaters appeared in midtown Manhattan, most of them in the side streets east and west of Broadway. Much of this theater-building activity was inspired by the competition between two major forces in the industry, the Theatrical Syndicate and the Shubert Brothers, for control of the road. As each side in the rivalry drew its net more tightly around the playhouses it owned or controlled, the other side was forced to build new theaters to house its attractions. The result was a dramatic increase in the number of playhouses, both in New York and across the country. After World War I, as the road declined and New York's theatrical activity increased, the general economic prosperity made possible the construction of thirty additional playhouses in the Times Square area, expanding the boundaries of the theater district so that it stretched from just west of

 

Q

 

Eighth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, and from 39th Street to Columbus Circle.

 

The stockmarket crash of 1929 and the resulting Depression causec a shrinkage in theater activity. Some playhouses were torn down, many were converted to motion picture houses, and later to radio and television studios. From the time of the Depression until the 1960s no new Broadway playhouses were constructed. Fortunately, the theaters that survive from the early part of the century represent a cross - section of types and styles, and share among them a good deal of New York's rich theatrical history.

 

Evolution of Theater Design

 

The frenzy of theater construction that occurred in New York during the first thirty years of this century brought with it an evolution in architecture and decoration. At the close of the 19th century American theaters were still being built in the style of traditional European opera houses, with high proscenium arches, narrow auditoriums, two or three balconies built in a horseshoe configuration, and dozens of boxes, some set into the front of the first balcony. Although contemporary notices of the theaters attributed specific (though often vague) styles or periods to them, their interiors were more often than not a melange of styles and colors.

 

With the increase of theater construction after the turn of the century came a new attitude toward theater architecture and decoration as firms such as Herts and Tallant, Thomas W. Lamb, and others, began to plan the playhouse's exterior and interior as a single, integrated design. The

 

Art Nouveau style New Amsterdam Theater, which opened in 1903, signalled this new seriousness in theater design.

 

Perhaps influenced by such European experiments as Wagner's Festival Theater at Bayreuth, American theater architects after the turn of the century began to structure their playhouses along different lines. Proscenium openings were made lower and wider, auditoriums were made shallower, seating was planned in a fan shape, and the number of balconies was usually reduced to one. Boxes were cut back to a minimum. The theaters that were built just before and after World War I for the most part shared this new configuration.

 

Because many of New York's extant playhouses were built during the period in which New York was serving as the starting-point for nationwide tours, they represent a style of theater architecture that is characteristic not only of New York but also of other cities across the United States, for a show which was originally produced in a New York theater would require similar conditions in the theaters in which it toured, and theater owners often hired the same architects to design and build theaters in several cities. Thus, New York's theaters set the standard for theater construction across the United States, as an inspection of designs for theaters in various cities will show.

 

The Broadway Theater in American Theatrical History

 

The playhouses scj.ll standing in the Broadway theater district share among them over eighty years of American theatrical history. In the early years of the century, when American theater was still heavily influenced by Europe, the theaters played host to such great international stars as Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and to adaptations of such European successes as The Merry Widow and Floradora.

 

It was in the Broadway theaters that the beginnings of a distinctly American drama could be seen in the Western melodramas of David Belasco, the social comedies of Clyde Fitch and Langdon Mitchell, and the problem plays of Edward Sheldon and Eugene Walter. With the rise of the "little theater" movement in the second decade of the century, it seemed that theatrical leadership had passed from Broadway to such experimental "art" theaters as the Provincetown Playhouse and the Neighborhood Playhouse. Before long, however, the innovations of the little theaters infused Broadway with new life. Beginning with the production of Eugene O'Neill's first full-length play, Beyond the Horizon, on Broadway in 1920, the playhouses of Broadway presented the work of a new generation of playwrights, including, in addition to O'Neill, Maxwell Anderson, Philip Barry, S.N. Behrman, Rachel Crothers, Sidney Howard, George S. Kaufman, George Kelly and Elmer Rice.

 

The Depression of the 1930s brought with it a new concern with political and social issues, and the dramas presented in the Broadway playhouses reflected that concern. Commercial producers gave us plays by Lillian Hellman, Robert E. Sherwood, and Thornton Wilder, whle the Group Theater and other new organizations introduced such writers as Clifford Odets and Sidney Kingsley. The Broadway theaters continued to house

 

challenging plays during the 1940s and 1950s, when new talents such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Killer, and William Inge first began writing for the theater.

 

Meanwhile, musical comedy had blossomed from the adaptations and imitations of European operetta popular at the turn of the century to a uniquely American art form. By the 1940s and 1950s the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and many others, were being exported from the stages of Broadway to theaters around the world.

 

The 1960s and 1970s were decades of ferment and change, both in and out of the theater. As in the 1920s, the impetus for theatrical experimentation came from outside of Broadway, and as in the 1920s, the experimentation helped to revitalize the Broadway theater. Today, the playhouses of Broadway are showcases for the best plays of the Off- and Off-Off Broadway theaters, as well as for exciting productions from theatrical workshops, regional theaters, and outstanding foreign companies.

 

Having moved gradually northward all during the 19th century, New York's theater district finally came to rest at Times Square, where it has remained for almost ninety years. The economic Depression of the 1930s discouraged speculative ventures such as the construction of new theaters, while after prosperity returned in the wake of World War II, the cost of renting land and constructing a theater was prohibitively high. The northward movement of the theater district may also have been discouraged for a number of years by the existence of the Sixth Avenue Elevated Railway, which crossed from Sixth to Ninth Avenues 53rd Street, thereby providing a natural northern boundary for the theater district.

 

The Music Box Theater, as one of the Broadway playhouses surviving today in the theater district, contributes to the totality of the district's history by virtue of its participation in that history.

 

Irving Berlin and Sam H. Harris

 

The Music Box was built for Sam Harris and Irving Berlin, legendary Broadway figures who each played an important role in shaping the history of American theater entertainment. Sam Harris was a soft-spoken, behind-the-scenes genius whose percentage of hits is still one of the highest in Broadway history.^ Irving Berlin is one of the great American

 

songwriters of this century. Together they created the Music Box Theater and made it what one writer called "the home of the hits!"

 

Sam Harris, a native New Yorker, was born February 3, 1872, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He left school at the age of fourteen, and by the age of seventeen was organizing local holiday entertainment and athletic exhibitions. Harris also raised thoroughbred racing horses and promoted prize fighters, including the featherweight champion of 1897, "Terrible Terry" McGovern. The enterprising Harris figured "Terrible Terry" could do more than just box in the ring, so beginning in 1898 he had McGovern delivering punch lines on the stage, first in The Bowery After Dark, a financial success which went on to tour the country, and then in The Gay Morning Glories, not nearly as popular.

 

In 1904, Sam Harris began a lengthy collaboration with composer George M. Cohan. Their first great success was Little Johnnie Jones. It was Cohan's show; he acted in it and wrote the music, including the songs "Give My Regards to Broadway." Harris, however, knew better than anyone the

 

business end of good popular entertainment; together Cohan and Harris are still regarded as one of the most successful teams in Broadway history.

 

Harris also controlled several theaters with Cohan: in 1913, they built the Bronx Opera House on East 149th Street and Third Avenue (extant), and together they took control of the Cohan and Harris Theater. Their personal lives were linked through their marriages to sisters, Alice Nolan (Harris's first wife), and Agnes Nolan (Cohan's wife). Their partnership eventually dissolved over a disagreement during the actors' strike which preceded the formation of Actors' Equity in 1920. Despite their feud, Cohan and Harris remained good friends and even revived their partnership in 1937 to produce one more show, Fulton of Oak FalIs.

 

When Harris parted with Cohan, he joined Irving Berlin in the Music Box Theater project. In addition to Berlin, Harris went on to collaborate with George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart on a number of productions, including Once In a Lifetime, Dinner At Eight, and The Man Who Came To Dinner. Three of his productions won Pulitzer Prizes: Icebound in 1923, Of Thee I Sing in 1932, and You Can't Take It With You in 1937. Harris died in 1941, a successful and respected stage figure whose name, Max Gordon once said, "stood for impeccable taste and something called for lack of a better word, 'class.'"

 

Irving Berlin, still alive today at the age of 99, has been one of the most versatile and popular songwriters of the twentieth century. Born May 11, 1888, in Eastern Russia, Israel Baline immigrated to the United States with his family in 1892 when he was only four years old."* His first published song (1907) was "Mario From Sunny Italy." A printer's error on the cover spelled his name I. Berlin, and he kept the name. Unable to read music and without any formal training, Berlin nonetheless has had over 1500 songs published, many of them internationally known. He can play the piano only in the key of F-sharp, and even has a special instrument furnished with a clutch that enables him to switch automatically to any key.

 

At the beginning of his career, Irving Berlin was a "Tin Pan Alley" pioneer, helping to win wide acceptance for ragtime jazz and the accompanying dance craze. His first great musical success, "Alexander's Ragtime Band," became an international hit when vaudeville star Emma Carus introduced its syncopated march rhythms to Chicago audienpes in 1911. By 1915, the song had sold over two million sheet copies and Berlin had become identified in the public mind with ragtime.

 

In 1914 Berlin wrote his first complete score for the Vernon and Irene Castle revue Watch Your Step that popularized "Play a Simple Melody." At that time he was also performing in vaudeville, appearing at such theaters as the London Hippodrome, where he was billed as the "king of ragtime." Drafted into the army in 1918, Berlin wrote and starred in Yip-Yip Yaphank, a service musical in which he first introduced "I Hate to Get Up in the Morning."

 

In 1919, the songwriter formed his own musical publishing company, Irving Berlin, Inc. During the 1920s Berlin wrote for a number of revues including the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 and 1927 and his own Music Box Revues of 1921-24. In 1925, he scored his first musical comedy, The Cocoanuts, for the Marx Brothers. His work took on a more sober tone in

 

the early 1930s with two political satires, Face the Music (1932) and As Thousands Cheer (1933), the latter featuring his holiday classic, "Easter Parade." In 1935 Berlin began writing for the movies. Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland owed some of their greatest hits to him. Top Hat (1935) featured Rogers and Astaire dancing to "Isn't This a Lovely Day" and "Cheek to Cheek," Crosby introduced "White Christmas" in Holiday Inn (1942), and Garland and Astaire walked up the avenue in Easter Parade (1948). On Broadway, Berlin was particularly identified with Ethel Merman who starred in his greatest hit Annie Get Your Gun (1944) and later spoofed Perle Mesta in Call Me Madam (1950).

 

In 1954 Berlin went into retirement. He returned to Broadway in 1962 with the score for Mr. President, a great popular success despite a lukewarm reception from the critics. In 1955, President Eisenhower presented Berlin with a gold medal "in recognition of his services in composing warm patriotic songs," the most famous of these being "God Bless America."

 

(PD, GH)

 

C. Howard Crane and E. George Kiehler

 

During a career that spanned almost fifty years, Charles Howard Crane designed more than two hundred theaters in the United States and some 125 more in Canada and Great Britain. Among the most widely publicized of these were his only two Broadway playhouses, the Music Box (1921) and the Guild (later the ANTA, currently the Virginia; 1924-25). Quite different from each other in appearance - - the GuiId is mode 1 ed on a Tuscan villa while the Music Box is severely Palladian in style -- both theaters display Crane's academically correct eclecticism. Crane believed that

 

theaters ought to exemplify architecture as an art of dramatization. Unlike many other theater architects of the time, who blended various historical elements into a personal style, Crane never developed a "signature" in his work.

 

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1885, Crane began his career in that city in 1904. He moved to Detroit in 1905 where he apprenticed himself to Albert Kahn. Only a year later he had become the chief draftsman for the firm of Field, Hynchman & Smith, and by 1909 he had established his own practice. His expertise in theater design and construction, and specifically in acoustics, gained him a solid reputation and kept his services in constant demand, particularly during the 1920s. At one time he employed fifty-three draftsmen who assisted him with projects in almost every major American city. In Detroit alone, he designed almost fifty theaters, the most heralded two being the Majestic (1917) and Orchestra Hall (1919).

 

Crane employed two senior associates: Ben A. Dore, chief designer in the Detroit office, who collaborated on, or was in charge of, many mid-western projects' and Kenneth Franzheim (1891-1959), who ran Crane's New York City office. Two well publicized examples of Crane and Franzheim's collaboration were the twin Selwyn and Harris Theaters in Chicago. Archie and Edgar Selwyn, both prominent New York producers, commissioned one; and Sam Harris, impressed with his architect's 1921 Music Box design, commissioned Crane to build the other. The two separate but adjoining structures were roughly the same size and consisted of similarly fashioned Renaissance style facades. Another Crane and Franzheim collaboration was the Capitol Theater and Office Building in Boston in 1926. This elaborate design incorporated a two-story Ionic colonnaded facade into a standard fourteen-story office tower with an extremely plush and decorative interior. E. George Kiehler was also a collaborator on some of Crane's theater projects, including the Music Box, but his specific contributions are not known.

 

At the height of Crane's career, shortly before the Depression, many American film studios and theater corporations had attained their greatest financial and popular success. Individual theaters and theater chains became one part of an expanding entertainment empire. Beginning in 1925, for example, the Fox Theater Corporation embarked on a campaign to build or acquire what would amount to 800 theaters by the year 1929. Crane alone was commissioned by Fox to design twenty-five new theaters. Two of them, the Detroit Fox and the St. Louis Fox, both completed in 1928, were among the largest theaters in the country. Typically for Crane, the style of the Detroit Fox blended East Indian, Byzantine and Baroque motifs. Another similar theater in the Fox chain, the Brooklyn Fox, also by Crane in 1928, had a seating capacity of 4,305, and became a famous showcase for first-run motion pictures.

 

United Artists took advantage of Crane's talents too in 1927 when they commissioned him to design the Spanish Gothic style United Artists Theater in Los Angeles. With a lobby that resembled a vaulted Spanish cathedral, the theater also featured intricate tracery and a mirrored auditorium ceiling.^

 

In 1932, one of the worst years of the Depression, Crane moved to Europe, first to Milan where he designed Italy's first skyscraper, then to London where he settled permanently. Although his reasons for leaving the United States remain unclear, Crane continued to build theaters in England and maintained his office in Detroit. Perhaps his greatest architectural challenge, and certainly his finest engineering accomplishment, resulted in 1937 in his Earl's Court Exhibition Hall, sports and amusement center. Faced with a triangular twelve-acre site above a network of railway tracks, Crane created a modern curvilinear structure with a 118-foot high arena and five exhibition halls which could be opened into one vast amphitheater seating 30,000. It also featured an Olympic-sized swimming pool which could be raised, frozen for skating, or used as a stage or playing field. All this, it Is said, was erected without stopping a single train below the construction.

 

During and after World War II, Crane rechanneled his efforts into industrial design while working on the rebuilding of London factories and the modernization of other British plants. He continued to visit the United States frequently to lecture, but resided in London until his death there in 1952.

 

(PD, FD)

 

The Music Box Theater

 

According to one account, Sam Harris first mentioned his interest in building a theater to Irving Berlin in 1919. Berlin responded, "If you ever do, I have a great title for you." "A title for a song?" asked Harris. "No, a title for a theater, the Music Box," replied Berlin.

 

The following year Harris joined with Berlin to build the Music Box Theater, shortly after the termination of Harris's partnership with George M. Coh an. Harris built the Music Box Theater specifically to house Berlin's Music Box Revues. (Harris and Berlin were joined in the venture by a mutual friend, motion picture magnate Joseph Schenck, who soon after the theater's completion sold his interest to the Shubert Organization.) A site on 45th Street was purchased from the Astor Realty Co., and on September 22, 1921 the Music Box Theater opened with an extravaganza Berlin wrote especially for the new house. The property cost $400,000, the building $600,000, and more than $240,000 was spent for Hassard Short to produce and stage the first show. Theatre Magazine's reviewer obviously thought the expense well worthwhile, for he proclaimed Berlin's Music Box Revue and the Music Box theater "a wonderful new show in a superlatively beautiful new theatre.""*

 

For another reviewer the theater and show were "the most eye-filling and appealing combination of play and playhouse that local playgoers accustomed as they are to things gorgeous theatrically -- have ever been treated to." "Say It With Music" became Berlin's theme song for the theater and for his Music Box Revues of 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1924.

 

The Music Box was one of the small number of theaters built in the 1920s for an individual producer, rather than for a large organization like the Shuberts or the Chanins. Harris and Berlin turned to C. Howard Crane for an unusual and individual design that would mark the theater as the home of Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Crane's design for the Music Box combined Palladian and Adamesque motifs from an architectural tradition that was essentially English and neo-Georgian. Its most prominent feature was a delicate limestone Ionic

 

colonnade screening the gallery, with pedimented doorways and finely designed lanterns. The bays on either side were framed by double pilasters and punctuated by Palladian windows on the second level, and a single window on the third. The theater was then crowned by a mansard roof with four dormer windows and a decorative wrought-iron balustrade running the length of the 100 foot theater. As described by the contemporary architectural press:

 

The delicate limestone colonnade and gallery with its finely designed doorways and lanterns is the central feature. Pylon like at the sides the structural masses give strength and proportion to the design and the mansard roof with its dormer windows and balustrades is decidedly a crowning feature. The freedom of the front from the blatant electric advertising sign is a relief. Two signs of small size designed and proportioned in keeping with the whole scheme proclaim the purpose of the building and the marquise-a concession to the needs of a stormy night-is so submerged as not to obtrude to the detriment of the composition.

 

The overall effect of Crane's design for the Music Box was distinctly domestic. The combination of Palladian and neo-Georgian elements was suggestive of a grand country house. Such an approach was not new to the

 

theater district; a number of earlier theaters built as headquarters/homes for theatrical impresarios followed similar themes. David Belasco's Stuyvesant Theater (today the Belasco) used a neo-Georgian facade to suggest an Intimate, if luxurious, 1ivingroom housing his productions. Winthrop Ames's Little Theater used a similarly styled facade to suggest a domestic home for his intimate "little theater" productions, and his architects, Ingalls & Hoffman, did something similar for Henry Miller's Theater a few years later. Contemporary with the Music Box was the Theater Guild's home (also designed by Crane), whose Italian pa1azzo-inspired facade deliberately evoked the homes of the Renaissance princes who patronized the theatrical arts. This connection between neo-Georgian architecture and intimate theater appears to have been generally understood at the time, and a contemporary architectural periodical noted of the Music Box:

 

This small theatre seats one thousand and is designed for the so-called "intimate" production. This idea is well carried into the design by the use of the style of the Georgian period following the delicacy of domestic architecture more than the monumental.

 

From the first the Broadway critics were impressed with the beauty and refinement of the Music Box's design. Jack Lait of Variety called it "the daintiest theatre in America," and the Evening Telegram's reviewer dubbed it "a theatre unparalleled....so beautiful and so satisfying that its like is not to be found here or even on the continent.." For the Herald's reviewer the Music Box's facade provided a welcome contrast to the more mundane theater buildings then going up in the Broadway area:

 

The audience which gathered to witness the brilliant opening of the Music Box last night had its first surprise on approaching the building. The new theater actually has a front -- it even deserves to be called a facade -- Vith pillars and other dignified architectural decorations....

 

The architectural press was equally enthusiastic, though perhaps less colorful in its praise. A number of journals published photos, plans, and descriptions of the Music Box. The American Architect-Architectural Review devoted eight pages to Crane's playhouse in the February 1, 1922, issue, calling it one of the most "artistic additions to New York's large number of theaters." The journal added "how remarkable" the Music Box was "for the quiet dignity of its desien and in its plan for those elements of comfort and luxurious ease____"

 

A few years later in the American Spirit in Architecture, Talbot Hamlin ranked the Music Box "among the most beautiful of modern theaters" saying:

 

It is in a modernized Adam style, and borrows much from our own native tradition in its quiet wall and roof surfaces and its delicately proportioned loggia. Proportion, detail, atmosphere make its facade a true ornament to the city, and prove that gayety is quite compatible with repose and dignity.

 

Berlin presented a Music Box Revue in each of the next four years. He moved on to other creative projects after 1925 but maintained his controlling interest with Sam Harris in the Music Box Theater. Their careful supervision of outside productions using the theater gave the Music Box an outstanding performance record: in its first twenty-five years only three shows ran less than 100 performances.

 

Today Irving Berlin retains a share in the ownership of the Music Box Theater -- "What the hell does a songwriter want with a theater?" he said in 1971. "I've sold real estate, but I've held on to the Music Box. It's a sentimental interest." The Music Box remains remarkably intact inside and out, its facade largely unaltered from the day it was built.

 

The Music Box as a Playhouse^

 

Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues occupied the Music Box Theater for its first four years. The Mail called the Revue of 1922 "four hours of jazz, girls, gorgeous costuming, spectacles that at times were dazzling, dancing acrobatics, arui all the hurly-burly of color movement associated with its predecessor."

 

The first straight play produced at the Music Box following Berlin's Revues was The Cradle Snatchers (1925), whose cast included the young Humphrey Bogart. Two more hit comedies followed, Chicago with Charles Bickford and Francine Larrimore in 1926 and Philip Barry's Paris Bound with Hope Williams in 1927. Music returned to the theater in 1928 with Cole Porter's Paris starring the glamorous Irene Bordoni. The following year Clifton Webb, Fred Allen and Libby Holman appeared in the Little Show revue. In 1931, the third edition of this series also appeared at the Music Box featuring Bea Lillie's rendition of Noel Coward's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." For the most part, however, during the 'thirties the Music Box was given over to the the works of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart who either together or in collaboration with others supplied the house with one hit after another. The decade opened with Kaufman and Hart's first joint effort,

 

Once in a Lifetime, a Hollywood satire with Jean Dixon that convulsed audiences for 410 performances. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind collaborated on the Music Box's next production, the Gershwin musical Of Thee Sing, which ran 446 performances in 1931-32 and won the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a musical. Subsequent productions involving Kaufman or Hart included Dinner at Eight (1932, Kaufman and Edna Ferber), As Thousands Cheer (1933, book by Hart), Merrily We Roll Along (19 34, Kaufman and Hart), First Lady (1935, Kaufman and Katherine Dayton), Stage Door (19 36, Kaufman and Ferber) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (19 39, Kaufman and Hart). Kaufman also directed all of the above productions as well as John Steinbeck's dramatization of his novel Of Mice and Men which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1938.

 

Following the death of Sam Harris in 1941 the Music Box was leased to independent producers on a show-by-show basis. Continuing to attract strong productions, it retained its reputation as one of the most successful theaters on Broadway. Contributing to this success was Mike Todd's Star and Garter, a rowdy revue starring Gypsy Rose Lee that racked up an impressive 605 performances in 1942-43. Rodgers and Hammerstein's productions of John Van Druten's I Remember Mama also enjoyed great success with 714 performances in 1944-45. The young Marlon Brando made his Broadway debut in this production which also starred Mady Christians and Oscar Homolka. Other notable productions from the forties included Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (1948) and the Maxwell Anderson-Kurt Weill musical Lost in the Stars (1949).

 

The fifties were marked by a happy association between the Music Box and playwright William Inge who supplied the theater with three hits: the Pulitzer Prize winning Picnic (1953), Bus Stop (1954), and Dark at the Top £f the Stairs (1958). Other highlights of the 'fifties included Separate Tables which featured a Tony Award-winning performance by actress Margaret Leighton, and Five Finger Excercise which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best foreign play of the 1959/60 season.

 

During the 1960s the Music Box housed a number of distinguished dramas, inc luding A Far Country (1961) with Steven Hill and Kim Stanley, and The Homecoming (1967) with Ian Holm and Vivien Merchant. Its most popular attraction, however, was a romantic comedy Any Wednesday (1964) which ran 983 performances and and garnered paeans of praise from the critics for actress Sandy Dennis.

 

Two thrillers dominated the 1970s, Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth (1970), a British import with Anthony Quayle and Keith Baxter, and Ira Levin's Deathtrap (1978), the Music Box's longest running play to date. In addition there was another long running comedy with Sandy Dennis, Absurd Person Singular (1974), and a revue of songs by Stephen Sondheim, Side by Side by Sondheim (1977), with Millicent Martin and Julie McKenzie. In recent years the Music Box has housed the stark drama Agnes of God (1983) with Elizabeth Ashley, Geraldine Page and Amanda Plummer, a charming revival of Noel Coward's Hay Fever (1985) with Rosemary Harris and Roy Dotrice, and a critically acclaimed production by the Royal Shakespeare Company of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1987).

 

The success of the Music Box as a theater may be best summarized in the words of Moss Hart:

 

The Music Box is everybody's dream of a theatre. If there is such a thing as a theatre's making a subtle contribution to the play being given on its stage, the Music Box is that theatre. Except for the Haymarket Theatre in London, I know of no other that possesses so strong an atmosphere of its own, as living and as personal, as the Music Box. Even in broad daylight, as we stepped inside its doors and into its darkened auditorium, there was an undefinable sense that here the theatre was always at its best.

 

Description

 

The Music Box Theater has a symmetrically-organized facade which is wider than it is high. The ground floor, which is of stone (with concrete infill and patches) is dominated by its doorways. Four pairs of original bronze and glass doors adorned with curvilinear motifs, lead into the ticket lobby at the right (east). These are flanked by original bronze -painted wood and glass signboards, framed by colonnettes with grotesques and crowned by stylized pediments (of sheetmetal over wood) composed of waves f 1 ank ing lyres in wreath surrounds. A modern marquee extends out over the entrance doors. Three pairs of original bronze and gl ass exit doors from the auditorium are flanked by similar s ignboards of bronze -painted iron, and doorways, that to the east with a single door, and that to the west with a decorative painted wrought - iron gate at the foot of the fire stairs. Decorative iron railings flank the two granite steps leading from the gate. Two large original iron signboards are placed on the wall adjacent to the recessed paired bronze stage doors.

 

A single bronze stage door in an iron frame is at the western end. These two stage door openings flank a single original sign board. The ground floor is surmounted by a cornice with a wide Adamesque frieze containing vertical ribs, urns, and swags. The major portion of the facade, rising from the ground floor base, is faced with stone and is organized into a colonnaded center section with flanking end bays. Double-height fluted columns with stylized Corinthian capitals are linked by wrought-iron railings with cast-iron panels which shield a recessed portion of the facade. The gallery thus created serves as the exit for a set of fire stairs at the east and for the three doorways from the balcony level of the auditorium. These doorways have pane led doors and are surmounted by entablatures with urn- and swag-adorned friezes supporting triangular pediments (at the outer doors) and a scrol led broken pediment with pineapple finial (at the center door). Three wrought-iron and glass lanterns are suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. The end bays are flanked by pilasters with stylized Corinthian capitals.

 

A Palladianesque window with fan-filled tympanum is placed at the second floor of each bay. The windows have multi-paned casement sash. At the third floor of each bay is a window with a simple molded surround. The sash are mul ti-paned casements. A vertical sign projects from the wall of the eastern bay. An entablature with rosette-adorned frieze, dentils, and modi 11ioned cornice spans the facade. This is surmounted by a slate -covered sloping roof punctuated by round-arched sheetmetal dormers with multi-paned sash. Wrought - and cast - iron railings are placed above the cornice and at the roofline.

 

- From the 1987 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the facility is adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, between Sydney and Farm Coves.

 

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the facility formally opened on 20 October 1973 after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition. The Government of New South Wales, led by the premier, Joseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.

 

Though its name suggests a single venue, the project comprises multiple performance venues which together are among the busiest performing arts centres in the world — hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. The venues produce and present a wide range of in-house productions and accommodate numerous performing arts companies, including four key resident companies: Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, more than seven million people visit the site each year, with 300,000 people participating annually in a guided tour of the facility.

 

Identified as one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world, the facility is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the auspices of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts. The Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007.

 

The facility features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete "shells", each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres (246 ft 8.6 in) radius,[12] forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) of land and is 183 m (600 ft) long and 120 m (394 ft) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 m (82 ft) below sea level.

 

Although the roof structures are commonly referred to as "shells" (as in this article), they are precast concrete panels supported by precast concrete ribs, not shells in a strictly structural sense. Though the shells appear uniformly white from a distance, they actually feature a subtle chevron pattern composed of 1,056,006 tiles in two colours: glossy white as well as matte cream. The tiles were manufactured by the Swedish company Höganäs AB which generally produced stoneware tiles for the paper-mill industry.

 

Apart from the tile of the shells and the Bradfield Highway. Significant interior surface treatments also include off-form concrete, Australian white birch plywood supplied from Wauchope in northern New South Wales, and brush box glulam.

 

Of the two larger spaces, the Concert Hall is in the western group of shells, the Joan Sutherland Theatre in the eastern group. The scale of the shells was chosen to reflect the internal height requirements, with low entrance spaces, rising over the seating areas up to the high stage towers. The smaller venues (the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse and the Studio) are within the podium, beneath the Concert Hall. A smaller group of shells set to the western side of the Monumental Steps houses the Bennelong Restaurant. The podium is surrounded by substantial open public spaces, and the large stone-paved forecourt area with the adjacent monumental steps is regularly used as a performance space.

 

The Sydney Opera House includes a number of performance venues:

 

Concert Hall: With 2,679 seats, the home of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and used by a large number of other concert presenters. It contains the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, the largest mechanical tracker action organ in the world, with over 10,000 pipes.[citation needed]

Joan Sutherland Theatre: A proscenium theatre with 1,507 seats,[17] the Sydney home of Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet. Until 16 October 2012 it was known as the Opera Theatre.

Drama Theatre: A proscenium theatre with 544 seats, used by the Sydney Theatre Company and other dance and theatrical presenters.

Playhouse: An end-stage theatre with 398 seats.

Studio: A flexible space with a maximum capacity of 400, depending on configuration.

Utzon Room: A small multi-purpose venue, seating up to 210.

Recording Studio

Outdoor Forecourt: A flexible open-air venue with a wide range of configuration options, including the possibility of utilising the Monumental Steps as audience seating, used for a range of community events and major outdoor performances. The Forecourt will be closed to visitors and performances in 2011–2014 to construct a new entrance tunnel to a rebuilt loading dock for the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

 

Other areas (for example the northern and western foyers) are also used for performances on an occasional basis. Venues are also used for conferences, ceremonies and social functions.

 

The building also houses a recording studio, cafes, restaurants, bars and retail outlets. Guided tours are available, including a frequent tour of the front-of-house spaces, and a daily backstage tour that takes visitors backstage to see areas normally reserved for performers and crew members.

 

Planning began in the late 1940s, when Eugene Goossens, the Director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, lobbied for a suitable venue for large theatrical productions. The normal venue for such productions, the Sydney Town Hall, was not considered large enough. By 1954, Goossens succeeded in gaining the support of NSW Premier Joseph Cahill, who called for designs for a dedicated opera house. It was also Goossens who insisted that Bennelong Point be the site: Cahill had wanted it to be on or near Wynyard Railway Station in the northwest of the CBD.

 

An international design competition was launched by Cahill on 13 September 1955 and received 233 entries, representing architects from 32 countries. The criteria specified a large hall seating 3,000 and a small hall for 1,200 people, each to be designed for different uses, including full-scale operas, orchestral and choral concerts, mass meetings, lectures, ballet performances and other presentations.

 

The winner, announced in 1957, was Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect. According to legend the Utzon design was rescued from a final cut of 30 "rejects" by the noted Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen. The prize was £5,000. Utzon visited Sydney in 1957 to help supervise the project. His office moved to Palm Beach, Sydney in February 1963.

 

Utzon received the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture's highest honour, in 2003. The Pritzker Prize citation read:

 

There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent.

  

The Sydney Opera House was formally opened by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on 20 October 1973. A large crowd attended. Utzon was not invited to the ceremony, nor was his name mentioned. The opening was televised and included fireworks and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9

 

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design. Furthermore, the bridge is ubiquitously known to Sydneysiders simply as "the Bridge".

 

Under the direction of Dr J.J.C. Bradfield of the NSW Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932. The bridge's design was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City.[5] It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m (440 ft) from top to water level. It was also the world's widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 m (160 ft) wide, until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver was completed in 2012.

 

The southern (CBD) end of the bridge is located at Millers Point in The Rocks area, and the northern end at Milsons Point in the lower North Shore area. There are six original lanes of road traffic through the main roadway, plus an additional two lanes of road traffic on its eastern side, using lanes that were formerly tram tracks. Adjacent to the road traffic, a path for pedestrian use runs along the eastern side of the bridge, whilst a dedicated path for bicycle use only runs along the western side. Finally, between the main roadway and the western bicycle path are two lanes used for railway tracks, servicing the T1 North Shore Line for Sydney Trains.

 

The main roadway across the bridge is known as the Bradfield Highway and is about 2.4 km (1.5 mi) long, making it one of the shortest highways in Australia.

 

The building of the bridge was under the management of Bradfield. Three other people heavily involved in the bridge's design and construction were Lawrence Ennis, Edward Judge, and Sir Ralph Freeman. Ennis was the engineer-in-charge at Dorman Long and Co and the main on-site supervisor (Bradfield visited occasionally throughout the project and, in particular, at many key stages of the project, to inspect progress and make managerial decisions), Judge was chief technical engineer of Dorman Long, and Freeman was hired by the company to design the accepted model in further detail. Later a bitter disagreement broke out between Bradfield and Freeman as to who actually designed the bridge. Another name connected with the bridge's design is that of Arthur Plunkett.

 

Even during its construction, the bridge was such a prominent feature of Sydney that it would attract tourist interest. One of the ongoing tourist attractions of the bridge has been the south-east pylon, which is accessed via the pedestrian walkway across the bridge, and then a climb to the top of the pylon of about 200 steps.

 

Not long after the bridge's opening, commencing in 1934, Archer Whitford first converted this pylon into a tourist destination. He installed a number of attractions, including a café, a camera obscura, an Aboriginal museum, a "Mother's Nook" where visitors could write letters, and a "pashometer". The main attraction was the viewing platform, where "charming attendants" assisted visitors to use the telescopes available, and a copper cladding (still present) over the granite guard rails identified the suburbs and landmarks of Sydney at the time.

 

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 saw tourist activities on the bridge cease, as the military took over the four pylons and modified them to include parapets and anti-aircraft guns.

 

In 1948 Yvonne Rentoul opened the "All Australian Exhibition" in the pylon. This contained dioramas, and displays about Australian perspectives on subjects such as farming, sport, transport, mining, and the armed forces. An orientation table was installed at the viewing platform, along with a wall guide and binoculars. The owner kept several white cats in a rooftop cattery, which also served as an attraction, and there was a souvenir shop and postal outlet.[48] Rentoul's lease expired in 1971, and the pylon and its lookout remained closed to the public for over a decade.

 

The pylon was reopened in 1982, with a new exhibition celebrating the bridge's 50th anniversary. In 1987 a "Bicentennial Exhibition" was opened to mark the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia in 1988.[51]

 

The pylon was closed from April to November 2000 for the Roads & Traffic Authority and BridgeClimb to create a new exhibition called "Proud Arch". The exhibition focussed on Bradfield, and included a glass direction finder on the observation level, and various important heritage items.

 

The pylon again closed for four weeks in 2003 for the installation of an exhibit called "Dangerous Works", highlighting the dangerous conditions experienced by the original construction workers on the bridge, and two stained glass feature windows in memory of the workers.

  

www.brockholes.org/

  

Brockholes is a new kind of nature reserve, an unreserved reserve owned and managed by The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside.

 

There's lots to see and do at Brockholes, you can hunt out our floating Visitor Village with a restaurant, shops and Welcome Centre or explore our family-friendly hides, walking trails and play area.

  

www.brockholes.org/visit

  

At Brockholes you can explore our beautiful reserve, see the wildlife that call it ‘home’ or hunt out our Visitor Village with restaurant and shops, all of which float (yes really!) on one of our lakes.

 

Our floating Visitor Village features a gift shop and a restaurant providing stunning views across the lake. You can also discover our interactive Welcome Centre and learn all about the wildlife that you could see on-site. Be sure to call in to pick up a welcome leaflet that will help you plan your day. You can view the reserve map in our Welcome Leaflet here to help you plan your first visit.

  

2013/14 Opening Times:

 

4th November 2013 to 31 March 2014 10am-4pm

1st April 2014 to 31st October 2014 10am-5pm

 

Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day only

  

Car Park Charges

 

We don't charge for entry and any profits made here go back into looking after the reserve. So every time you pay for parking, treat yourself in the shop or enjoy some lunch, you are helping look after the reserve and the wildlife that visits us!

  

Sorry no dogs allowed!

 

There is a good reason! Dogs can disturb wildlife, especially nesting birds. If your dog was to get too close to a nesting bird it would cause the mother to leave the nest. So to avoid any accidents we ask that you don’t bring your dog. (Assistance dogs are welcome.)

  

Explore the reserve

 

Brockholes is one of the best sites in the UK for many species of bird and has one of the largest strips of ancient woodland in the county. You can take a stroll by the River Ribble, explore our woods or enjoy the lakes on site, which have all been specially designed to attract all kinds of wildlife for you to see!

  

Walks around Brockholes

 

What can I see at Brockholes?

Read about the happy habitats we've been working hard to create at Brockholes.

Watch out!

  

The Visitor Village floats on water and there are lots of areas of open water on the reserve. Take care in these areas and keep an eye on any children with you. The following activities are not allowed on the reserve:

 

Barbecues and fires

Fishing

Swimming

  

Please do not feed the birds

 

Big gulls know it’s much easier to find food when we leave it lying around rather than finding their own lunch. Here at Brockholes we have lots of species breeding with us, little ringed and ringed plover, lapwing, oystercatcher and redshank. Unfortunately the big gulls will eat the chicks of these special birds so if we feed the gulls and encourage them to stay there is a big chance that they will eat our important chicks, so please do not feed the birds and take your leftover picnic away with you.

  

www.brockholes.org/our-journey

  

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been working on developing Brockholes for nearly 20 years, here is an overview of our journey.

 

1992 Lancashire Wildlife Trust first contests the quarrying of Brockholes.

 

27 November 2006 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has four weeks to raise £50,000 to buy the Brockholes site, near Preston, and protect it from development. Brockholes sits next to J31 of the M6 and is the size of 120 football pitches.

 

15 January 2007 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust makes the biggest land purchase in its history - thanks to donations from Wildlife Trust members, and an investment of £800,000 from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) under the Newlands scheme. The project to buy and develop Brockholes is also supported by The Tubney Charitable Trust.

 

3 May 2007 Ian Selby is appointed as Brockholes project manager. Ian has 20 years' experience of managing the North West's canal network for British Waterways, followed by environmental regeneration work. Sophie Leadsom, Brockholes' new reserve manager, has worked in conservation for 14 years.

 

July 2007 The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the launch of a new open competition to design new visitor facilities.

 

5 October 2007 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust announced the shortlist for the new multi-million pound visitor centre. 61 architects from all over Europe submitted designs. The five were Adam Khan Architects, Arca, Architecture 2B, AY Architects, McDowell + Benedetti.

 

25 February 2008 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) and partners announce the winner of its competition to design a visitor facility. Adam Khan Architects was selected for its inspirational design concept: "A Floating World". Designed as a cluster of buildings constructed largely of wood and other sustainable materials, it resembles an ancient marshland village.

 

April 2008 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust announced the completion of its first phase of preparatory work, including the restoration of the wetlands, creation of ponds, seeding of meadows, planting new hedgerows and trees, making access paths and building proper bird watching hides.

 

March 2009 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust secured £8million of funding from the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA). The investment was made under ‘Newlands’, a NWDA and Forestry Commission programme that is regenerating brownfield land across the Northwest into economically viable community woodland.

 

Summer 2009 Volunteers gave us 134 hours of their time to help propagate our own reed seedlings on-site. We ended up with 20,000 new redd seedlings ready to plant out around our new visitor centre, creating two hecatres of brand new reedbed.

 

August 2009 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust were granted detailed planning permission for the site.

 

December 2009 Contractors first day of work as they begin to construct the iconic floating visitors centre. Press conference being held with a ‘cutting of the first sod’

 

November 2010 A herd of longhorn cattle move into Brockholes to graze the reserve.

 

December 2010 BBC Countryfile fronted by Julia Bradbury visit Brockholes to film a feature that airs in January 2011.

 

March 2011 Brockholes makes history as the Visitor Village is floated for the first time.

 

Easter Sunday 2011 Brockholes opens its doors to the public for the first time!

  

www.brockholes.org/happy-habitats-brockholes

  

Happy habitats at Brockholes

 

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust are using their expertise to create habitats that will encourage lots of different species to visit the site, read more about the work we are doing on the reserve...

  

Number 1 Pit

 

Uniform and steep, the edges around the original gravel pit used to look very different. The island looked different too – an egg-shaped piece of land sticking out of the water by three metres. These land profiles weren’t great for the bird species and aquatic invertebrates we wanted to attract. So, with bulldozer and digger we pushed earth into the lake to create shallow, underwater ledges and peninsulas where birds can roost and feed, safe from predators. Diving ducks, such as Great Crested Grebe, now hunt for fish in the deep water.

  

Nook Pool

 

The edge of this pool has been planted with reed to create places for small fish and aquatic invertebrates like dragonfly larvae to hide and grow, away from predator fish. The shelter provided by the vegetation provides an ideal hunting ground for lots of species of dragonfly including the impressive Brown Hawker and Emperor Dragonfly.

  

Meadow Lake

 

This shallow lake is great for bird watching: when the water level is down, wading birds feed on small invertebrates in the exposed mud. This lake has some of the richest water plant life in and around it, including White Water Lily and Cuckooflower. The reed fringes are becoming well established and hold some of the largest populations of birds on site. The islands provide safe roosting and breeding areas, we keep the vegetation short so the birds can watch out for predators.

  

Boilton Marsh

 

This area is part of our newly created wet grassland habitat. We remodelled 17,000 cubic metres of quarry spoil to create 10 hectares of wet grassland with nearly 2km of channels and five pools. This is the ideal habitat for breeding wading birds such as Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe. We now graze traditional breeds of cattle and sheep that thrive on the coarse grasses and rushes and provide the low grassland sward that encourages wading birds to nest.

 

The channels and pools are kept topped up by using a high-level reservoir, filled from Number One Pit by way of a solar pump.

  

Woodland

 

Brockholes is fringed by the ancient woodland of Boilton, Red Scar and Tunbrook Woods. Woodland has grown here for thousands of years and developed a very rich variety of wildlife. Looking after our trees and paths will help the woodland to thrive and enable you to see the wildlife safely.

  

Reedbeds

 

Reedbeds are home to Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings and Water Rail. We protect the new reed from grazing birds like Coot, Mute Swan and Canada Goose, by erecting chicken wire fences and baling string barriers. It will take several years before our lak fringes start to look like reedbeds. You might notice that the Visitor Village has been nestled in reedbed. This helps it to blend into the reserve and allows you to hear the song and chatter of the birds that nest there.

  

www.brockholes.org/brockholes-partners-and-funders

  

Brockholes partners and funders

  

For the past ten years, The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside have been working to secure this site of national environmental importance, and restore habitats to their full potential.

 

The £8.6 million of regeneration funding was provided for the Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Reserve project has been granted under 'Newlands' - a £59 million, Northwest Regional Development Agency and Forestry Commission programme to transform brownfield land into durable community woodland, which act as catalysts for economic, social and environmental gain.

 

The Lancashire Environmental Fund awarded £446,000 for the development of the education facilities, hides and infrastructure on the site. Tubney Charitable Trust granted £350,000 for Biodiversity and Natural England DEFRA's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund awarded circa. £300,000. The Environment Agency granted £50,000 for the continued development of Brockholes.

 

The support of these funders helped make Brockholes a reality, as did the amazing support from our public appeal, which raised an amazing £63,000 - the most successful public appeal the Lancashire Wildlife Trust has ever run!

  

www.brockholes.org/volunteer

  

Volunteering at Brockholes

  

Around 200 volunteers have now been recruited, inducted and trained to begin volunteering at Brockholes, so we offer an enormous thank you to all who are helping it make such a big impact on our visitors... Volunteers truly are the face of Brockholes.

 

There are currently some exciting opportunities to be had volunteering here at Brockholes. Please have a look below at roles (you can click on the titles to download a full role description) which might suit you and click here to register, mentioning Brockholes and the role on the form.

  

Seasonal Activities Volunteer

 

Our seasonal activities program is the ideal opportunity for young people aged 16-23 to get involved here at Brockholes.

 

Running throughout all school holiday periods, you are expected to volunteer for 7 hours per week (normally one full day).

 

The Seasonal Activities Volunteer role is ideal for friendly, outgoing people who want to utilise their creative skills and help visitors – in particular children – enjoy the reserve. You will work alongside other volunteers to plan and deliver a variety of activities including pond dipping, guided walks, bird watching. The role will also include assisting with larger events such as our Extreme Adventure Weekend and Craft Fayres. Support will be given to you by the Events & Communications Manager.

 

This placement is perfect for those undertaking various award schemes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh award, as over the course of the summer you have the opportunity to gain upto 50 volunteering hours.

 

For full details on the role and what it entails, click here.

  

Seasonal Retail & Visitor Services

 

Our seasonal activities program is the ideal opportunity for young people aged 16-23 to get involved here at Brockholes.

 

As a volunteer for Retail & Visitor Services you will provide a warm welcome for visitors, helping to ensure that their Brockholes experience is a positive one. You will help visitors by providing them with information about products on sale in our gift stores and help them plan their visit by telling them about the various events and activities we have on offer.

 

The role suits a friendly, outgoing person who has an interest in wildlife and conservation.

 

Running throughout the school holiday periods, you are expected to volunteer for 7 hours per week (normally one full day).

 

This placement is perfect for those undertaking various award schemes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh award, as over the course of the summer you have the opportunity to gain upto 50 volunteering hours.

  

Each volunteer will be required to undergo a minimum of 1 and a half days training before they start. If you’d like to find out more or ask questions about any of these roles do not hesitate to get in touch with Catherine Haddon, Volunteering Support Officer on 01772 324 129 or email volunteer@lancswt.org.uk

  

www.brockholes.org/awards

  

Awards

 

Brockholes has scooped many high profile awards since opening in April 2011:

 

2013 Lancashire Tourism Award for Best Conference/Meeting venue

 

VisitEngland's Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) 'Excellent'

 

Green Tourism Gold Award

 

Customer at the Heart Award

 

Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards 'Marketing Campaign of the Year'

 

National Wood Award

 

BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ for the interim design stage

 

Chartered Institute of Building Services – Building of the Year 2011

 

Civic Trust Award

 

Civic Trust Special Award for Sustainability

 

Highly Commended in portfolio of Newlands sites in Landscape Awards

 

CIWEM Living Wetlands award

 

Greenbuilds award

 

Green Apple Awards for the Visitor Centre

 

Sustainable Project of the year – 2012 Building Awards

 

RICS North West – Overall award

 

RICS North West – Tourism and Leisure

 

RICS NW – Design & Innovation

 

RIBA North West Building of the Year

 

RIBA North West Sustainability Award

 

RIBA Award for top 50 new buildings in the UK

  

www.brockholes.org/business-0

  

Brockholes is an award winning-venue, which floats on one of our lakes - the only one of its kind in the UK.

 

Combine this unique design with access straight off the M6, a beautiful nature reserve, ample parking and on site catering, and you have found yourself the perfect venue for your next event. View our Conference Brochure here.

 

We think Brockholes is the natural place to do business, our dedicated centre can cater for 50 to 130 delegates.

 

We have a choice of two conference rooms and a reception/break-out area.

  

www.brockholes.org/conference-packages

  

At Brockholes we want you to be in control of your event as much as possible. This is why we have created these basic packages, enabling you to tweak each element to build an individual event.

 

Alternatively, we can cater to your specific requests if you require half day, early morning or evening hire.

 

Here is an overview of our conference packages, please contact us for a quote.

 

Our Conference brochure can be viewed in digi-book format here.

  

Day Delegate Package

  

Private room hire from 9am - 5pm

Tea and coffee served on arrival with bacon rolls

Mineral water for each guest

Tea and coffee served mid-morning

Buffet lunch served with tea, coffee and fresh fruit platter

Tea, coffee and biscuits served mid-afternoon

Use of a flip chart, screen and projector

Recycled pen and notepad for each delegate

Dedicated co-ordinator to assist you throughout the planning to delivery of your meeting

24 Hour Delegate Package

 

All of the above plus;

 

Three course dinner

Full breakfast

Accommodation in a standard bedroom at our recommended accommodation supplier

  

Accommodation

 

Preferential rates are available on request from a local hotel when booking through the Brockholes Sales Team.

 

We can tailor our packages to suit your needs. Make the UK's first floating venue your next choice

 

Please contact us for more information or to arrange a meeting or showround with our Conference Sales Co-ordinator

 

Call us on 01772 872005 or enter your details below and we will contact you to discuss your requirements.

  

www.brockholes.org/sponsorship-opportunities

  

Sponsorship Opportunities

  

Brockholes is an award winning nature reserve owned and manages by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which was opened in 2011. The 250 acre reserve is already attracting record numbers of breeding birds and around 170,000 visitors each year. Brockholes runs a wide range of events throughout the year and has a particularly strong offer for families. Events include wild families, school holiday clubs, school and community group visits, self led trails and larger festivals during the summer holidays.

 

The key marketing campaigns run targeting families include Christmas, Summer and Easter. Each campaign targets a series of family focused publications across the North West, with a monthly average reach online of over 40,000 people through the website and social media. Advertising and direct marketing campaigns have an average reach of 70% of the total North West population.

  

Sponsorship and Partnership Opportunities

 

Summer at Brockholes sees a host of family events each year, from school holiday clubs to open air theatre, guided walks to family fun. Over the Summer period, Brockholes expects to welcome over 60,000 visitors. The marketing campaign is multi channel and will reach a wide audience of families across the North West. Brockholes has also been featured in the National Press for some of the unique events run. We have some new opportunities for sponsorship and partnership, which will allow your business to raise brand awareness and fulfill part of your Corporate Social Responsibility by supporting Brockholes and The Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

 

Summer at Brockholes Headline Sponsorship £4500

 

Expose your brand to thousands of families across the North West.

- Logo on all Summer promotional material

- Inclusion in all four of the Summer e-news and Lancashire Wildlife Trust e-news

- Sponsor Feature on Brockholes.org

- On site promotion

- Promotion through social media channels

- Inclusion in all PR activity

- Temporary use of Brockholes logo on promotional material directly related to the partnership

  

Wild Families Sponsorship £4000 per year

  

Our Wild Families events are always fully booked. With themes ranging from scarecrow hunts to nature detectives, each event provides quality family time for family members of all ages. Events are run throughout school holidays.

-Logo on marketing materials for Wild Families

-Inclusion in PR for trail launch

-Inclusion in social media activity

-Inclusion in Brockholes e-news

  

Seasonal Trail Sponsorship £500 per trail

Each visitor to Brockholes can collect their free seasonal trail on arrival. The trail helps visitors to explore the reserve, learn more about what to see and how the reserve changes with the season and challenges them to spot things.

-Logo on sponsorship trail

-Inclusion in PR for trail launch

-Inclusion in social media activity around the trail

  

Half term at Brockholes £1500

-Logo on all marketing materials

-Inclusion in launch PR

-Social media promotion

  

Annual Headline Sponsorship £10,000

- Logo inclusion on all Promotional Material

- Dedicated web page on Brockholes.org

- On site promotion

- Dedicated stand area on key event days

- Promotion through Brockholes and LWT e-news, member magazine

- Promotion through social media channels

- Inclusion in all PR activity

-Discounted delegate rate on our conference facilities

 

Children's Corner £500

 

Would you like to help brighten up the children's corner in our restuarant for our younger visitors?

 

-Inclusion in PR activity

 

-Recognition in the children's area

 

-Inclusion in activity to our database promoting the new area

  

To talk to us more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Ruth Gaskell rgaskell@lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129.

  

www.brockholes.org/commercial-opportunities

  

Commercial Opportunities

  

Make Brockholes your business

 

Businesses are being offered an opportunity to become partners in a North West tourism and wildlife success story.

 

Brockholes nature reserve is entering the second phase of development which will provide commercial opportunities for other businesses and boost local employment.

 

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust attraction attracted 185,000 people to its nature reserve and the first ever floating visitor village in the UK, last year. It is looking to top that visitor figure this year.

 

Just off the M6 at Preston and easily accessible from anywhere in the UK, Brockholes has received more than 30 regional and national awards despite only opening in 2011. Visitors continue to pour in despite the reserve being surrounded by the attractions of Manchester, Blackpool and Liverpool.

 

The business has shown year-on-year growth and, as a result, is seeking commercial partners for the next phase of development.

 

Anne Selby, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust said “Brockholes has performed incredibly well despite being launched in a recession. We have steered the business through the stormy weather and achieved fantastic results.

 

“We are now looking to move into the next phase of development. As a conservation charity, we want to ensure our focus remains on the nature conservation of the reserve, whilst ensuring the commercial income supports this work. We are looking for expressions of interest at this stage and asking businesses to be creative with their proposals.”

 

The Visitor Village has a restaurant, shops, conference centre, welcome centre and education centre. Major companies have made use of the conference centre including RBS and Aldi. The surrounding nature reserve is continuing to grow, with an increasing population of resident creatures and rare visitors like red kite, bittern and otter.

 

Anne continued: “Brockholes received funding for the initial start up and development phases but it was always designed to be a self-sustaining model. By making the most of the commercial opportunities and keeping these balanced carefully with the needs of nature, we believe we can continue to success of Brockholes into the future and achieve even more fantastic results for wildlife, our wide range of visitors and the tourism economy”.

 

Opportunities include retail, water sports (non-motorised), indoor play provision, events partners and mobile food concessions. However, the Trust is open to hear if any investors would wish to develop sympathetic commercial facilities on the site.

 

An opportunity information pack is available by request from:

Karen Williams Karen.Williams@brockholes.org

 

Expressions of interest should initially be made to

Lindsey Poole, Commercial Development Manager lpoole@lancswt.org.uk

  

www.brockholes.org/groups

  

Group Visits

 

Whether it’s a full day out or just a quick stop off on the way to your destination, Brockholes is the ideal place for groups to visit.

 

There's so much for all ages to see and learn about at Brockholes. Everyone from toddlers to seniors will find something to fascinate them, whether through our exciting range of organised events, or by just wandering around the site.

 

We are passionately committed to lifelong learning for all – our belief is that everyone should leave knowing something they didn't when they arrived! The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has over a decade of experience in delivering environmental education, so you can relax, enjoy the surroundings and be sure to come away both enchanted and enlightened...

 

We have several options for various groups, each with a variety of benefits. For more information click on the relevant link below…

 

Coach Groups

School Groups

Community Groups

 

To enquire about group visits please call 01772 872000 or email info@brockholes.org. Or leave your details on the form below and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

  

Coach Groups

 

Situated next to Junction 31 on the M6, we are the ideal stop for coach trips, whether it is for a short stop, as a green motorway services, or as part of a full day visit.

 

​Free entry for coaches and convenient coach drop-off point

 

We have a variety of walking trails for your group to explore, ranging from half an hour to 2 hours in length.

 

We have our floating visitor village that features a stunning waterside restaurant, 2 unique gift shops and a welcome centre with exhibits, which are ideal should your guests decide for something less active (or if the weather lets you down)!

 

All our buildings are fully accessible, while the vast majority of our paths are well surfaced, level and suitable for wheelchairs.

 

We now have a more convenient drop-off point exclusively for coaches and in addition have a number of benefits for coach groups:

 

• Free entry to the reserve and visitor centre

• Free coach parking

• Refreshment voucher for the coach driver

• Free familiarisation visit for group organisers

• Free meet and greet at the coach (on request)

• Free Brockholes welcome leaflet and trail guide

• Free events and activities throughout the year (visit our events calendar for details)

• Free play area

• Pre-booked guided tours (available at an extra charge)

• Adapted toilets available at the visitor centre

 

Please note that there is a 4 metre high bridge on the entrance to Brockholes. We also advise all coaches to let us know of their visit in advance by calling us on 01772 872000.

 

For any further information please just call 01772 872000, email info@brockholes.org

  

School Groups

 

Our 250 acre nature reserve and Visitor Village is a great place for school groups to visit. Children can learn about the geological history and how the quarrying has shaped the land today. And because we are a new nature reserve, you can watch it grow! It is also home to the UK's first floating Visitor Village.

 

Most importantly of all, the children will be able to see that Brockholes is home to a host of wildlife, with many different species of bird popping by throughout the year, along with brown hare, dragonfly and deer to name a few!

  

Facilities

 

Your school will have use of the education centre on our floating visitor village and you will have at least one Education Officer dedicated to your group throughout the day.

 

Plus... NEW FOR 2014!

 

Next year your school will be able to get even closer to nature at Brockholes by booking an education session in our new purpose-built bird hide classroom, right on the edge of the lake!

 

The hide will overlook No 1 Pit Lake which is home to many different species of birds and you'll also be able to look across to the new sand martin wall, which will provide valuable breeding habitat when they arrive in spring.

 

Why not your details below if you'd like us to keep to informed of these exciting new developments!

  

Programmes

 

We offer a wide range of programmes including:

 

Big Adventure in a Miniature World

Life Cycles

Migration and Hibernation

Environmental Art

Geography and Geology

​Forest School

 

You can read more about the education programmes available at Brockholes here. ​

  

Education Team

 

Our Education Team are based at Brockholes and have a huge amount of experience in inspiring young people about the natural world. They are a lively bunch and pride themselves on creating an exciting and memorable experience for your school. You can read about how great our team is here: Meet the Education Team.

  

Outreach

 

Can't get to us? Then we can come to you! Our outreach education programme is very popular and offers a wide range of programmes for those who are unable to reach Brockholes.You can view our Outreach Programmes here.

 

For any information just call us on 01772 872000 for more information, email eduadmin@lancswt.org.uk

  

Community Groups

 

Brockholes is a great place to bring your community group, whether it's the Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies or Beavers or a rambling or photography group, there is something for everyone!

 

As well as exploring our stunning nature reserve you can enjoy an activity such as a guided walk, a mini-beast hunt or an environmental art session.

 

You can visit Brockholes during the day or we have special community group evenings when the reserve is open beyond our usual opening hours. Group activities usually take place between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

  

Forest Schools

 

Forest Schools is a unique outdoor learning experience that improves children's self-esteem, confidence and abilities.

 

Brockholes provides an inspirational setting for Forest Schools sessions and training, and is conveniently located just off junction 31 of the M6 at Preston.

 

Our Forest School sessions are designed and delivered by our experienced and fully qualified Education Team including our Level 3 Trained Forest Schools Practioner.

 

Our next Forest Schools adult training session will be running in October. To find out more about Forest School sessions at Brockholes please call 01772 872017 or email kphillips@lancswt.org.uk

  

www.brockholes.org/shop

  

Shop til you flock

 

Why not drop into our two on-site shops, The Nest and Village Store, which are packed with all sorts of goodies. We've a variety of products from local beverages and food, to cards and books and crafts and jewellery. They are the perfect place to pick up a unique gift... and there's plenty of treats for the little ones too!

  

The Nest

 

The Nest is home to an inspiring collection of gifts, jewellery, books, toys, arts & crafts. Discover what's inside The Nest here.

  

The Village Store

 

The Village Store stocks a wide range of products, from locally sourced food and drink treats to bird food, garden accessories and wildlife books. Come and look inside here.

  

Membership of the Wildlife Trust

 

Brockholes is a Lancashire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. You can become a member today or talk to our friendly staff members and volunteers on your next visit to Brockholes. Gift membership is available in The Nest or you can buy it online here.

  

www.brockholes.org/eat

  

Our restaurant is the perfect place to stop and watch the world go by with panoramic views of our lake. Scrumptious homemade dishes and a taste bud tingling selection of Lancashire's finest local produce are all here to tempt you, along with fair trade tea and coffee.

 

Our restaurant is open from 10am to 5pm.

  

www.brockholes.org/very-special-occasions

  

Brockholes is a fantastic place for your very special occasions.

 

Our floating venue is one of the newest and most unique in Lancashire and promises you and your guests an unforgetable event whatever the occasion.

 

We have a dedicated function centre that can accomodate weddings, christenings and all sort of functions.

 

The clean, contemporary finish of our venue means that you have the perfect opportunity to put your own stamp on your event, with a flexible range of catering available from our on-site restaurant.

 

We have a dedicated Conference and Events Co-ordinator that will be available to help you plan your special occasion.

  

Very Special Weddings

 

We had our first wedding celebration September 2011 and since then it's been all go with Wedding Fayres and lots more bookings for this year and next. Find out more about weddings at Brockholes here.

  

Very Special Christenings

 

Brockholes is a real family friendly venue for a Christening celebration that you will remember for years to come. Find out more here.

 

For general enquiries about holding a function at Brockholes please call 01772 872005 or email philip.dunn@brockholes.org.

  

Please LIKE our page:

www.facebook.com/penumbrasl

 

.PENUMBRA. is designed to be a fashion center, welcoming various agencies and designers for fashion events and brand marketing of all types. We offer, Fashion event venue, Marketing services for agencies and designers, Retail locations of various dimensions, Underground adult lounge for social events, Underground adult retail area and cross promotions with Style Kingdom Magazine.

 

For more information, please contact Fuzz Lennie, .PENUMBRA. Chief Operation Officer (fuzz@penumbrasl.com)

YOUNG HOMELESS MAN | SAN FRANCISCO | DECEMBER 29, 2007.

 

the crowd is crushing and oppressive. joyful tidings of retail cheer. the clouds hover just beyond reach. the rain patters lightly; an incessant timepiece. and a figure rests like a stone beneath; drawn to the earth but apart from it. ground down.

 

it was acid that started the trip. dropped at 16. a welcoming introduction. a young "cole" no more. and texas couldn't hold his burn for long. nor jails dampen it. at 21 he flew; but was wanted. he made it to california, but would serve again and more in texas before he was 25. and elsewhere after.

 

but his love stood by him. a drifter who got a job and apartment to support and console him in jail. and thirteen years later they would be together; drifting homeless or shacked in $35 hotels.

 

no one's ever done more. certainly not the woman who carried him in her womb; but no further. perhaps her father did as much, caring for the child alone; but he died when an eight year old needs more. and adoption was a hollow thing at best.

 

yes, this drifter stood by him unlike the others.

 

but then, again, no more. a month or more alone. and counting.

 

yet he's here for heroin more than anything else. or anyone. the city has endless supply and sale pricing. so he has that.

 

and the dope was good for christmas. though he missed extra company. he struggles with recent memories; but is sure of both these.

 

so he's looking for someone new. that's really on his mind. but john is equally in his head.

 

because he still cares for him. and he still keeps up with him. and watches out for him.

 

he wants to be sure john doesn't get burned too hard by the new flame.

 

"sometimes you deserve it. and sometimes you want it; it's fun for a while."

 

but it can go too far and get too deep.

 

so he's keeping an eye out for his friend.

 

that's all.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

www.tomstonegallery.com/

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Singapore Zoo

Coordinates: [show location on an interactive map] 1°24?15.9?N 103°47?28.1?E? / ?1.404417°N 103.791139°E? / 1.404417; 103.791139

Date opened 23 June 1973

Location Singapore

Land area 28 hectares

Number of animals 2530

Number of species 315

The Singapore Zoo (Chinese: ?????? ; Malay: 'Taman Haiwan Singapura'; Tamil: ??????????? ????????? ????????????), formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens and commonly known locally as the Mandai Zoo, occupies 28 hectares (0.28 km?) of land on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore's heavily forested central catchment area. The zoo was built at a cost of S$9m granted by the government of Singapore and opened on 23 June 1973. It is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who also manage the neighbouring Night Safari and the Jurong BirdPark. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16% are considered threatened species. The zoo attracts about 1.4 million visitors a year.

 

From the beginning, Singapore Zoo followed the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic, 'open' exhibits, i.e. with hidden barriers, behind moats and shrubbery etc. It also houses the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world. In 1977, primatologist Dr Francine Neago lived inside a cage with eighteen orangutans for six months to study their behavior and communication.

1 History

2 Present

o 2.1 Education and conservation

o 2.2 Rides

o 2.3 Friends of the Zoo

o 2.4 Organizing events

* 3 Incidents

* 4 Trivia

* 5 Awards

* 6 Gallery

* 7 See also

* 8 References

* 9 Notes

* 10 External links

* 11 Public Bus Services

 

History

Hamadryas baboons by a waterfall

The conception of the Singapore Zoo dates from 1969. At the time, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) decided to use some of its land holdings around reservoirs for parks and open recreational facilities. The then Executive Chairman of PUB, Dr Ong Swee Law, set aside 88 hectares of land for the construction of a zoological garden.

 

In 1970, consultants and staff were hired, and in 1971, the construction of the basic 50 enclosures started. Animals were collected from dealers and donated by sponsors. The Director of the Colombo Zoo in Sri Lanka, Lyn de Alwis, was hired as a special consultant to work out problems inherent in tropical zoos.

 

On 23 June 1973, the Singapore Zoo opened its gates for the first time with a collection of 270 animals from over 72 species, and a staff of 130. By 1990, 1,600 animals from more than 160 species lived in social groups, housed in 65 landscaped exhibits with boundaries conceived to look as natural as possible.

Present

A pair of white tigers

Today, the zoo is a model of the 'open zoo' concept. The animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures, separated from the visitors by either dry or wet moats. The moats are concealed with vegetation or dropped below the line of vision. In the case of dangerous animals which can climb very well, moat barriers are not used. Instead, these animals are housed in landscaped glass-fronted enclosures.

The zoo has not expanded beyond the original 28 hectares. However, 40 hectares of secondary forest were later developed into the Night Safari. The remaining undeveloped land has been kept as wooded land. This and the waters of Upper Seletar Reservoir contribute to the Zoo, giving it a sense of natural, unrestricted space.

Among various attractions that the zoo offers,one highlight is the "Breakfast with an Orangutan" programme that allows visitors to meet and interact closely with the orangutans in the zoo, amongst which includes the famous primate matriarch Ah Meng, (died on February 8, 2008) who was an icon of the Singapore tourism industry. Animal shows, as well as token feedings coupled with live commentaries by keepers, are also the daily staple in the Singapore zoo.

 

Education and conservation

The Wildlife Healthcare & Research Centre was opened in March 2006 as part of the zoo's efforts in wildlife conservation. The centre further underscores Singapore Zoo and Night Safari’s commitment to conservation research, providing the infrastructure for the parks and overseas zoological partners to better execute their research programmes.

The zoo also embarked on various rescue and conservation efforts to protect wildlife.

Rides

White rhinos

The zoo also offers various modes of rides available within the premises: trams, animals, boat, pony and horse carriage rides. Additional modes of transportation which can only be rented include: strollers, wagon and wheelchairs.

Friends of the Zoo

The zoo also has a "friends of the zoo" programme, where people can sign up for a yearly pass which grants them special privileges such as:

* Free and unlimited entry to Singapore Zoo for whole year

* Free Zoo tram rides and parking

* A free quarterly "Wildlife wonders" magazine

* 10% discount at some participating retail outlets

Organizing events

Elephant show and the trainers

There are three event venues available in the zoo, Forest Lodge, Pavilion-By-the-Lake and Garden Pavilion. There are also three cocktail venues, Elephants of Asia, Tiger Trek and Treetops Trail. The Singapore Zoo also facilitates birthday parties and weddings.

 

Incidents

On 13 November 2008, two of three white Bengal tigers mauled a zoo cleaner to death after the man jumped into a moat surrounding their enclosure.[2]

Trivia

Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (September 2008)

* In 2002, teams of The Amazing Race 3 also came to the Singapore Zoological Gardens as part of a detour.

* Steve Irwin, the animal activist and conservationalist known as "The Crocodile Hunter", admired the Singapore Zoo greatly, adopting it as the 'sister zoo' to the Australia Zoo. He was at the Singapore Zoo in 2006 to officiate the opening of the Australian outback exhibit.

* The Singapore Zoo is the first zoo in the world to breed a polar bear in the tropics. Inuka was conceived on 26 December 1990.

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Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States

 

A collaborative project of the Federal Public Works Administration and the newly established New York City Housing Authority, the Williamsburg Houses are notable as one of the earliest housing developments in the United States to reflect the ideas of the modern movement in architecture. In the 1920s Williamsburg was one of the most densely populated sections of Brooklyn and nearly six hundred, mostly frame, structures were demolished to create the 23.3 acre site. Proposed in 1934, this residential complex was skillfully designed by the Williamsburg Associated Architects during 1935 and most units were occupied by 1938.

 

The partnership included Richmond H. Shreve, of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the architects of the Empire State Building, and William Lescaze, the Swiss-born architect who helped introduce the “International” style on the eastern seaboard. Lescaze was responsible for the design, which includes twenty 4-story structures on four “super” blocks turned at 15 degree angles to the street grid. Oriented to the sun and prevailing winds, this unusual layout produced a series of large and small courts, many of which flow into a large public space at the center of each block. A light-colored palette distinguishes the facades, executed in tan brick and exposed concrete.

 

Among the most prominent features are the entrances, marked by blue tile and projecting stainless steel canopies, and the handsome streamlined storefronts. The complex was widely discussed by contemporary critics and more than 25,000 New Yorkers applied for 1,622 apartments. During the mid-1990s, the buildings underwent an extensive restoration which included the replacement of all exterior materials. Sponsored by the Housing Authority, in consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, these alterations were remarkably sensitive and in the 4th edition of the AIA Guide to New York City the “revivified” complex was called “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

Housing the Masses

 

From the rowhouse to the apartment building, New York City has been a laboratory for innovative housing. Beginning after the Civil War, apartments, variously known as French Flats and tenements, were built to house the city’s surging population. Immigrants, for the most part, crowded into unregulated tenements, structures that maximized profits for developers while providing few amenities that we take for granted today, such as light, air, and private bathrooms.

 

Despite government efforts to legislate minimum standards in 1867 and 1879, initially private individuals took the most significant steps to make decent housing affordable to all. Several pioneering examples were located close to the Brooklyn waterfront, including the Home and Tower Buildings , the Astral Apartments and Riverside . The later complex surrounded a large tree-shaded courtyard incorporating a music pavilion and areas for drying laundry. Despite these, and a few innovative Manhattan developments, the majority of New Yorkers continued to live in substandard conditions.

 

The passage of the New Tenement Law in 1901 improved the situation, requiring that multiple dwellings be built on significantly larger lots, with fire escapes and separate “privies” for each family. After World War I, the garden apartment came into vogue. While most were built for the middle class, especially in Jackson Heights, a significant group were sponsored by unions and cooperative organizations that wished to provide members with inexpensive apartments. Significant examples include the Amalgamated Houses on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the “Coops” built in the Bronx by the United Workers Cooperative Association .

 

The first significant act of government intervention occurred in 1926 with the passage of the New York State Housing Law. Promoted by Governor Alfred E. Smith to encourage construction through the formation of local authorities that would sell bonds or seek federal funds, it had little impact until 1934 when the New York City Housing Authority was established. The authority’s first project, aptly called the First Houses , was located in Manhattan’s East Village. Begun as a rehabilitation program involving the demolition of every third structure, due to structural problems the eight brick buildings were entirely rebuilt.

 

Throughout the early Depression, government-subsidized housing remained a controversial issue. Consequently, it was first promoted as worker relief, organized to create jobs but not compete with the commercial market. The first federal agency to involve itself with housing was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation which was created in 1932 to provide low-interest loans to limited-dividend housing corporations. Of the two loans it made, one was toward the construction of Knickerbocker Village . Built for the Fred F. French Company, this Chinatown-area development consists of two 12-story buildings, both enclosing an interior courtyard.

 

In mid-1933, as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Housing Division of the Public Works Administration was established. What made this agency different from its predecessor, the RFC, was that it would be directly involved in the planning and construction of low-income housing. The program was a great success and over the next three and half years it collaborated on the design and construction of 51 projects in 36 cities, including the Harlem River Houses and the Williamsburg Houses.

 

The passage of the Wagner-Steagall Bill by the United States Congress in September 1937, strengthened the federal government’s commitment to housing, but shifted greater control to local authorities. The first New York City housing project to be financed under this program was the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn. Future construction, which would amount to more than half a million low-rental units nationwide by 1957, would be funded primarily through low-interest loans.

 

Site

 

The Williamsburg Houses are located in northwestern Brooklyn, approximately one mile east of the Williamsburg Bridge and two blocks south of Grand Street, a lively commercial thoroughfare. Founded as part of the town of Bushwick in the mid17th century, Williamsburg was incorporated as a village in 1827. The community prospered and by 1852 it was the 20th largest city in the nation. Three years later, Williamsburg became part of Brooklyn and was commonly referred to as the Eastern District. Although ferry service was important to the area’s development, it was the planning and construction of a second East River crossing, the Williamsburg Bridge, that caused the most dramatic growth.

 

Proposed in 1883, the bridge was completed with much fanfare in 1903, serving pedestrians, bicycles and horse-drawn vehicles. In subsequent decades, Williamsburg rivaled the Lower East Side in population and density. The Brooklyn Eagle claimed in 1920 that the bridge was part of the busiest traffic center in the nation and that a single block north of it was the most crowded in the world. Conditions in the neighborhood continued to deteriorate throughout the decade, so much so that the population began to decline.

 

In October 1933, the Federal Works Administration established a slum clearance committee to study conditions throughout New York City. Richmond H. Shreve, who would later serve as chief architect of the Williamsburg Houses, was named director. Based on the committee’s recommendations, $25 million was set aside for a housing program in New York City. Under the direction of the NYCHA, a more comprehensive study was undertaken in 1934, focusing on fourteen neighborhoods, including Williamsburg. The PWA reported:

 

When the study was completed the blighted slum area of the Williamsburg section stood out as the best example where the most good could be done in wholesale clearance work.

 

Of 93 blocks studied, a grid of 12 was identified for redevelopment in Williamsburg. These blocks were chosen because property values were relatively low and the owners were willing to sell. Most of buildings were mixed-use, incorporating retail spaces at ground level and apartments above. Each lot was carefully documented: 90% of the structures were at least forty years old, 70% were built of wood, 78% had no central heating, and 67% had no private toilets. Such statistics were used to paint an extremely bleak picture of life there:

 

But the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, according to official surveys, is unique in that its slums bear the stamp of dull listlessness and despair . . . Laissez faire, exploitation, and land speculation have robbed the community of its natural potentialities for development and orderly urban life.

 

Public amenities were also in short supply; there were few schools and there were almost no parks.

 

Architects

 

Five architects were appointed to the NYCHA’s architectural board in May 1934: Richmond H. Shreve of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, Matthew W. Del Gaudio , William Lescaze , Arthur C. Holden , and James F. Bly. As members of the board, their initial role was advisory. They would act as the authority’s chief architect, overseeing the design and construction of municipal housing citywide.

 

In June 1934 an open competition was held to choose the architects who would work on the Williamsburg Houses and other NYCHA projects. The program guidelines did not specify the location, but the grid chosen closely resembled the long blocks where the Williamsburg Houses would be built. Of 278 architects who participated, 5 of the 22 selected were assigned to the Brooklyn project: Samuel Gardstein, of Holmgren, Volz & Gardstein, G. Harmon Gurney , of Gurney & Clavan, John W. Ingle Jr., Paul Trapani , and Harry Leslie Walker .

 

In June 1935, a contract was signed with the Williamsburg Associated Architects. The partnership consisted of ten men: the five architects selected by jury, as well as the five members of the architectural board. Among them, Shreve had the most experience with large projects, having worked on a succession of major Manhattan skyscrapers, most notably, the Empire State Building .

 

A graduate of the College of Architecture at Cornell University , he began his career as a member of the school’s faculty and later joined the firm of Carrére & Hastings in New York City where he distinguished himself as having a “genius for the solution of operational and administrative problems.” Whereas prior to the Depression he mainly worked on office buildings, in his later years Shreve was associated with residential developments, most notably the Vladeck Houses on the Lower East Side, and Parkchester , a development with more than twelve thousand apartments in the Bronx. During the late 1930s, he also served as a member of the board of design for the New York World’s Fair.

 

Design

 

Of the three initial projects built by the NYCHA and the PWA, the Williamsburg Houses were the most innovative. Shreve appointed Lescaze as the chief designer, responsible for the plan and elevations. In the 1930s, he was at the height of his career, profiled in publications read by professionals and the layman. Born near Geneva, Switzerland, in 1896, he studied in Zurich with the architect Karl Moser in 1915-19 and for a brief period worked in Paris with Henri Sauvage, an important designer of apartment buildings. Lescaze moved to the United States in 1920 and after working in Cleveland and New York City, formed a partnership with George Howe, a Philadelphia architect, in 1929.

 

Their association lasted four years and produced one architectural masterpiece, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building, completed in 1932. During the mid-1930s, he was extremely active, working on unrealized plans for the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, as well as building three of the earliest modern-style townhouses in Manhattan, his own house and studio, completed in 1934, as well as the Raymond C. and Mildred Kramer and Edward and Dorothy Norman houses. He also designed, with Albert Frey, the Chrystie-Forsyth Houses. Planned in 1931, this unrealized proposal was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s so-called “International Style” exhibition of 1932.

 

One of the most unique aspects of the Williamsburg Houses is the plan. To create the 23.3 acre complex, twelve blocks were acquired by the city, and the two east-west streets were closed to traffic to create four “super” blocks. All but one extend three full blocks from north to south, except part of the block between Manhattan and Graham Avenues that was set aside for a new junior high school and play area.

 

The development of New York City was closely tied to its gridiron. Introduced in 1811, it resulted in a city of predictable intersecting streets and avenues. In 1835, a similar plan was approved for Brooklyn and by the early 1850s the streets that cross through the site of the Williamsburg Houses had opened.

 

Most were named for area residents, such as Daniel Maujer, a lawyer and alderman, John and James Lorimer Graham, land jobbers, and James Scholes, a local land owner. The impact of this approach is visible throughout New York City, establishing blocks and lots of equal size and dimensions. Residential developers benefitted immensely, commissioning rowhouse and tenement designs that could be repeated without regard to location.

 

By the end of the 19th century, there was relatively little open space in Manhattan and Brooklyn. As part of the City Beautiful movement, various attempts were made to loosen the grid’s hold, first through the passage of the Small Parks Act in 1887, which focused on tenement neighborhoods, and later, by situating major civic structures in plazas. Similar ideas shaped the development of garden apartments which came into vogue after 1910. One of the primary characteristics of this type of multiple dwelling was reduced site coverage.

 

In most cases, such as in the Jackson Heights Historic District, the buildings were set around the perimeter of each block, enclosing large private gardens, but in other situations, such as at the Harlem River Houses, a “crankshaft” arrangement was adopted, creating a mixture of interior and exterior courts.

 

Lescaze borrowed freely from both the garden apartment tradition and architects associated with European modernism. In his earliest design, each block incorporated six U-shaped structures arranged around a narrow central court. A later design was considerably more irregular. Turned at an angle to the street, there were fewer but larger buildings.

 

Many aspects of this proposal were integrated into the final design. The Williamsburg Houses are configured in three ways, with footprints suggesting a capital “H,” small “h,” and “T.” All have small spurs and extensions, resembling crossbars. By adding this feature the number of courtyards was significantly increased. Within each block are six buildings ; at the north and south are the “H” and “h” configurations, and in the middle, the “T”s.

 

The decision to turn the buildings at a 15 degree angle to the street grid proved controversial. PWA accounts described it in functional terms, explaining that the orientation would provide tenants with more sun and take advantage of the prevailing northwest breezes. During the previous decade, many architects and planners experimented with similar ideas. One of the earliest built examples “to deviate from the geometry of the New York gridiron” was the Mesa Verde apartments in Jackson Heights. Designed by Henry Atterbury Smith and based on an earlier proposal from 1917, the development featured two rows of six “closed L buildings” set at 45 degree angle to the surrounding streets.

 

Lescaze, however, was more likely to have been influenced by European sources. During the 1920s, he frequently returned to Europe, a period when leading architects were involved in the design of social housing. Many favored the “tower in the park” approach in which free-standing high-rise structures stood in continuous open space. Writing in English in 1935, Walter Gropius concluded that apartment blocks should “command a clear view of the sky, over broad expanses of grass and trees which separate the blocks and serve as playgrounds.”

 

Another source of inspiration might have been Ernst May who oversaw the design and construction of many low-rise housing estates in Frankfurt. In his Bruchfeldstrasse development of 1926-27, designed with C. K. Rudloff, one section was arranged in an overlapping zig-zag configuration. As in Williamsburg, each unit had corner windows, providing tenants with uninterrupted views of a central garden.

 

Many writers were skeptical about the benefits of Lescaze’s plan. Hamlin argued that the layout would convert the courts “into perfect channels for Project for a group of factories. our most vicious northwest winds.” He was told that

 

the arrangement had, in fact, been chosen for aesthetic reasons, to “break up the street facades” and “allow the feeling of space to weave in and out on the street fronts. This goal was definitely achieved, producing an environment that was new and distinctive. The flowing spaces that Lescaze planned are less monumental and more intimate than those experienced in most housing projects, juxtaposing wedge-shaped lawns with semi-enclosed courtyards and large open plazas. As originally built, no fences interrupted the spaces and the areas adjoining the curving concrete walks were paved with cobblestone.

 

The Elevations

 

Equally modern were the elevations. Lescaze was attracted to the expressive and aesthetic qualities of modern materials. Particularly unusual was the decision to use a light-colored palette. Built from reinforced concrete, the walls were originally enclosed with a sand-cast brick that was variously described by observers as bright tan, yellowish, pinkish, and grayish warm pink. One of the most notable features was the exposed concrete floor plates which express the structure and division between the floors while giving the complex a strong horizontal appearance. Talbot Hamlin observed:

 

The effectiveness of the buildings is undoubted. The striping of brick and concrete and the contrast of the light walls which front the stair towers make a vivid picture . . .

 

Prior to the mid-1930s, red brick was the most frequently used material in housing developments, used throughout Jackson Heights and in the First Houses and Harlem River Houses. The proposal to break with this tradition generated considerable debate. While the general scheme was approved in June 1935, it was not until October that specific materials were selected. Presumably, the PWA wished to standardize the building process and reduce costs. Frederick Ackerman, technical director of the NYCHA, defended Lescaze’s proposal. He wrote the authority’s chairman, Langdon W. Post:

 

. . . the “effect” of the Project will depend very largely upon the texture and quality of the exterior wall. Unless the exterior wall possesses a greater intrinsic interest than one made of common brick then the resultant effect is certain to be a bleak, barren and unusually forbidding mass of building:

 

One might readily mistake the At Williamsburg, the buildings stand as freestanding objects, finished on all sides and approachable from multiple directions. No facade dominates and the apartment entrances face both the streets and courtyards. For those unfamiliar with the layout, the angled plan may have been somewhat disorienting. To make it easier to navigate, signs were installed throughout the complex and Lescaze skillfully designed the entrances, making dramatic use of color and form. Like Le Corbusier, he was an “accomplished” painter and frequently used color, especially blue, to enliven wall surfaces. Another possible model was May’s housing development at Praunheim where contrasting colors were used to give the projecting stair towers a distinctive appearance.

 

Within the courtyards are as many as five entrances. Each is sheltered by a small cantilevered aluminum marquee and is flanked by square blue terra-cotta tiles. The entrances that are located at the far end of the larger courtyards are set at a angle. In these instances, the tiles spread onto the adjoining walls and extend above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. Other tile treatments project slightly forward, or are recessed above the doors to the roof. An entrance is also located in the covered breezeway. Reached by a short flight of stairs connecting both the street and courtyard, the more public street facade had an asymmetrical character, incorporating projecting blue tiles to one side and a wide aluminum marquee.

 

Construction

 

To prepare the site for construction, 568 buildings were demolished on 349 lots and approximately 5,400 people were relocated. A 1935 report described the population as divided equally between American born, Italian born, and other nationalities. Most were semi-skilled workers, employed in manufacturing, or as clerks, truck drivers, and construction workers.

 

Demolition commenced in June 1935 as PWA supervisor Elizabeth Ross dug a crowbar into the facade of 197 Manhattan Avenue, near Ten Eyck Street. In the months that followed:

 

Steam shovels and picks played a tune to rival that of the pipes of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. From every dank basement and crumbling wall rats fled in droves. Backyards disgorged an assortment of rusted cans, trash, filth and litter that would have discouraged the most voracious goat.

 

Ground was broken on January 3, 1936. Following a brief ceremony in the rain, public officials addressed an audience of five hundred at Public School 196. During April 1936, the first foundations were poured at the southwest corner of Manhattan Avenue and Stagg Street. Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia was in attendance, followed by “a few hundred interested onlookers and an army of schoolboys.”

 

As the foundations neared completion, the PWA solicited bids for construction. Starrett Brothers & Eken was awarded the $7. 5 million contract for the first 18 buildings in October 1936. A subsequent contract, for construction of buildings No. 5 and 18, was signed in late April 1937.

 

Founded by Paul Starrett and William Aiken Starrett and Andrew J. Eken in 1922, the firm was responsible for such high-profile buildings as the New York Life Insurance Company Building , Bank of Manhattan Building , McGraw-Hill Building , and Empire State Building . The Starrett Brothers worked closely with Shreve on the Empire State Building and it is likely that this relationship helped secure the contract for the Williamsburg Houses. William Starrett acknowledged the importance and complexity of this issue when he said:

 

It is the hope of people who are discussing this problem that those same brains that put together the great skyscrapers . . . will turn toward this.

 

Starrett Brothers & Eken later built Parkchester , Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

 

The cornerstone was laid in October 1936. It contained an aerial view of the site, a copy of the federal act creating the PWA, as well as an autographed copy of Jacob Riis’s timeless account of slum conditions, How the Other Half Lives, donated by his widow. Construction progressed rapidly, and aside from minor walk-outs by metalworkers and painters, the first six buildings were ready for occupancy with a year, in September

 

Publicity

 

The Williamsburg Houses was the largest and costliest project built by the PWA. With 1,622 apartments, it was more than twice the size of the Harlem River Houses. The approximate cost was $12.8 million. It was described by the PWA as part of “demonstration program” and numerous public events were held. In a letter to Post, Shreve stated:

 

As this project is the beginning of what, in a way, is a housing community experiment and as the public attitude toward housing will be largely controlled by the success or failure of such an experiment, it is of importance that every effort be made to make the first experiment successful.

 

In this context, how the project was perceived was of the utmost importance. Once the design had been approved, a scale model was built by the PWA and exhibited at banks in Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg during late 1935 and 1936. This presentation was accompanied by a series of posters documenting the site, including photographs of earlier buildings and their demolition, as well as projected floor plans. The New York Times reported the model:

 

. . . throws into graphic relief the application of the new principle of multiple housing, providing more air, sunlight and recreational facilities and involving a departure from the solid-block construction.

 

The idea of using public funds to create low-income housing was relatively new and much of the language used in speeches and press releases heralded it as a major advance. At the site, signs were posted, calling Williamsburg the “Largest Low Rental Development in the USA.” At the ground-breaking, public officials evoked the memory of Alfred T. White, whose Brooklyn developments were among the first attempts to improve low-income housing in the nation.

 

Mayor LaGuardia thanked the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for his support, as did Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, who described slums as a “vicious project of that old order whose passing, we hope, is at hand.” While some critics equated the federal housing program with socialism, most speakers saw it as a defense of democracy.

 

In November 1935, Post had contacted the PWA, requesting that the complex be called the “Ten Eyck” Houses. No explanation was given, but it is likely that the request was made to distinguish the new development from the larger surrounding neighborhood.

 

Ten Eyck Street was one of two east-west streets closed to create the site and it was probably named for the Dutch family whose Brooklyn lineage extended back to at least the 18th century. In the immediate area also lived William Ten Eyck, who during the mid-19th century served as the deacon of the Reformed Church of South Bushwick . Post’s request was quickly approved. The new name, however, was not widely used and a 1938 PWA publication refers to the development as the Williamsburg Houses.

 

On October 28, 1936, the construction site was briefly visited by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. According to the New York Times, ten thousand school children and five thousand adults “cheered the President’s passage through the streets bordering the housing project.”

 

Three “model” apartments were opened for public view in July through August 1937. Furnished with loans from various Brooklyn department stores, they were presented at 180 Maujer Street. Post was an early visitor and he described the apartments as a “demonstration of what can be done, this is the most valuable contribution to social progress that the New Deal has made.” An average of 1,200 persons a day visited. In September 1937, a second group of apartments opened at 176 Maujer Street, including one decorated entirely with “reconditioned furniture.” In a related development, during April and May 1938, the WPA created an exhibit in a storefront office at 212 Graham Avenue. Organized by William Friedman of the art teaching division, the display was changed periodically to demonstrate different apartment layouts and decoration. Nine experts spent five months preparing the exhibit, hoping that it would influence local residents and provide a model for future public housing developments. A music branch, at 176 Maujer Street, also provided lessons in theory, voice, and various instruments.

 

Tenants

 

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the Williamsburg Houses were “one of the most perfect home sites in the word . . . an eagerly sought spot to live.” Income and need formed the basis of selection and no tenant could earn more than five times the annual rent. Preference was also given to former residents of the site.

 

The first tenants began to occupy their apartments on September 30, 1937. The New York Times devoted at least two articles to “Moving Day,” as did the Brooklyn Eagle. As part of the operation, each tenant’s belongings were moved to a fumigation plant for sterilization near the intersection of Bushwick Avenue at Scholes Street.

 

This procedure was described as a “wise precaution against the spread of disease.” Bessie and Louis Grabkowitz were recognized by the NYCHA as the first official tenants. A week’s rent, of less than seven dollars, was paid and they were given keys to their new apartment. Two to five rooms in size, units featured steam heat, hot and cold water, as well as electric stoves and refrigerators. Residents praised their new homes, commenting on the appliances and abundant sunlight.

 

By the end of 1937, most apartments were occupied. A community newspaper, the Projector, began publishing on a semi-monthly basis in December 1937. In April 1938, the complex was completed. In addition to the twenty residential buildings, there were retail spaces, facing the north-south streets. The PWA reported:

 

To insure efficient, sanitary commercial services, 49 stores and shops within the project, distributing drugs, groceries, appliances, and general merchandise, have been leased to private individuals.

 

The storefronts were executed in a sleek Moderne style. To the north and south, they curved away from the street, recalling the streamlined designs of Erich Mendelsohn, as well as J. J. P. Oud’s Kiefhoek development of 1925. The prominent metal parapets were blue, matching the color of the apartment entrances. Despite their polished design, a significant number failed to attract and retain tenants. Consequently, in 1945 ten unleased spaces, near the corners of Maujer and Leonard Streets, and Scholes Street and Bushwick Avenue, were converted to apartments.

 

Tenants enjoyed a variety of useful services. At the center of the complex, on Graham Avenue stood the stripped classical-style William J. Gaynor Junior High School , and opposite it, Building No. 11 housed a nursery school. Incorporated into the building’s south court and featuring a large play terrace, Hamlin described its glass-fronted design as “pleasant” and “delightful.” In addition, a new Moderne-style health center was built directly across from the complex, on Maujer Street.

 

Throughout the development were “social and craft rooms.” These basement spaces were originally used for classes, clubs, and meetings and many were decorated with large colorful murals. In contrast to the majority of WPA murals that were executed in style of social realism, the Williamsburg murals were non-objective. Lescaze favored “abstract and stimulating patterns” and Burgoyne Diller who headed the Federal Art Project, wrote that:

 

The decision to place abstract murals in these rooms [of the Williamsburg Housing Project] was made because the areas were intended to provide a place of relaxation and entertainment . . . The more arbitrary the color, possible when not determined by the description of objects, enables the artist to place an emphasis on its psychological potential to stimulate relaxation.

 

Of twelve murals commissioned, at least five were installed. In the early 1990s, the deteriorated canvases were restored and moved to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. They include works by the American painters Ilya Bolotowsky, Paul Kelpe, and Balcomb Greene.

  

Critical Reception

 

The opening of the Williamsburg Houses was treated as major news and writers used the event to analyze the project and express their own views about the role of public housing and the importance of modern architecture. Some of the earliest comments came from the architect Walter Gropius, former director of the Bauhaus in Germany. On a visit to New York City in April 1937 he was interviewed by H.I. Brock in the New York Times. They traveled together throughout the city, visiting both new skyscrapers and the nearly-complete Brooklyn development. Gropius was impressed and praised the unusual plan, saying that Lescaze:

 

. . . seems to have solved the problem of space and light very successfully and economically, and it has the great advantage of being spread over enough land to make it worthwhile as a sample of planned development.

 

Lewis Mumford was the first critic to publish a substantial review in February 1938. As a persistent advocate for public housing, he used the opportunity to evaluate the “outlines of the new order of building.” He praised the PWA for eschewing “overpriced building lots” and instead assembling large sites in quieter areas where streets could be closed to traffic to create gardens and playgrounds. Considerable attention was paid to the slanted orientation. Although he described it as “a bit queer,” he liked the way it separated the residences from the street and that it gave the appearance that the architects were concerned about providing tenants with ample sunlight.

 

Talbot Hamlin published the most-detailed analysis. In this review, he addressed both PWA projects, calling them “a new vision of democracy ... they are better than the most expensive apartments on Park Avenue.” Despite such praise, he expressed mixed feelings. While he found the buildings “fresh and inventive and alive,” he was disturbed by the “shockingly low” standards of construction. He also admired the “imaginative and carefully studied detailing,” but criticized the landscaping as little more than adequate. The WPA Guide to New York City, published in 1939, shared similar views, quoting Hamlin’s review, and praising the design of the individual buildings.

 

In the years since completion, the Williamsburg Houses have been a frequent subject for architectural historians. Many, starting with the Museum of Modern Art in 1939, have placed the development within the context of European modernism. In an exhibition celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary and the opening of its new building, it was the only architectural work represented that was located in New York City. In a brief essay on housing, the curators highlighted the “triple-size superblocks,” that form an “oasis of open space,” but criticized the adjoining school building as a lost opportunity to create a “truly important work.” Photographs of the complex were also included in Forms and Functions of Twentieth-Century Architecture , in sections devoted to city planning and concrete construction.

 

G. Holmes Perkins wrote in the city planning section that despite faults, the complex “may be held up as patterns for tomorrow.” Richard Pommer, in one of the most insightful discussions of Depression-era housing in the United States, criticized the angled plan, calling Lescaze a “versatile pasticheur” who used visual effects without logic or relation to function. Robert A. M. Stern shared this view, writing in 1980 that it “seems overrated.” Richard Plunz, in A History of Housing in New York City, credited the project as the start of a “brief but intense struggle” to determine the aesthetic direction government-built housing would take. All four editions of the AIA Guide to New York City have praised the Williamsburg Houses. The 1968 edition called it a “very successful solution to the problem of low-rent subsidized housing,” and in 2000 “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

Subsequent History

 

Conveyed by the federal government to the NYCHA in 1957, the Williamsburg Houses continue to serve their original purpose, housing more than three thousand New Yorkers. Major alterations were first proposed in 1980 and significant work took place during 1985-91. At this time, the original casement windows were replaced with bronze-colored aluminum sash and the blue terra cotta that surrounded the entrances, with tan “Morocco” glazed brick.

 

In a remarkable turnaround, during the mid1990s, the facades were restored. What began as continued maintenance, soon evolved into a major architectural project, requiring an outside contractor and consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Under the supervision of Neil Cohen of the NYCHA, the elevations were completely reskinned, the parapets replaced, as well as the chimneys, railings, and terra-cotta banding. In addition, new canopies, doors, lighting fixtures, and signage were fabricated.

 

The approximately $70 million project was executed with great sensitivity; there was an article in the real estate section of the New York Times and the NYCHA was the recipient of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy , which praised the participants for restoring the complex to “better-than-new condition.” Restoration of the storefronts, except along Bushwick Avenue, was completed in 2002.

 

The high standards set by the design of the Williamsburg Houses have rarely been matched. Innovative in terms of scale, plan, and aesthetics, it remains one of the most pleasant and architecturally-distinguished housing developments in New York City.

 

Description

 

There are twenty walk-up buildings in the 23.3acre Williamsburg complex and a total of 1,620 apartments. These buildings are numbered from 1 to 20 and each entrance has its own street address, for instance, “112 Maujer Street.” Stainless steel signs, with pin-mounted numbers and letters, identify each entrance.

 

The site extends four blocks east to west, from Bushwick Avenue to Leonard Street, and three blocks north to south, from Maujer to Scholes Streets. The principal north-south artery is Graham Avenue. Between Maujer and Scholes Streets, Ten Eyck Street and Stagg Street are closed to vehicles. These winding east-west paths are called Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk. They are identified by large pin-mounted stainless steel letters attached to the building facades and are visible along the north-south streets. Throughout the complex are wall-mounted cantilevered lighting fixtures. These glass and aluminum fixtures are reproductions of the originals.

 

Three of the four blocks have a tree-shaded open space at center. At present, non-historic benches, play equipment, and basketball courts are located here. Most lawns are enclosed by low iron fences. Though not original, these fences pre-date the 1990s. Pole-mounted lighting fixtures are occasionally used to illuminate these areas.

 

All buildings materials are non-historic. Each structure is four stories tall and clad in ochre-colored brick. Exterior concrete spandrel beams are exposed at each floor. To disguise patches to the concrete, the beams are coated with a grey-colored water repellency finish. The entrances are flanked by blue structural glazed facing tiles that are approximately 12 by 12 inches. Blue mortar was used to minimize the joint lines. A canopy projects in front of each entrance . Made of stainless steel, they incorporate recessed down lights. Some canopies are supported by a single pipe column. The entrance doors and sidelights are made of stainless steel.

 

Each door has a grid of four small square windows. Breezeways serve a dual purpose: reached by two sets of stairs, they provide an additional north-south passage, as well as entry to apartments. Most of the stairs are flanked by stainless steel railings. The bronze anodized aluminum windows, installed in the 1980s, are all one-over-one. Arranged as single windows or in pairs, they have concrete sills and meet the concrete spandrels above. The smaller windows light the bathrooms. Single windows and pairs are located where the facades meet, often creating triple-width openings at the cantilevered corners.

 

There are three general building configurations. All are original to the complex. They include eight buildings with “H” shaped floor plans, six with floor plans that suggest a small letter “h,” and six buildings with “T” shaped floor plans. While the “H” and “h” types alternate along Maujer and Scholes Streets , the “T” shaped buildings are located only between Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk.

 

The “H” buildings are nearly symmetrical, with almost identical north and south courtyards. At the center of each court is either a projecting center section or breezeway. The apartments are reached by four distinct entrances, each with a different tile treatment. They include: corner, wide, recessed between the door and the roof, and incorporated within a breezeway. Each entrance leads to interior stairs. The windows that light the stairs are arranged in horizontal grids of six and eight panes. Except for the recessed variant, the tiles project slightly and rise above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. The opposite side of the breezeway has no tilework. Reached by stairs, each breezeway incorporates two concrete columns and a metal door. The “h” buildings are similar to the “H” buildings, except one court is partially enclosed.

 

The “T” buildings have shallow courts. The top of the ‘T” has three entrances, each framed with blue tiles. A pair of entrances are also found facing each other in one of the side courts, and occasionally on the opposite side, as well. Building No. 11, located on the east side of Graham Avenue, is unique due to the presence of a nursery school at the wider south end. To accommodate this function, the entrances were moved and the court at the south end was enclosed. The south wall of school is clad with glass blocks, many of which are original. A concrete shed, at the center of the wall, is not historic and there are plans for removal. From the south facade extends a raised play area that is enclosed by a fence. Along the east side of the building, facing Graham Avenue, a non-historic ramp with metal railings has been constructed.

 

Commercial storefronts parallel the streets and adjoin the apartment buildings in various locations. The materials are non-historic, but the new elevations closely resemble the originals. The largest storefronts are located on either side of Graham Avenue, between Maujer Street and Ten Eyck Walk . Smaller retail spaces are located along Graham Avenue ; on Leonard Street ; and on Bushwick Avenue . They have a stream-lined character and curve away from the street at both ends. One story tall, they have granite bases and are clad with stainless steel and metal that has a baked-on blue porcelain finish. Above the storefronts runs the blue metal parapet, crowned by a stainless steel roof rail. Lighting was added above the storefronts, and security gates, when the stores are open, roll up and are neatly hidden within the facades. Large glass blocks or plate glass are used throughout. Along Bushwick Avenue, the modifications are less sympathetic and a vertical grid of older decorative concrete block occasionally interrupts the facade.

 

- From the 2003 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

 

A collaborative project of the Federal Public Works Administration and the newly established New York City Housing Authority, the Williamsburg Houses are notable as one of the earliest housing developments in the United States to reflect the ideas of the modern movement in architecture. In the 1920s Williamsburg was one of the most densely populated sections of Brooklyn and nearly six hundred, mostly frame, structures were demolished to create the 23.3 acre site. Proposed in 1934, this residential complex was skillfully designed by the Williamsburg Associated Architects during 1935 and most units were occupied by 1938.

 

The partnership included Richmond H. Shreve, of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the architects of the Empire State Building, and William Lescaze, the Swiss-born architect who helped introduce the “International” style on the eastern seaboard. Lescaze was responsible for the design, which includes twenty 4-story structures on four “super” blocks turned at 15 degree angles to the street grid. Oriented to the sun and prevailing winds, this unusual layout produced a series of large and small courts, many of which flow into a large public space at the center of each block. A light-colored palette distinguishes the facades, executed in tan brick and exposed concrete.

 

Among the most prominent features are the entrances, marked by blue tile and projecting stainless steel canopies, and the handsome streamlined storefronts. The complex was widely discussed by contemporary critics and more than 25,000 New Yorkers applied for 1,622 apartments. During the mid-1990s, the buildings underwent an extensive restoration which included the replacement of all exterior materials. Sponsored by the Housing Authority, in consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, these alterations were remarkably sensitive and in the 4th edition of the AIA Guide to New York City the “revivified” complex was called “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

Housing the Masses

 

From the rowhouse to the apartment building, New York City has been a laboratory for innovative housing. Beginning after the Civil War, apartments, variously known as French Flats and tenements, were built to house the city’s surging population. Immigrants, for the most part, crowded into unregulated tenements, structures that maximized profits for developers while providing few amenities that we take for granted today, such as light, air, and private bathrooms.

 

Despite government efforts to legislate minimum standards in 1867 and 1879, initially private individuals took the most significant steps to make decent housing affordable to all. Several pioneering examples were located close to the Brooklyn waterfront, including the Home and Tower Buildings (William Field and Son, 1876-78), the Astral Apartments (Lamb & Rich, 1885-87) and Riverside (William Field and Son, 1890). The later complex surrounded a large tree-shaded courtyard incorporating a music pavilion and areas for drying laundry. Despite these, and a few innovative Manhattan developments, the majority of New Yorkers continued to live in substandard conditions.

 

The passage of the New Tenement Law in 1901 improved the situation, requiring that multiple dwellings be built on significantly larger lots, with fire escapes and separate “privies” for each family. After World War I, the garden apartment came into vogue. While most were built for the middle class, especially in Jackson Heights, a significant group were sponsored by unions and cooperative organizations that wished to provide members with inexpensive apartments. Significant examples include the Amalgamated Houses (Springsteen & Goldhammer, 1930) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the “Coops” built in the Bronx by the United Workers Cooperative Association (Springsteen & Goldhammer, 1925-27; Herman Jessor, 1927-29).

 

The first significant act of government intervention occurred in 1926 with the passage of the New York State Housing Law. Promoted by Governor Alfred E. Smith to encourage construction through the formation of local authorities that would sell bonds or seek federal funds, it had little impact until 1934 when the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was established. The authority’s first project, aptly called the First Houses (Frederick L. Ackerman, 1934-36), was located in Manhattan’s East Village. Begun as a rehabilitation program involving the demolition of every third structure, due to structural problems the eight brick buildings were entirely rebuilt.

 

Throughout the early Depression, government-subsidized housing remained a controversial issue. Consequently, it was first promoted as worker relief, organized to create jobs but not compete with the commercial market. The first federal agency to involve itself with housing was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) which was created in 1932 to provide low-interest loans to limited-dividend housing corporations. Of the two loans it made, one was toward the construction of Knickerbocker Village (John S. Van Wart & Frederick L. Ackerman, 1933). Built for the Fred F. French Company, this Chinatown-area development consists of two 12-story buildings, both enclosing an interior courtyard.

 

In mid-1933, as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Housing Division of the Public Works Administration (PWA) was established. What made this agency different from its predecessor, the RFC, was that it would be directly involved in the planning and construction of low-income housing. The program was a great success and over the next three and half years it collaborated on the design and construction of 51 projects in 36 cities, including the Harlem River Houses and the Williamsburg Houses.

 

The passage of the Wagner-Steagall Bill (aka U.S. Housing Bill) by the United States Congress in September 1937, strengthened the federal government’s commitment to housing, but shifted greater control to local authorities. The first New York City housing project to be financed under this program was the Red Hook Houses (Electus Litchfied, chief designer, 1938-39) in Brooklyn. Future construction, which would amount to more than half a million low-rental units nationwide by 1957, would be funded primarily through low-interest loans.

 

Site

 

The Williamsburg Houses are located in northwestern Brooklyn, approximately one mile east of the Williamsburg Bridge and two blocks south of Grand Street, a lively commercial thoroughfare. Founded as part of the town of Bushwick in the mid17th century, Williamsburg was incorporated as a village in 1827. The community prospered and by 1852 it was the 20th largest city in the nation. Three years later, Williamsburg became part of Brooklyn and was commonly referred to as the Eastern District. Although ferry service was important to the area’s development, it was the planning and construction of a second East River crossing, the Williamsburg Bridge, that caused the most dramatic growth.

 

Proposed in 1883, the bridge was completed with much fanfare in 1903, serving pedestrians, bicycles and horse-drawn vehicles. In subsequent decades, Williamsburg rivaled the Lower East Side in population and density. The Brooklyn Eagle claimed in 1920 that the bridge was part of the busiest traffic center in the nation and that a single block north of it was the most crowded in the world. Conditions in the neighborhood continued to deteriorate throughout the decade, so much so that the population began to decline.

 

In October 1933, the Federal Works Administration (PWA) established a slum clearance committee to study conditions throughout New York City. Richmond H. Shreve, who would later serve as chief architect of the Williamsburg Houses, was named director. Based on the committee’s recommendations, $25 million was set aside for a housing program in New York City. Under the direction of the NYCHA, a more comprehensive study was undertaken in 1934, focusing on fourteen neighborhoods, including Williamsburg. The PWA reported:

 

When the study was completed the blighted slum area of the Williamsburg section stood out as the best example where the most good could be done in wholesale clearance work.

 

Of 93 blocks studied, a grid of 12 was identified for redevelopment in Williamsburg. These blocks were chosen because property values were relatively low and the owners were willing to sell. Most of buildings were mixed-use, incorporating retail spaces at ground level and apartments above. Each lot was carefully documented: 90% of the structures were at least forty years old, 70% were built of wood, 78% had no central heating, and 67% had no private toilets. Such statistics were used to paint an extremely bleak picture of life there:

 

But the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, according to official surveys, is unique in that its slums bear the stamp of dull listlessness and despair . . . Laissez faire, exploitation, and land speculation have robbed the community of its natural potentialities for development and orderly urban life.

 

Public amenities were also in short supply; there were few schools and there were almost no parks.

 

Architects

 

Five architects were appointed to the NYCHA’s architectural board in May 1934: Richmond H. Shreve (1877-1946) of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, Matthew W. Del Gaudio (1889-1960), William Lescaze (1899-1969), Arthur C. Holden (18901993), and James F. Bly. As members of the board, their initial role was advisory. They would act as the authority’s chief architect, overseeing the design and construction of municipal housing citywide.

 

In June 1934 an open competition was held to choose the architects who would work on the Williamsburg Houses and other NYCHA projects. The program guidelines did not specify the location, but the grid chosen closely resembled the long blocks where the Williamsburg Houses would be built. Of 278 architects who participated, 5 of the 22 selected were assigned to the Brooklyn project: Samuel Gardstein, of Holmgren, Volz & Gardstein, G. Harmon Gurney (b. 1896), of Gurney & Clavan, John W. Ingle Jr., Paul Trapani (1887-1974), and Harry Leslie Walker (1877-1954).

 

In June 1935, a contract was signed with the Williamsburg Associated Architects. The partnership consisted of ten men: the five architects selected by jury, as well as the five members of the architectural board. Among them, Shreve had the most experience with large projects, having worked on a succession of major Manhattan skyscrapers, most notably, the Empire State Building (Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, 1931).

 

A graduate of the College of Architecture at Cornell University (1902), he began his career as a member of the school’s faculty and later joined the firm of Carrére & Hastings in New York City where he distinguished himself as having a “genius for the solution of operational and administrative problems.” Whereas prior to the Depression he mainly worked on office buildings, in his later years Shreve was associated with residential developments, most notably the Vladeck Houses (1940) on the Lower East Side, and Parkchester (1938-42), a development with more than twelve thousand apartments in the Bronx. During the late 1930s, he also served as a member of the board of design for the New York World’s Fair.

 

Design

 

Of the three initial projects built by the NYCHA and the PWA, the Williamsburg Houses were the most innovative. Shreve appointed Lescaze as the chief designer, responsible for the plan and elevations. In the 1930s, he was at the height of his career, profiled in publications read by professionals and the layman. Born near Geneva, Switzerland, in 1896, he studied in Zurich with the architect Karl Moser in 1915-19 and for a brief period worked in Paris with Henri Sauvage, an important designer of apartment buildings. Lescaze moved to the United States in 1920 and after working in Cleveland and New York City, formed a partnership with George Howe, a Philadelphia architect, in 1929.

 

Their association lasted four years and produced one architectural masterpiece, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building, completed in 1932. During the mid-1930s, he was extremely active, working on unrealized plans for the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, as well as building three of the earliest modern-style townhouses in Manhattan, his own house and studio, completed in 1934, as well as the Raymond C. and Mildred Kramer (1934-5) and Edward and Dorothy Norman (1940) houses. He also designed, with Albert Frey, the Chrystie-Forsyth Houses. Planned in 1931, this unrealized proposal was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s so-called “International Style” exhibition of 1932.

 

One of the most unique aspects of the Williamsburg Houses is the plan. To create the 23.3 acre complex, twelve blocks were acquired by the city, and the two east-west streets (Stagg and Ten Eyck) were closed to traffic to create four “super” blocks. All but one extend three full blocks from north to south, except part of the block between Manhattan and Graham Avenues that was set aside for a new junior high school and play area.

 

The development of New York City was closely tied to its gridiron. Introduced in 1811, it resulted in a city of predictable intersecting streets and avenues. In 1835, a similar plan was approved for Brooklyn and by the early 1850s the streets that cross through the site of the Williamsburg Houses had opened.

 

Most were named for area residents, such as Daniel Maujer, a lawyer and alderman, John and James Lorimer Graham, land jobbers, and James Scholes, a local land owner. The impact of this approach is visible throughout New York City, establishing blocks and lots of equal size and dimensions. Residential developers benefitted immensely, commissioning rowhouse and tenement designs that could be repeated without regard to location.

 

By the end of the 19th century, there was relatively little open space in Manhattan and Brooklyn. As part of the City Beautiful movement, various attempts were made to loosen the grid’s hold, first through the passage of the Small Parks Act in 1887, which focused on tenement neighborhoods, and later, by situating major civic structures in plazas. Similar ideas shaped the development of garden apartments which came into vogue after 1910. One of the primary characteristics of this type of multiple dwelling was reduced site coverage.

 

In most cases, such as in the Jackson Heights Historic District, the buildings were set around the perimeter of each block, enclosing large private gardens, but in other situations, such as at the Harlem River Houses, a “crankshaft” arrangement was adopted, creating a mixture of interior and exterior courts.

 

Lescaze borrowed freely from both the garden apartment tradition and architects associated with European modernism. In his earliest design, each block incorporated six U-shaped structures arranged around a narrow central court. A later design was considerably more irregular. Turned at an angle to the street, there were fewer but larger buildings.

 

Many aspects of this proposal were integrated into the final design. The Williamsburg Houses are configured in three ways, with footprints suggesting a capital “H,” small “h,” and “T.” All have small spurs and extensions, resembling crossbars. By adding this feature the number of courtyards was significantly increased. Within each block are six buildings (except north of the school); at the north and south are the “H” and “h” configurations, and in the middle, the “T”s.

 

The decision to turn the buildings at a 15 degree angle to the street grid proved controversial. PWA accounts described it in functional terms, explaining that the orientation would provide tenants with more sun and take advantage of the prevailing northwest breezes. During the previous decade, many architects and planners experimented with similar ideas. One of the earliest built examples “to deviate from the geometry of the New York gridiron” was the Mesa Verde apartments (1926) in Jackson Heights. Designed by Henry Atterbury Smith and based on an earlier proposal from 1917, the development featured two rows of six “closed L buildings” set at 45 degree angle to the surrounding streets.

 

Lescaze, however, was more likely to have been influenced by European sources. During the 1920s, he frequently returned to Europe, a period when leading architects were involved in the design of social housing. Many favored the “tower in the park” approach in which free-standing high-rise structures stood in continuous open space. Writing in English in 1935, Walter Gropius concluded that apartment blocks should “command a clear view of the sky, over broad expanses of grass and trees which separate the blocks and serve as playgrounds.”

 

Another source of inspiration might have been Ernst May who oversaw the design and construction of many low-rise housing estates in Frankfurt. In his Bruchfeldstrasse development of 1926-27, designed with C. K. Rudloff, one section was arranged in an overlapping zig-zag configuration. As in Williamsburg, each unit had corner windows, providing tenants with uninterrupted views of a central garden.

 

Many writers were skeptical about the benefits of Lescaze’s plan. Hamlin argued that the layout would convert the courts “into perfect channels for Project for a group of factories. our most vicious northwest winds.” He was told that

 

the arrangement had, in fact, been chosen for aesthetic reasons, to “break up the street facades” and “allow the feeling of space to weave in and out on the street fronts. This goal was definitely achieved, producing an environment that was new and distinctive. The flowing spaces that Lescaze planned are less monumental and more intimate than those experienced in most housing projects, juxtaposing wedge-shaped lawns with semi-enclosed courtyards and large open plazas. As originally built, no fences interrupted the spaces and the areas adjoining the curving concrete walks were paved with cobblestone.

 

The Elevations

 

Equally modern were the elevations. Lescaze was attracted to the expressive and aesthetic qualities of modern materials. Particularly unusual was the decision to use a light-colored palette. Built from reinforced concrete, the walls were originally enclosed with a sand-cast brick that was variously described by observers as bright tan, yellowish, pinkish, and grayish warm pink. One of the most notable features was the exposed concrete floor plates which express the structure and division between the floors while giving the complex a strong horizontal appearance. Talbot Hamlin observed:

 

The effectiveness of the buildings is undoubted. The striping of brick and concrete and the contrast of the light walls which front the stair towers make a vivid picture . . .

 

Prior to the mid-1930s, red brick was the most frequently used material in housing developments, used throughout Jackson Heights and in the First Houses and Harlem River Houses. The proposal to break with this tradition generated considerable debate. While the general scheme was approved in June 1935, it was not until October that specific materials were selected. Presumably, the PWA wished to standardize the building process and reduce costs. Frederick Ackerman, technical director of the NYCHA, defended Lescaze’s proposal. He wrote the authority’s chairman, Langdon W. Post:

 

. . . the “effect” of the Project will depend very largely upon the texture and quality of the exterior wall. Unless the exterior wall possesses a greater intrinsic interest than one made of common brick then the resultant effect is certain to be a bleak, barren and unusually forbidding mass of building:

 

One might readily mistake the At Williamsburg, the buildings stand as freestanding objects, finished on all sides and approachable from multiple directions. No facade dominates and the apartment entrances face both the streets and courtyards. For those unfamiliar with the layout, the angled plan may have been somewhat disorienting. To make it easier to navigate, signs were installed throughout the complex and Lescaze skillfully designed the entrances, making dramatic use of color and form. Like Le Corbusier, he was an “accomplished” painter and frequently used color, especially blue, to enliven wall surfaces. Another possible model was May’s housing development at Praunheim (1926-29) where contrasting colors were used to give the projecting stair towers a distinctive appearance.

 

Within the courtyards are as many as five entrances. Each is sheltered by a small cantilevered aluminum marquee and is flanked by square blue terra-cotta tiles. The entrances that are located at the far end of the larger courtyards are set at a angle. In these instances, the tiles spread onto the adjoining walls and extend above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. Other tile treatments project slightly forward, or are recessed above the doors to the roof. An entrance is also located in the covered breezeway. Reached by a short flight of stairs connecting both the street and courtyard, the more public street facade had an asymmetrical character, incorporating projecting blue tiles to one side and a wide aluminum marquee.

 

Construction

 

To prepare the site for construction, 568 buildings were demolished on 349 lots and approximately 5,400 people were relocated. A 1935 report described the population as divided equally between American born, Italian born, and other nationalities. Most were semi-skilled workers, employed in manufacturing, or as clerks, truck drivers, and construction workers.

 

Demolition commenced in June 1935 as PWA supervisor Elizabeth Ross dug a crowbar into the facade of 197 Manhattan Avenue, near Ten Eyck Street. In the months that followed:

 

Steam shovels and picks played a tune to rival that of the pipes of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. From every dank basement and crumbling wall rats fled in droves. Backyards disgorged an assortment of rusted cans, trash, filth and litter that would have discouraged the most voracious goat.

 

Ground was broken on January 3, 1936. Following a brief ceremony in the rain, public officials addressed an audience of five hundred at Public School 196. During April 1936, the first foundations were poured at the southwest corner of Manhattan Avenue and Stagg Street. Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia was in attendance, followed by “a few hundred interested onlookers and an army of schoolboys.”

 

As the foundations neared completion, the PWA solicited bids for construction. Starrett Brothers & Eken was awarded the $7. 5 million contract for the first 18 buildings in October 1936. A subsequent contract, for construction of buildings No. 5 and 18, was signed in late April 1937.

 

Founded by Paul Starrett (1866-1957) and William Aiken Starrett (1877-1932) and Andrew J. Eken (1882-1965) in 1922, the firm was responsible for such high-profile buildings as the New York Life Insurance Company Building (1925), Bank of Manhattan Building (1929-30), McGraw-Hill Building (1930-31), and Empire State Building (1930-31, all are designated New York City Landmarks). The Starrett Brothers worked closely with Shreve on the Empire State Building and it is likely that this relationship helped secure the contract for the Williamsburg Houses. William Starrett acknowledged the importance and complexity of this issue when he said:

 

It is the hope of people who are discussing this (slum) problem that those same brains that put together the great skyscrapers . . . will turn toward this.

 

Starrett Brothers & Eken later built Parkchester (Richmond H. Shreve, chairman of the board of design, 1938-42), Stuyvesant Town (Irwin Clavan and Gilmore Clarke, 1943-49) and Peter Cooper Village (Irwin Clavan and Gilmore D. Clarke, 1947) for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

 

The cornerstone was laid in October 1936. It contained an aerial view of the site, a copy of the federal act creating the PWA, as well as an autographed copy of Jacob Riis’s timeless account of slum conditions, How the Other Half Lives, donated by his widow. Construction progressed rapidly, and aside from minor walk-outs by metalworkers and painters, the first six buildings were ready for occupancy with a year, in September

 

Publicity

 

The Williamsburg Houses was the largest and costliest project built by the PWA. With 1,622 apartments, it was more than twice the size of the Harlem River Houses. The approximate cost was $12.8 million. It was described by the PWA as part of “demonstration program” and numerous public events were held. In a letter to Post, Shreve stated:

 

As this project is the beginning of what, in a way, is a housing community experiment and as the public attitude toward housing will be largely controlled by the success or failure of such an experiment, it is of importance that every effort be made to make the first experiment successful.

 

In this context, how the project was perceived was of the utmost importance. Once the design had been approved, a scale model was built by the PWA and exhibited at banks in Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg during late 1935 and 1936. This presentation was accompanied by a series of posters documenting the site, including photographs of earlier buildings and their demolition, as well as projected floor plans. The New York Times reported the model:

 

. . . throws into graphic relief the application of the new principle of multiple housing, providing more air, sunlight and recreational facilities and involving a departure from the solid-block construction.

 

The idea of using public funds to create low-income housing was relatively new and much of the language used in speeches and press releases heralded it as a major advance. At the site, signs were posted, calling Williamsburg the “Largest Low Rental Development in the USA.” At the ground-breaking, public officials evoked the memory of Alfred T. White, whose Brooklyn developments were among the first attempts to improve low-income housing in the nation.

 

Mayor LaGuardia thanked the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for his support, as did Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, who described slums as a “vicious project of that old order whose passing, we hope, is at hand.” While some critics equated the federal housing program with socialism, most speakers saw it as a defense of democracy.

 

In November 1935, Post had contacted the PWA, requesting that the complex be called the “Ten Eyck” Houses. No explanation was given, but it is likely that the request was made to distinguish the new development from the larger surrounding neighborhood.

 

Ten Eyck Street was one of two east-west streets closed to create the site and it was probably named for the Dutch family whose Brooklyn lineage extended back to at least the 18th century. In the immediate area also lived William Ten Eyck, who during the mid-19th century served as the deacon of the Reformed Church of South Bushwick (1853, a designated New York City Landmark). Post’s request was quickly approved. The new name, however, was not widely used and a 1938 PWA publication refers to the development as the Williamsburg Houses.

 

On October 28, 1936, the construction site was briefly visited by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. According to the New York Times, ten thousand school children and five thousand adults “cheered the President’s passage through the streets bordering the housing project.”

 

Three “model” apartments were opened for public view in July through August 1937. Furnished with loans from various Brooklyn department stores, they were presented at 180 Maujer Street. Post was an early visitor and he described the apartments as a “demonstration of what can be done, this is the most valuable contribution to social progress that the New Deal has made.” An average of 1,200 persons a day visited. In September 1937, a second group of apartments opened at 176 Maujer Street, including one decorated entirely with “reconditioned furniture.” In a related development, during April and May 1938, the WPA created an exhibit in a storefront office at 212 Graham Avenue. Organized by William Friedman of the art teaching division, the display was changed periodically to demonstrate different apartment layouts and decoration. Nine experts spent five months preparing the exhibit, hoping that it would influence local residents and provide a model for future public housing developments. A music branch, at 176 Maujer Street, also provided lessons in theory, voice, and various instruments.

 

Tenants

 

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the Williamsburg Houses were “one of the most perfect home sites in the word . . . an eagerly sought spot to live.” Income and need formed the basis of selection and no tenant could earn more than five times the annual rent. Preference was also given to former residents of the site.

 

The first tenants began to occupy their apartments on September 30, 1937. The New York Times devoted at least two articles to “Moving Day,” as did the Brooklyn Eagle. As part of the operation, each tenant’s belongings were moved to a fumigation plant for sterilization near the intersection of Bushwick Avenue at Scholes Street.

 

This procedure was described as a “wise precaution against the spread of disease.” Bessie and Louis Grabkowitz were recognized by the NYCHA as the first official tenants. A week’s rent, of less than seven dollars, was paid and they were given keys to their new apartment. Two to five rooms in size, units featured steam heat, hot and cold water, as well as electric stoves and refrigerators. Residents praised their new homes, commenting on the appliances and abundant sunlight.

 

By the end of 1937, most apartments were occupied. A community newspaper, the Projector, began publishing on a semi-monthly basis in December 1937. In April 1938, the complex was completed. In addition to the twenty residential buildings, there were retail spaces, facing the north-south streets. The PWA reported:

 

To insure efficient, sanitary commercial services, 49 stores and shops within the project, distributing drugs, groceries, appliances, and general merchandise, have been leased to private individuals.

 

The storefronts were executed in a sleek Moderne style. To the north and south, they curved away from the street, recalling the streamlined designs of Erich Mendelsohn, as well as J. J. P. Oud’s Kiefhoek development of 1925. The prominent metal parapets were blue, matching the color of the apartment entrances. Despite their polished design, a significant number failed to attract and retain tenants. Consequently, in 1945 ten unleased spaces, near the corners of Maujer and Leonard Streets, and Scholes Street and Bushwick Avenue, were converted to apartments.

 

Tenants enjoyed a variety of useful services. At the center of the complex, on Graham Avenue stood the stripped classical-style William J. Gaynor Junior High School (1936-37), and opposite it, Building No. 11 housed a nursery school. Incorporated into the building’s south court and featuring a large play terrace, Hamlin described its glass-fronted design as “pleasant” and “delightful.” In addition, a new Moderne-style health center was built directly across from the complex, on Maujer Street.

 

Throughout the development were “social and craft rooms.” These basement spaces were originally used for classes, clubs, and meetings and many were decorated with large colorful murals. In contrast to the majority of WPA murals that were executed in style of social realism, the Williamsburg murals were non-objective. Lescaze favored “abstract and stimulating patterns” and Burgoyne Diller who headed the Federal Art Project, wrote that:

 

The decision to place abstract murals in these rooms [of the Williamsburg Housing Project] was made because the areas were intended to provide a place of relaxation and entertainment . . . The more arbitrary the color, possible when not determined by the description of objects, enables the artist to place an emphasis on its psychological potential to stimulate relaxation.

 

Of twelve murals commissioned, at least five were installed. In the early 1990s, the deteriorated canvases were restored and moved to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. They include works by the American painters Ilya Bolotowsky, Paul Kelpe, and Balcomb Greene.

  

Critical Reception

 

The opening of the Williamsburg Houses was treated as major news and writers used the event to analyze the project and express their own views about the role of public housing and the importance of modern architecture. Some of the earliest comments came from the architect Walter Gropius, former director of the Bauhaus in Germany. On a visit to New York City in April 1937 he was interviewed by H.I. Brock in the New York Times. They traveled together throughout the city, visiting both new skyscrapers and the nearly-complete Brooklyn development. Gropius was impressed and praised the unusual plan, saying that Lescaze:

 

. . . seems to have solved the problem of space and light very successfully and economically, and it has the great advantage of being spread over enough land to make it worthwhile as a sample of planned development.

 

Lewis Mumford was the first critic to publish a substantial review in February 1938. As a persistent advocate for public housing, he used the opportunity to evaluate the “outlines of the new order of building.” He praised the PWA for eschewing “overpriced building lots” and instead assembling large sites in quieter areas where streets could be closed to traffic to create gardens and playgrounds. Considerable attention was paid to the slanted orientation. Although he described it as “a bit queer,” he liked the way it separated the residences from the street and that it gave the appearance that the architects were concerned about providing tenants with ample sunlight.

 

Talbot Hamlin published the most-detailed analysis. In this review, he addressed both PWA projects, calling them “a new vision of democracy ... they are better than the most expensive apartments on Park Avenue.” Despite such praise, he expressed mixed feelings. While he found the buildings “fresh and inventive and alive,” he was disturbed by the “shockingly low” standards of construction. He also admired the “imaginative and carefully studied detailing,” but criticized the landscaping as little more than adequate. The WPA Guide to New York City, published in 1939, shared similar views, quoting Hamlin’s review, and praising the design of the individual buildings.

 

In the years since completion, the Williamsburg Houses have been a frequent subject for architectural historians. Many, starting with the Museum of Modern Art in 1939, have placed the development within the context of European modernism. In an exhibition celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary and the opening of its new building, it was the only architectural work represented that was located in New York City. In a brief essay on housing, the curators highlighted the “triple-size superblocks,” that form an “oasis of open space,” but criticized the adjoining school building as a lost opportunity to create a “truly important work.” Photographs of the complex were also included in Forms and Functions of Twentieth-Century Architecture (1952), in sections devoted to city planning and concrete construction.

 

G. Holmes Perkins wrote in the city planning section that despite faults, the complex “may be held up as patterns for tomorrow.” Richard Pommer, in one of the most insightful discussions of Depression-era housing in the United States, criticized the angled plan, calling Lescaze a “versatile pasticheur” who used visual effects without logic or relation to function. Robert A. M. Stern shared this view, writing in 1980 that it “seems overrated.” Richard Plunz, in A History of Housing in New York City, credited the project as the start of a “brief but intense struggle” to determine the aesthetic direction government-built housing would take. All four editions of the AIA Guide to New York City have praised the Williamsburg Houses. The 1968 edition called it a “very successful solution to the problem of low-rent subsidized housing,” and in 2000 “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

Subsequent History

 

Conveyed by the federal government to the NYCHA in 1957, the Williamsburg Houses continue to serve their original purpose, housing more than three thousand New Yorkers. Major alterations were first proposed in 1980 and significant work took place during 1985-91. At this time, the original casement windows were replaced with bronze-colored aluminum sash and the blue terra cotta that surrounded the entrances, with tan “Morocco” glazed brick.

 

In a remarkable turnaround, during the mid1990s, the facades were restored. What began as continued maintenance, soon evolved into a major architectural project, requiring an outside contractor and consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Under the supervision of Neil Cohen of the NYCHA, the elevations were completely reskinned, the parapets replaced, as well as the chimneys, railings, and terra-cotta banding. In addition, new canopies, doors, lighting fixtures, and signage were fabricated.

 

The approximately $70 million project was executed with great sensitivity; there was an article in the real estate section of the New York Times and the NYCHA was the recipient of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy (1999), which praised the participants for restoring the complex to “better-than-new condition.” Restoration of the storefronts, except along Bushwick Avenue, was completed in 2002.

 

The high standards set by the design of the Williamsburg Houses have rarely been matched. Innovative in terms of scale, plan, and aesthetics, it remains one of the most pleasant and architecturally-distinguished housing developments in New York City.

 

Description

 

There are twenty walk-up buildings in the 23.3acre Williamsburg complex and a total of 1,620 apartments. These buildings are numbered from 1 to 20 and each entrance has its own street address, for instance, “112 Maujer Street.” Stainless steel signs, with pin-mounted numbers and letters, identify each entrance.

 

The site extends four blocks east to west, from Bushwick Avenue to Leonard Street, and three blocks north to south, from Maujer to Scholes Streets. The principal north-south artery is Graham Avenue. Between Maujer and Scholes Streets, Ten Eyck Street and Stagg Street are closed to vehicles. These winding east-west paths are called Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk. They are identified by large pin-mounted stainless steel letters attached to the building facades and are visible along the north-south streets. Throughout the complex are wall-mounted cantilevered lighting fixtures. These glass and aluminum fixtures are reproductions of the originals.

 

Three of the four blocks have a tree-shaded open space at center. At present, non-historic benches, play equipment, and basketball courts are located here. Most lawns are enclosed by low iron fences. Though not original, these fences pre-date the 1990s. Pole-mounted lighting fixtures are occasionally used to illuminate these areas.

 

All buildings materials are non-historic. Each structure is four stories tall and clad in ochre-colored brick. Exterior concrete spandrel beams are exposed at each floor. To disguise patches to the concrete, the beams are coated with a grey-colored water repellency finish. The entrances are flanked by blue structural glazed facing tiles that are approximately 12 by 12 inches. Blue mortar was used to minimize the joint lines. A canopy projects in front of each entrance (except on one side of the breezeways). Made of stainless steel, they incorporate recessed down lights. Some canopies are supported by a single pipe column. The entrance doors and sidelights are made of stainless steel.

 

Each door has a grid of four small square windows. Breezeways serve a dual purpose: reached by two sets of stairs, they provide an additional north-south passage, as well as entry to apartments. Most of the stairs are flanked by stainless steel railings. The bronze anodized aluminum windows, installed in the 1980s, are all one-over-one. Arranged as single windows or in pairs, they have concrete sills and meet the concrete spandrels above. The smaller windows light the bathrooms. Single windows and pairs are located where the facades meet, often creating triple-width openings at the cantilevered corners.

 

There are three general building configurations. All are original to the complex. They include eight buildings with “H” shaped floor plans, six with floor plans that suggest a small letter “h,” and six buildings with “T” shaped floor plans. While the “H” and “h” types alternate along Maujer and Scholes Streets (except next to the school where both are “H” shaped), the “T” shaped buildings are located only between Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk.

 

The “H” buildings (Nos. 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, and 20) are nearly symmetrical, with almost identical north and south courtyards. At the center of each court is either a projecting center section or breezeway. The apartments are reached by four distinct entrances, each with a different tile treatment. They include: corner, wide, recessed between the door and the roof, and incorporated within a breezeway. Each entrance leads to interior stairs. The windows that light the stairs are arranged in horizontal grids of six and eight panes. Except for the recessed variant, the tiles project slightly and rise above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. The opposite side of the breezeway has no tilework. Reached by stairs, each breezeway incorporates two concrete columns and a metal door. The “h” buildings (Nos. 2, 5, 19, 13, 16 and 19) are similar to the “H” buildings, except one court is partially enclosed.

 

The “T” buildings (Nos. 3, 4, 11, 12, 17, 18) have shallow courts. The top of the ‘T” has three entrances, each framed with blue tiles. A pair of entrances are also found facing each other in one of the side courts, and occasionally on the opposite side, as well. Building No. 11, located on the east side of Graham Avenue, is unique due to the presence of a nursery school at the wider south end. To accommodate this function, the entrances were moved and the court at the south end was enclosed. The south wall of school is clad with glass blocks, many of which are original. A concrete shed, at the center of the wall, is not historic and there are plans for removal. From the south facade extends a raised play area that is enclosed by a fence. Along the east side of the building, facing Graham Avenue, a non-historic ramp with metal railings has been constructed.

 

Commercial storefronts parallel the streets and adjoin the apartment buildings in various locations. The materials are non-historic, but the new elevations closely resemble the originals. The largest storefronts are located on either side of Graham Avenue, between Maujer Street and Ten Eyck Walk (Nos. 8 and 9). Smaller retail spaces are located along Graham Avenue (near Scholes Street, No. 13); on Leonard Street (near Maujer Street, No. 1); and on Bushwick Avenue (between Maujer and Stagg Walk, No. 16). They have a stream-lined character and curve away from the street at both ends. One story tall, they have granite bases and are clad with stainless steel and metal that has a baked-on blue porcelain finish. Above the storefronts runs the blue metal parapet, crowned by a stainless steel roof rail. Lighting was added above the storefronts, and security gates, when the stores are open, roll up and are neatly hidden within the facades. Large glass blocks or plate glass are used throughout. Along Bushwick Avenue, the modifications are less sympathetic and a vertical grid of older decorative concrete block occasionally interrupts the facade.

 

- From the 2003 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Dun Laoghaire has changed a lot since I took these photographs and there are many changes on the way especially along George’s Street.

 

I was employed by Ericsson and based in Dun Laoghaire at the Adelphi Centre from 2001 to 2010 and I really liked the town even though the place was going through a period of urban decline and depression.

 

When I was there we were based in George’s Street which was going down hill at a rapid pace and the company decision to move from the town must have had a huge impact on the town and especially on the restaurants on the main street.

 

Before I joined Ericsson I worked for two different companies with offices at Haigh Terrace which became a no-go area at night because of anti-social behaviour related to drug-dealing. Because of the new library complex and the removal of the pond in Moran Park the anti-social problem in the immediate area is no longer an issue even if some locals dislike the library building.

 

According to a recent report Georges Street is too long as a main street in order to support viable retailing. Therefore, it is proposed that the street be demarcated into distinct quarters: an Interiors Quarter on Lower Georges Street from Cumberland Street to St Michael’s Hospital; the Core Retail Quarter from Bloomfields Shopping Centre to Haigh Terrace; the Commercial & Residential Quarter from Haigh Terrace to Adelphi House; and the Artesian Quarter on Upper Georges Street from Mellifont Avenue to the People’s Park.

 

Several interventions at street level are required to change the appearance of each quarter and communicate a distinct proposition for each quarter to shoppers and visitors. These interventions will range from the establishment of new town squares; to the creative use of paving, seating, flowerbeds and lighting; to the introduction of new canopies and shading; to the erection of new sculpted features and signage.

 

It is envisaged that as the development of the retail quarters gain momentum, the demand for retail space will increase. The new mechanisms such as the Property Forum and Retail Forum will be vehicles to focus new retail businesses into clusters for example food and fashion specialty shops in the Artesian Quarter.

In an effort to improve its overall shopping experience, Oakbrook Center has undergone the largest renovation in its history; enhancing its common areas and expanding them to accommodate special events and social gatherings.

 

One of the Center’s noteworthy additions is a new vortex inspired water feature located at one of the complex’s main entrances. The fountain’s innovative design creates multiple effects with a single jet. The basin alternatively drains and fills, building up to form a bubbling pool before gradually ebbing away, revealing brightly illuminated columns of water arranged within the spiral. Over 50 of Crystal’s nozzles and LED lights entertain shoppers throughout the day.

Singapore Zoo

Coordinates: [show location on an interactive map] 1°24?15.9?N 103°47?28.1?E? / ?1.404417°N 103.791139°E? / 1.404417; 103.791139

Date opened 23 June 1973

Location Singapore

Land area 28 hectares

Number of animals 2530

Number of species 315

The Singapore Zoo (Chinese: ?????? ; Malay: 'Taman Haiwan Singapura'; Tamil: ??????????? ????????? ????????????), formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens and commonly known locally as the Mandai Zoo, occupies 28 hectares (0.28 km?) of land on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore's heavily forested central catchment area. The zoo was built at a cost of S$9m granted by the government of Singapore and opened on 23 June 1973. It is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who also manage the neighbouring Night Safari and the Jurong BirdPark. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16% are considered threatened species. The zoo attracts about 1.4 million visitors a year.

 

From the beginning, Singapore Zoo followed the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic, 'open' exhibits, i.e. with hidden barriers, behind moats and shrubbery etc. It also houses the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world. In 1977, primatologist Dr Francine Neago lived inside a cage with eighteen orangutans for six months to study their behavior and communication.

1 History

2 Present

o 2.1 Education and conservation

o 2.2 Rides

o 2.3 Friends of the Zoo

o 2.4 Organizing events

* 3 Incidents

* 4 Trivia

* 5 Awards

* 6 Gallery

* 7 See also

* 8 References

* 9 Notes

* 10 External links

* 11 Public Bus Services

 

History

Hamadryas baboons by a waterfall

The conception of the Singapore Zoo dates from 1969. At the time, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) decided to use some of its land holdings around reservoirs for parks and open recreational facilities. The then Executive Chairman of PUB, Dr Ong Swee Law, set aside 88 hectares of land for the construction of a zoological garden.

 

In 1970, consultants and staff were hired, and in 1971, the construction of the basic 50 enclosures started. Animals were collected from dealers and donated by sponsors. The Director of the Colombo Zoo in Sri Lanka, Lyn de Alwis, was hired as a special consultant to work out problems inherent in tropical zoos.

 

On 23 June 1973, the Singapore Zoo opened its gates for the first time with a collection of 270 animals from over 72 species, and a staff of 130. By 1990, 1,600 animals from more than 160 species lived in social groups, housed in 65 landscaped exhibits with boundaries conceived to look as natural as possible.

Present

A pair of white tigers

Today, the zoo is a model of the 'open zoo' concept. The animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures, separated from the visitors by either dry or wet moats. The moats are concealed with vegetation or dropped below the line of vision. In the case of dangerous animals which can climb very well, moat barriers are not used. Instead, these animals are housed in landscaped glass-fronted enclosures.

The zoo has not expanded beyond the original 28 hectares. However, 40 hectares of secondary forest were later developed into the Night Safari. The remaining undeveloped land has been kept as wooded land. This and the waters of Upper Seletar Reservoir contribute to the Zoo, giving it a sense of natural, unrestricted space.

Among various attractions that the zoo offers,one highlight is the "Breakfast with an Orangutan" programme that allows visitors to meet and interact closely with the orangutans in the zoo, amongst which includes the famous primate matriarch Ah Meng, (died on February 8, 2008) who was an icon of the Singapore tourism industry. Animal shows, as well as token feedings coupled with live commentaries by keepers, are also the daily staple in the Singapore zoo.

 

Education and conservation

The Wildlife Healthcare & Research Centre was opened in March 2006 as part of the zoo's efforts in wildlife conservation. The centre further underscores Singapore Zoo and Night Safari’s commitment to conservation research, providing the infrastructure for the parks and overseas zoological partners to better execute their research programmes.

The zoo also embarked on various rescue and conservation efforts to protect wildlife.

Rides

White rhinos

The zoo also offers various modes of rides available within the premises: trams, animals, boat, pony and horse carriage rides. Additional modes of transportation which can only be rented include: strollers, wagon and wheelchairs.

Friends of the Zoo

The zoo also has a "friends of the zoo" programme, where people can sign up for a yearly pass which grants them special privileges such as:

* Free and unlimited entry to Singapore Zoo for whole year

* Free Zoo tram rides and parking

* A free quarterly "Wildlife wonders" magazine

* 10% discount at some participating retail outlets

Organizing events

Elephant show and the trainers

There are three event venues available in the zoo, Forest Lodge, Pavilion-By-the-Lake and Garden Pavilion. There are also three cocktail venues, Elephants of Asia, Tiger Trek and Treetops Trail. The Singapore Zoo also facilitates birthday parties and weddings.

 

Incidents

On 13 November 2008, two of three white Bengal tigers mauled a zoo cleaner to death after the man jumped into a moat surrounding their enclosure.[2]

Trivia

Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (September 2008)

* In 2002, teams of The Amazing Race 3 also came to the Singapore Zoological Gardens as part of a detour.

* Steve Irwin, the animal activist and conservationalist known as "The Crocodile Hunter", admired the Singapore Zoo greatly, adopting it as the 'sister zoo' to the Australia Zoo. He was at the Singapore Zoo in 2006 to officiate the opening of the Australian outback exhibit.

* The Singapore Zoo is the first zoo in the world to breed a polar bear in the tropics. Inuka was conceived on 26 December 1990.

O'Connell Street - Dublin - Ireland

Dun Laoghaire has changed a lot since I took these photographs and there are many changes on the way especially along George’s Street.

 

I was employed by Ericsson and based in Dun Laoghaire at the Adelphi Centre from 2001 to 2010 and I really liked the town even though the place was going through a period of urban decline and depression.

 

When I was there we were based in George’s Street which was going down hill at a rapid pace and the company decision to move from the town must have had a huge impact on the town and especially on the restaurants on the main street.

 

Before I joined Ericsson I worked for two different companies with offices at Haigh Terrace which became a no-go area at night because of anti-social behaviour related to drug-dealing. Because of the new library complex and the removal of the pond in Moran Park the anti-social problem in the immediate area is no longer an issue even if some locals dislike the library building.

 

According to a recent report Georges Street is too long as a main street in order to support viable retailing. Therefore, it is proposed that the street be demarcated into distinct quarters: an Interiors Quarter on Lower Georges Street from Cumberland Street to St Michael’s Hospital; the Core Retail Quarter from Bloomfields Shopping Centre to Haigh Terrace; the Commercial & Residential Quarter from Haigh Terrace to Adelphi House; and the Artesian Quarter on Upper Georges Street from Mellifont Avenue to the People’s Park.

 

Several interventions at street level are required to change the appearance of each quarter and communicate a distinct proposition for each quarter to shoppers and visitors. These interventions will range from the establishment of new town squares; to the creative use of paving, seating, flowerbeds and lighting; to the introduction of new canopies and shading; to the erection of new sculpted features and signage.

 

It is envisaged that as the development of the retail quarters gain momentum, the demand for retail space will increase. The new mechanisms such as the Property Forum and Retail Forum will be vehicles to focus new retail businesses into clusters for example food and fashion specialty shops in the Artesian Quarter.

Designed in 1924 as a Lodge for the Order of the Elks, the building remains as one of the finest examples of the neo-classic revival style that grew in popularity during the 1920s. After the Elks left the building it operated as the Henry Clay Hotel for almost 40 years, then as a YWCA until 1988. This building was restored by City Properties and now has retail shops, condos, office space and rental space for events. This building is a great example of the adaptive reuse of a building, combining all the different uses into one property.

 

Singapore Zoo

Coordinates: [show location on an interactive map] 1°24?15.9?N 103°47?28.1?E? / ?1.404417°N 103.791139°E? / 1.404417; 103.791139

Date opened 23 June 1973

Location Singapore

Land area 28 hectares

Number of animals 2530

Number of species 315

The Singapore Zoo (Chinese: ?????? ; Malay: 'Taman Haiwan Singapura'; Tamil: ??????????? ????????? ????????????), formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens and commonly known locally as the Mandai Zoo, occupies 28 hectares (0.28 km?) of land on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore's heavily forested central catchment area. The zoo was built at a cost of S$9m granted by the government of Singapore and opened on 23 June 1973. It is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who also manage the neighbouring Night Safari and the Jurong BirdPark. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16% are considered threatened species. The zoo attracts about 1.4 million visitors a year.

 

From the beginning, Singapore Zoo followed the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic, 'open' exhibits, i.e. with hidden barriers, behind moats and shrubbery etc. It also houses the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world. In 1977, primatologist Dr Francine Neago lived inside a cage with eighteen orangutans for six months to study their behavior and communication.

1 History

2 Present

o 2.1 Education and conservation

o 2.2 Rides

o 2.3 Friends of the Zoo

o 2.4 Organizing events

* 3 Incidents

* 4 Trivia

* 5 Awards

* 6 Gallery

* 7 See also

* 8 References

* 9 Notes

* 10 External links

* 11 Public Bus Services

 

History

Hamadryas baboons by a waterfall

The conception of the Singapore Zoo dates from 1969. At the time, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) decided to use some of its land holdings around reservoirs for parks and open recreational facilities. The then Executive Chairman of PUB, Dr Ong Swee Law, set aside 88 hectares of land for the construction of a zoological garden.

 

In 1970, consultants and staff were hired, and in 1971, the construction of the basic 50 enclosures started. Animals were collected from dealers and donated by sponsors. The Director of the Colombo Zoo in Sri Lanka, Lyn de Alwis, was hired as a special consultant to work out problems inherent in tropical zoos.

 

On 23 June 1973, the Singapore Zoo opened its gates for the first time with a collection of 270 animals from over 72 species, and a staff of 130. By 1990, 1,600 animals from more than 160 species lived in social groups, housed in 65 landscaped exhibits with boundaries conceived to look as natural as possible.

Present

A pair of white tigers

Today, the zoo is a model of the 'open zoo' concept. The animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures, separated from the visitors by either dry or wet moats. The moats are concealed with vegetation or dropped below the line of vision. In the case of dangerous animals which can climb very well, moat barriers are not used. Instead, these animals are housed in landscaped glass-fronted enclosures.

The zoo has not expanded beyond the original 28 hectares. However, 40 hectares of secondary forest were later developed into the Night Safari. The remaining undeveloped land has been kept as wooded land. This and the waters of Upper Seletar Reservoir contribute to the Zoo, giving it a sense of natural, unrestricted space.

Among various attractions that the zoo offers,one highlight is the "Breakfast with an Orangutan" programme that allows visitors to meet and interact closely with the orangutans in the zoo, amongst which includes the famous primate matriarch Ah Meng, (died on February 8, 2008) who was an icon of the Singapore tourism industry. Animal shows, as well as token feedings coupled with live commentaries by keepers, are also the daily staple in the Singapore zoo.

 

Education and conservation

The Wildlife Healthcare & Research Centre was opened in March 2006 as part of the zoo's efforts in wildlife conservation. The centre further underscores Singapore Zoo and Night Safari’s commitment to conservation research, providing the infrastructure for the parks and overseas zoological partners to better execute their research programmes.

The zoo also embarked on various rescue and conservation efforts to protect wildlife.

Rides

White rhinos

The zoo also offers various modes of rides available within the premises: trams, animals, boat, pony and horse carriage rides. Additional modes of transportation which can only be rented include: strollers, wagon and wheelchairs.

Friends of the Zoo

The zoo also has a "friends of the zoo" programme, where people can sign up for a yearly pass which grants them special privileges such as:

* Free and unlimited entry to Singapore Zoo for whole year

* Free Zoo tram rides and parking

* A free quarterly "Wildlife wonders" magazine

* 10% discount at some participating retail outlets

Organizing events

Elephant show and the trainers

There are three event venues available in the zoo, Forest Lodge, Pavilion-By-the-Lake and Garden Pavilion. There are also three cocktail venues, Elephants of Asia, Tiger Trek and Treetops Trail. The Singapore Zoo also facilitates birthday parties and weddings.

 

Incidents

On 13 November 2008, two of three white Bengal tigers mauled a zoo cleaner to death after the man jumped into a moat surrounding their enclosure.[2]

Trivia

Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (September 2008)

* In 2002, teams of The Amazing Race 3 also came to the Singapore Zoological Gardens as part of a detour.

* Steve Irwin, the animal activist and conservationalist known as "The Crocodile Hunter", admired the Singapore Zoo greatly, adopting it as the 'sister zoo' to the Australia Zoo. He was at the Singapore Zoo in 2006 to officiate the opening of the Australian outback exhibit.

* The Singapore Zoo is the first zoo in the world to breed a polar bear in the tropics. Inuka was conceived on 26 December 1990.

Dun Laoghaire has changed a lot since I took these photographs and there are many changes on the way especially along George’s Street.

 

I was employed by Ericsson and based in Dun Laoghaire at the Adelphi Centre from 2001 to 2010 and I really liked the town even though the place was going through a period of urban decline and depression.

 

When I was there we were based in George’s Street which was going down hill at a rapid pace and the company decision to move from the town must have had a huge impact on the town and especially on the restaurants on the main street.

 

Before I joined Ericsson I worked for two different companies with offices at Haigh Terrace which became a no-go area at night because of anti-social behaviour related to drug-dealing. Because of the new library complex and the removal of the pond in Moran Park the anti-social problem in the immediate area is no longer an issue even if some locals dislike the library building.

 

According to a recent report Georges Street is too long as a main street in order to support viable retailing. Therefore, it is proposed that the street be demarcated into distinct quarters: an Interiors Quarter on Lower Georges Street from Cumberland Street to St Michael’s Hospital; the Core Retail Quarter from Bloomfields Shopping Centre to Haigh Terrace; the Commercial & Residential Quarter from Haigh Terrace to Adelphi House; and the Artesian Quarter on Upper Georges Street from Mellifont Avenue to the People’s Park.

 

Several interventions at street level are required to change the appearance of each quarter and communicate a distinct proposition for each quarter to shoppers and visitors. These interventions will range from the establishment of new town squares; to the creative use of paving, seating, flowerbeds and lighting; to the introduction of new canopies and shading; to the erection of new sculpted features and signage.

 

It is envisaged that as the development of the retail quarters gain momentum, the demand for retail space will increase. The new mechanisms such as the Property Forum and Retail Forum will be vehicles to focus new retail businesses into clusters for example food and fashion specialty shops in the Artesian Quarter.

Title: The American florist : a weekly journal for the trade

Identifier: americanfloristw20amer

Year: 1885 (1880s)

Authors: American Florists Company

Subjects: Floriculture; Florists

Publisher: Chicago : American Florist Company

Contributing Library: UMass Amherst Libraries

Digitizing Sponsor: Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries

  

View Book Page: Book Viewer

About This Book: Catalog Entry

View All Images: All Images From Book

 

Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.

  

Text Appearing Before Image:

/goo. The American Florist. 883 all times expected to show something unusual in that special line and he never disappoints. Not much but carnations are grown in his large range of houses. Several of his houses are not quite No. 1 but the others make up what these lack. A house of Ethel Crocker is a marvel and proves that the claims for this variety have not been overdrawn. His extensive propagating houses are models and the long benches of carnation cuttings set one to wondering what he will do with them; but then he seldom has enough to supply the demand. He ships nearly all he produces. Lancaster, with its wealth and about 40,000 population, is a poor market for fine flowers. The large growers, and even the small ones, ship the greater part of their crops. The "Cabbage Hill" ele- ment somewhat pervades the town and prefers the aroma of sauerkraut to that of violets or American Beauties. Here as in other cities some of the wealthiest have greenhouses on their own grounds and are in the main satisfied with what they produce. M. The Matter of Credits. The question of credits is a very important one to every wholesale florist and it assumes particular prominence in the establishment where cut flowers are wholesaled on c.immission. The wholesale florists have for years been discussing this problem of giving credit and several plans have been broached for making the evil less acute, but conditions do not yet seem to be ripe for such an organization as is required. Eventually the wholesale florists should have a co-operative credit agency of their own, which should publish for its mem- bers a list of credits, it being one of the rules of the organization that the moment a buyer is reported as a bad risk, he must pay cash to all. A number of features might be added to broaden the work and secure all the wholesalers as members, but the general advantage of such a mutual benefit experience list should be sufficient to bring in every dealer of consequence. And the advantages would not be all on one side. The responsible retail- ers would secure even greater benefit. How often you hear a retailer com- plain that a certain competitor is selling at less than the complainant can buy for. That is easy of explanation. One dealer pays cash; the other owes the wholesaler and will owe him as long as he will "stand for it"; then something will happen to make an item for the press and probably a case for the bank- ruptcy lawyers. Retailers have repeat- edly found it difficult to compete with those who do not intend to pay. To day, when no two firms agree on the credit of anyone, each wholesaler has to rely on his individual judgment and a great many people secure credit who are not entitled to it and who abuse it. Then, too, if you ask a new buyer for references it hurts him, even if he promptly produces references enough to fill a book; and if he happens to be aman without credit, a "dead one," he puts up a most awful "roar" and promptly does his cash buying elsewhere. The cut flower business ought to be spot cash. For the commission man of to-day to keep up with the times be must have a bank account large enough to carry any buyers that are good, an occasional one that isn't, and still pay the producer on demand. E. E. PiKSER.

 

Text Appearing After Image:

PURE WHITE CYCLAMEN GROWN R. ROTHE, GLENSIDE, PA. Boston. PROSPERITY ATTENDS THE CLOSE OF THE SOCIAL SEASON.—PRICES STIFFEN —SOME GOOD ROSES.—BULBOUS STOCK IS POPU- LAR.—VARIOUS lOTTING AND PERSONAL NOTES. The flower trade seems to have gath- ered itself together for the final winding up of the season, before Lent takes pos- session. The past week has been gener- ally satisfactory and there remains but a week more. While lacking in sensational features and unusually quiet on the sur- face, yet the season is believed to have been a fairly good one and as profitable, all together, to growers, dealers and retailers, as any in recent years. All prices have stiffenedupconsiderably within the past few days. Roses have done well and the returns, for those growers who grade correctly, have been pleasant reading. The dissatisfaction, where any exists, is confined to those who grade according to their own ideas rather than to the generally adopted market scale and then howl because their receipts do not agree with published price quotations. And their race will never become extinct. No better roses have ever been seen in this market than those being sent to Welch Bros, by S. J. Renter. The highest grades of his cut are bringing $25 per hundred and his carnations are of an equally high order. Fred King's scarlet carnation, named after himself, is very popular and a great keeper. Warren Ewell reports the trade in flowering bulbs in pans as excellent. The quality of his stock this year is superior to anything in the past and it seems to be generally in demand—as popular, almost, as Warren himself; and this is saying much. The annual scrimmage over the gypsy moth appropriation is on at the State House All kinds of charges and counter charges are being made, some going so far as to accuse the moth hunters of planting colonies of the pest to perpetu- ate their occupation. E. M. Wood has just got back from the salubrious Florida coast, full of entertaining stories of that favored land and looking greatly refreshed after his much needed vacation. S. A. F. matters and CO-operative purchase will now begin to hum. Lothrop & Higgins,of Bridgewater, are making arrangements to put up a mam- moth display of dahlias at the Paris exposition. Herman, Mr. Edgar's driver, was badly injured while unloading some plants from his wagon on Tremont street Tuesday morning, by being struck by a runaway team. Long & Marshall have taken posses- sion of the Thorndike flower store and an appearance of progressive prosperity is unmistakable. A. T. Boddington, of New York, is in town; also R. H. Dunbar, of Bristol, R, L New York. STATE OF THE MARKET.—THE FAVORITES BRING GOOD PRICES.—THE VIOLET SITUA- TION.—MARKET DEPENDS UPON THE WEATHER.—STORY OF THE SPECIALTIES. —NOTES. The leaders for the past week in the cut flower market have been Beauties, top grade Bridesmaids, good carnations and lilacs. Beauties are in larger supply than one year ago but are averaging more money and have held up well in price, bringing 60 cents for the best. Extra quality Bridesmaids are just about equal to the demand, the best running up to 15 cents. Brides are not so easily sold and bring lower values on the average. Brunners have arrived but the number coming in is small as yet, the price ranging from 20 cents to 50 cents. The daily supply of violetsisenormous. Thus far they have been cleaned up at fair figures except when rainy weather or a snow storm like that of last Satur- day interferes, in which case it taxes the cellars of the wholesalers to store them. With no other flower is the sale so dependent upon the weather. On account of their short-lived perfume it is an invari-

  

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Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.

O'Connell Street - Dublin - Ireland

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design. Furthermore, the bridge is ubiquitously known to Sydneysiders simply as "the Bridge".

 

Under the direction of Dr J.J.C. Bradfield of the NSW Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932. The bridge's design was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City. It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m (440 ft) from top to water level. It was also the world's widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 m (160 ft) wide, until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver was completed in 2012.

 

The southern (CBD) end of the bridge is located at Millers Point in The Rocks area, and the northern end at Milsons Point in the lower North Shore area. There are six original lanes of road traffic through the main roadway, plus an additional two lanes of road traffic on its eastern side, using lanes that were formerly tram tracks. Adjacent to the road traffic, a path for pedestrian use runs along the eastern side of the bridge, whilst a dedicated path for bicycle use only runs along the western side. Finally, between the main roadway and the western bicycle path are two lanes used for railway tracks, servicing the T1 North Shore Line for Sydney Trains.

 

The main roadway across the bridge is known as the Bradfield Highway and is about 2.4 km (1.5 mi) long, making it one of the shortest highways in Australia.

 

The building of the bridge was under the management of Bradfield. Three other people heavily involved in the bridge's design and construction were Lawrence Ennis, Edward Judge, and Sir Ralph Freeman. Ennis was the engineer-in-charge at Dorman Long and Co and the main on-site supervisor (Bradfield visited occasionally throughout the project and, in particular, at many key stages of the project, to inspect progress and make managerial decisions), Judge was chief technical engineer of Dorman Long, and Freeman was hired by the company to design the accepted model in further detail. Later a bitter disagreement broke out between Bradfield and Freeman as to who actually designed the bridge. Another name connected with the bridge's design is that of Arthur Plunkett.

 

Even during its construction, the bridge was such a prominent feature of Sydney that it would attract tourist interest. One of the ongoing tourist attractions of the bridge has been the south-east pylon, which is accessed via the pedestrian walkway across the bridge, and then a climb to the top of the pylon of about 200 steps.

 

Not long after the bridge's opening, commencing in 1934, Archer Whitford first converted this pylon into a tourist destination. He installed a number of attractions, including a café, a camera obscura, an Aboriginal museum, a "Mother's Nook" where visitors could write letters, and a "pashometer". The main attraction was the viewing platform, where "charming attendants" assisted visitors to use the telescopes available, and a copper cladding (still present) over the granite guard rails identified the suburbs and landmarks of Sydney at the time.

 

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 saw tourist activities on the bridge cease, as the military took over the four pylons and modified them to include parapets and anti-aircraft guns.

 

In 1948 Yvonne Rentoul opened the "All Australian Exhibition" in the pylon. This contained dioramas, and displays about Australian perspectives on subjects such as farming, sport, transport, mining, and the armed forces. An orientation table was installed at the viewing platform, along with a wall guide and binoculars. The owner kept several white cats in a rooftop cattery, which also served as an attraction, and there was a souvenir shop and postal outlet. Rentoul's lease expired in 1971, and the pylon and its lookout remained closed to the public for over a decade.

 

The pylon was reopened in 1982, with a new exhibition celebrating the bridge's 50th anniversary. In 1987 a "Bicentennial Exhibition" was opened to mark the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia in 1988.

 

The pylon was closed from April to November 2000 for the Roads & Traffic Authority and BridgeClimb to create a new exhibition called "Proud Arch". The exhibition focussed on Bradfield, and included a glass direction finder on the observation level, and various important heritage items.

 

The pylon again closed for four weeks in 2003 for the installation of an exhibit called "Dangerous Works", highlighting the dangerous conditions experienced by the original construction workers on the bridge, and two stained glass feature windows in memory of the workers.

  

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the facility is adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, between Sydney and Farm Coves.

 

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the facility formally opened on 20 October 1973[3] after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition. The Government of New South Wales, led by the premier, Joseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.

 

Though its name suggests a single venue, the project comprises multiple performance venues which together are among the busiest performing arts centres in the world — hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. The venues produce and present a wide range of in-house productions and accommodate numerous performing arts companies, including four key resident companies: Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, more than seven million people visit the site each year, with 300,000 people participating annually in a guided tour of the facility.

 

Identified as one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world, the facility is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the auspices of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts. The Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007.

 

The facility features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete "shells", each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres (246 ft 8.6 in) radius, forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) of land and is 183 m (600 ft) long and 120 m (394 ft) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 m (82 ft) below sea level.

 

Although the roof structures are commonly referred to as "shells" (as in this article), they are precast concrete panels supported by precast concrete ribs, not shells in a strictly structural sense.[13] Though the shells appear uniformly white from a distance, they actually feature a subtle chevron pattern composed of 1,056,006 tiles in two colours: glossy white as well as matte cream. The tiles were manufactured by the Swedish company Höganäs AB which generally produced stoneware tiles for the paper-mill industry.

 

Apart from the tile of the shells and the glass curtain walls of the foyer spaces, the building's exterior is largely clad with aggregate panels composed of pink granite quarried at Tarana. Significant interior surface treatments also include off-form concrete, Australian white birch plywood supplied from Wauchope in northern New South Wales, and brush box glulam.

 

Of the two larger spaces, the Concert Hall is in the western group of shells, the Joan Sutherland Theatre in the eastern group. The scale of the shells was chosen to reflect the internal height requirements, with low entrance spaces, rising over the seating areas up to the high stage towers. The smaller venues (the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse and the Studio) are within the podium, beneath the Concert Hall. A smaller group of shells set to the western side of the Monumental Steps houses the Bennelong Restaurant. The podium is surrounded by substantial open public spaces, and the large stone-paved forecourt area with the adjacent monumental steps is regularly used as a performance space.

 

The Sydney Opera House includes a number of performance venues:

 

Concert Hall: With 2,679 seats, the home of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and used by a large number of other concert presenters. It contains the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, the largest mechanical tracker action organ in the world, with over 10,000 pipes.[citation needed]

Joan Sutherland Theatre: A proscenium theatre with 1,507 seats,[17] the Sydney home of Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet. Until 16 October 2012 it was known as the Opera Theatre.

Drama Theatre: A proscenium theatre with 544 seats, used by the Sydney Theatre Company and other dance and theatrical presenters.

Playhouse: An end-stage theatre with 398 seats.

Studio: A flexible space with a maximum capacity of 400, depending on configuration.

Utzon Room: A small multi-purpose venue, seating up to 210.

Recording Studio

Outdoor Forecourt: A flexible open-air venue with a wide range of configuration options, including the possibility of utilising the Monumental Steps as audience seating, used for a range of community events and major outdoor performances. The Forecourt will be closed to visitors and performances in 2011–2014 to construct a new entrance tunnel to a rebuilt loading dock for the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

 

Other areas (for example the northern and western foyers) are also used for performances on an occasional basis. Venues are also used for conferences, ceremonies and social functions.

 

The building also houses a recording studio, cafes, restaurants, bars and retail outlets. Guided tours are available, including a frequent tour of the front-of-house spaces, and a daily backstage tour that takes visitors backstage to see areas normally reserved for performers and crew members.

 

Planning began in the late 1940s, when Eugene Goossens, the Director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, lobbied for a suitable venue for large theatrical productions. The normal venue for such productions, the Sydney Town Hall, was not considered large enough. By 1954, Goossens succeeded in gaining the support of NSW Premier Joseph Cahill, who called for designs for a dedicated opera house. It was also Goossens who insisted that Bennelong Point be the site: Cahill had wanted it to be on or near Wynyard Railway Station in the northwest of the CBD.

 

An international design competition was launched by Cahill on 13 September 1955 and received 233 entries, representing architects from 32 countries. The criteria specified a large hall seating 3,000 and a small hall for 1,200 people, each to be designed for different uses, including full-scale operas, orchestral and choral concerts, mass meetings, lectures, ballet performances and other presentations.

 

The winner, announced in 1957, was Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect. According to legend the Utzon design was rescued from a final cut of 30 "rejects" by the noted Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen. The prize was £5,000. Utzon visited Sydney in 1957 to help supervise the project. His office moved to Palm Beach, Sydney in February 1963.

 

Utzon received the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture's highest honour, in 2003. The Pritzker Prize citation read:

 

There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent.

  

The Sydney Opera House was formally opened by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on 20 October 1973. A large crowd attended. Utzon was not invited to the ceremony, nor was his name mentioned. The opening was televised and included fireworks and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9

  

PERSHING SQUARE/TITLE is a site-specific visual and sound installation by artist Renee Petropoulos. This project continues Renee Petropoulos' exploration of the relationship between the architectural and social culture of LA. The starting point for this project is the original function of the building which housed the Title Guarantee and Trust Co., a business comprised of holding the deeds to LA properties. The work consists of a series of audio commentaries by various voices (people) revealing their points of view on different LA locations. Both amateur and authoritative voices are included and the often poetic, emotional nature of the language of these perceptions reveals unexpected passions for the historic and the current elements of the city. Descriptions of hospital rooms, immigration offices, cinema locations and palatial pink factories serve to illuminate our cumulative and collective response to LA. The fusion of the public and private perceptions of the city furthers ideas about architecture, ownership and individual interior reflection.

  

The project will be in constant evolution reflecting a changing situation through both audio and visual encounters. The audio component of the interviews will be broadcast from the building being available at street level, and through your car radio (106.9fm) when traveling in the vicinity and via the PhantomGalleriesLA.com website, excerpts made of vinyl lettering, culled from the interviews will be added one sentence at a time on a weekly basis to the Title Guarantee Building Art Space Windows.

 

“PERSHING SQUARE/TITLE” at the Art Deco/ Zigzag Moderne LA Historic-Cultural Monument on Pershing Square, presents a compelling urban street experience of encountering diverse perspectives of LA. The Pershing Square area is central to Downtown LA’s extraordinary urban transformation as a vital place to work, live and visit. It is a resonant place to consider the issues raised by this public art work.

 

RENEE PETROPOULOS

“PERSHING SQUARE/TITLE”

Curated by Susan Horowitz- Independent Curator for Phantom Galleries LA

  

PERSHING SQUARE/ TITLE GUARANTEE BUILDING LOFTS

1929-31 JOHN & DONALD PARKINSON ARCHITECTS

CITY OF LA HISTORIC-CULTURAL MONUMENT- DESIGNATED 1984

411 West 5th Street Los Angeles, 90013

car radio (106.9 fm) when traveling in the vicinity

 

Exhibit runs: April 22- June 30, 2008.

Pedestrian viewing 24/7

    

PERSHING SQUARE/TITLE is a site-specific visual and sound installation by artist Renee Petropoulos. This project continues Renee Petropoulos' exploration of the relationship between the architectural and social culture of LA. The starting point for this project is the original function of the building which housed the Title Guarantee and Trust Co., a business comprised of holding the deeds to LA properties. The work consists of a series of audio commentaries by various voices (people) revealing their points of view on different LA locations. Both amateur and authoritative voices are included and the often poetic, emotional nature of the language of these perceptions reveals unexpected passions for the historic and the current elements of the city. Descriptions of hospital rooms, immigration offices, cinema locations and palatial pink factories serve to illuminate our cumulative and collective response to LA. The fusion of the public and private perceptions of the city furthers ideas about architecture, ownership and individual interior reflection.

  

The project will be in constant evolution reflecting a changing situation through both audio and visual encounters. The audio component of the interviews will be broadcast from the building being available at street level, and through your car radio (106.9fm) when traveling in the vicinity and via the PhantomGalleriesLA.com website, excerpts made of vinyl lettering, culled from the interviews will be added one sentence at a time on a weekly basis to the Title Guarantee Building Art Space Windows.

 

“PERSHING SQUARE/TITLE” at the Art Deco/ Zigzag Moderne LA Historic-Cultural Monument on Pershing Square, presents a compelling urban street experience of encountering diverse perspectives of LA. The Pershing Square area is central to Downtown LA’s extraordinary urban transformation as a vital place to work, live and visit. It is a resonant place to consider the issues raised by this public art work.

 

Media contact Phantom Galleries LA:

Liza Simone

213.626.2854

Liza@PhantomGalleriesLA.com

www.phantomGalleriesLA.com

   

Upcoming Title Guarantee Building Art Space Exhibits:

 

July curated by Dangerous Curve DangerousCurve.org

August curated by LACDA lacda.com

September curated by Edgar Varela Fine Art EdgarVarelaFineArts.com

 

LA artist Renee Petropoulos has produced permanent public art here including her mural in the rotunda of the LA Central Library, installations in Culver City and the Metro Green Line in El Segundo. She has exhibited her work extensively and produced temporary and permanent installations internationally. Her recent 2007 exhibition, Social Arrangements, featured five related ongoing projects encompassing painting, sculpture and audio. She is represented here by the Rosamund Felsen Gallery (rosamundfelsen.com/petropoulos/index.php). and is currently a professor in the graduate division of the Otis College of Art and Design.

 

Susan Horowitz is an independent curator and artist. She is working with Phantom Galleries LA to curate exhibits that illuminate contemporary urban issues. Her photo/text art work focuses on an exploration of the complex relationship between the individual, nature, and architecture of the urban West. Her current exhibition LA CONTINUUM, a collaboration with Carol Bishop, is a collection of glimpses of the flux of urban land, development and architecture. Hennessey and Ingalls Art and Architecture Books in Santa Monica (hennesseyingalls.com).

WEBSITE - susanhorowitz-laprojects.com

    

Phantom Galleries LA is a Los Angeles County based organization that transforms properties in transition into 24/7 public art galleries. Each installation is a unique relationship between the participating Artist, Curator, and Property Owner. Exhibits are curated by local Arts Organizations, Galleries, Independent Curators, and Artists. The project gives local artists an opportunity to exhibit their work, while fostering economic development by drawing attention to available retail space. PGLA promotes the creative communities of Los Angeles to a broader audience and encourages the appreciation and participation in the arts among community members and organizations creating a win/ win situation that benefits the entire community as a whole. Art is a necessary part of everyday life.

 

Title Guarantee Building Lofts

While the exterior architecture has qualified the building for inclusion on the Nation Historic Register, the completely reconstructed interiors are perfect for today’s modern living. Experience the excitement of the new Downtown Los Angeles and live in a landmark. For further information about The Title Guarantee Building Lofts contact 213. 627.3939 or titleguaranteebuilding.com

  

For further information about this exhibit contact - susanhorowitzproject@mac.com

For further information about Phantom Galleries LA contact Liza@PhantomGalleriesLA.com www.PHANTOMGALLERIESLA.COM

 

INSTALLATION IMAGES + STREAMING AUDIO ON PHANTOMGALLERIESLA.com

   

Phantom Galleries LA is proud to announce their invitation to curate and oversee exhibits showcasing the Art and Culture of Downtown Los Angeles at the new Title Guarantee Building Public Art Window Space. Exhibits are curated by Downtown LA Arts Organizations, Galleries, Independent Curators, and Artists and/or focus on topics about Downtown Los Angeles.

See also video interview with the artist (Flickr HD video).

 

Deadly Sins

 

A new collectible, slated to set the mark as an icon for the 22nd Century - collect all Seven Deadly Sins. Due out by December in an exclusive limited edition set.

 

Pure Products USA | Ligorano/Reese Collaboration in Art

 

Towards a Surreal Politik…

 

In 1992, we began Pure Products of America as a series of multiple editions focusing on the impact of marketing on politics. Over the past 17 years, the series has expanded and now includes 14 pieces running the gamut from snow globes to underwear (our underwear was the first to pack a political message), to happy meals.

 

Each object is signed and numbered in various sized editions. When we introduce Pure Products, we send some of them as gifts to government officials. Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton, members of the Supreme Court and various Senators and Congressional representatives have all received a pure product at one time or another.

 

Pure Products also function as discreet elements in installations. The installations The Bible Belt, Pillars of the Clean Order, and Steel Nipples incorporated them in sculptural settings with video and other media. In 2001, we expanded on this idea with the inauguration of an online retail website as part of the project.

 

Each piece is grounded within a framework that satirizes political values and, often, lampoons morality. Some pure products, like Line Up and Contract with America underwear, became media sensations, reported in the press, on television and radio. The commentary surrounding the artwork is a mixture of absurdity and culture jamming, amplifying how much the media interprets and misinterprets contemporary art and blurs the connections between art, activism and commerce.

 

ligoranoreese.net/pure-products-usa

 

Bio

 

NORA LIGORANO and MARSHALL REESE have collaborated together as Ligorano/Reese since the early 80’s. They use collaboration to blend diverse talents into a singular voice and vision. In the process of creating their work, their individual contributions cross and criss-cross between each other from brainstorming to realizing and making the art on location or in the studio.

 

They use unusual materials and industrial processes to make their limited edition multiples, videos, sculptures and installations, moving easily from dish towels, underwear, and snow globes, to electronic art and computer controlled interactive installations.

 

They take and manipulate images, audio and text from old media: print, television, radio and combine that with the new: internet and mobile telecommunications. Their pursuit is an ongoing investigation into the impact of technology on culture and the associations and meanings that the media brings to images, language and speech in politics.

 

They have an interest with using open forms to involve community interaction, like their drawing contests, Crater Bay Area for the 01 Festival in San Jose and Crater New York at Location1. Installations that combine sculpture with public participation in drawing, within the context of a contest that is also streamed on the internet and in Second Life. Their ice sculptures, “Main Street Meltdown” and “The State of Things” share that same sense of open possibility, fusing natural processes of erosion and decay as flexible durations and markers to determine the experience of the work.

 

Many of their sculptures and installations reinterpret and reexamine older forms of technology - using objects that signify truth, authority and manifest cultural historicity. Ligorano/Reese use mirrors, clocks, metronomes and medieval codex bindings and combine them with video screens. They have invented micro-projection systems to display films on the head of a pin or the counterweight of a metronome.

 

Since 2004, they’ve investigated portraiture as a construct of social representation. Line Up (2004-5), their series of portraits of Bush administration officials in mug shot, acknowledges that the mug shot is the preeminent form of portraiture now that more people are incarcerated in the U.S. than any other country in the world. In December, 2007, the exhibition of these photos at the New York Public Library caused a firestorm of controversy with heavy rotation on FoxNews, DrudgeReport’s homepage and many, many other publications.

 

In 2001, they launched www.pureproductsusa.com, the online retail website for their infamous political art series the Pure Products of America. Since 1992, Ligorano/Reese have made 11 multiples in signed editions of 3 to 100. They are best selling editions at Printed Matter, artbook@ps1 and the New Museum store and have prompted, at least on one occasion, the RNC to threaten them with copyright infringement.

 

For more information see “The Joy of Collaborating: recipes for time-based art.

 

ligoranoreese.net/about

  

Eyebeam Open Studios: Fall 2009

 

eyebeam.org/events/open-studios-fall-2009

 

Eyebeam is pleased to host Open Studios for its 2009 Senior Fellows, Resident Artists, and Student Residents at Eyebeam’s state-of-the-art design, research, and fabrication studio; showcasing video performance, wearable technologies, code and humor, party technology, and sustainablity design.

 

///////////////

 

Eyebeam is the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the United States.

 

Founded in 1996 and incorporated in 1997, Eyebeam was conceived as a non-profit art and technology center dedicated to exposing broad and diverse audiences to new technologies and media arts, while simultaneously establishing and demonstrating new media as a significant genre of cultural production.

 

Since then, Eyebeam has supported more than 130 fellowships and residencies for artists and creative technologists; we've run an active education program for youth, artists' professional development and community outreach; and have mounted an extensive series of public programs, over recent years approximately 4 exhibitions and 40 workshops, performances and events annually.

 

Today, Eyebeam offers residencies and fellowships for artists and technologists working in a wide range of media. At any given time, there are up to 20 resident artists and fellows onsite at Eyebeam's 15,000-square foot Chelsea offices and Labs, developing new projects and creating work for open dissemination through online, primarily open-source, publication as well as a robust calendar of public programming that includes free exhibitions, lectures and panels, participatory workshops, live performances and educational series.

 

eyebeam.org

 

Shopping online has benefits and drawbacks, much like other activities in everyday life. To be able to increase the positive things about shopping online and lower the not so good things, it is essential which you become knowledgeable around the proper ways of shopping by doing this. These piece will provide you with suggestions to make online shopping more effective.

 

Before doing online shopping, be certain your antivirus is current. There are lots of rogue websites available lurking to get online shoppers. You will find individuals that produce online shop sites just there to damage your pc. Be sure to protect yourself prior to visiting a web-based store, even when it appears quite reputable.

 

Usually do not give your SSN while shopping online. Not one site needs your social security number. In case you are requested it, you might be being scammed. Back from websites like these without creating any commitments and do your shopping elsewhere.

 

When searching for online savings, look for upcoming sales starting on Wednesdays. Online retailers list their sales mid-week because real life stores normally have weekend sales. Therefore, it really is easy to find incredible mid-week deals by doing a bit of research.

 

Lots of online retails offer big saving with discount codes. In the event you go into the name of the desired manufacturer or website and "promotion code" into the search engines, you will find codes to provide you with a whole lot. You can snag a portion off, free delivery, or perhaps a free additional product just for a couple of minutes of the times.

 

Consider upgrading to premium accounts on your own favorite online retailers. This membership only costs $79 annually, and you receive a lot for the investment. Free two-day shipping, discounts on following day shipping as well as promotions on items. Additionally, this membership gives you a great movie library where one can stream movies totally free. This enables you to save a great deal overall!

 

Equipped with this information, you are able to go forth and revel in bargains. Just make use of the excellent advice provided here to assist you cut costs. You'll be amazed at the money it can save you. Your friends and family will wonder the way you get it done. fastdiscountfinder.com/hot-new-releases/

Visit this location at The Listening Room in Edloe Mountain in Second Life

 

I can breathe again.

I can complete a sentence.

I'm not blowing out gobs of yellow goop every ten minutes.

I'm still not 100%, and I never will be again.

But I'll come close to it.

And that's good enough for me.

 

DEMO

 

I've been scouring Marketplace for "demo tango" and picking up dozens of outfits to try on.

Yeah, the L$ balance has come close to zero several times in the past week.

But I'm happy.

Retail Therapy works.

 

REVIEWS

 

I can't keep all the style guide rules in my head.

And my checklist isn't helping.

I fuck something up in every doc.

More than once.

When I get it to the front of my mental stack.

Something else slides back out.

I feel stupid. And weak. And old. And tired.

 

GAZA

 

Fuck Gaza.

What a fucked-up shithole.

I need to write up a google doc with my thoughts on it.

So I can just shove it down the throats of Hamas-loving, Jew-hating scum and choke them to death on their stupidity, evil, racism, and inhumanity.

Or, better yet...

I'm giving PizzaIDF a pizza.

Much easier.

 

FRIENDS LIST

 

Cleaned it a bit this week. Got rid of some not-really people, and then cut a few folks I don't want to know if they're online or not.

Being reminded this week why I don't have Tish on their, and pondering whether I really want to be social with someone who has the views that Mona has.

Does this make me some kind of hypocrite?

No, someone who just wants to minimize the bs.

Fashion interaction, content creation and social participation.

 

Schway are specialists in design, development and build of digital dressing-room apps. virtual closets, outfit builders, configurators, online fitting rooms and try-on technology.

 

Cross-platform engagement for multichannel fashion retail, marketers, publishers, affiliates, agencies and bloggers!

 

Schway – digital dressing everywhere - from womenswear to sportswear, menswear to maternity, streetwear to schoolwear!

Dun Laoghaire has changed a lot since I took these photographs and there are many changes on the way especially along George’s Street.

 

I was employed by Ericsson and based in Dun Laoghaire at the Adelphi Centre from 2001 to 2010 and I really liked the town even though the place was going through a period of urban decline and depression.

 

When I was there we were based in George’s Street which was going down hill at a rapid pace and the company decision to move from the town must have had a huge impact on the town and especially on the restaurants on the main street.

 

Before I joined Ericsson I worked for two different companies with offices at Haigh Terrace which became a no-go area at night because of anti-social behaviour related to drug-dealing. Because of the new library complex and the removal of the pond in Moran Park the anti-social problem in the immediate area is no longer an issue even if some locals dislike the library building.

 

According to a recent report Georges Street is too long as a main street in order to support viable retailing. Therefore, it is proposed that the street be demarcated into distinct quarters: an Interiors Quarter on Lower Georges Street from Cumberland Street to St Michael’s Hospital; the Core Retail Quarter from Bloomfields Shopping Centre to Haigh Terrace; the Commercial & Residential Quarter from Haigh Terrace to Adelphi House; and the Artesian Quarter on Upper Georges Street from Mellifont Avenue to the People’s Park.

 

Several interventions at street level are required to change the appearance of each quarter and communicate a distinct proposition for each quarter to shoppers and visitors. These interventions will range from the establishment of new town squares; to the creative use of paving, seating, flowerbeds and lighting; to the introduction of new canopies and shading; to the erection of new sculpted features and signage.

 

It is envisaged that as the development of the retail quarters gain momentum, the demand for retail space will increase. The new mechanisms such as the Property Forum and Retail Forum will be vehicles to focus new retail businesses into clusters for example food and fashion specialty shops in the Artesian Quarter.

"What's Wrong With Cinderella?"

 

I finally came unhinged in the dentist's office -- one of those ritzy pediatric practices tricked out with comic books, DVDs and arcade games -- where I'd taken my 3-year-old daughter for her first exam. Until then, I'd held my tongue. I'd smiled politely every time the supermarket-checkout clerk greeted her with ''Hi, Princess''; ignored the waitress at our local breakfast joint who called the funny-face pancakes she ordered her ''princess meal''; made no comment when the lady at Longs Drugs said, ''I bet I know your favorite color'' and handed her a pink balloon rather than letting her choose for herself. Maybe it was the dentist's Betty Boop inflection that got to me, but when she pointed to the exam chair and said, ''Would you like to sit in my special princess throne so I can sparkle your teeth?'' I lost it.

 

''Oh, for God's sake,'' I snapped. ''Do you have a princess drill, too?''

 

She stared at me as if I were an evil stepmother.

 

''Come on!'' I continued, my voice rising. ''It's 2006, not 1950. This is Berkeley, Calif. Does every little girl really have to be a princess?''

 

My daughter, who was reaching for a Cinderella sticker, looked back and forth between us. ''Why are you so mad, Mama?'' she asked. ''What's wrong with princesses?''

 

Diana may be dead and Masako disgraced, but here in America, we are in the midst of a royal moment. To call princesses a ''trend'' among girls is like calling Harry Potter a book. Sales at Disney Consumer Products, which started the craze six years ago by packaging nine of its female characters under one royal rubric, have shot up to $3 billion, globally, this year, from $300 million in 2001. There are now more than 25,000 Disney Princess items. ''Princess,'' as some Disney execs call it, is not only the fastest-growing brand the company has ever created; they say it is on its way to becoming the largest girls' franchise on the planet.

 

Meanwhile in 2001, Mattel brought out its own ''world of girl'' line of princess Barbie dolls, DVDs, toys, clothing, home décor and myriad other products. At a time when Barbie sales were declining domestically, they became instant best sellers. Shortly before that, Mary Drolet, a Chicago-area mother and former Claire's and Montgomery Ward executive, opened Club Libby Lu, now a chain of mall stores based largely in the suburbs in which girls ages 4 to 12 can shop for ''Princess Phones'' covered in faux fur and attend ''Princess-Makeover Birthday Parties.'' Saks bought Club Libby Lu in 2003 for $12 million and has since expanded it to 87 outlets; by 2005, with only scant local advertising, revenues hovered around the $46 million mark, a 53 percent jump from the previous year. Pink, it seems, is the new gold.

 

Even Dora the Explorer, the intrepid, dirty-kneed adventurer, has ascended to the throne: in 2004, after a two-part episode in which she turns into a ''true princess,'' the Nickelodeon and Viacom consumer-products division released a satin-gowned ''Magic Hair Fairytale Dora,'' with hair that grows or shortens when her crown is touched. Among other phrases the bilingual doll utters: ''Vámonos! Let's go to fairy-tale land!'' and ''Will you brush my hair?''

 

As a feminist mother -- not to mention a nostalgic product of the Grranimals era -- I have been taken by surprise by the princess craze and the girlie-girl culture that has risen around it. What happened to William wanting a doll and not dressing your cat in an apron? Whither Marlo Thomas? I watch my fellow mothers, women who once swore they'd never be dependent on a man, smile indulgently at daughters who warble ''So This Is Love'' or insist on being called Snow White. I wonder if they'd concede so readily to sons who begged for combat fatigues and mock AK-47s.

 

More to the point, when my own girl makes her daily beeline for the dress-up corner of her preschool classroom -- something I'm convinced she does largely to torture me -- I worry about what playing Little Mermaid is teaching her. I've spent much of my career writing about experiences that undermine girls' well-being, warning parents that a preoccupation with body and beauty (encouraged by films, TV, magazines and, yes, toys) is perilous to their daughters' mental and physical health. Am I now supposed to shrug and forget all that? If trafficking in stereotypes doesn't matter at 3, when does it matter? At 6? Eight? Thirteen?

 

On the other hand, maybe I'm still surfing a washed-out second wave of feminism in a third-wave world. Maybe princesses are in fact a sign of progress, an indication that girls can embrace their predilection for pink without compromising strength or ambition; that, at long last, they can ''have it all.'' Or maybe it is even less complex than that: to mangle Freud, maybe a princess is sometimes just a princess. And, as my daughter wants to know, what's wrong with that?

 

The rise of the Disney princesses reads like a fairy tale itself, with Andy Mooney, a former Nike executive, playing the part of prince, riding into the company on a metaphoric white horse in January 2000 to save a consumer-products division whose sales were dropping by as much as 30 percent a year. Both overstretched and underfocused, the division had triggered price wars by granting multiple licenses for core products (say, Winnie-the-Pooh undies) while ignoring the potential of new media. What's more, Disney films like ''A Bug's Life'' in 1998 had yielded few merchandising opportunities -- what child wants to snuggle up with an ant?

 

It was about a month after Mooney's arrival that the magic struck. That's when he flew to Phoenix to check out his first ''Disney on Ice'' show. ''Standing in line in the arena, I was surrounded by little girls dressed head to toe as princesses,'' he told me last summer in his palatial office, then located in Burbank, and speaking in a rolling Scottish burr. ''They weren't even Disney products. They were generic princess products they'd appended to a Halloween costume. And the light bulb went off. Clearly there was latent demand here. So the next morning I said to my team, 'O.K., let's establish standards and a color palette and talk to licensees and get as much product out there as we possibly can that allows these girls to do what they're doing anyway: projecting themselves into the characters from the classic movies.' ''

 

Mooney picked a mix of old and new heroines to wear the Pantone pink No. 241 corona: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan and Pocahontas. It was the first time Disney marketed characters separately from a film's release, let alone lumped together those from different stories. To ensure the sanctity of what Mooney called their individual ''mythologies,'' the princesses never make eye contact when they're grouped: each stares off in a slightly different direction as if unaware of the others' presence.

 

It is also worth noting that not all of the ladies are of royal extraction. Part of the genius of ''Princess'' is that its meaning is so broadly constructed that it actually has no meaning. Even Tinker Bell was originally a Princess, though her reign didn't last. ''We'd always debate over whether she was really a part of the Princess mythology,'' Mooney recalled. ''She really wasn't.'' Likewise, Mulan and Pocahontas, arguably the most resourceful of the bunch, are rarely depicted on Princess merchandise, though for a different reason. Their rustic garb has less bling potential than that of old-school heroines like Sleeping Beauty. (When Mulan does appear, she is typically in the kimonolike hanfu, which makes her miserable in the movie, rather than her liberated warrior's gear.)

 

The first Princess items, released with no marketing plan, no focus groups, no advertising, sold as if blessed by a fairy godmother. To this day, Disney conducts little market research on the Princess line, relying instead on the power of its legacy among mothers as well as the instant-read sales barometer of the theme parks and Disney Stores. ''We simply gave girls what they wanted,'' Mooney said of the line's success, ''although I don't think any of us grasped how much they wanted this. I wish I could sit here and take credit for having some grand scheme to develop this, but all we did was envision a little girl's room and think about how she could live out the princess fantasy. The counsel we gave to licensees was: What type of bedding would a princess want to sleep in? What kind of alarm clock would a princess want to wake up to? What type of television would a princess like to see? It's a rare case where you find a girl who has every aspect of her room bedecked in Princess, but if she ends up with three or four of these items, well, then you have a very healthy business.''

 

Every reporter Mooney talks to asks some version of my next question: Aren't the Princesses, who are interested only in clothes, jewelry and cadging the handsome prince, somewhat retrograde role models?

 

''Look,'' he said, ''I have friends whose son went through the Power Rangers phase who castigated themselves over what they must've done wrong. Then they talked to other parents whose kids had gone through it. The boy passes through. The girl passes through. I see girls expanding their imagination through visualizing themselves as princesses, and then they pass through that phase and end up becoming lawyers, doctors, mothers or princesses, whatever the case may be.''

 

Mooney has a point: There are no studies proving that playing princess directly damages girls' self-esteem or dampens other aspirations. On the other hand, there is evidence that young women who hold the most conventionally feminine beliefs -- who avoid conflict and think they should be perpetually nice and pretty -- are more likely to be depressed than others and less likely to use contraception. What's more, the 23 percent decline in girls' participation in sports and other vigorous activity between middle and high school has been linked to their sense that athletics is unfeminine. And in a survey released last October by Girls Inc., school-age girls overwhelmingly reported a paralyzing pressure to be ''perfect'': not only to get straight A's and be the student-body president, editor of the newspaper and captain of the swim team but also to be ''kind and caring,'' ''please everyone, be very thin and dress right.'' Give those girls a pumpkin and a glass slipper and they'd be in business.

 

At the grocery store one day, my daughter noticed a little girl sporting a Cinderella backpack. ''There's that princess you don't like, Mama!'' she shouted.

 

''Um, yeah,'' I said, trying not to meet the other mother's hostile gaze.

 

''Don't you like her blue dress, Mama?''

 

I had to admit, I did.

 

She thought about this. ''Then don't you like her face?''

 

''Her face is all right,'' I said, noncommittally, though I'm not thrilled to have my Japanese-Jewish child in thrall to those Aryan features. (And what the heck are those blue things covering her ears?) ''It's just, honey, Cinderella doesn't really do anything.''

 

Over the next 45 minutes, we ran through that conversation, verbatim, approximately 37 million times, as my daughter pointed out Disney Princess Band-Aids, Disney Princess paper cups, Disney Princess lip balm, Disney Princess pens, Disney Princess crayons and Disney Princess notebooks -- all cleverly displayed at the eye level of a 3-year-old trapped in a shopping cart -- as well as a bouquet of Disney Princess balloons bobbing over the checkout line. The repetition was excessive, even for a preschooler. What was it about my answers that confounded her? What if, instead of realizing: Aha! Cinderella is a symbol of the patriarchal oppression of all women, another example of corporate mind control and power-to-the-people! my 3-year-old was thinking, Mommy doesn't want me to be a girl?

 

According to theories of gender constancy, until they're about 6 or 7, children don't realize that the sex they were born with is immutable. They believe that they have a choice: they can grow up to be either a mommy or a daddy. Some psychologists say that until permanency sets in kids embrace whatever stereotypes our culture presents, whether it's piling on the most spangles or attacking one another with light sabers. What better way to assure that they'll always remain themselves? If that's the case, score one for Mooney. By not buying the Princess Pull-Ups, I may be inadvertently communicating that being female (to the extent that my daughter is able to understand it) is a bad thing.

 

Anyway, you have to give girls some credit. It's true that, according to Mattel, one of the most popular games young girls play is ''bride,'' but Disney found that a groom or prince is incidental to that fantasy, a regrettable necessity at best. Although they keep him around for the climactic kiss, he is otherwise relegated to the bottom of the toy box, which is why you don't see him prominently displayed in stores.

 

What's more, just because they wear the tulle doesn't mean they've drunk the Kool-Aid. Plenty of girls stray from the script, say, by playing basketball in their finery, or casting themselves as the powerful evil stepsister bossing around the sniveling Cinderella. I recall a headline-grabbing 2005 British study that revealed that girls enjoy torturing, decapitating and microwaving their Barbies nearly as much as they like to dress them up for dates. There is spice along with that sugar after all, though why this was news is beyond me: anyone who ever played with the doll knows there's nothing more satisfying than hacking off all her hair and holding her underwater in the bathtub. Princesses can even be a boon to exasperated parents: in our house, for instance, royalty never whines and uses the potty every single time.

 

''Playing princess is not the issue,'' argues Lyn Mikel Brown, an author, with Sharon Lamb, of ''Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters From Marketers' Schemes.'' ''The issue is 25,000 Princess products,'' says Brown, a professor of education and human development at Colby College. ''When one thing is so dominant, then it's no longer a choice: it's a mandate, cannibalizing all other forms of play. There's the illusion of more choices out there for girls, but if you look around, you'll see their choices are steadily narrowing.''

 

It's hard to imagine that girls' options could truly be shrinking when they dominate the honor roll and outnumber boys in college. Then again, have you taken a stroll through a children's store lately? A year ago, when we shopped for ''big girl'' bedding at Pottery Barn Kids, we found the ''girls'' side awash in flowers, hearts and hula dancers; not a soccer player or sailboat in sight. Across the no-fly zone, the ''boys'' territory was all about sports, trains, planes and automobiles. Meanwhile, Baby GAP's boys' onesies were emblazoned with ''Big Man on Campus'' and the girls' with ''Social Butterfly''; guess whose matching shoes were decorated on the soles with hearts and whose sported a ''No. 1'' logo? And at Toys ''R'' Us, aisles of pink baby dolls, kitchens, shopping carts and princesses unfurl a safe distance from the ''Star Wars'' figures, GeoTrax and tool chests. The relentless resegregation of childhood appears to have sneaked up without any further discussion about sex roles, about what it now means to be a boy or to be a girl. Or maybe it has happened in lieu of such discussion because it's easier this way.

 

Easier, that is, unless you want to buy your daughter something that isn't pink. Girls' obsession with that color may seem like something they're born with, like the ability to breathe or talk on the phone for hours on end. But according to Jo Paoletti, an associate professor of American studies at the University of Maryland, it ain't so. When colors were first introduced to the nursery in the early part of the 20th century, pink was considered the more masculine hue, a pastel version of red. Blue, with its intimations of the Virgin Mary, constancy and faithfulness, was thought to be dainty. Why or when that switched is not clear, but as late as the 1930s a significant percentage of adults in one national survey held to that split. Perhaps that's why so many early Disney heroines -- Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wendy, Alice-in-Wonderland -- are swathed in varying shades of azure. (Purple, incidentally, may be the next color to swap teams: once the realm of kings and N.F.L. players, it is fast becoming the bolder girl's version of pink.)

 

It wasn't until the mid-1980s, when amplifying age and sex differences became a key strategy of children's marketing (recall the emergence of '' 'tween''), that pink became seemingly innate to girls, part of what defined them as female, at least for the first few years. That was also the time that the first of the generation raised during the unisex phase of feminism -- ah, hither Marlo! -- became parents. ''The kids who grew up in the 1970s wanted sharp definitions for their own kids,'' Paoletti told me. ''I can understand that, because the unisex thing denied everything -- you couldn't be this, you couldn't be that, you had to be a neutral nothing.''

 

The infatuation with the girlie girl certainly could, at least in part, be a reaction against the so-called second wave of the women's movement of the 1960s and '70s (the first wave was the fight for suffrage), which fought for reproductive rights and economic, social and legal equality. If nothing else, pink and Princess have resuscitated the fantasy of romance that that era of feminism threatened, the privileges that traditional femininity conferred on women despite its costs -- doors magically opened, dinner checks picked up, Manolo Blahniks. Frippery. Fun. Why should we give up the perks of our sex until we're sure of what we'll get in exchange? Why should we give them up at all? Or maybe it's deeper than that: the freedoms feminism bestowed came with an undercurrent of fear among women themselves -- flowing through ''Ally McBeal,'' ''Bridget Jones's Diary,'' ''Sex and the City'' -- of losing male love, of never marrying, of not having children, of being deprived of something that felt essentially and exclusively female.

 

I mulled that over while flipping through ''The Paper Bag Princess,'' a 1980 picture book hailed as an antidote to Disney. The heroine outwits a dragon who has kidnapped her prince, but not before the beast's fiery breath frizzles her hair and destroys her dress, forcing her to don a paper bag. The ungrateful prince rejects her, telling her to come back when she is ''dressed like a real princess.'' She dumps him and skips off into the sunset, happily ever after, alone.

 

There you have it, ''Thelma and Louise'' all over again. Step out of line, and you end up solo or, worse, sailing crazily over a cliff to your doom. Alternatives like those might send you skittering right back to the castle. And I get that: the fact is, though I want my daughter to do and be whatever she wants as an adult, I still hope she'll find her Prince Charming and have babies, just as I have. I don't want her to be a fish without a bicycle; I want her to be a fish with another fish. Preferably, one who loves and respects her and also does the dishes and half the child care.

 

There had to be a middle ground between compliant and defiant, between petticoats and paper bags. I remembered a video on YouTube, an ad for a Nintendo game called Super Princess Peach. It showed a pack of girls in tiaras, gowns and elbow-length white gloves sliding down a zip line on parasols, navigating an obstacle course of tires in their stilettos, slithering on their bellies under barbed wire, then using their telekinetic powers to make a climbing wall burst into flames. ''If you can stand up to really mean people,'' an announcer intoned, ''maybe you have what it takes to be a princess.''

 

Now here were some girls who had grit as well as grace. I loved Princess Peach even as I recognized that there was no way she could run in those heels, that her peachiness did nothing to upset the apple cart of expectation: she may have been athletic, smart and strong, but she was also adorable. Maybe she's what those once-unisex, postfeminist parents are shooting for: the melding of old and new standards. And perhaps that's a good thing, the