Category: architecture

Ecumenical Numbers

Friday 09.25.15

















A recent jaunt to Cooperstown, NY meant that I would finally get a chance to visit the Farmers’ Museum. I’ve been meaning to go there for ages, and was well rewarded for my patience. The museum is located on land that was, and still is, a working farm originally owned by the writer James Fenimore Cooper. Its history goes back to the beginning of the 19th century. The museum comprises a collection of pristine historic buildings, many of which have been relocated from other farms and towns in upstate NY. The architecture is astonishing. These images are taken in the Cornwallville Church which was originally built in 1795 in East Durham, NY. If you’re wondering, the numbers correspond to the church pews.

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Thursday 09.04.14










Hansel and Gretel immediately comes to mind. Or, perhaps a dacha in Russia, after the Bolshevik Revolution. So does Tiny, A Story About Living Small. This house is magical, set back among the white pines. The color scheme is obviously not for everyone, including myself, but it catches me off guard every time I pass it by. It’s the insulation (called “chinking”) between the logs that ultimately draws me in. The bold white lines appeal to my graphic self. Yesterday, as we sped by and I let out my now predictable gasp, P. kindly turned around and pulled off the road so I could traipse onto the property for a few close-ups.

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Exploded View

Wednesday 12.18.13



Sometimes the smallest things grab your attention. When going through the mountain of paper at my mother’s house I came across this tiny folded piece of paper. It was an orphaned set of instructions to a long-ago lost Architector Set #12. The copyright says 1944. I searched online for any reference I could find but came up empty-handed.

Update: I did discover, thanks to Paul (see link in comments), who found a set on ebay, that the Architector Sets were designed by professional architects to encourage young people to pursue that field of study.

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Looking for a Place Just Like This

Wednesday 03.20.13


We are moving soon. Right now though, we still don’t know where we’ll end up. Dumbo has become so outrageously expensive and, while the location is great, we are both ready for a change. We actually want something smaller and simpler, if you can believe that. If we didn’t have our place upstate, I might be singing a different tune entirely. Thanks to Cabin Porn for the unending inspiration. For more, click here.

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Governors Island

Thursday 06.28.12

When I was young (3-6 yrs. old) and living in the suburbs of Philadelphia, there was an abandoned house next door to ours. Actually, I think it was a garage with an apartment upstairs. But because I was little, it seemed huge. And scary. In part because Mrs. O’Brien, an ogre of a woman who lived in the main house, was meaner than mean. I believe she once hit my father with a rolled up newspaper, or an umbrella, because she was angry about our barking dog. She may have had a point. Anyway, my parents, heeding the laws and perhaps some hidden dangers, forbid us to go inside. But try squelching the curiosity of two small children eager to defy the rules. When we did finally sneak our way in, we found boxes and letters and lots of broken glass (the danger part!) scattered among three-legged chairs and the mustiest air imaginable. Sorry, I digress. I just found a few photos from a little jaunt my husband and I made over to Governors Island a year or so ago. The city decided to open up some of the buildings — the fancy officers houses and the red brick dormitories — to the public. It was truly amazing. Peeling paint, everything fallen into decrepitude, and many many closed doors. It brought back that crazy childhood impulse to trespass in a big way. The photographs don’t even begin to do it justice. So, this summer, if you have a chance, hop on one of the ferries, take the seven minute ride, and go! Read about the history of the island here.

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Siberian Windows

Thursday 11.03.11

Dave Gilligan (a very talented photographer and graphic designer) and his new bride were not your typical newlyweds. As he tells it, they didn’t want to go on a typical “sun holiday” so instead opted for a far more interesting honeymoon on the Trans-Mongolian Railway. These photographs of windows were taken in Irkutsk as well as around Lake Baikal. Apparently, all the windows are painted a shade of Green, White or Blue to hopefully ward off evil spirits. Each and every one seems to me like a small fairy tale. If something about these images grabs your imagination, there are two books on Siberia that I would highly recommend reading: Colin Thubron’s In Siberia, and Ian Frazier’s Travels in Siberia, which was released only just last year.

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Small Scale

Monday 10.10.11

As a kid, my fantasy was to live in an RV. I was fascinated with the idea that everything had a dedicated spot and that there was essentially no space for anything extra. Dining tables converted to beds in the evening, and there were built-ins galore. Like a lot of people, my dream house has since morphed into a series of small sheds: One for sleeping, one for cooking and eating and relaxing and definitely one for working. If need be, I could easily combine both of the “non-studio” structures into a single unit. When I came across the Just Sheds site I found myself plotting some teeny future compound.

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