Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Frank Lloyd Wright's Auldbrass

I posted about my visit to Auldbrass in my ModusModern blog:

-- John

Ellijay Elementary School

Since I'm on the subject of cantilevered rooflines/covers, I thought I'd share these photos. I took them up at Ellijay during their annual Apple Festival. The school was probably build in the 60's - the front was in shadow so I couldn't get a good photo but there's one on the official school site here: The front leans towards the post-modern with a semi-circular front with vertical pilasters between windows. I was "wowed" by the back - many of the schools built in Georgia during the 50s-70s were basic box affairs, frequently from red brick with some window detailing - the designers would go nuts on the entryways and in this case, the bus loading/unloading area. I love the streamline effect of the cantilevered supports - very aeronautic, not to mention efficient.

-- John

Friday, November 9, 2007

Highway Rest Area I16 taken 2007.11.02

I used to work for a record label which involved a lot of travel - so I'm more than familiar with Highway rest stops - one thing that often gets overlooked is the architecture - often these rest areas were built post war and fit right into the mid-century modern period. Alas many of the classic stops have been bulldozed and replaced with post-modern ugliness or pasted over with yucco, but there are still a few gems around. I've always liked these cantilevered, butterfly concrete picnic areas shade-providers (can't really call them umbrellas - there's probably a good term for them but at least mine describes their function pretty well).
I spotted these on the way to Beaufort SC for the Auldbrass tour (more on that in another post). These were at about the half-way point between Macon and Savannah. At one time these were very ubiquitous, now only about a third of the rest stops in the south still have them - they're probably too expensive to upkeep once the weather starts tearing down the concrete. The building itself was probably built late-70's-ish and has a mansard roof, with ceilings in the bathrooms that go to the high-roofline (windows up there but blocked off with blinds, probably due to the intense heat of the summer son). The building was rather unspectacular so I passed at taking some snaps.

There are still some rather wonderful structures on I24 from Chattanooga to Nashville (right at Nickajack Lake) that I hope to shoot during my next visit northward - besides the interesting structures, the setting on the lake is simply gorgeous.

-- John

Monday, October 29, 2007

Images taken 2007.10.07 Octagons Galore!

I've always liked these two structures - the first is a house on the corner of Old Lilburn Road and Lilburn-Stone Mountain Road near Hugh Howell Road/78 near Stone Mountain. I'm not sure of the architect but it's certainly inspired, with the raised roof, octagonal shape and portachere:

The second structure is also somewhat octagon in shape and reminds me of some of FLW's designs (it's certainly inspired by his work) - this church is on Killian Hill Road in Lilburn:

The last images is what you actually see from the street (along with the sign as you drive past). It's on the right side travelling East from I85. I like the building profile shaped sign.

-- John

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Briarlake Elementary 2007.09.29

While taking images of the DOCOMOMO Home Tour I also took some snaps of the local elementary school: Briarlake Elementary (these were taken on 9/29 so the decorations are all "fall" and "Halloween" influenced - great fun!).

I've long had a facination of public buildings such as schools, churches, post offices and retail spaces, that were build post-war and show elements of mid-century modern styling. I'm putting together a catalog of local structures - enjoy!

-- John

Friday, October 5, 2007

More Old Clarksville Pics taken 2005.04.17

I came across some pics that I had taken several years ago while visiting Clarksville Tennessee. These range from some interesting public buildings to a couple of homes - one is the best example of Mid-Century Modern construction I've so far seen in the area.

State Farm Office on Memorial Drive:

One of a gob of ubiquitous Shell Stations - this one on Memorial Drive:

Anyone know who designed these Shell Stations - this one is called "Lees" but I see examples all over the south-east. I believe they were all Shells at one time, but have been sold or converted. Some examples are still very original - this one has been altered some but the typical lines are still there.

Montgomery County Highway Department:

I just love public works buildings from the period - Schools, Libraries, Post Offices - they seem to employ elements of MCM architecture from subtle points all the way to extremes (usually more the former than the latter) - it's great that so many are still standing and I really like it when they are still used by the original agencies. This building is just remarkable.

MCM-Influenced Ranch:

Great Example of an MCM for Clarksville:

The house above is the best example of an MCM design I've come across so far in my Clarksville visits. It exemplifies what I personally would enjoy both living in and maintaining. Even the landscaping is above par.

Another MCM Home:

I need to get more images of the local schools - I'll make a point to do so during the next of my frequent visits.

-- John

Friday, September 28, 2007

Modern Homes from around Atlanta

Here are some misc images from around Atlanta.

2904 Umberland Drive in Tucker (2006.10.09):

Some homes in a Buckhead neighborhood (2007.04.22):

-- John

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cherokee North Carolina Photos 2006.07.01

I took these photos over a year ago - went to Cherokee North Carolina for a Native American Powwow. Cherokee is a beautiful place - a mix of 50's nostalgia and 90's casino. At one time the town was on a commonly traveled state road, since replaced by Interstate Highways. Because of this, the town is in a state of suspended animation - basically many small motels were built in the 50's and 60's to house travellers coming across the Appalachian Mountains. Once the Interstates were built the travel slowed to the point where the town was still self-sustaining, but did not prosper to the point where new buildings replaced old. Thus many of the themed motels are still standing virtually untouched.

The windy roads through the mountains attract many travellers on motor bikes and classic car clubs. There aren't many places like this left in the US - I hope Cherokee remains pristine (even with the influence of the nearby Indian Casino). A great blend of mid-century modern and classic googie, I look forward to the next visit.

-- John

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Drive through Amberwood 2006.10.09

Arrowhead Exterior

Very often during DOCOMOMO meetings the Amberwood neighborhood becomes a hot topic of conversation. Amberwood is an unusual neighborhood for many reasons - besides being in a very desirable school district (off of Lavista Road and Briarcliff/Briarlake), the neighborhood features many modern-influenced ranch homes, and also lays "claim to fame" of hosting several Robert Green properties - for those of you who haven't heard of him, Robert Green was a Wright Fellow (who lived and practiced architecture in Atlanta) and actually took part in one of the last classes actually taught by FLW himself. As such, Robert Green uses the same "organic architecture" sported by other Wright Fellowship members and these details are evident in his architectural designs. Amberwood has the distinction of hosting one of Green's most famous structures, Arrowhead. I refrained from taking images of Arrowhead, but do have some from my files, which is where the opening photo is from (at the time Arrowhead was covered by a huge smurf-blue tarp). Note that I took these images 2006.10.09.

The entrance was also designed by Robert Green, but I'm not sure how close the current state is to the original design - I'm sure that the sign at least is different - I also imagine different plantings:

Continuing through the neighborhood, the main street is Castleway Lane. There are several homes of interest on this street:
2081 Castleway Ln: 2068 Castleway Ln:
2060 Castleway Ln:
2001 Castleway Ln - (Attributed to Robert Green): 1991 Castleway Ln:

There were many others but the lighting at the time wasn't the best so I left them out of this initial post.
On Amberwood Lane:
2058 Amberwood Ln:
The back of the neighborhood links to several streets and neighborhoods - many of the streets are named after auto manufacturers - driving through them I found the following:

2585 Gran Prix Ct

2517 Mercedes Rd
2161 Starfire Rd
2135 Starfire Rd
2002 Starfire Rd
1944 Starfire Rd

I'll continue with more images soon.
-- John

Friday, July 13, 2007

Montgomery Central High School

Continuing my exploration of Modernism in Tennessee, I present Montgomery Central High School!

First a little background - I did not know about this wonderful modernist construction before stumbling upon it while returning to Clarksville from Memphis - my brothers step-daughter married in Memphis last fall (2006) and it was while driving back to Clarksville to visit with my mother that this amazing set of buildings appeared - it was one of those near-mystical experiences. For some reason we decided to go a back road instead of driving all interstate (the state roads would swing us west of Nashville and almost due north to Clarksville). The drive was rather uneventful - overcast with little traffic and most public buildings were closed due to it being a weekend. It was rather amazing to suddenly see the school below - we basically turned a corner and there it was!

Like giant manta rays leaping from the water, or even better, Martian tripods ala "War of the Worlds" - the construction is quite breathtaking. Swinging around the back are some wonderful mushroom posts reminiscent of "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers." The entire original structure is truly spectacular.
This was built around the same time as the public schools in Clarksville - Clarksville High School has round structures with dome tops, New Providence Jr. High School has hexagonal pods interconnected, also Springfield High School is supposed to look similar to Montgomery Central only it's not constructed above water - I'll try to get images the next time I'm in the area.

-- John