November 2, 2020
A fourteen year old is in custody. The fire destroyed the historic structure and severely damaged a neighboring house.
Link: Teen charged with arson after 2 homes burn on Leesville Road by the Bucyrus Telegraph.
A fourteen year old is in custody. The fire destroyed the historic structure and severely damaged a neighboring house.
Link: Teen charged with arson after 2 homes burn on Leesville Road by the Bucyrus Telegraph.
An article published by MLive.com tells the story of how Buchanan came to be nominated and chosen.
Readers' Digest began the search for the annual "Nicest Place" designation in 2017. Previous selections were Gallatin, Tennessee and Columbiana, Ohio. Uplifting stories are submitted to Readers' Digest for each nominee and a committee chooses from the thousands of submissions.
The location of the wreck was unknown until the summer of 2020 when she was found by two shipwreck hunters from Minnesota, Jerry Eliason and Ken Merryman. A fascinating article from Minnesota Public Radio describes the wreck according to contemporary reports and describes how the PM18 was located.
Only one of the fleet of 20th Century Lake Michigan car ferries is still in operation, the SS Badger out of Ludington, although it no longer carries railroad cars.
The wreck of the Pere Marquette 18 will undoubtedly soon be added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Reference: Minnesota shipwreck hunters locate long-sought Lake Michigan wreck by Andrew Krueger, Minnesota Public Radio.
According to the Toledo Business Journal, the group, an IRS 501(c)3 not for profit organization would like to restore the three story, Romanesque lighthouse to its original appearance. The lighthouse is not easily accessible. It is located 8.4 miles from the mouth of the Maumee River and marks the entrance to Toledo Harbor. It was built in 1901 by the Army Corps of Engineers on an artificial island, created by sinking a large crib, filling it with stone and topping it with concrete.
The crib was designed and construction supervised by the noted military engineer, Orlando Metcalfe Poe. He is most noted for his design and construction of the first Poe Lock at Sault St. Marie in 1896 and was the largest lock in the world at the time. It has since been extended to 1,200 feet and is the only lock at the Soo capable of handling the large freighters that pass through it. Poe was responsible for the building of several Great Lakes lighthouses.
According to THLPS when the restoration is complete, docents will offer tours in season.
The Usonian design house has many FLW features, including red brick and red cyprus board and batten design that also carries into the house. Follow the link for more about the house and enjoy the photo essay that is a part of the article. There is also a link to the listing real estate agency.
Wurlitzer Organ Console, Orpheum Theater, Memphis.
Photo by JL Weiler, Inc.
The home was built for Henry J. Neils, a material supplier who worked closely with Wright during construction. It features many Usonian features, including Wright's signature Cherokee Red flooring, but uses aluminum framed windows, manufactured by Neils' company, instead of Wright's usual wood framing. Neils also had access to marble left over from another job and convinced FLW to use marble blocks to build a wall. FLW did not care for the appearance and the blocks were later stained.
The Forevertron has been called "the largest scrap sculpture in the world." Once mesmerized by the Forevertron, one could spend hours studying the massive sculpture. What is all that stuff and where did it all come from?
According to the article, six buildings constructed between 1850 and 1925 on the block could receive historic designation. The block was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 as part of a district but not with individual NRHP listings nor local historic designation.
Michigan Building Parking Structure.
Photo by Dan Austin, Historic Detroit.
You read that correctly. The movie palace, the only theater in Michigan designed by Rapp & Rapp, once was a 4,000 seat display of opulence and grandeur. (The rare, five-manual, Wurlitzer theater organ was sold to Fred Hermes of Racine, Wisconsin in 1956 where he installed it in his home.)
After being used (unsuccessfully) as a dinner and a movie theater, it became a rock 'n' roll venue where vandals sealed its fate. A three-story parking garage was built inside the old theater, the ceiling still showing its days as one of Detroit's most opulent theaters.
Historic Detroit also points out that the site once was the location of Henry Ford's home. The home included a small building where he built his first car, the Quadracycle, in 1896. (Mr. Ford later moved the building to his Dearborn museum.) Only in Detroit could the site of the first Ford automobile be turned into an automobile parking lot.
The Moor Mud Baths harken back to the days when Waukesha was known as "The Saratoga of the West" for its mineral springs. Several mineral bath spas and the mud baths sprang up in the early 20th Century. The Moor Baths/Grandview Hotel resort/hotel operated until 1961. It was used as a college until 1971 when the county moved in.
Reports say demolition would cost $3.3 million while preservationists say the property could be adapted for reuse and save the money. For now, the facility will stand.
Retired railroad executives and rail history supporters, Richard Tower and Wick Moorman, have partnered in offering the matching funds. The matches will be made for contributions of $1,000.00 or more between now and December 31, 2020.
In a prepared statement, Nashville Steam Preservation Society President Shane Meador said, “If we can raise the funds to maximize the matching potential, then we will be well over halfway to our goal, and the restoration timeline can remain on track.”
You can read the article here: Orchestra Hall turns 100.
Detroit Saturday Night Building.
Photo by Mark Hall.
The building was constructed in 1914 to house the offices of the Detroit Saturday Night newspaper. (The paper was published from 1907 to 1939.) The building was designed by the Detroit firm of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls (today the Smith Group.) The red brick building features several glazed terra cotta and stone decorative elements.
Preservationists are fighting the decision but the fate of the building appears to be sealed.
Detroit Saturday Night Building to soon be demolished (Curbed Detroit newsletter.)
A closer look at the Detroit Saturday Night Building
UPDATE: Looks like curtains for the building, according to this report from WXYZ News in Detroit.
Also known as the Christiansen Rock Garden, construction was begun in 1925 by John Christiansen. He and his wife collected rocks for the garden when they travelled.
Clearance is limited without lifting the bridge.
Photo by J.R. Manning for Bridge and Landmark Hunter sites.
Because everything else about the bridge, except the lift mechanism is in good shape, there are no federal dollars available for the repairs. Funds were included in the current State of Wisconsin budget but were struck from the budget by Governor Tony Evers, using the governor's line item veto. In his budget memo, Governor Evers stated, "I am vetoing these sections as I object to the placement of the project in the budget, particularly given the lack of additional funding provided to ensure that this earmark does not result in a delay for other needed repairs." (Source: Veto Message, Office of Tony Evers, page 64.)
The Fox River Navigation System Authority (FRNSA) says that it worked with city officials and funding was secured through a "newly formed $75 million Multimodal Local Supplement grant program."
Old Main, a favorite landmark in the Milwaukee area, opened in 1869 and today, is in deplorable shape. Fundraising to save Old Main continues, with plans to convert the grand dame into 80 units of housing.
Milwaukee Independent published a virtual reality 360º walk through of Old Main along with an array of still photos, posted by Lee Matz. Follow the link to see the pre-restoration conditions of this once magnificent structure.
360º Inside Old Main by milwaukeeindependent.com
The Patio opened on January 29, 1927 when silent films were still standard fare. A 3 manual, 10 rank Barton Theater Organ was installed to accompany the films. The organ is still there, according to sources, it is the last Barton theater organ still in its original installation.
Arguably one of America's greatest and most influential architects, FLW created over 1,000 designs. 449 of them were actually constructed. Of those 449 realized Wright-designed structures, there are 380 extant structures but 67 have been demolished. Architectural Record
Ford is spending tons of money on the restoration of the abandoned property and has invited other automakers to join them in using the revamped facility. (Ford is planning on bringing in 5,000 workers for autonomous and EV development. The station will be the anchor of a 1.2 million square foot campus.)
The hotel will occupy the twelfth and thirteenth floors, although due to superstition, the top floor will not be so named. A Ford spokesman said the floors lend themselves to hospitality and conferencing more so than residential space.
Scaffolding will soon surround the structure as repair of the exterior begins. 227,000 gallons of water has been drained from the building along with removal of 3,000 carloads of debris. The project is slated for completion in 2022. Ford received $239 million in local, state and federal incentives to build the campus.
Theodore A. Pappas House in 2017.
Photo by LittleT889 for Wikipedia, used by CC BY-SA 4.0
FLW passed on before construction began but the family wished to expand the original floor plan. The expansion was handled by architects at Taliesin Associated Architects who saw the project through to completion.
The historic plant was designed by famous and prolific industrial architect, Albert Kahn. The site was home of the Model T Ford and was the location of Henry Ford's famous assembly line. The plant was also the location of Henry Ford's announcement of the Five Dollar Day that revolutionized the automobile industry and attracted a migration of workers to Detroit from around the country. The Highland Park plant opened in 1910 and was the standard for industrial plant design for many years.
Curbed Detroit tells us the four story, 54,000 square foot plant is currently owned by the Woodward Avenue Action Association that bought the plant in order to preserve it. The listed price is not revealed but the Woodward Action Association bought the facility in 2013 for $550,000.00.
AEG Presents will operate the 4,400 seat Masonic Temple Theater and 1,586 seat Cathedral Theater. AEG Presents will also book acts for the theaters. AEG will provide $2 million for renovations and restoration, including upgrading sound and lighting.
Groundbreaking for the temple, the largest Masonic Temple in the world, was on Thanksgiving Day, 1920 and the building was mostly completed by 1926. The design called for three theaters (only two were completed) a Shrine building, a chapel, eight lodge rooms, two ballrooms, offices, a cafeteria and dining rooms, 16 bowling lanes, a barber shop and a powerhouse that provided electricity for the building. Construction was halted during the Great Depression and the top three floors are still empty. The temple has 1,037 rooms and more than half a million square feet.
AEG Presents is a division of AEG Live of Los Angeles, promoting live entertainment. In the agreement, AEG Presents will exclusively book entertainment for and manage the facilities.
When the Uptown opened in 1925, it was the 12th largest movie palace in the United States. It was built by the Balaban & Katz Corporation, owners of a chain of theaters in Chicago. The Uptown was a fabulous theater, built north of Chicago in the Uptown neighborhood, even more fabulous than any theater in The Loop.
News Channel 5 in Nashville reports that Historic Watertown is thrilled to find the turntable. The group says it may take four years to make the turntable operational, as well as build a depot and museum.
The building does not own the land beneath it and rental costs of land
The air conditioning is to help preserve the historic structure and encourage more use of the theater year round. The proposed units are high efficiency but are comparable in size to a school bus. The installation will be on the roof to preserve the historic appearance of the façade but will also require some changes to the roof structure to accommodate the weight.
All that remains is the garage door and frame.
Google Street View.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post and several other news outlets, the Largent House, a 1936 Twin Peaks neighborhood, Richard Neutra design, at 49 Hopkins Avenue, was demolished to make room for a much larger house that was proposed for the site.
In a 5-0 vote, the San Francisco City Planning Commission ordered that the property owner rebuild an exact replica of the house and place a sidewalk plaque that describes the original house, its demolition and the replica that replaces it.
If you missed it on PBS, you can watch it on their website:
Now that the bridge is operational, the navigation channel is open to all Fox River watercraft that able to lock through Appleton.
The Fox locks fell into disuse and the lift bridge stopped being utilized. The locks were restored in 2015 but mariners seldom use them because they cannot get craft under the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
WLUK in Green Bay reports that Kaukauna received notification from the U.S. Coast Guard that the bridge must be operational by May 1, 2021. Kaukauna Mayor Tony Penterman says the biggest issue is funding. Except for the lift mechanism, the bridge is in good condition so it is possible not many federal dollars will be available. The projected cost of the repairs is $2.2 Million.
Source: WLUK Green Bay.
The station has been unused since the last train pulled out in 1988. The Moroun Family bought the building in 1995 and had done some tedevelopment work. Moroun says the Blue Oval will adorn the building. The purchase signals Ford’s return to Detroit, where the company was founded in 1903. It also signals redevelopment of Corktown.
The sale also allows the Moroun family’s to pursue plans to replace the 88 year old Ambassador Bridge.
Edited to Add: The Detroit Free Press also reported on the sale and added some insight. Follow the link to see photos of the old station.
Link: Ford Buys Train Station.
Structural engineers have determined that the original 1878 walls are strong enough, with some bracing, to support reconstruction of the Church.
The fire was reported just before 4:00 PM and quickly escalated to a fourth alarm. A plume of black smoke could be seen for miles. Wind from the east blew smoke over I-43 a block to the west of the church, causing several miles of traffic backups. Over 100 firefighters were able to bring the fire under control not long after 5:00 PM. One steeple collapsed into the church. The tower clock continued to keep time until the power was cut at 4:27 PM.
One such goal is the replacement of the 1,888 seats that are original to the theater. The group says the seats
A previous budget item would have set the limit at $500,000 as of July 1.
To access the quadrangles, pick any county and then click the Quadrangles link in the top menu bar. You can also find links from each landmark page.
The truck driver who caused a historic Indiana bridge to collapse because she wasn’t sure how much six tons weighed has been sentenced to jail.
Indiana Judge R. Michael Cloud sentenced 24 year old truck driver Mary Lambright to the maximum sentence of 180 days behind bars. She was also ordered to pay $2000 to cover part of the costs of the bridge inspection once construction on the new structure is completed.
For a cool $7.1 Million dollars, you too can live like a chewing gum magnate.
Follow the link for a photo tour of the interior of the mansion: Photos: Look Inside Lincoln Park's Epic Historic Wrigley Mansion
The concrete arch bridge has been a source of concern for several years. Cracks and spalling raised concerns, leading to a structural analysis in 2015. Potential failure of the bridge prompted its closure on December 9 along with the closing of Ravine Drive, a roadway spanned by the bridge. According to County Executive Chris Abele, the bridge will be demolished if people ignore the chain link gates that block access.
Estimates to repair or to replace the bridge hover around $2 million, a sum not readily available. Fans of Lake Park and of the historical value of bridge are disappointed over rumors of the bridge's potential demolition.
The concrete arch bridge was part of a promenade that included a grand staircase (extant) allowing access to the lower portion of the park at the bottom of Lake Michigan's famous western shore bluff. There was also an athletic field and stands that were demolished decades ago.
Developer Mick Ruis purchased the building and says when he purchased the building, he was not aware of Frank Lloyd Wright nor had any idea that Wright is so popular. Although listing on the NRHP does not prevent a property's demolition, Ruis apparently ran into backlash from Wright affectionados.
Ruis listed the building at the same price he paid for it and hopes it will be purchased by someone who will restore it or turn it into a museum.
Link: DEVELOPER DROPS PLANS TO DEMOLISH HISTORIC FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT BUILDING from the Whitefish [Montana] Pilot.
It is located in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood and was added to the NRHP in 2004.
Oh, if you want in, the asking price is $2.425 million and the price appears to be firm.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Isadore Heller House Returns Asking $2.425m from Curbed Chicago.
Authorities say the bridge recently underwent structural analysis and they believe insurance should cover the cost of repairs.
The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Alexander Company of Madison and the Housing Authority of Milwaukee plan to renovate the six buildings in 100 housing units. Primary is the restoration of Old Main (officially #2) the most recognizable building in Wood, designed by Milwaukee's prominant architect. William Townsend Mix. Its distinctive tower is one of the first elements seen by visitors to the VA facility. The other five buildings are the Administration Building (#1) the Catholic Chaplain's Quarters (#14) and three duplexes, (#18, #19 and #62.)
Funding will come from the Enhanced Use Lease (ELU) option with the structures leased to The Alexander Company who will take on the cost of rehabilitation.
The area is officially known as the Northwestern Branch, National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers Historic District. Better known locally as the VA Center at Wood, it is one of the original three "Old Soldiers' Homes" signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln just prior to his assassination. One of Milwaukee's most prominant architects, Edward Townsend Mix designed the most distinctive structure, Building #2 known as Old Main.
Greyling Brandt, U.S. Forest Service Assistant Ranger for Recreation and Lands, reports that all 132 steps of the tower have been replaced as has the floor of the cab. The $20,000 project was partially funded by the Oconto County Economic Development Corporation with parts and labor supplied by the U.S. Forest Service.
On the National Register of Historic Places, the Mountain Tower is one of two extant towers in this area that originally had 19 towers.
"The Domes," as they are popularly known, were closed in early February. On January 29, a piece of the concrete framework fell inside the Arid Dome, which was immediately closed. The closing of the other two domes followed a few days later.
A mesh has been installed over the framework. Reports are that the mesh is barely visible. The mesh is to catch and debris that might fall and for officials to monitor the condition of the frame.
If you are over 50, you probably remember these ubiquitous glass and aluminum structures that were found on urban sidewalks, inside transportation terminals, outside restaurants and service stations, sometimes along the highway. They were also all over Metropolis so Superman had somewhere to become Clark Kent after saving the world. They all contained a coin-operated telephone, or pay phone in common parlance, where you could reach out and touch someone if you had the right coins.
The glass and aluminum Airlight Telephone Booth of our youth was introduced in 1954. The booth featured tip-up directories that folded into a box to protect them. Sort of. Telephone books tended to disappear or have pages ripped out by users without a pen. There was a shelf for your stuff or to write info if you were smart enough to carry a pen.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)
in his ever-present pork pie hat.
The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built circa 1890. According to officials, no one was at home when the fire started and all residents are accounted for. As of this writing, the cause of the fire is unknown.
The VA Center is one of three created during the Lincoln Administration, just prior to his assassination. Soldiers from all American conflicts, except the American Revolution, are interred in the cemetery.
Responses to the RFP are due by 11:00 a.m. EST on May 18, 2016.
The domes were built in stages between 1959 and 1967, with Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of the United States, attending the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Jacob Hinds of Burlington, allegedly toppled the statue by pulling it over with his pickup truck and a tow strap. The 22 year old was charged with felony criminal damage to property.
The designation was announced by the National Park Service yesterday.
In a media release on September 3, 2015, Kendall Kamke, DNR Oshkosh fisheries team supervisor, said the four gobies caught in recent days are the first evidence of the species in the waterway above the series of locks and dams downstream. The DNR is asking area anglers for additional help to determine if the species is also present upstream of the Neenah and Menasha dams in Lake Winnebago and is coordinating efforts with the Fox River Navigational System Authority.
"We also would like to learn whether the gobies are present in other locations," Kamke said.
Since its discovery in the St. Clair River in 1990, bottom-dwelling round gobies have spread rapidly into many areas of the Great Lakes including Lake Michigan. Round gobies can survive even in poor quality water and displace native fish by eating their eggs and young, taking over optimal habitat and spawning multiple times per season, which gives them a competitive advantage.
"The gobies represent a real threat to the valuable native species in the Lake Winnebago system - home to a world class walleye fishery, the largest self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon in North America, good populations of bass, yellow perch and other game and panfish species," Kamke said. "We are grateful to the Fox River Navigational System Authority for the partnership involved in this effort."
In addition, Kamke said, DNR is asking for assistance from anglers to help determine whether the gobies have made it above the Neenah and Menasha dams and are in Lake Winnebago or whether they may still be held in check downstream. The DNR would like caught gobies to be brought into the DNR office with details of the catch.
The DNR is not sure how the gobies made their way into the Lower Fox. The system of locks has not been operational for many years, with the Kaukauna locks closed for rebuilding while the Rapide Croche Lock was permanently sealed in 1988 to prevent invasive species from going upstream into Lake Winnebago.
“In three decades there has been no water running through the lock system from Lake Winnebago to the bay of Green Bay,” said Bob Stark, CEO of the FRNSA. “Water still is not flowing through all five Kaukauna locks and the Little Chute locks are dry due to bridge construction. If invasive species have breached the system, it’s a possibility there was another entry point.”
Kamke said there is no way to determine how the gobies arrived in the channel below the Neenah dam, which opens into Little Lake Butte des Morts. In addition to working with local anglers, DNR fisheries and aquatic invasive species team members will continue to set traps and use shocking equipment to determine the range and extent of the population.
"I received a tip about the Newton home a few years ago and brushed it off. Only 433 Wright designs were executed and they are well-known and carefully researched, so I thought it couldn’t be. When I finally visited the home I discovered many similarities to the Wright homes I care for on Burnham Street in Milwaukee," Lilek said. He said he did extensive research at the Milwaukee County Historical Society and carefully looked at Wright's drawings of American System Homes to verify that the Newton house is a FLW design.
“The house was advertised for sale in the Milwaukee Journal in December of 1918 stating that the house was ‘Originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’,” Lilek said. A lawsuit by the builder and a construction lien against The Richards Company, developer of the American System-Built Houses, offer further confirmation that the house is the work of Wright.
The Shorewood house is a “Model A203” with two bedrooms. An open porch at the rear of the house was enclosed for added living space at an unknown date, though the original art glass windows are still in place. A basement-level garage was added in 1976.
Lilek has since checked around the country and no one can recall the last time an actual Wright building was discovered. “It’s been at least a decade. This is so incredibly rare and unusual,” he said.
Rudolph Wurlitzer came to the United States in 1853. His family had been in the music instrument business in Europe since 1659, so it was only natural that Rudolph would start a company that was soon the largest distributor of musical instruments in the county. He began to manufacture pianos that were sold through retailers.
When silent movies became a major industry, Wurlitzer began to build theater organs that were reputed to be the biggest, the best, and the clearest sounding organs. Even today, the reputation of "The Mighty Wurlitzer" is known around the world. Wurlitzer would go on to manufacture phonograph equipment and a very popular line of jukeboxes.
The Wurlitzer Building went up in 1926, a Renaissance Revival, 14 story skyscraper. According to Historic Detroit, the building was built with a Terra Cotta façade, granite trim and ornamental ironwork. The name, "Wurlitzer Building" was built into the façade with black Terra Cotta.
Wurlitzer moved out of the building in the 70s, and things pretty much started to go downhill from there. It has been standing empty, with time, elements and vandals all taking a toll on the building.
But it appears that the old gem is about to receive a new lease on life. It has been purchased by New York development company Ash NYC, which plans to turn it into a 100 room boutique hotel with a sidewalk cafe and a rooftop lounge. The estimate for the renovation is over $20 million. The project is projected to be completed in late 2016.
Link: SOLD: Empty Wurlitzer Building Books $20M Hotel Rehab. The site is called Curbed Detroit.
Meyer mansion has a first name,
Meyer mansion has a second name,
I never sausage a thing!
The King of Wieners, Oscar Meyer, lived in an understated (if that's possible) mansion in Evanston, Illinois. He bought the 1903 house in 1927 and after remodeling it, lived there until his death in 1965. It is in serious need of restoration, but you'll probably have to ask James for a raise if you're going to tackle this one. It's a bargain at only $236.00 per square foot. Of course, it has about 7,500 square feet, but it's a real bargain at the listed price of $1.75 million. (The estimated mortgage payment would be a measly $6,335.00 per month.) The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is not included.
The house is in a serious state of decay and is being sold by court order. I'd hate to guess how much it will take to bring it back to its original elegance. The house is not on the NRHP but it certainly looks like it might qualify.
The Oscar Meyer house can be found on several real estate websites, just do a google search, or follow this link:
In addition, the deck will need to be removed and replaced. Estimates are that the repairs to cost as much as $40,000.00. Tama City Clerk, Judy Welch, said that the substructure repairs need to be completed in 2015 although the deck surface can wait until 2017.
The 100th Anniversary of the bridge opening will occur in 2015. It was placed on the NRHP in 1987. The distinctive bridge is known primarily for its railing balustrades that spell out LINCOLN HIGHWAY.
A small park, adjacent to the northeast quadrant of the bridge, is the location of a monument to the bridge. A support group, the Lincoln Highway Bridge Park Organization Tama-Toledo supports the park in several ways.
The article can be seen on the paper's website: http://www.tamatoledonews.com/page/content.detail/id/548245/Tama-s-historic-Lincoln-Highway-Bridge-is-in-need-of-structure-and-surface-repairs.html
SC Johnson Company has announced that the tower, one of the tallest cantilevered buildings in the United States, will be a part of the public tours for the first time ever. In a copyrighted story by Milwaukee's Fox 6 News, free tours of the tower and the administration building will begin May 2, 2014.
SC Johnson has restored two of the 15 floors to their appearance when the tower was closed. Period equipment has been placed to enhance work space mock-ups.
The tower has 15 cantilevered floors, six are square with circular mezzanine floors above them. (There is an additional square floor on the second level.) All the floors are supported by a central core, none are supported by the exterior walls or any additional framing. The core contains an elevator and a circular stairway that is a fire inspector's nightmare.
The tower opened in 1950 and was the only R&D building Wright ever designed. It was never open to the public while in use, nor after it was closed in 1983.
More than 5,800 Pyrex glass tubes, totalling over 17 miles in length, serve as windows, letting in diffused light. The exterior alternates between stripes of glass tubes and more than 21,000 bricks. The bricks feature the signature Wright/SC Johnson “Cherokee Red” color.
Tours are free but require advance reservations. If you are interested in seeing this architectural gem, check soon for a tour opening. Tours are filling up quickly and can be made by following the link below.
Chicago Tribune Article: Frank Lloyd Wright's tower worthy of debate, and a trip by Blair Kamin.
Fox 6 News Story: For the first time, step inside S.C. Johnson’s research tower.
SC Johnson Company Tours: SC Johnson Company Tour Reservations.
Mary L. Nohl was a very creative woman, an artist who dedicated her life to her art. Sometimes labeled an eccentric, she spent almost all of her reclusive life in a modest cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan, built by her parents, Leo and Emma Nohl.
Although she had extensive education in the arts, she abandoned classical art and created directly from her soul, her wit and whimsy displayed in her environment. She created a lifetime of sculptures and oil paintings in her home, with most of the sculptures displayed in the yard.
Mary helped her father build these gate pillars during her 12th summer. (It is assumed that she added the figures years later.) The sand and rocks were hauled up from the beach in Mary's red wagon. She continued to use that wagon for hauling art materials from the beach over her lifetime.
All of this has been much to the dismay of some of her neighbors, consisting of large estates in this current-day affluent neighborhood. Several urban myths have grown up around the environment, sometimes known as "The Witch's House" some because of her reclusive lifestyle, some because of a huge sculpture with three eerie figures (no longer on display on the property.) She took it all in stride, even creating a mosaic on her front porch that spells. "BOO!"
Her brother, Maximilian, was educated at MIT and was a noted marine engineer that set a deep sea diving depth record in Lake Michigan. In 1960, Max and his wife, Eleanor, died tragically in a two-car automobile accident near Hope, Arkansas, leaving Mary the sole surviving heir.
The Wisconsin Preservation Trust listed the Nohl property as one of the ten most endangered sites in Wisconsin. A very vocal minority of Fox Point residents has actively campaigned in the past to have the site demolished, as they consider it an eyesore. Not all residents feel that way and many are proud of the community's unique treasure, but apparently, not enough of them. The Trust said not long ago that "...without support from within and outside the Village of Fox Point, the Kohler Foundation will be forced to develop an exit strategy and the art and home will have to be removed from the site."
The announcement on March 27 brought the Trust's prediction to fruition.
According to the Kohler Arts Center, the cost of moving the environment will be between one and two million dollars. Upon completion, the extremely valuable property will be sold to help defray the relocation costs. Plans are to reassemble the cottage and collection near Lake Michigan, allowing more access to artists and the public. A guard is on site 24 hours now, and Kohler Arts Center officials say security is being stepped up in the wake of this announcement.
There are many challenges facing the move. Almost every inch of the cottage is carved, painted, or displays Ms. Nohl's artwork. Much of her art is very delicate, made from elements that washed up on shore. The hundreds of concrete sculptures that adorn her yard will also require special care.
Ms. Nohl decorated the outside of her home with colorful panels made with driftwood figures and cut-out wooden silhouettes. Even more wooden silhouettes dangle from tree branches. Many of the silhouettes were formerly pickets of a fence that she was forced to remove because of damage caused by vandals.
A complete report about the move was published by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on March 27, 2014. Mary Nohl House to Be Dismantled and Moved.
And therein lies her problem. The SS Badger has been on the endangered species list since 2008, when the Environmental Protection Agency leveled the ship into its crosshairs. Coal-fired vessels disposed of coal ash by mixing it with water and pouring it overboard. The Badger is no different, and has been disposing of coal ash into the lake since it was built in 1953. The EPA claims the coal ash is a pollutant and ordered the dumping stopped in 2008. The operators were given until 2012 to stop dumping or cease operations. The legal battle has continued ever since.
On October 10, 2013, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff approved a revised deal between the EPA and Lake Michigan Carferry, parent company of the S.S. Badger.
The agreement allows the Badger to continue operations while modifications are made to the ship. The deal calls for a reduction in the amount of ash discharged during the 2014 sailing season and by the start of the 2015 season, the Badger will have to store coal ash on board for later disposal on shore.
With this ruling, it appears the Queen of the Great Lakes Car Ferries (and the last of her breed still sailing) will continue to be an operational historical landmark.
According to the USA Today in a story republished on March 25, 2013 (by Eric Shilling of The Westchester County Journal News) Gregory Grice was 16 when he was arrested on June 6, 2011. Grice says he was stopped while harmlessly snapping photos of Metro-North trains near the North White Plains station in Greenburgh, N.Y. (That's about 30 miles north of New York City.)
The paper reports that the lawsuit was filed March 15 in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y. with unspecified damages. The suit names the towns of Greenburgh and North Castle, Westchester County, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and several police officers.
An MTA spokeswoman said there is no prohibition on photography in the MTA system "as long as there is no trespass." MTA's rules of conduct call for a $25 fine for unauthorized photography or filming.
Grice had a copy of the MTA rules of conduct with him when he was arrested.
Watch out where you're shooting!
There were five fires in the Midwest that fateful night, including one you might have heard of in Chicago. There were other fires that night, most people are not aware of them. As bad as it was, the worst fire that night was not in Chicago.
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Israel Stowell was a transplanted temperance supporter and he joined the Phoenix Brothers in Delavan, who founded the city as a colony for temperance and abolitionists. Stowell built a hotel in 1839, meant to be a stagecoach overnght stop between Madison and Chicago. The hotel catered to Baptists, Yankees and those who did not indulge in the use of alcohol. If you weren't in one of those categories, you were turned away.
The temperance movement came to a close in Delavan in the mid 1840s. In 1847, Edmund and Jerimiah Mabie selected Delavan as the winter quarters for their U.S. Olympic Circus, the largest traveling show in the country at the time. After the collapse of the temperance movement, the Temperance House changed hands numerous times and at one point, in a strange twist of irony, it was a tavern. Its last commercial use was as a used book store. One can see shelves of books remaining inside the building.
The owner of the books, the closed bookstore and the building itself is 87 years old. He is in the process of donating the house to the Delavan Historical Society. (Most of the bookstore inventory has actually been removed to reduce the load on the structure.)
The house is in bad shape and is in peril of demolition. A banner attached to the front pleads for help to save the historic structure. It is thought to be the oldest building in Delavan and according to the Wisconsin Historical Society, is the last temperance house in the state.
The Israel Stowell Temperance House was condemned and scheduled for demolition on July 1, 2010. As of this writing, the house still stands. The demolition order was extended and recently has been lifted. On July 27, 2010, a consultant inspected the property to examine the possibility of saving the structure. Members of the city government have speculated on the restoration of the house in order to use it as a resource center for historical research and possibly to house the offices of the historical society.
The results of the study are due approximately October 1.
I copied the editor's accounts from Bridgehunter.com, so if you have an account on the bridge site, the same username and password should work here.