Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lincoln's Home

My husband and I were both off this past week, and one of the things we did was visit Springfield, IL, to see the only home Abraham Lincoln ever owned. Astonishingly, I'd never been there despite growing up 90 minutes away, and the hubs is a history buff, so off we went.

The front of the house, taken from the standpoint of most contemporary photographs.

The lovely sign that alerted me to said standpoint.

The front of the parlor, scene of many fundraisers and political gatherings. This is also where we learned that all of the carpet and wallpaper patterns in the house are either what Mrs. Lincoln chose, or something that would have been available to her.

The back of the parlor, where Mr. Lincoln conducted business with visitors.

The parlor wallpaper (my favorite, by dint of being the least crazy).

A sideboard in the dining room. Apparently they're having ham for dinner.

The family room, where Honest Abe spent much time on the floor, playing with the kids (the chairs were too small for him).

The family room wallpaper. See what I mean about the crazy patterns? And check it out against the carpet in the photo above. Gads, as my grandma used to say.

Lincoln slept here, more or less.

The washstand in Mr. Lincoln's bedroom. Mary Todd Lincoln had her own room so she "could get some rest when Mr. Lincoln was working late in his bedroom."

The servant's room. That bed, by the way, is shockingly tiny, but I was told it was accurately sized for the time.

An upstairs transom; the ceilings were impressively high on both floors.

The children's room.

Mrs. Lincoln cooked here.

The back of the house.

The facilities; because we checked, I can tell you it's a three-seater.

We left a Lincoln at the Lincolns'.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Prayer Tower?

This is a tower on the grounds of the Bethesda Prayer Center outside Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. It may or may not be a prayer tower, but in any event, I liked the play of the spiral stairs against the gentle angles of the outer structure.

Please see my other blog for a discussion of the prayer center and my experience there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Office: Exterior Edition

I've written a couple of posts about the building I work in: one about the bricks and stone, and one about the beams. This one is about the exterior; I'll probably do one more, about the interior, and call it good.

So here it is from the front. It's a lovely big old hulk of a thing.

I have no idea why it needs this kind of reinforcement, but I like the shiplike quality of the riveted steel plates. They're only on the street-facing sides of the foundation, so perhaps they're decorative.

Delightful stacked brickwork that creates a flared topline.

Around the side, the remnants of a painted sign. And no steel plates.

A modern light fixture that somehow looks right.

This faded sign tells the building's story: it started life as a paper warehouse.

Here's a close-up; St. Louis is riddled with signs like these.

More flared brickwork.

I love that the gate posts echo the building's brickwork.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Summer Storm

A few months ago while I was at work, this storm was going by:

A friend and I went out for a smoke break -- I don't smoke, I just go for the break part. This was the view to the West:

More of the view to the West:

Then the temperature dropped about 15 degrees, and it looked like this directly over our heads:

Then the clouds started swirling and we went inside:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Cousin's House

One of my cousins up in Kalamazoo recently bought a house that was built in 1905. It's full of killer built-in cabinetry that was thankfully never painted, and there's amazing wallpaper and an incinerator in the basement.

Note: For better or whatever, these photos were all taken with my iPhone.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

From my Little Brother

My younger brother, I should say; he towers above me. He lives in Baltimore and also likes to take pictures of skies. He sent me this one a few weeks ago.