This week, Amy has chosen Architecture as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I like to visit historic houses when we go traveling so there are lots of building images in the photo files but for this challenge I decided to go with just a few examples of architecture close to home that, for me, stand out in the crowd. The first building is the Ward W. Willits House in Highland Park, Illinois, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901.
Next up is the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois. This place always takes my breath away, it’s so beautiful! And the facts and figures involved in the building of this architectural marvel are mind-boggling. The limestone and marble stones were quarried in Turkey and Italy and shipped to India where 70,000 cubic feet of stone was carved by 2,000 craftsmen. 40,000 pieces were then shipped to Bartlett where they were fitted together over a period of 16 months.
I love the architecture in Evanston and especially on the Campus of Northwestern University. Perhaps it’s because it reminds me a little bit of the college towns back home.
Another impressive piece of architecture that incorporates all kinds of symbolism is the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois.
One of the wonderful things about downtown Chicago is the diversity of its architecture, an interesting blend of the ornate past with the bold lines of present-day designs.
I’m a city girl at heart and although I’ve lived in the suburbs for many years now, there’s nothing I love better than a trip downtown, which is why I was so pleased to see the subject for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Cityscapes. Many thanks to Patti for providing us with this challenge. Although I was born in London, I now live near another great city, Chicago, which is where these images were captured.
For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to Cityscapes.
I usually do a bit of research before we visit somewhere new to us, but for some reason, probably because I thought we wouldn’t actually go there, San Antonio slipped under the radar. It was so unlike anything that I had pictured in my mind that I have to admit I was absolutely amazed when we arrived downtown. The River Walk, we had been told, was the place to go, so we began our adventure at Nueva Street and soon entered a whole other world of winding, watery wonder, one story beneath the streets of San Antonio.
The 2.5 mile-long route is accessed by a succession of steps and bridges many of which are quite decorative.
The River Walk is an astounding mixture of art and architecture with something to catch your eye at every turn such as this sculpture, outside The Briscoe Western Art Museum, entitled Camino de Galvez created by artist T. D. Kelsey .
Much of the walk is bordered by restaurants and hotels past which colorful tour boats ferry passengers who gaze up at buildings such as the Bexar County Courthouse.
We began our walk fairly early in the morning but by the time we reached Crockett Street and a brief detour to visit The Alamo, things were getting pretty busy and it wasn’t only people that were sharing the pathways but also quite a large population of birds, mostly pigeons but one or two other interesting characters as well, which is why I would think twice about visiting again. I braved them once but I don’t think I could willingly do it a second time which is a pity because I really loved the whole River Walk experience. I wish I wasn’t such a chicken when it comes to birds!
This post is in response to a new challenge, the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge which can be found at Wonder. Thanks to Patti for this opportunity to share these images and see other posts that reflect the theme Wonder.
This week’s entry for Becky’s June Squares features some interesting roofs that we discovered while visiting Texas last week. The first is at The Bishop’s Palace in Galveston; the second is in McGovern Centennial Gardens in Houston; and the third is at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park, Houston.
More about our Texas trip in upcoming posts. For more on Becky’s June Squares go to Algarvian Roofs
This week, the topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Barns or any Dilapidated Buildings. I don’t know why, but we very rarely seem to visit places that are not kept in at least reasonably good condition. In future, I will make a point of looking out for the less well-cared-for places. I did manage to find a couple of images that fit the bill, however, so here they are. The first was taken on our trip to Marion last year and features the old Marion Daily Republican building.
One of the things that I used to enjoy about visiting the Farm at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg was seeing and photographing the old barn. That was many years ago and the barn was already falling apart which, I suspect, added to its mellow charm. They eventually tore it down and replaced it with a garishly-painted new one which, although showing up well in subsequent pictures, couldn’t hold a candle to the old building. Looking at some of these later images, I’m wondering if they perhaps saved one of the old doors, possibly on its historical merits, painted it and incorporated it into the new building. How else could you explain its obvious state of dilapidation.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Barns or Any Dilapidated Buildings
Cee’s topic of choice for the Black & White Photo Challenge this week is Store Fronts & Building Signs. Opting to focus on the store front aspect of the challenge, and going through the photo files, I realized that more often than not, when I’ve stopped to take a picture of the exterior of a commercial building it’s usually been either a pub or a restaurant, neither of which technically meets the ‘store‘ criteria. However, I did come across one or two stores that I thought might be of interest the first of which is Tiffany’s in Oak Brook shopping mall.
From the opulent to the soon-to-be defunct; the end of an era. I had to stop at our local Toys R Us store to capture an image before it closes and is eventually torn down. For more than forty years we’ve been buying things for our kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and, alright, maybe even for ourselves at this once great toy store. I’m sad to see it go after all this time.
It might have been the flowers that first caught my eye at this store in Bartlett but even in black and white the building has a pleasing, small town, country look about it.
The store sign below has a little bit of history attached to it although the store itself is in a comparatively new shopping mall in Glenview. The ‘Hangar One’ part of it is a nod to the Glenview Naval Air Station that once occupied this spot from 1923 to 1995.
Going back a little further in history, many of the commercial buildings in Marion have names and dates incorporated in their architecture. I thought this store in the town square translated well into monochrome.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Store Front and Building Signs
Every city, town or village has a story to tell and Marion in southern Illinois is no exception. Whenever we visit somewhere that is new to us we like to explore and find out as much as we can about the place, not only about the present but also the past, and the best place to learn about the history of Marion is undoubtedly the Williamson County Historical Society Jail Museum and Library. Every floor in this building is packed with interesting memorabilia and artifacts. The jail itself has a story of its own which can be seen here in Jail Time
The past and present are defined by the mix of buildings in the Town Square vicinity, some of which date back to the early 1900’s. While many of these buildings have been well-maintained, some, like the old offices of the Marion Daily Republican newspaper have fallen into disrepair.
The Marion Cultural and Civic Center has undergone extensive renovations but I was happy to see that they had preserved the old entryway inside the new lobby.
This memorial in the Town Square tells another story about the terrible destruction that Marion suffered during a tornado, one of the largest in Illinois history, that touched down in 1982, killing ten people and causing close to $100 million in damages.
It’s interesting to see the different styles of architecture in this city of some 17,800 inhabitants, from the stark lines of the First Baptist Church to the more ornate exterior of the Carnegie Library and even a touch of whimsy as evidenced by a mural painted on the side wall of a local artist co-op that tells its own story.
For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Story