POSTCARDS....a small card with a picture on one side...

August 31, 2016

In Reaction To...

Or…A quickie course in architectural history page 1:
Or a failed attempt to write a summary of Architectural History in three paragraphs:

The Acropolis in Athens,          

In architecture, most everything grows from something else…or in reaction to something else.  Usually you can follow architectural structural design from one culture to another in a line.

Unfortunately, there is a break between the, “architecture of the Mycenaean culture and Minoan cultures” to that of the ancient Greeks.  “The techniques and an understanding of these styles were lost when these civilizations fell.”(1)  No straight line here though stylistically some of the Minoan design elements carried forward.

Greek architecture offers a straight line, and is divided into two periods: Hellenic then Hellenistic.  Towns grew around pillared temples, with marble amphitheaters and shopping areas.  Their architecture inspired the Romans to adopt, “The external language of classical Greek architecturefor their purposes. The two styles are often considered one body of classical architecture.”(1)

In the 3rd century BC, Roman architecture changed with the, “Roman Architectural Revolution, also known as the Concrete Revolution.”  With the use of concrete now the Roman architecture could expand with the use “of the previously little-used architectural forms of the archvault, and dome. For the first time in history, their potential was fully exploited in the construction of a wide range of civil engineering structures, public buildings, and military facilities. These included amphitheatresaqueducts,bathsbridgescircusesdamsdomesharbours, and temples.” (2)

Which leads us past the Romans to the blocky and solid Romanesque then the soaring Gothic which evolved from it…one of those straight lines.  These two styles were followed by “Renaissance architecture, a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture.”  Stylistically, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded by Baroque architecture.”(3) Suddenly, ornament became all.

Roman temple the Maison Carree in the Nimes.   

A small Roman Temple, "Roman baroque", Leptis Magna, Arch of Septimus Severus.    C wikipedia.

If you have read this far, just think, there will be more straight and curved lines later:


1. Ancient Greek Architecture

August 30, 2016


After: Under the kitchen sink is painted and lined in Plexi as is the recycle area.  Plant food is moved to the garage.  Garage walls are about half done.

Back to the pool, writing, sewing, eating, doing 15 minutes cleaning up something…right now 15 minutes in the garage.  Getting rid of things too.  Reading…did I say that.  Ordering more “Mayor” used mysteries from ABE Books.

Every morning, dear G wakes me with coffee.  This morning was a bit of a fight…he pulled on the covers; I refused to let go of the covers.  No pool for the next seven days as it is closed for repair.  Instead I shall roll down the hill to our own pool and hot tub.  Himself will pick me up on his way home.  Ideally.  This way I can't get out of exercising in the pool.

Book sale at work is still ongoing.  Every day since Friday, I’ve gone in and put books out on the shelves.  When I am there, folks tell me that I should be getting a commission on the books.   I find it amusing.  I don’t see why they can’t buy them without me there. 

Breakfast, lunches, and dinners….simple stuff.  I like that, and G seems to put up with me.  Today Chicken en Brochette.  Tomorrow sausage, apples and red cabbage.  Lots of ginger in that.  Thursday he can just take me out for dinner.  Yes, I am smiling.

  • Himself:  He REALLY enjoyed his days off.  Today he is filling in on someone else’s queue.

  • Herself:  Ordered the new Longmire book.  A new Elizabeth Moon book in the Vatta series will be out March 2017.

  • 52 Week House Reorganization:  Garage:  One wall plus a corner remain to be organized.  I got the many drawer cupboard sorted too.

  • Reading:  Ilke’s book on growing up in post WII Germany.

  • Gratitudes:  30 Pounds.

  • August 28, 2016

    The Architecture of Entertainment

    The Flamingo Hotel in its 1953 Architecture.  UNLV Digital Library.

    Bugsy Siegel didn’t open the first casino on the highway outside Las Vegas, Cashman and Hull did with their western styled El Rancho Hotel.  It opened with the largest dining room in Las Vegas, horseback riding, and pools, but with only a few tables.  A first, it was open 24 hours a day. 

    Bugsy soon followed with his now world famous Flamingo Hotel.  Eventually the mob didn’t like their lack of income, and after Bugsy was killed the Flamingo has spent much of its life changing hands and being restyled.  That’s the boom and bust story that continues everywhere in all of Las Vegas today.

    The first California Spanish style buildings were soon replaced by the wood and wagon wheel atmosphere of the Western Style.  Just after WWII, Bugsy was the first to used mid-century modern on his new hotel and Casino.  Each time it changed hands, it was remodeled with the first change in the facade in 1953.  The last of the original Flamingo Hotel structures were torn down in 1993. 

    I confess, I tour Vegas today looking up with my mouth open.  I gape at the changes.

    Mid-century Modern architecture vanished into the starkness of the International style followed by the weighty adaptations of Brutalism.  Just as I get a handle on Brutalism, there seems to be an older Architectural style popping up throughout the Strip.  Beaux Artes.  It was a rich, overly ornamental, classical style of architecture taught in Paris in the 19th Century. 

    Seeing this sort of décor intermixed with marble and miles of glass towers seems natural for Las Vegas.  The fanciful pink feather décor of the modern Flamingo Hotel fronts the pink glass international style towers to the rear.  Mandalay bay has two bare glass towers that almost inspire laughter with their Beaux Artes interiors. 

    In 2008, with the market bust, Las Vegas began a dramatic downward slide.  Bankruptcies became the norm.  The strip is decorated now with the giant rusting ghosts and faded dreams of failed financing.  Rings of homes that surround Vegas and its strip have lost 58% of their value pricing them somewhere within reach of most of us. 

    No matter what happens, I will continue flitting my way through this architectural jumble every decade or so, laughing open mouthed at the changes.  And there will be changes.

    The Riveria Hotel Tower imploded August 2016.


    In Old Las Vegas: With wonderful pictures of the strip.