Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Building—all dressed up for the Holidays. The Charles Beersman designed beauty has been lighting up the city’s skyline since 1921, save for three periods when the lights were dimmed—during World War II; in 1971 when new lights were installed; and 1973-74 during the energy crisis. Commissioned by William Wrigley, Jr., in 1920, for his chewing gum company, his directive was clear—he wanted his company headquarters to be impressive. read more
Naked now… read more
“Art is the proper task of life.”
Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a lovely weekend. Summer bowed to Fall in the most graceful way imaginable Saturday—the letting go and the going on made easier by glorious azure skies and refreshingly crisp autumnal air. Sunday proved to be equally heaven-sent and a perfect day to stop by Chicago’s Navy Pier where the city had been playing host to more than 100 of the world’s premier galleries, to kick off its international arts season. read more
”When I was a girl, Chicagoans had to travel far and wide to see things of beauty. I am glad I have lived to see the day when people now come from far and wide to see beautiful things in Chicago.” ~Kate Buckingham, May, 1939
When Chicagoan Kate Buckingham commissioned architect Edward H. Bennett to design Buckingham Fountain in memory of her late brother Clarence, she did so to expose all people in her beloved city to beauty and art. There is no question that she succeeded in doing so, as the iconic fountain is today one of the city’s most magnificent architectural jewels. It also happens to be one of my favorite hometown landmarks. read more
I visited the Ragdale House—a house with an incredible history, whose legacy is steeped in all things artistic. The lovely country estate is today home to one of the most prestigious and historic artist-in-residence programs in the country. read more
Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend! It is not often that you see a garden folly of such magnificent beauty preening above the evergreens in a suburban landscape. But there it was, in all its glory, taking its place amidst the trees—a replica of an 18th century garden pavilion—grandly anchored on the grounds of a breathtakingly beautiful North Shore estate. read more
Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Mine began in the hustle and bustle of the city and ended in my version of the country, strolling what is said to be America’s first planned shopping center.
Historic Market Square is tucked into the center of the enchantingly beautiful community of Lake Forest, Illinois. Designed in 1916 by famed architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, Market Square is one of the earliest examples of urban renewel.
In the late 1800s, Lake Forest had fast become a go-to country retreat for Chicago’s wealthy. By 1912, city officials, unhappy with the town’s unsightly business district, looked to Shaw to create a space where several businesses could operate. Shaw’s vision for a “shopping center,” came to fruition with the creation of a U-shaped mall surrounded by parking spaces that flanked a central courtyard.
Market Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Though there wasn’t a bit of sunshine to be had during our visit, it was nonetheless, a lovely place to spend the afternoon.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Make it a great day!
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
The Getty Center’s magnificent Central Garden, Brentwood, California—a glorious place to spend a summer afternoon.
Which reminds me, Happy August everyone! I fear this month is going to fly by as quickly as the last. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and a wonderful month! Hope you find countless reasons to smile!
Happy Monday everyone! (If I don’t hurry up and publish this it will be Tuesday ) Hope you had a great weekend! Yesterday I got a peek into the world of a man I have always admired—I toured the Oak Park, Illinois home and studio of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
It is here, in this Shingle-style house where it all began for the man called the greatest American architect of all time. Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked here for 20-years, from 1889 to 1909. He and his first wife Catherine raised six children here and he was forever making modifications and additions to the home to accommodate his growing family. The addition of a studio workplace allowed Wright to work from home and it is where his creative genius would eventually give birth to a new American architecture: the Prairie Style. Wright incorporated organic principles into his designs early on, not wanting a home to merely sit on a lot, but instead wanting the home to become part of the landscape. He was a colorful character who put a high premium on privacy and security, despised clutter, and had no tolerance for distractions either in the workplace or at the dinner table. The images below capture many of the design nuances that set him apart from all the rest.
Wright often created a room within a room, like the dining room below. He designed these high-backed chairs to keep guests attention from wandering away from the table. Comfort was secondary to aesthetics, with Wright himself admitting that sitting in one of his chairs too long left him black and blue.
Rather than have an entire baby grand piano taking up space in the children’s playroom, Wright cut a hole in the wall and bracketed the piano’s back end onto a wall in the home’s back staircase. Now that’s what I call de-cluttering a room
Mr. Wright’s private office
There are innumerable books about Frank Lloyd Wright and his remarkable 70-year career. Check out the Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright here. One of my all time favorite FLW novels is Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan. I highly recommend it!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Make it a great day!