Posts Tagged ‘Art’

Frank Lloyd Wright House open to guests

May 6, 2008

Derek Gee/Buffalo News Russell Maxwell, who owns the Davidson House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, marvels at the living room featuring a stunning, two-story-tall bank of windows that fills the east wall, reaching from the floor up to the cathedral ceiling. Guests will get a chance to experience fully what it’s like to live in a Prairie-style home
From The Buffalo News By Sharon Linstedt Updated: 05/05/08 7:52 AM>>read more.     GO INSIDE THE Walter V. Davidson House in an audio slideshow.     Architecture buffs who have dreamed of living in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home will soon have the opportunity to sleep under a Wright roof in Buffalo.     Starting in June, the Walter V. Davidson House, at 57 Tillinghast Place, will join a handful of Wright residences that welcome overnight guests.     “It’s a rare chance to experience Frank Lloyd Wright architecture as he intended,” said Davidson House owner Russell Maxwell. “Guests will have the whole home to themselves to enjoy.”      Built in 1908 for Larkin Company executive Davidson and his family, it is one of Wright’s Prairie-style homes with a pale stucco facade, dark trim and low-slung eaves. The 4,400-square-foot dwelling features more than 60 diamond-patterned glass windows The fireplace in the living room offers a cozy setting for guests to relax.that ring the structure.     A stunning, two-story-tall bank of windows fills the east wall of the living room, reaching from the floor up to the cathedral ceiling.     “The windows become even more spectacular when you’re here for a full day and watch the way the light moves through the house. That’s something you can’t experience on a 20-minute, museum-like tour,” Maxwell said.     The three-bedroom, fully furnished home will be available for a two-night minimum stay, at a rate of $295 per night. Guests are on their own for meals, choosing whether to cook meals in the Davidson kitchen.     The first guests will be a British couple planning a June vacation in the United States. They’ve reserved the house with old friends from Pittsburgh.     “They found it on the Internet and thought it would be a great place to meet up with their American friends. They’re planning to use it as a base for exploring the Buffalo area,” Maxwell said.     The reservation book also includes a New York City man who is bringing his family to Buffalo in November to celebrate Thanksgiving with his fiance’s family. The group plans to hold Thanksgiving dinner in the Davidson dining room.     Maxwell purchased the house in late 2004 without an immediate plan for its future. He worked out a deal with the prior owner, Dr. Jules Constant, that allowed the cardiologist to continue living in the house through 2007.      “In researching the house and Wright, I started to think about opening it up to the public. It seemed to be a great fit with Buffalo’s growth in Wright-linked tourism,” he said.     It is located just a few blocks from Wright’s recently restored Darwin D. Martin House Complex, and Maxwell said it should be a hit with visitors who want to create the ultimate Wright experience.     “They’ll be able to build an all-Wright itinerary that includes the Martin House, Heath House, Graycliff, the new boathouse and then go home to the Davidson. That’s a tremendous package,” he said.     Howard A. Zemsky, a past president of the Martin House Restoration Corp., agrees.     “It’s pretty easy to imagine someone wanting to visit here for that purpose and taking advantage of the opportunity to stay in a Wright house, around the corner to the Martin House,” Zemsky said.      Michael and Sarah Petersdorf have been welcoming guests into their Wright-designed Illinois country home for the past three years, with an increasing number of bookings.     “Ninety-five percent of our guests are Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts, and they just love it,” said Michael Petersdorf, owner of Muirhead Farmhouse B&B in Hampshire, Ill.     “There are so many nuances of these houses you can’t get from photos or even a tour. You have to spend time in them to really understand how the design and the function come together. It’s very special,” he added.     An upcoming article on the Davidson House in the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation newsletter is expected to spark bookings by Wright lovers. The house is also being promoted through the Buffalo Convention & Tourism Bureau’s “Wright in Buffalo” marketing effort.    While Maxwell is throwing out the welcome mat in just over a month, he is warning his first batch of visitors that the Davidson House is a work in progress. A kitchen restoration is still in the planning stages, and the exterior of the house will get a major dose of stucco repair, painting and a complete relandscaping over the next several months.     Detailed information on the Davidson House and how to book a stay is available at

A ski jump? A toboggan run? A water slide? What’s got everyone talking?

May 4, 2008

(Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times) From LA Times by Steve Lopez May 4, 2008:>>read more.
The design of L.A. Unified’s new arts high school is convoluted and costly.     “What is it?” Kelly Charles asked as he walked to his job as a custodian in downtown Los Angeles and gazed up at a rather odd construction project. “A roller coaster?”     As I wandered the neighborhood, other guesses were: A ski jump.     A toboggan run.     A water slide.      What’s got everyone talking is the odd-looking tower that rises 140 feet above the 101 Freeway, directly across from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The futuristic metallic edifice, with a wraparound spiral Dr. Seuss would love, is not part of a theme park. It is the signature adornment on a new arts-oriented public high school that will cost roughly $230 million.     That’s far more than the going rate for a more conventional school, but district officials argue that they already owned the site of the former L.A. Unified headquarters. Sure, but aren’t these tough times for public schools? Aren’t school districts facing huge cuts? Aren’t many aging schools in disrepair?     You have to wonder how this will sit with parents who are being asked to contribute several hundred dollars per student to cover programs and staff members that tax dollars used to fund.     David Tokofsky, a former school board member, said he isn’t opposed to a bit of a flair on an arts-oriented campus. But given all the budget problems — not to mention the flailing administration of L.A. Supt. and Navy Adm. David L. Brewer — the project “just looks like an absurdity,” in Tokofsky’s words.     Personally, I thought the big log flume was the latest improvement on the disastrous employee payroll system in L.A. Unified. Weekly pay could be sent down the chutes to teachers below, and whatever cash doesn’t blow over Chinatown or fly into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony’s belfry could be pocketed by teachers.     Come to think of it, stringing a tightrope from the school tower to the cathedral wouldn’t be a bad idea. Priests and administrators accused of wrongdoing or coverups could creep across the treacherous divide. Those who land safely in the cathedral’s reflecting pool shall be considered saved.

Good-bye Guggenheim

April 19, 2008

From the LosAngeles Times By Paul Lieberman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer April 19, 2008 click to read more.
 NOW, IT’S GOOD-BYE: Upon arrival, “Guggenheim” was spray-painted in huge letters at the front of the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum at the entrance to the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.     The museum, housed in the Venetian hotel-resort, looked to attract families and cultural tourists along with gamblers. After a seven-year run, it’s leaving town.     LOS VEGAS — — Dustin and Lindsay Phillips had no idea they were part of the beginning of the end of the Guggenheim’s great Las Vegas adventure, a seven-year gamble that is coming to a close with the museum taking its chips — its paintings — back home.     The Nashville couple hadn’t even known there was a Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in the Venetian. They’d come to town “just for Las Vegas,” spotted the Guggenheim’s entrance around the corner from the hotel-casino’s check-in desk, then wandered in. “It’s awesome to see the real thing,” said Dustin, 26, as he stood before a Monet landscape painted in 1908 in the real Venice, with the real canals. “I was surprised they didn’t charge admission,” his wife added.     She had to be told the reason: The Guggenheim and the Venetian had just announced that the contract to operate the “museum” — actually four linked galleries — was coming to an end, and as a thank-you to the public the $15 fee was being waived through the last day, May 11. “It was a mutual decision,” a Guggenheim spokeswoman said of the closing.