clues castles murders

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2004.05.17 11:01
Re: Papers of the HTAFCC
In 1971, soon after Otto got his first car (a VW Beetle), he took me to 'Stokesbury Mansion' (sic). He knew I really liked architecture, and he too knew good architecture when he saw it. Otto and I made many trips to Whitemarsh Hall. In fact, he was the one that helped me rip off some of the marble wall paneling that enveloped Mr. Stotesbury's bathroom. [One panel now has Anonymous Saint In Bikini While Jesus Is Walking On Water (1983) painted on it.] I have some old Super-8 movie film with Otto walking on the parapets of Whitemarsh Hall, a scene remarkably similar to Charles and Sebastian walking on the roof of Castle Howard in Brideshead Revisited.
Edward Townsend Stotesbury suddenly died in the grand foyer of Whitemarsh Hall 66 years ago yesterday. You could say that was the beginning of the end of 'the Versailles of America.'

2004.06.11 11:59
no thanks for the memories
"By the morning of 11 June the police watch on the castle had been dissolved and most of the servants had drifted away. To those who remained Ludwig railed bitterly against his uncle and talked repeatedly of suicide. 'Tell Hoppe,' he said, 'that if he comes tomorrow to attend to my hair he will find my head in the Pöllat gorge. I hope that God will forgive me this step.'
Mournfully Ludwig wandered through the castle, up and down the stairways and even through the unfinished parts where gaps were spanned by makeshift bridges of boards. It filled him with sadness to think that he must bid farewell to this temple which he had planned and created so lovingly. He lingered in the great Singer's Hall with it's murals from Parzival, and took his leave of the six Holy Kings in the empty alcove of the Throne Room. He stood in the colonnade and looked for the last time at the magnificent sweeping view over the plain of the river Lech. Occasionally he took up a book to read, then put it down again. Towards the end of the day he drank a great deal."
--Christopher McIntosh, The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria, p. 191.
So, did Ludwig commit murder and then suicide two days later?
"The old man [King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and an accomplished practitioner of reenactionary architecturism himself], in his turn, felt a bond with his grandson, reinforced by the fact that the boy's birth, at Nymphenburg on 25 August 1845, coincided with the exact date and hour of his own. It was this remarkable coincidence which had prompted him to request that the name Ludwig be added to those the child had already been given: Otto Friedrich Wilhelm. The date was in addition the day of St. Louis. So the boy became Ludwig."
-ibid., p. 9.
Ludwig is presently in the midst of making plans to visit St. Louis, Missouri 25 August 2004. He's all excited because Hannibal and Twain are going with him. ]
Ludwig II's godfather is Ludwig I, and Ludwig II's godfather's godfather is Louis XVI.
One of Otto's fondest 4th of July memories is seeing fireworks over the Mississippi River at Hannibal, Missouri in 1978.
"In 1239 Baldwin II, the Latin emperor at Constantinople, made St. Louis (in gratitude for his [Crusading] largesse to the Christians in Palestine and other parts of the East) a present of the Crown of Thorns, which was then in the hands of the Venetians as a pledge for a loan of money to Baldwin, which Louis had to discharge. He sent two Dominican friars to bring this treasure to France, and met it himself beyond Sens, attended by his whole court. To house it he pulled down his chapel of St. Nicholas and built the Sainte Chapelle, which is now empty of its relic."
--from 25 August in Butler's Lives of the Saints.

2004.06.13 09:48
Happy 118th Deathday
Ludwig and Leni (Riefenstahl) are spending most of today, Ludwig's 118th deathday, at Fonthill, in Doylestown, PA. Mercer's all excited, fellow syphilitic castle-builder and all that. Leni can't wait to take pictures--Blicks von Moravia.
Then next Sunday is the wedding of Dennis and Eva at 20:57 in the intersection of Rising Sun Avenue and Tabor Road. The latest buzz is that all the weavers of "the Great Isfahan" are flying in on the carpet itself.
...the HABS/HAER link instructions to see a nice collection of interior shots.

2004.06.16 05:53
cloning architecture - a global search
I too was thinking of McMansions last night. Swarms of clones sprawling over the US suburban landscape. But notice too what these homes try so hard to reenact, essentially the 'lifestyle' of very wealthy people from quondam times.
Picking up on Helsinki's last sentence, it's interesting that the German word Schloss means 1. castle, palace; chateau, manor-house 2. lock.
On the Campo Marzio issue, I've (already) compiled a bibliography of architectural literature on Piranesi's large plan. Briefly, before Tafuri there is Fasolo in 1956 (who Tafuri in places reiterates, but he did not note any of the 1956 mistakes), and Scully on Kahn in 1962. Tafuri's Architecture and Utopia was first published in Italian in 1973, and his The Sphere and the Labyrinth was first published in Italian in 1980. Since 1980, most architectural writers have sprouted off the Tafuri branch, and there is only one architectural writer who, in 1981, began to sprout off Kahn's branch of investigation entwined with reenactment.

2004.06.20 08:27
single all-time favourite motion picture scene
I like all the scenes of symmetry The Ruling Class--the best movie utilizing schizophrenia ever?
Liz Taylor on the phone with shampoo in her hair in Butterfield 8.
(sounding like she just took a crap and then realized there's no toilet paper) Liz Taylor (from off-screen) in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf yelling, "Heeeey! Where the hell is everybody?"
Liz Taylor putting on eye makeup in The Driver’s Seat--definitely the Ur-Linda Richards as portrayed years later by Mike Myers.
Liz Taylor playing an actrees reenacting a quondam part she played, now used as an alibi in response to the detective investigating her husband's murder in The Mirror Cracked, followed by the shock when the detective names the movie within which the just reenacted scene occurred.

2004.07.13 16:04
Re: Julien Prévieux
Tomorrow, 14 July, like every year, is the beginning of reenactment season.
John Sebastian Matta jumped out Gordon's [studio] window tomorrow 28 years ago. That is a clue.
Prévieux Redu[x]
Who needs plans? Certainly not Gordon.

2004.10.20 23:55
Re: Pop Life: Los Super Elegantes
A tragic event that galvanized American Muslims and Arab Americans was the murderous attack on the Ismail al-Faruqi family last May. Dr. Ismail Raji al-Faruqi was a prominent Islamic scholar at Temple University. On May 27 a knife-wielding man broke into the Faruqi home in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, and viciously attacked al-Faruqi, his wife, Lois, and their daughter, Anmar al-Zein. Al-Faruqi and his wife died from their wounds and the daughter survived, but required 200 stitches to close her wounds....
At about the same time, ADC published an eight-page "Special Report" on the murders, including a detailed account of the crime, its victims, and the current status of the investigation. Although nothing was missing from the house, some investigators working on the case believe the murders resulted from a bungled burglary attempt; however, the police lieutenant in charge of the investigation described the incident as an assassination, saying that "someone took it upon themselves" to kill al-Faruqi. In view of the rise of violent anti-Arab and anti-Muslim incidents in recent years, the report suggests that the murders could very well have been politically motivated. In addition, the report mentions al-Faruqi's status as a visible pro-Palestinian spokesman, notes the strength of the Philadelphia chapter of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), and cites an article about al-Faruqi's anti-Zionist positions in the Near East Report (the weekly newsletter of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee) as evidence that the professor was in the "zone of danger" described by the FBI earlier this year. The FBI, however, has not become directly involved in the case because it sees no evidence of a federal offense.
Related information from listing of History of Arabs His murder was predicated without name by the president of Jewish Defence League one week before his death in The Village Voice, New York by claiming that within a week an outspoken Palestinian professor will be eliminated.

2004.12.16 11:36
Fantasy Architecture?.....
The subject is fantasy, and fantasy, more or less by definition, does not come with restrictions. Even so, it is 'blurring something familiar with a vision' that was addressed, and the Princeton images indeed do that. The notion that fantasies are not necessarily dark or cautionary, nor necessarily of the future was also added before the images were presented.
fantasy 2 : imagination or fancy, esp. : the free play of creative imagination as it affects perception and productivity usually as expressed in an art form or as elicited by projective techniques of formal psychology
The title Art that is Otto and Einstein at Princeton 5 March 2000 harbors 'clues'--the fantasy is immediately obvious, but don't forget the layer of symmetry Otto) and of relativity (Einstein), plus the notion of two visions joined.
Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius is not really about fantasy, rather it is a reenactment of ancient Rome's history delineated via ancient Rome's architecture. The plans with their Latin labels within the large plan are all texts that together deliver the history of the city of Rome. Piranesi did a fantastic job of making a history lesson appear as fantasy.

2005.03.20 11:00
20 March 1966
It was my 10th birthday, and it was also a Sunday. I think my cousins came over the night before. Anyway, as there were no plans for Sunday, I asked if I could go to the movies by myself. I saw in The Sunday Bulletin movie listings that The Magic Fountain was playing at the CREST theater's children's matinee that afternoon. To my surprise and delight, I was allowed to go, which meant I was also allowed to take the 50 trolley up Rising Sun Avenue for like a mile and a half--the Crest was in the Lawncrest neighborhood at Rising Sun and Cheltenham Aves. (a 7-Eleven is there now). To save some money for myself (probably to buy some candy at the movies), I decided to forego taking the trolley and walked instead.
I got to the theater ok, and watched the movie with a whole lot of other kids. I don't remember anything about the movie except that it ended with a great aerial shot of this fantastic castle. I was mesmerized. "Where is that place?!?" I wanted more.
To everyone's surprise and joy, a snow storm had started while the movie ran. It was now a wonderland outside, and thank God I didn't spend all of my trolley money.
It wasn't until 1969, when we got Encyclopedia Britannica, that I again saw (a picture of) the fantastic castle. I was seeing Neuschwanstein.
Not that it means anything, but it just so happens that King Ludwig I of Bavaria (grandfather of Ludwig II who built Neuschwanstein) abdicated to marry dancer Lola Montez 20 March 1848. I finally saw Neuschwanstein in person sometime the first week of January 1976. I had no idea then that my brother Otto was very sick at home. I still don't know what happened, but it appears Otto ODed New Year's Eve. A half year later Otto went schizophrenic. Back then I didn't know Ludwig II also had a brother Otto who also went schizophrenic 18 January 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors of the palace of Versailles while (cousin) Wilhelm King of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor.
Brothers Grimm indeed.

2005.03.21 22:14
Re: new Trumbauer fan (system)
Philadelphia certainly helped and continues to help.
Spending 5 weeks driving in a brand new Mercedes-Benz 220S through Germany and Austria the summer of 1963, didn't hurt my imagination either.
The original edition of the board game CLUE, which we very early had a used copy of, was the murder mansion rendered in strict ichnographic manner.
And then there's the ongoing trying to figure out and deal with the schizophrenic imagination, I guess.
Let me at least first send something tomorrow about this CAD model I worked with today.

2005.05.05 15:27
5 May 1821 Napoleon dies in exile at St. Helena
Calendar of May
Leaving Obscurity Behind
1 May 305
Diocletian at Nicomedia and Maximanus Herculius at Mediolanum divest themselves of the purple.
2 May 373
death of St. Athanasius
2 May 1981
shotgun death of Daniel Hansford at Mercer House, Savannah
3 May
quondam feast of The Finding of the Holy Cross
3 May 1931
birth of Aldo Rossi
5 May 1821
death of Napoleon in exile at St. Helena Island
6 May 1856
birth of Sigmund Freud
6 May 1949
Duchamp makes detailed notes regarding the architecture of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
14 May 1948
Israel becomes a state
14 May 1999
discovery, at the Fine Arts Library of the University of Pennsylvania, that Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius was printed in two distinct states
14 May 2004
Louis I. Kahn, with Helena, Eutropia, and Catherine de Ricci visit Israel
18 May 1920
birth of Pope John Paul II (Karol Jozef Wojtyla)
18 May 1924
birth of Rosa Lauf geb. Brenner
18 May 1980
eruption of Mount Saint Helens
19 May 1296
death/feast of St. Celestine V, pope
21 May
feast of the second Agonalia
feast of Sts. Constantine and Helena
21 May 1502
discovery of St. Helena Island
21 May 1938
death of Edward T. Stotesbury
21 May 1972
Laszlo Toth attacks Michelangelo's PIETA
27 May 1875
feast of Corpus Christi and Otto Prince of Bavaria's public confession
27 May 1986
murder of Isma'il and Lois al-Faruqi
30 May 1640
death of Peter Paul Rubens
31 May 1935
birth of Frei Otto
31 May 1946
death of Eva Stotesbury
31 May 1951
death of Cardinal Dennis Dougherty
Helena and Constantine just figured out all the arrangements for Pope John Paul II's first afterlife birthday party. Helena has been arranging the first afterlife birthday party of Popes for centuries now, and Constantine gets involved for all the special parties--he's great when it comes to dealing with the whole irony of such events. In the morning, everyone will 'witness' the Danube flooding event along the present Croatian/Serbian border that coincided with Karol's 4th birthday. (Helena gave birth to Constantine in what is now Serbia, so they both know the territory well; they remember the 1924 Danube flood well too.) In the afternoon, all will visit the post-WWII mass graves at Gakowo. In the evening, everyone will go to Mount St. Helen's to see if there's any white or black smoke.

2005.05.06 17:24
Koolhaas versus the Actor
There are many historical examples were architecture references itself, e.g., renaissance architecture referencing classical architecture, or even the second pyramid at Giza referencing the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Le Corbusier is just as much a reenactor as Stirling and the NY5 are reenactors. Le Corbusier reenacted machine forms and ship forms and American agricultural architecture forms. And Le Corbusier even ultimately reenacted himself--the Palais des Congrès (1964) reenacts the Villa Savoye (1929)
I don't buy the notion of there ever really being a split from the symbolic system. Degrees of separation, yes, but no real split.
Stirling is a consummate reenactionary architect, and he knew it, but he put most of his clues in his architecture only--although his entry for Roma Interrotta is an overt reference to Piranesi's Campo Marzio plan and reenactionary architecturism. Just as Rossi reenacted the Bustum Hadriani with the Modena Cemetery, but it doesn't look like he ever told Tafuri about it. Yes, Rossi was silent, as are most architects when it comes to telling others where their real 'originality' comes from.

2005.06.10 11:51
your favorite buildings/projects, built and unbuilt
The 1978 New Year's Party at his place was quite memorable too.
And then hangin' out in 1983 where another murder mystery happened kinda pieced it all together.

2005.08.05 13:00
Brideshead Revisited
[Among other things,] I'm currently reading The Building of Castle Howard by Charles Saumarez Smith (1990). So far I've read chapter 2, "The Architect." The fact that Vanbrugh was more a playwright and only an amateur architect recently came to my attention, and now I'm very much intrigued by the man. Even before the televised Brideshead Revisited, Castle Howard (designed beginning 1699) was among my favorite architectural designs--I used to read Fletcher's The History of Architecture on the Comparative Method during study hall when a freshman in high school (1970-71).
I'm now wondering whether the above image of Castle Howard from Vitruvius Britannicus (published 1715-1725) somehow inspired the architecture of Piranesi as delineated within the Campo Marzio (1762). Remember the Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio (1757-62) is dedicated to Robert Adam. Did Adam show Piranesi Vitruvius Britannicus while he (Adam) was friends with Piranesi in Rome in the 1750s? In any case, the perspectival vantage point and indeed the architecture depicted within the perspectives of the Campo Marzio very much evoke the Castle Howard aerial perspective, for example the Frontispiece of the Campo Marzio:
Anyway, here are my favorite passages from The Building of Castle Howard so far:
What is ingenious about Vanbrugh's ground plan at Castle Howard was the way that it contrived to create the maximum visual effects of architectural scale and magnificence out of the minimum number of rooms. Both externally and internally it looked and felt like a much larger house than it actually was, if calculated in floor space. --page 55.
Every visitor to the house must have experienced disillusionment at the conflict between the excessive grandiosity of the exterior and the disappointing smallness of the rooms inside. The exterior establishes expectations which are not fulfilled indoors. Although both the elevations and the ground plan are, by themselves, magnificently conceived, there is a curious lack of relationship between the two, a feeling of physical incongruity and architectural disjunction. There is only one set of quite small rooms behind much of the great length of the south facade. There is no organic relationship between the layout of the interior and the architectural forms outside. Too much is gratuitous. As Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, a Scottish landowner who had travelled extensively on the continent and was himself an amateur architect, commented on the occasion of a visit on his way to London in 1727, 'there is not one good apartment in the whole house, at least not one which is in any way suitable to the grandure and expense of the outside.' --page 57.
These passages got me wondering whether Waugh's Brideshead Revisited is meant to evoke the same feelings about the Marchmain family--deceptively grand on the outside, but actually small on the inside.
Did you know?
Vanbrugh in a letter to the Duchess of Marlborough [in 1716 wrote]: The word Corridore Madam is foreign, and signifys in plain English, no more than a Passage, it is now however generally us'd as an English Word. --page 54.



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