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2006.06.15 10:58
go fly a kite
"On June 15, 1752, Benjamin Franklin demonstrated his theory that lightening and electricity are the same thing by drawing lightening from the clouds with a key and a kite during a lightening storm. His letter describing his experiment was read before the Royal Society of London that December. Legend has it that the experiment took place on a lot on the east side of Ridge Avenue, near the intersetion with Buttonwood Street, and that Franklin was assisted by his son William."
Janice L. Booker, Philly Firsts: The Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the City of Brotherly Love, p. 204.


Philadelphia Museum of Art


Ottopia perspectives
...aerial perspectives of Ottopia vis-à-vis the Philadelphia model. underlay of the Campo Marzio plan data will be added, and the generated data will be mixed and matched with the current data. Likewise, closer attention will be given to certain sites, and perspectives will be generated as the sites get developed.

Calder Museum     2369




quondam Quondam
21 November 1958 - moved into 5233 Arbor Street.
21 November 1996 - Quondam, a virtual museum of architecture, begins its online existence, originating from the basement of 5233 Arbor Street.

21 November 2006 - quondam Quondam.

ideas the 5233 Arbor St. model within the Illium art gallery of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Avenue North

2007.02.09 22:19
Anyone support tearing it down?
I found out yesterday that, on 17 August 1824, the man who "founded the nation's first public museum" visited and sketched "Miers Fisher's House." I doubt the "rambling" 83 year old suspected that one day in the far off future that the first virtual museum of architecture online would eventually emanate from the same place.

Frankford Historical Society

2007.03.10 17:09
...and speaking of random tangents
"I think this room holds a portal to the fourth dimension."
I had very good reason for saying so, and the strangers I said it to agreed.

Today I'd call this show Random Tangents.

2007.03.10 20:42
...and speaking of random tangents
"In the summer of 1800, when the architect was away on his wedding trip, [John] Barber absconded, taking with him a considerable sum of money and all the most valuable office and personal papers."
And the John Barber Award for Architectural Deviance goes too...

Free Library of Philadelphia     1926

2007.04.03 14:20
All I did was look to see what was 'winning' in the architecture magazines while Matta-Clark was in architecture schools.
As to holes is walls, note the PMP to Mikveh Israel connection.

The Cliffs

2007.05.16 20:32
"I see sham pane, but no glasses"
It looks like Redwood Fisher (son of Miers, supercargo) and Joseph Jacques Ramée crossed the Atlantic Ocean (from Europe to the US landing mid September 1812) on the same ship. Miers met with Ramée at least two times, but it doesn't look like Ramée was ever at Ury. Was Ramée perhaps architect of the quondam St. John's Episcopal Church (1815) at American and Brown Street in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia?

The entrance facade of St. John's Church looks just like this.

2007.05.17 15:27
"I see sham pane, but no glasses"
"Ramée lived in Philadelphia during most of his sojourn in America. He arrived there from Europe in the summer of 1812; after visiting David Parish's North-Country lands at the end of that year, he returned to Philadelphia and spent most of his time there [so perhaps Ramée did eventually visit Ury] until he sailed back to Europe in 1816.
The careers of Latrobe and Ramée were parallel in certain ways. The two architects were the same age (both born in 1764) and both brought to America a knowledge of architectural design from several countries, as the young Latrobe had lived in Germany and England and had traveled elsewhere in Europe. Some of Latrobe's and Ramée's designs are remarkably similar, especially those relying on simple geometric forms and flat surfaces, broken only by arched recesses."
Paul V. Turner, Joseph Ramée: International Architect of the Revolutionary Era, p. 217


Gooding Trice House     2377

2007.06.24 14:10
Anti-Starchitecture Chic
Funny how the lion's share of great architecture was created before there even was a camera with film.
My favorite line from Mann's Joseph and His Brothers comes almost at the very end--"They used their own lenses."
Maybe I'm rare, but the top of the list of my preferred architectural representation has always been the ichnographia, the plan view, and the photographic image almost always at the bottom of the list, except when it's fucked by context--site of street shooting a day or two after the theaters here were opened.
Has the preferred photographic architectural image really only blinded "us" to the actual relativity of it all.

2007.06.24 18:55
Everyday Urbanism - Design and/or Default
One of my favorite everyday urban places was actually mostly the inside of my car?

2007.07.13 11:02
Quakers take green building to the Capitol
Interestingly, the first room designed to house the U.S. House of Representatives, in Congress Hall (1787-1793), Philadelphia, is very similar in design to the Friends Meetinghouse (1803-11) on Arch Street, Philadelphia. I remain curious as to whether both designs follow an older Quaker Meeting precedent.

Domestic Museum     2381

domestic architecture at Ury Farm
07071804.db is a plan database where much of the domestic architecture in Quondam's collection is situated at Ury. This is (at least) a project in scale, but also a virtual museum of architecture project as well. But what is really the purpose or reason of this project? Is the real result going to be a few interesting drawings? ...the project could be a commentary on present housing developments. Who knows?

2007.08.07 18:14
spreading like a virus... (discuss)
Both of the early New Harmony settlements were failures. And the second, under Robert Owen, was not exactly comprised by like minded individuals--there was definitely a class disparity.
One of the people that went to New Harmony with Owen was Hannah Fisher Price, and I happen to now live exactly where Hannah lived just before she went to New Harmony. After a couple of years at New Harmony, Hannah and her family moved to Cincinnati.
I'm finding the suburbs fascinating, and the ones around here are gorgeous.



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