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architecture

Houvenweep and Mesa Verde

I recently took a short trip to a series of amazing Native American settlement sites in south Colorado and Utah. Mesa Verde National Park is the more established, better known, site, located just outside of Cortez, Colorado. This is the location of the iconic cliff dwellings, dramatic masonry construction tucked under massive sandstone overhaning cliffs

The work of the Shakers and their architectural legacy

The work of the Shakers and their architectural legacy

I was recently at two Shaker sites, the Lebanon Village in New York and the adjacent Hancock Village in Massachusets. Growing up in Kentucky, I visited the Pleasant Hill Shaker village a number of times and it was fascinating to tour these two northeastern sites that was its origin.

small town movie theatres

Most of the smaller towns that I passed through on a recent road trip had their version of the local movie palace.  And most were closed down along with the rest of the storefronts along the main street.   The emptiness of middle America is remarkable and so sad.  We all hear the statistics about the growth of the larger cities and the gradual emigration away from small towns.  But something about the desolate marque of the old movie theatre strikes me as the most melancholy of the all the main street ghosts.

Loveland Feed & Grain

Just off downtown Loveland, Colorado  is the ancient and intriguing Loveland Feed & Grain building.  A many-year preservation and restoration effort has been taking place to find new uses for this magnificent building.

San Luis Valley - chapels

Chapels of the San Luis Valley

For many years, I have been taking trips to the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. This area feels very different from either the Front Range or the Western Slope and is marked by tiny settlements and the vase expanse of the wide valley. Of particular interest to me are the simple chapels and churches, dotted across the landscape, some lovingly cared for, others abandoned.

A Field Guide to Ugly Houses - Style Abuse Disorder (SAD)

I am not an advocate for building in a "style".  Thinking of buildings as simply constructions that you can hang different style clothes on runs counter to my work as an architect.  However, if you don't have an architect or don't want one, maybe the nineteenth century idea of pattern books is a good idea to help you avoid Style Abuse Disorder (SAD).