Re: reading lists (was: question)
I haven't seen the Mississippi in almost 30 years, but I do remember it's amazing presence (at least between Missouri and Illinois) and it's ability to inspire awe. One of my favorite memories recalls watching 4th of July fireworks over the Mississippi at Hannibal, Missouri in 1978.
I've mentioned this here before (like maybe 5 years ago or so), but I seriously believe the main street intersection--Rising Sun Avenue and Tabor Road--closest to where I live (in the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia) was long ago a solstice celebration site of the Lenni Lenape. This intersection, which today comprises a Cambodian run gas station, Ed's Pizza run by Puerto Ricans, Cedar Grove Church (which I think is still a Baptist congregation), and D's Crabs, run by young, white entrepreneur, is were the original town of Olney began like 120 years ago. It is also a high vantage point overlooking the quondam Rock Run (stream tunneled underground, today's Ashdale Street) valley, and the culmination point of a Lenni Lenape trail, today's Rising Sun Avenue. The name Rising Sun goes back to the Lenni Lenape as well--from the folklore you get the impression that the "natives" didn't really want the "whiteman" (in this case early German settlers) to go up "rising sun" because that's were the Great Spirit was. Interestingly, Rising Sun Avenue forks off of Germantown Avenue, which was also originally an "Indian" trail. Anyway, the intersection of Rising Sun and Tabor is the point of a plateau where when you follow the edge of the plateau east you wind up looking at where the sun rises on the solstice, and when you look south, you're looking almost directly straight down Rising Sun Avenue, and when you follow the edge of the plateau west you wind up looking at where the sun sets on the solstice.
In early 2002, I found out that there indeed was an "Indian camp" at the mouth of Rock Run where it joins Tacony Creek, which is literally "just down the hill" from Rising Sun and Tabor.
LIVE 8 ("Indian" Trails) in Philadelphia
If any architects are going to be in Philadelphia for LIVE8 and also have some time to do other things in Philadelphia, here's a suggestion:
Explore one or some of the ancient "Indian" trails that are still a part of Philadelphia's urban fabric. You'll need a car to "do" any of the trails from beginning to end, and give yourself anywhere from a half hour to two hours of (one-way) travel time depending on which trail you take.
Germantown Avenue--begins at 2nd and Girard Avenue and goes north all the way to Chestnut Hill (and beyond).
Old York Road--begins as an offshoot of Germantown where Rising Sun also shoots off of Germantown (next to Temple University Hospital) and goes way out into the northern suburbs. You'll eventually even see Wright's Beth Sholom synagogue.
Rising Sun Avenue--begins as an offshoot of Germantown Avenue and culminates at Tabor Road (at what may well have been a solstice celebration site, and you'll also be around the corner from Rita Novel's house). Rising Sun Avenue does continue beyond Tabor Road, but that stretch is not "Indian".
Frankford Avenue--begins off of Delaware Avenue just south of Penn Treaty Park (where William Penn made a treaty with the "Indians" right on the Delaware River) and end again in the northern suburbs.
Oxford Avenue--I'm not sure, but Oxford may be an offshoot of Frankford Avenue and continues north through Northeast Philadelphia and culminated at Rhawn Street in Fox Chase.
Ridge Avenue--begins at 8th and Arch Street and heads westward all the way to Norristown and beyond. At Ridge and Buttonwood Street is were Franklin discovered that electricity and lightening are the same thing.
Passyunk Aveune is, I think, also an "Indian" trail, starting at 5th and South Streets and heads south west. Passyunk Avenue is a one-way street going north however, and I'm not sure what it's other "end" is.
There might well be more "Indian" trails that are now Philadelphia city streets, like Lancaster Avenue and Baltimore Pike, but I'm not sure at this point. Anyway, if you ever do any of these trips, note whatever architecture you see because a lot of it some of the oldest (more or less common) stuff left in Philadelphia. Also note the undulating terrain of the roads both in plan and in section.
the agnostic design of spiritual space
The weirdest thing about all the "spiritual spaces" of my immediate neighborhood is that they are clustered around the intersection of Rising Sun Avenue and Tabor Road, which actually may have been a Lenni-Lenape (summer) solstice celebration site. (Hence my living in what used to be an ancient burial site.)
The Lenni-Lenape trail that is now Rising Sun Avenue culminated at the high-point where Tabor Road crosses Rising Sun Avenue. Tabor Road dates back to 1776, albeit still under George III. Its purpose was to give the Church of England faithful living in Germantown access to Trinity Episcopal Church (many miles east) on Oxford Avenue (which was another Native American trail).
the agnostic design of spiritual space
be it ever so humble... --link to: q/0134
Q; What comes after museum?
dies sanguinis --link to: q/0280
Otherwise a story about someplace that used to be a Lenni-Lenape camp site.
Ironically, I watched Sunshine State for the first time last night.
Urban Voids: Grounds for Change. An International Design Competition
North Philadelphia as Unknown Architectural Tourist Destination
The Indian Trails:
Rising Sun Avenue
Old York Road
plus to the east of North Philadelphia:
Street as Grand Place
American Street from Germantown Avenue to Lehigh Avenue
Shrine of St. John Neumann
St. Peter's Church
5th Street and Girard Avenue
Learning from Girard Avenue
Chapter Three of EPICENTRAL, www.quondam.com / 2002.
Stephen Girard, the sixth wealthiest American, right behind Bill Gates
Virtually the exact same size as Rittenhouse Square
[I was Baptised at St. Boniface and the doctor who delivered me to life had his office on Norris Square.]
Morning RushHour TwoLane Drag Racing
The daily commute to Center City for many Northeast Philadelphians
Straight down 2nd Street from just south of Erie Avenue all the way to Girard Avenue.
"Tose your timidity aside!"
North Broad Street
Northern part of the greatest axis mundi of the world.
Diamond Street west of Broad Street
See the decaying mini-mansions of a century ago, while they last.
Temple University Main Campus
Great collection of some funky 1960s architecture
Train Ride as Architectural Tour
Take the R8 from Center City to Olney and back
Thesis Semester [blog] 25 years ago
[Dave's ashes are buried in the front church yard of Trinity Lutheran Church, Germantown, Philadelphia.
Just a couple blocks north on Germantown Avenue is the Deshler-Morris House (with large side and back garden), where President Washington and First Lady Martha lived for a short while when Yellow Fever was at epidemic levels in Philadelphia, then Capital of the United States.
Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson stayed a block further north at the (now gone) King of Prussia Tavern--
north (right) of the empty lot, today DollarLand and Risque Beauty Parlor.
If I were to visit Dave via Native American trails, I'd go south on Rising Sun Avenue to its source at Germantown Avenue, likewise the source point of Old York Road, another trail--this point is also site of the major Lenni Lenape camp of the region--and then I'd go the same distance north on Germantown Avenue.
I live at another Lenni Lenape camp site where Roosevelt Boulevard crosses over Tacony Creek.]
[Windows Local Live was working just fine when I started composing this post, but isn't showing the images now. Hopefully this is just a temporary glitch.]
Thesis Semester [blog] 25 years ago
There's now a picture of Dave and Jean K. at (the far right) of mpc/15/1498.htm. I took the picture while we were in MoMA's Sculpture Garden, Spring Break 1977. After that some of us went to Wittenborn Art Books, and I bought several back issues of A+U. Hal Guida told me about Wittenborn after I told him a bunch of us were going to New York City for Spring Break.
On the contents page of Art in America February 2006 is listed:
Back for One Night Only!
Marina Abramovic recently reenacted classic pieces of performance art. --[page] 90
It's nice to see Charles Loomis Chariss McAfee Architects among the finalists of Urban Voids: Grounds for Change. I haven't had dinner at their place in over three years, but it's still interesting that they focused on the quondam streams of Philadelphia while I advocated the quondam "Indian" trails, among other things. --link: wqc/34/3322.htm
Thesis Semester [blog] 25 years ago
I'm still in kind of in shock over the fact that my mother owns a piece of one of the oldest white man settlements of Pennsylvania, and that the men who ultimately became the first three presidents of the United States had actually been there. Did they visit the place because of its historical significance? I mean, how often does one get the chance to visit a 17th century Swedish fort in North America? "Even Edward VII may have stopped overnight on his visits to Philadelphia while he was Prince of Wales, for the Fishers were Loyalists to the Crown. Benjamin Franklin was also a special guest." But it's thinking about the original Swedes that manifests the most 'chills and thrills'. Since I'm now very familiar with the site, I'm pretty sure I know why it was chosen, and trying to imagine living at the fort is not all that difficult--at least I personally know what it's like to see a herd of deer there, or the footprints some of them left in my mother's front garden after they eat her flowers.
Most of the information (so far) about Ury House comes from Fox Chase: 300 Years of Memories by Johanna Frueh Gaupp, 1976, and there is also good informaton about the early Swedish colony and Ury House in Architecture in Philadelphia: A Guide by Edward Teitelman and Richard W. Longstreth, 1974.
"But the settlement of the Delaware Valley had begun over forty years previously [i.e., before William Penn] with the founding of a Swedish trading post at Fort Christina (now Wilmington, Delaware) in 1638. Five years later Governor Johan Printz established a post further up the Delaware at Tinicum, just below the southwest border of present-day Philadelphia [--the Swedish fort at Pennypack Creek, Ury House, is right on a northwestern border of present-day Philadelphia]. Other concentrations of settlers began to form at Upland (now Chester) and Kingsessing, and, although Swedish rule ended in 1655, the people remained and continued to thrive, extending over a fair portion of the region."
Nowadays, on a typical Saturday evening, I leave my home in a 17th century Lenni-Lenape camp and head toward a 17th century Swedish fort for dinner. For most of the way I follow the path of Tacony Creek and then one of its tributaries until I reach the ancient trail that is now Oxford Avenue, and then go a little further on Pine Road until I reach the fort. After dinner, I take my brother for a ride, part of which takes us through Bryn Athyn whose 'center', the Academy of the New Church, is what I call "a little Land of Reenactment"--Mitchill/Giurgola Architects designed the Campus Plan, and the Administration Building and Men's Dormitory in 1962-63.
This part weekend it was my thinking about the position of the Academy of the New Church Administration Building along Huntington Pike, which is the northern extension of Oxford Avenue, that got me to read Fox Chase: 300 Years of History on Sunday night. Saturday morning I was reading some of Chistian Norberg-Schulz's "The Genius Loci of Rome" in Architectural Design Profiles 20: Roma Interrotta.
My parents moved to Fox Chase mid-May 1981, a couple of weeks after my thesis jury. I never particularly liked where my parents moved because of the undeniable bland design of the 1970s housing development. Now, suddenly, there is even a reason for me to consider becoming a real architect again.
"Ury House: Perhaps one of the oldest surviving structures in the city. It is now wrapped in a Regency "Grecian Villa" somewhat reminiscent of the residential commissions of John Haviland."
Archiencters and their material posessions
Part of a Lenni-Lenape camp site, and, by proxy, part of a seventeenth century Swedish fort site (which is where I'm headed right now) where there was once a peach tree grove, and during the 1980s and 1990s there was again a small peach tree grove--I've cut down over a dozen peach trees in my life, after they stopped bringing enough peaches, that is. There were a few peach trees at the Lenni-Lenape camp site as well.
Plus my eBay account and Anonymous Saint in Bikini Whie Jesus is Walking on Water and No Doubt the Artist Suffered as Well.
Any archinecters from Philadelphia?
The first virtual museum of architecture online started from a rowhouse basement in Philadelphia's neighborhood of Olney on 21 November 1996. Another Philly First, like ENIAC--there was a time, almost 20 years ago now, when I used to occasionally DSC (disk save and compress) a VAX in the building where ENIAC was.
I found out recently that I started living in the rowhouse where the first virtual museum of architecture began on 21 November 1958. I stopped living there 18 October 2006, and the last time I was there was 18 December 2006, a couple hours before I handed over the keys to the new owner, a Haitian man from New York City. In early 2002 I found out that place was once in the midst of a Lenni Lenape camp site, and sacred burial grounds if the vibes I picked up there all those years are true.
The first virtual museum of architecture online still emanates from Philadelphia, now from a twin home on the site of a 1645 fortified Swedish settlement. At the turn of the 19th century this place was the country estate of Miers Fisher, a prominent lawyer you did interesting things like collect rent from President Washington when Philadelphia was Capital of the United States, and act as agent for John James Audubon's father. By the early 20th century this place was the old family home of the man that "built" the first railroads of Japan.
What I've grown to like most about Philadelphia is that the place is so quondam.
...and speaking of random tangents
Miers Fisher's Ury journals (1804-1819) are voluminous. Quite overwhelming. I might go blind. But, if you want to know what direction the wind was blowing where I live on any given day two hundred years ago, I can now tell you. We're at a high point here, 200 to 220 feet up. I have a feeling the winds are blowing the same way again.
1804, some day in January: "Killed 12 stags." I told you there're lots of deer around here, still.
Miers' last year at Ury, 1818, was fairly equally split between living at Ury and living in the City--108 Arch Street--back and forth very often. I'm pretty sure I know the route he took; I take it pretty often myself now. I love 'Indian' trails.
23 Dec 1818 "Left for Ury." 30 Dec 1818 "headed back the City."
Miers' last Christmas was spent at Ury, and he never made it back. He died mid-March 1819 at Arch Street, and kept his journal until his antepenult day.
Did you ever wonder why the even house numbers are on one side of the street and the odd house numbers are on the other side of the street? Well, as far as Philadelphia is concerned, it's because Miers Fisher made the suggestion while he was on the Common [City] Council 1789-1791. So 108 Arch Street in on the south side of the street and was back then between 5th and 6th Streets. That's right on axis with Independence Hall, and if the house were still there today, it would be right across the street from the U.S. Constitution Center. Location, location, location.
Held a letter in my hands today that was written in New Harmony, 11 August 1826. Helen Gregoroffsky Fisher had remarkably nice penmanship, as remarkable as her command of the English language. She was quickly responding to Redwood Fisher's letter that she received the day before. Held several of Redwood's letters in my hands today too. Specifically his supercargo letters--from Batavia, from Isle of France, from Cape of Good Hope.
I wonder if Miers Fisher ever though his journals would return to their location of origin.
Look what else I found in the Way Back Machine. How quondam can you get?