Wow. This really caught us flat-footed. The relative size of the Mediterranean Sea and Baltic Sea when superimposed over a map of North America, placing names over familiar locations, covers nearly the entire continent. Why did this surprise us? The answer lies in our subconscious.
Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator, in 1569, designed maps to assist in navigation for European sailors by enlarging the poles to create straight lines across the oceans. This dramatically distorts the relative size of the nations and continents as they approach the poles.
Even though we may all know that Greenland and Africa are not the same sizes, the Mercator Projection has created a Euro-centric geographical bias that many argue devalues the third world since we are conditioned to think that bigger is better.
When I saw that Architectural Digest was doing a piece entitled “The Most Beautiful Public High School in Every State in America”, I was anxious to see if it would be one with which I am familiar. Buffalo is internationally renowned for its 19th and 20th Century architecture but I didn’t have any expectations of seeing a Buffalo school chosen, so this came as a pleasant surprise for a few reasons.
First, when I think of Buffalo’s treasures, public high schools don’t jump out me.When I think of the wonderful architecture we have in Buffalo, I can visualize the H.H. Richardson complex with its soaring Romanesque spires, the sprawling green spaces of Olmstead’s parks system. I can see the view from the top of the city’s art deco centerpiece, City Hall. While living downtown, I would loiter in Sullivan’s Guaranty Building and Burnham’s Ellicott Square and try to act nonchalant while photographing the country’s earliest “skyscrapers”, built in the time when America was deciding what it was going to be; how it would look.
The level of detail was said to have be born from Sullivan’s proclamation that “must be every inch a proud and soaring thing.” – Doorknob from the Guaranty Building
Exterior arch on Adler and Sullivan’s Guaranty Building – Buffalo, NY
Ornate lobby looking out. The marble has the color of pink lemonade and was quarried in Tennessee – Adler and Sullivan’s Guaranty Building – Buffalo, NY
Exterior carved terra cotta details on Adler and Sullivan’s Guaranty Building – Buffalo, NY
Hallways adorned with rich woods, pink marble and countless pieces of stained glass – The Guaranty Building – Buffalo, NY
While FLW’s Buffalo body of work garners the majority of the attention, the 1895 Guaranty Building is a bit of better-kept secret. Consider one of the first skyscrapers, every inch of the building is adorned with elaborate filigree, plaster, art glass and arresting featuers that has left me struggling for air.
Originally, the Taylor Building, the entrance is emblazoned with the building’s second name which was given to it while still being constructed – The Guaranty Building – Buffalo, NY
While FLW’s Buffalo body of work garners the majority of the attention, the 1895 Guaranty Building built by Adler and Sullivan is a better-kept secret. Considered one of the first skyscrapers, every inch of the building is adorned with elaborate filigree, carved terra cotta blocks, and art glass amaze mask what was sophisticated construction for its time.
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town, designed by Thomas Heatherwick will open to the public next week. The structure served the better part of a century as both a grain elevator and Africa’s tallest building upriver of the pyramids and it has been reincarnated as the first major contemporary art museum in Africa dedicated to African art.
While cities like Montreal, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo struggle to figure out what to do with these massive and obsolete buildings, Heatherwick has architected a beautiful and environmentally conscious option (aside from a rock wall or a light show).
Charlie Hankin is renaissance man: artist, comedic writer, animator, painter, who knows how to lay down the funny. As evidenced in his New Yorker cartoons, which are arguably some of the best they have ever printed. Check out his work.
Besides the obvious? The American space scientist and discoverer of the Earth’s magnetosphere, the Cuban revolutionary come communist dictator, the legendary movie Star often called the most beautiful woman to have ever lived and the last man to ever hit .400, World War II hero and frozen-head friend of Futurama, The Splendid Splinter himself, all share a unique and suprising distinction …
… their obituaries were all penned by authors who were dead long before they were.