Archives for posts with tag: architecture

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“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” JACK KEROUAC, On the Road

Photo: Sunset Magazine, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Renowned diarist Anais Nin — the muse of Henry Miller and many others — lived in Silverlake (Los Angeles) from the early 1960s until her death in 1977 at age 73. Her beautiful home, located at 2335 Hidalgo, was designed by Eric Lloyd Wright (Frank’s grandson), the half-brother of Rupert Pole, Nin’s then-husband. Nin led a complicated personal life that included bicoastal husbands (Hugh Guiler in New York and Rupert Pole in California). She eventually had her marriage to Pole annulled, but continued to live with him in the gorgeous house he had built just for her.

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From REFLECTIONS by Henry Miller (Capra Press, 1981): With Anais I felt safe, secure. She delighted in keeping things running smoothly so I could write. She was really a true guardian angel, supportive and enthusiastic about my writing at a time when I needed it most. She was generous too. Kept me going with little gifts — pocket money, cigarettes, food, and so on. She sang my praises to the world long before I’d become regarded as a writer. In fact, it was Anais who paid for the first printing of Tropic of Cancer. For these reasons I feel utterly grateful to her. It’s rare to find a friend, a confidante, a colleague, a helpmate, and a lover, all in the same person. 

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“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” JACK KEROUAC, On the Road

Photo: Sunset MagazineALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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May 27, 2012 marked the 75th anniversary of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Renowned the world over as a masterpiece of art and engineering, the Golden Gate ushers 120,000 cars to their destinations each day.

In a 1987 newspaper column, journalist Herb Caen described the Golden Gate this way: “The mystical structure, with its perfect amalgam of delicacy and power, exerts an uncanny effect. Its efficiency cannot conceal the artistry. There is heart there, and soul. It is an object to be contemplated for hours.” 

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Anais Nin lived in Silverlake (Los Angeles) from the early 1960s until her death in 1977 at age 73. The beautiful home, located at 2335 Hidalgo, was designed by Eric Lloyd Wright (Frank’s grandson), who was the half-brother of Rupert Pole, Nin’s then-husband. Nin led a complicated personal life that included bicoastal husbands (Hugh Guiler in New York and Rupert Pole in California). She eventually had her marriage to Pole annulled, but continued to live with him in the gorgeous house he had built just for her.

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During my childhood summers, I’d spend time with my aunt and uncle in St. Louis. My aunt liked to take long walks, and we often journeyed from her home in south St. Louis on foot, down Route 66 to a shopping center called Maplewood. Along the way, we passed the Coral Court Motel, which even as a child struck me as amazing. I have since learned that the buildings (the motel was made up of individual glazed brick cabins) were examples of art deco and streamline moderne architecture.

The Coral Court Motel operated from 1942-1993, and was razed in 1995 for a housing development — despite many attempts for designation as a historic landmark. All that remains is a website dedicated to preserving memories of the place. It boasts: “For mystery, intrigue, and sheer tawdriness, you can’t beat the Coral Court.”

Shellee Graham has written a fascinating book about the motel called Tales from the Coral Court: Photos and Stories from a Lost Route 66 Landmark. Find the book here. While I don’t own the book, I have borrowed it from the library a few times and have enjoyed it immensely — cultural history, architecture, geography, social studies, and soap opera all in one photo-filled book.