Travels

The Wright Houses – Polymath Park

I capped off my weekend Wright trip last April with a stop at Polymath Park, a half-hour drive from Fallingwater. It had snowed the night before and snow still glisten from the tree tops. Driving through the Allegheny Mountains felt like entering upon an enchanted winter wonderland. Little wonder the rich and powerful of Pittsburgh… Continue reading The Wright Houses – Polymath Park

Travels

The Wright Houses – Kentuck Knob

Cushioned into the mountainside of the Chestnut Ridge at 2,050 feet above sea level, Kentuck Knob is barely visible from view. It was one of the last Frank Lloyd Wright houses ever constructed. Wright was 86 when I.N. and Bernardine Hagan, friends of the Kaufmanns, approached him to design for them a luxury Usonian house in 1953… Continue reading The Wright Houses – Kentuck Knob

Travels

The Wright Houses – Fallingwater

When  Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. and his wife Liliane commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 to design a summer house on their sixty-acre woodland retreat in the Allegheny Mountains 70 miles south of Pittsburgh, little did they know the result - Fallingwater - would be an architectural masterpiece, a work of art unlike anything that… Continue reading The Wright Houses – Fallingwater

Travels

Teddy’s Summer White House

Located in the tranquil community of Oyster Bay,  Sagamore Hill was the only house Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909, ever owned. He bought the lands in 1880 at age 22, engaged New York architectural firm of Lamb & Rich to design a house for property in 1884 when… Continue reading Teddy’s Summer White House

Travels

The Fort that Never Was

Nestled on the northern tip of Willets Point, Fort Totten sits directly across the East River from Fort Schuyler (now SUNY Maritime). It was conceived as part of a series of strategic forts blocking maritime access to the island of Manhattan, aimed at preventing a recurrence of the events of the War of 1812 when… Continue reading The Fort that Never Was

Travels

Artist’s Refuge – Noguchi Museum

The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, housed on the grounds of a former gas station and photogravure plant, was designed by Noguchi himself and opened to the public in 1985 on a seasonal basis. Born in 1907, Noguchi's artistic career spanned six decades starting in the early 1920s and continuing until his death in 1988. He… Continue reading Artist’s Refuge – Noguchi Museum

Travels

Detailed Extravagance: The Breakers

Cornelius Vanderbilt II, grandson of the Commodore, purchased in ground in 1885.  In 1892 the  wood-framed house which had stood on the property was destroyed in a fire. In the subsequent year, Vanderbilt commission architect Richard Morris Hunt to create an Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Hunt… Continue reading Detailed Extravagance: The Breakers

Travels

Detailed Extravagance: Marble House

Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 as a summer "cottage" retreat for Alva and William K. Vanderbilt. It was the first of the Gilded Aged mansions that transformed Newport from a relatively lazy summer colony of wooden houses to a high-society resort of opulent stone palaces. Upon completion, the most lavish house in… Continue reading Detailed Extravagance: Marble House

Travels

Detailed Extravagance: Rosecliff

This past September for Labor Day weekend, I finally made a trip to Rhode Island to visit the Newport Mansions built during the Gilded Age and opened to the public by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Rosecliff, also known formerly as the Hermann Oelrichs House or the J. Edgar Monroe House, was built 1898-1902 at a… Continue reading Detailed Extravagance: Rosecliff

Travels

California Dreams (Part IV)

Yosemite National Park is one of the most well-known US national park internationally.  The number of visitors surpassed 5 million in 2016, ranking it as the third most visited national park behind Great Smokey Mountains (11.31 million) and the Grand Canyon (5.79 million). The full list can be found via this link. Surprisingly Yellowstone didn't… Continue reading California Dreams (Part IV)