San Jose / San Francisco Victorian Themed Tour – Day 3

We slept in and walked through Union Square to meet with the group for lunch. It was so crowded on Independence Day.
Neiman Marcus
The department store, designed by Architect Philip Johnson, houses the beautiful rotunda from the original City of Paris Building (http://noehill.com/sf/landmarks/nat1975000471.asp). This article (http://blog.sfgate.com/thebigevent/2011/10/06/remembering-the-city-of-paris-department-store-photos/#photo-31891) features photos of the City of Paris. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the top floor, right under the rotunda.
20150704_132355_Android20150704_132335_Android
We were there mainly for the “High Style: The Brooklyn Costume Collection” exhibit. I don’t know much about fashion design and its history, but the princess in me was excited to see gowns, shoes, and jewelry. I was particularly moved when I entered the Charles James section. His approach to fashion design was “architectural”. And his sketches really spoke to me.
Ball Gown, 1949-50 (image from The Metropolitan Museum of Art website)
We drove by this beautiful landmark. I have seen the structure in photos many time, but was still impressed seeing it in person. Next time I come to San Francisco, I will make an effort to actual walk around the ground. I would also like to check out the Walt Disney Family Museum nearby.
Since it was Independence Day, nothing was scheduled for the evening. We gather at the penthouse suite of the hotel and enjoyed a view of city with fireworks.
20150704_204442_Android

San Jose / San Francisco Victorian Themed Tour – Day 1

After meeting everyone in the group at dinner the night before and a good night sleep, we officially started our excited tour.
I can only describe 38 years (1884 – 1922) of non-stopping construction as ‘crazy’! A humble farm house turned into a mansion of approximately 24,000 square feet of living space. As a trained draftsperson, being in the house was a little uncomfortable. There was no logic to the design. However, I enjoyed learning about history and witness the craftsmanship of a century ago. Back then, this house was ahead of its time with plumbing and electricity. The number 13 and the spider web motif were used throughout.

20150702_103354_Android

DSC00633

Most of the people don’t know this charming little town was the State Capital of California for a short time. We spent some time at the capital building and learned a little bit about the history.

DSC00636

DSC00642

DSC00645

DSC00647

Led by Paul Duchscherer, we were shown part of the printing process. This changed what I thought about wallpaper.

DSC00668

DSC00674

DSC00682

Opened in 1915 and revamped by Phillippe Starck. The legendary Art Deco style Redwood Room is paneled with wood from a single redwood tree. Check out this blog article for some vintage images of the Redwood Room.

San Jose / San Francisco Victorian Themed Tour with Eleanor Schrader

This 4th of July weekend, I joined the San Jose / San Francisco Victorian Themed Architecture Tour organized and led by award-winning historian Eleanor Schrader. I became a fan of Eleanor’s since the first time I met her. (Read about my first tour with Eleanor HERE.) I was so happy that I could fit the San Jose / San Francisco in my schedule.
Over 4 nights and 4 days, we visited many landmarks and indulged in art, culture and history. San Francisco and the surrounding areas have so much to be explored. Upon returning home, I just had to do my own research on places we visited.  Please click on the links below to read about my experience:
Unexpectedly, the best part of the trip was the people. We all joined the trip because of our interest in design and history.  I couldn’t have asked for a better group to travel with. Everyone was so inspiring and full of life. Over the four days together, we became good friends.
20150703_160832_Android
Links:
Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers: http://www.bradbury.com/
Eleanor Schrader: http://eleanorschrader.com/
Ghirardelli Square: http://www.ghirardellisq.com/
Palace of the Fine Arts: http://palaceoffinearts.org/
Winchester Mystery House: http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/

Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park

On February 14, 2015, I visited Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright at Barnsdall Art Park as part of its celebration of reopening after years of restoration work. For one night only, the admission was waived and photographs were allowed.

IMG_8515

IMG_8538

IMG_8520

Just got in line.

It was 9 a.m. when I got there. It was a beautiful clear day! After waiting for a little over an hour, I made it to the entry.

IMG_8530

Getting closer.

IMG_8541

Almost there!

IMG_8548

IMG_8554

Built between 1919 and 1921, Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first project in Los Angeles commissioned by Aline Barnsdall.

The Dining Room was on the left immediately after the Entry. And the Kitchen is beyond the Dining Room.

IMG_8558

Hollyhock House

Dining Room

On the other side of the Entry is the Music Room.IMG_8564

IMG_8563

IMG_8574

The hallway has low ceiling and opens to the Courtyard. IMG_8585IMG_8587

IMG_8583

The focal point of the Living Room is of course the fireplace. The custom carpet was interesting.

IMG_8575

IMG_8577

IMG_8603

IMG_8602

I love books!

Hollyhock House

Library

IMG_8622

The Courtyard and the areas adjacent to it are my personal favorite.

IMG_8606 IMG_8610
IMG_8591 IMG_8588 IMG_8639

IMG_8638

IMG_8562A few photos from the outside of the house.

IMG_8654

IMG_8655

IMG_8658

IMG_8660

Visitors were only allowed in the common areas of the first floor. That was a little disappointing. The parts we were allowed to be in all have low ceilings. Not so comfortable. Maybe that’s the way to keep the line moving.

I am not crazy about the house. It is not my style, and I can feel it tries to control me. (No doubt Frank Lloyd Wright was a control freak.) I do appreciate the attention to details, and brilliant design ideas. It was still very inspiring to see how everything was well thought out.

If you are interested in visiting Hollyhock House yourself, please click HERE.

Click HERE for a photo tour of the entire house.

Los Angeles Central Library

Months before the Downtown Los Angeles Architectural Walking Tour, I had the opportunity to tour the Los Angeles Central Library. This was also an outing with members from Conejo Association of Professional Interior Designers (CAPID).

Selected by flavorwire.com as one of the 25 Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the World, the Los Angeles Central Library was built in 1926 with a new addition finished in 1993.

We started the tour from the “Spine” in front of the library. As you approach the library from the street, the “Spine” take you through the evolution of written communication. The pyramid on top of the library and the overall design of the building demonstrate the heavy influence of the ancient Egyptian culture in the 1920’s.

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryIMG_8206Inside the library, there was a mix of old and new. After the 1986 fire, the library went thought an extensive renovation and expansion. For the purpose of not exceeding the height of the original building, the new 8-story atrium has 4 stories that are below the ground level.

Los Angeles Central Library

 

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central LibraryThe Rotunda is the highlight of the library. The murals illustrate different periods of California. 

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central LibraryLos Angeles Central Library

 

The Children’s Literature section is absolutely beautiful with painted ceilings and murals on the walls. The carpet subtlety depicts characters from the Rotunda murals.

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

 

Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

 

The library does offer guided tours (http://www.lapl.org/central/tours.html). The library also prepared a printable Self-Guided Tour (http://www.lapl.org/central/guidedtour.pdf) for those who are not able to join a guided tour.

Additional Resources:

Los Angeles Public Library: Art & Architecture in Central Library: http://www.lapl.org/branches/central-library/departments/art-architecture-central

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Public_Library

L.A. Conservancy: http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/downtown/library.php

Lalalandlibrary: http://lalalandlibrary.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/4/

Rotanda Murals – KCET Depatures:  http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/landofsunshine/writing-on-the-wall/central-library-murals-are-also-80-years-old.html