Archive for the ‘Restoration’ Category

Mies’ Lake Shore Drive Apartments being restored

10/30/2008

I’ve written a lot about the restoration going on at 860-880 Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe. It’s time to start showing some pictures of the buildings that look better than they have in years. Here’s one of the new plaza being laid down.


I’ll try to post more photos over the next few days, culminating in a spectacular shot of the two buildings, taken from Olive Park, across the water, showing just how crisp and jet black the new paint job looks. The two buildings really pop out now, as they should. After these two zen-like high-rises, the rest is background.

Big thanks to Marc Boxerman for the photos.
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Mies’ Lake Shore Drive Apartments being restored

10/30/2008

I’ve written a lot about the restoration going on at 860-880 Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe. It’s time to start showing some pictures of the buildings that look better than they have in years. Here’s one of the new plaza being laid down.


I’ll try to post more photos over the next few days, culminating in a spectacular shot of the two buildings, taken from Olive Park, across the water, showing just how crisp and jet black the new paint job looks. The two buildings really pop out now, as they should. After these two zen-like high-rises, the rest is background.

Big thanks to Marc Boxerman for the photos.
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Fall at the Farnsworth

10/15/2008




Plan your visit now. 20 – 100 bucks for “Special post-flood” Farnsworth House access. Money raised goes to support the restoration. A lot needs to happen before winter!

It’s lovely in fall, isn’t it? The season and the house remind us that our time on earth is a passage from one state to another. Red, yellow and golden autumn-colored leaves heighten the white of the steel, ceiling and travertine stone, and give it a sheen. As the leaves fall off the branches and alight on the ground, the skeletons of nature and the house become more apparent.
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Fixing the Farnsworth after the Flood

10/03/2008

Now that it’s dry, the real work begins.


And the Farnsworth House team is blogging it.

(Careful on those travertine steps! )

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UPDATE:

The Site Manager of the Farnsworth House will offer special tours Wednesdays at 1 pm, at least through October 2008. $100 donation.

On the weekends, for a donation of $50, there will be special docent-led tours. Visitors will experience an expanded standard tour with views of the flood-damaged property and learn about our current restoration efforts.

Help Save the Farnsworth House by Donating Today


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12/15/2007

Mies and the National Gallery of Art in Washington

Tyler breaks the story that the National Gallery of Art seeks to expand into the nearby Federal Trade Commission headquarters.
That’s great, I hope it happens. The NGA needs more room and adding a public building to the mall would enliven the area. Since 9-11 and the new security measures around DC buildings, and more restricted access, the mall is less animated than it had been, near the government bureau buildings.

But did Tyler forget his own terrific idea?

Use Mies’ Martin Luther King library (4 blocks away) as a wing of the National Gallery in which to show contemporary art.


Tyler says contemporary, I say modern and contemporary, but wouldn’t it be great to see art in there?

The DC building needs to be saved, and restored. If not as a library, then why not a gallery? And I know who should do the restoration work.

08/03/2007

Mies’ window frames

Coming soon, the scoop on what we’ll do to these window frames.

08/01/2007

Back to Black
at Mies van der Rohe’s Lake Shore Drive Apartments

The first photo of a newly repainted portion of 880 Lake Shore Drive. Looking good. Now you see why I was so enthused about painting it.
We now see how very grey and faded the buildings are.



Below is the other sample, a more matte black, on the bottom left. To the left of the glossy black.


The original black paint went on glossy, but quickly faded. So if the center sample here faded quickly it might be allright. Or something in between. But the restoration architects are leaning towards the sample on the left.

Imagine how gorgeous it will be when the entire tower is painted.

As is Crown Hall after its recent renovation. We’re lucky to be living in modern times.

-E

07/25/2007

How do you think Mies’ 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments should look?

We’re stripping the paint to see the condition of the steel and aluminum underneath, and to determine how best to repaint.


Testing various stripping agents on the window frames and the black steel.


A few frames are being stripped to the base metal, to see how Mies originally had them. That hasn’t been seen since about 1960, when they were painted. Unpainted, they didn’t hold up well.


At ground level and just above we’ll strip all the paint and start over. That should look great.
Above what’s called “the storefront”, we’ll probably paint over the existing paint this time, on the black and the aluminum. Because in five to ten years we’ll need to replace our window seals, which means we’ll need to repaint again.

Even though the aluminum is not in bad shape, I’d think about manufacturing and installing new window frames. Crisp, galvanized aluminum window frames that would look more like the originals and contrast beautifully with the black steel; and most important, new frames could be designed to support glass that is far more efficient than the single pane glass we have now.

Hypothethically, we could go to high-efficiency and double paned glass with an air space between them. That would save energy, lower heating and cooling bills, make the place more comfortable, and lower wear and tear on the building – especially during summer sunrises when the east side heats up and the west side can be cool.

Of course from the outside the glass would have to have exactly the same appearance as the original glass. The same reflection and the same transparency.

But that may be possible. Glass technology has come a long way since our windows were designed and installed more than fifty years ago.


-E

02/24/2007

We will restore Mies’ 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments!

The finest, most poetic, most philosophical and aesthetically thrilling high-rise in the land.


I told you about the restoration plans here.

Now the board of trustees has passed the 7+ million dollar capital improvement plan. Thanks to Marc Boxerman, a trustee, and Don Hunt, a trustee, for their good work, and the others too.

Next we must choose the right restoration architect(s). Krueck and Sexton (scroll down) / Gunny Harboe? John Vinci?

And I’m a little sad that they’ll probably have to rip up the travertine in the lobbies. To get at leaky pipes underneath. That’s the original travertine and it feels it. Replacement is never the same. Stone, with its graining and the way it wears, gives off an energy doesn’t it? It tells a tale (and travertine knows stories all the way back to ancient Rome.) Our lobby feels more authentic than does, for example, the reconstruction of Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion.

But the travertine on the south porch of Crown Hall was redone and it feels and looks good, the Farnsworth House has been heavily restored after floods, and it feels and looks good; so it can be done, if the right person is doing it, with care. That here is our next charge.

And I’m excited to move forward with this.
-Edward

02/24/2007

We will restore Mies’ 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments!

The finest, most poetic, most philosophical and aesthetically thrilling high-rise in the land.


I told you about the restoration plans here.

Now the board of trustees has passed the 7+ million dollar capital improvement plan. Thanks to Marc Boxerman, a trustee, and Don Hunt, a trustee, for their good work, and the others too.

Next we must choose the right restoration architect(s). Krueck and Sexton (scroll down) / Gunny Harboe? John Vinci?

And I’m a little sad that they’ll probably have to rip up the travertine in the lobbies. To get at leaky pipes underneath. That’s the original travertine and it feels it. Replacement is never the same. Stone, with its graining and the way it wears, gives off an energy doesn’t it? It tells a tale (and travertine knows stories all the way back to ancient Rome.) Our lobby feels more authentic than does, for example, the reconstruction of Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion.

But the travertine on the south porch of Crown Hall was redone and it feels and looks good, the Farnsworth House has been heavily restored after floods, and it feels and looks good; so it can be done, if the right person is doing it, with care. That here is our next charge.

And I’m excited to move forward with this.
-Edward