Viva FIESTA!

May 6, 2017 Intangible Heritage, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (0) 62

This year marked both my first rodeo and my first Fiesta, which is San Antonio’s 126-year old celebration of the Battle of San Jacinto.  The greatest party during the 10-day Fiesta is the San Antonio Conservation Society’s A Night In Old San Antonio®, which runs four consecutive nights.

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Alamo Plaza: Design and Program

April 16, 2017 Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (0) 166

The Alamo Plaza Reimagined team released a video with images of the proposed redesign of Alamo Plaza this week.  The reaction has been a mix of concerns, but most seem focused on the large, vacant plaza surrounded by glass walls.

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Passive Aggressive

April 5, 2017 Economics, Sustainability, Vision and Style Comments (1) 270

Passive Aggressive behavior is a terrible character failing.  It is a sign of immaturity or stunted development.  I know something of this and work to avoid it.

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Latest Issues in San Antonio

March 10, 2017 History, Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (3) 486

Things have been busy at the San Antonio Conservation Society, not only because our major fundraiser Night In Old San Antonio® is coming up next month, but because it is Spring already and a host of development and legislative issues are heating up.

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Augmented Reality Arrives

February 12, 2017 History, Technology, Vision and Style Comments (0) 254

Six months ago I wrote another blog about Authenticity and Technology (view here).  Part of my impulse was reading Colin Ellard and part was the threat to Alamo Plaza from those who think it should look only like 1836.

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Frank Lloyd Wright buildings I toured last year

January 8, 2017 Blog, California, Chicago Buildings, Vision and Style Comments (3) 1153

I have had the good fortune to serve on the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Board for the last three years, and this has availed me of several opportunities to tour this great architect’s work.

The living room in Robie House, Chicago, shot by my daughter Felicity.

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Conservation Forensics

December 18, 2016 Blog, Chicago Buildings, Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (3) 793

Heritage conservation is forensic – that doesn’t just mean “crime scene,” it means an argument based on evidence. Continue Reading

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Japan Ancient and Modern

October 17, 2016 Global Heritage, Interpretation, Vision and Style Comments (0) 269

There is a wonderful aesthetic unique to Japan.  It is spare and austere. Like some modern architecture, there is a reduction that forces you to focus. Continue Reading

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Alfred Giles, Architect

August 5, 2016 House Museums, Vision and Style Comments (0) 365

Alfred Giles emigrated to America in the 1870s after studying architecture in his native England.  Moving to San Antonio from New York in 1875, he became one of the most prolific and important architects in San Antonio.  In 1875 he designed the stunning Second Empire Steves Homestead in the King William District, which is open daily for tours. Continue Reading

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Places of the Heart Part 1

July 8, 2016 Interpretation, Technology, Vision and Style Comments (0) 249

Where are the people?  Why don’t they flock here?

I just read Colin Ellard’s Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life because I saw a reference to his studies, which measure how buildings and landscapes affect our bodies and minds, our thoughts and emotions.  He famously tracked persons’ stress levels as they encountered blank and forbidding urban scenes versus human-scaled and interesting ones.  Blank and forbidding facades increase cortisol and stress.  Varied and humane ones trigger dopamine. Continue Reading

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