Alamo Plaza: Design and Program

April 16, 2017 Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (0) 71

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.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Passive Aggressive

April 5, 2017 Economics, Sustainability, Vision and Style Comments (1) 219

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.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Latest Issues in San Antonio

March 10, 2017 History, Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (3) 418

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.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Augmented Reality Arrives

February 12, 2017 History, Technology, Vision and Style Comments (0) 224

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.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Frank Lloyd Wright buildings I toured last year

January 8, 2017 Blog, California, Chicago Buildings, Vision and Style Comments (3) 1059

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.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Conservation Forensics

December 18, 2016 Blog, Chicago Buildings, Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (3) 736

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

Continue Reading

Japan Ancient and Modern

October 17, 2016 Global Heritage, Interpretation, Vision and Style Comments (0) 238

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

Continue Reading

Alfred Giles, Architect

August 5, 2016 House Museums, Vision and Style Comments (0) 332

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

Continue Reading

Places of the Heart Part 1

July 8, 2016 Interpretation, Technology, Vision and Style Comments (0) 211

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

Continue Reading

Everything You Know Is Wrong, Part II

February 6, 2016 Blog, History, Sustainability, Technology, Vision and Style Comments (0) 121

Who doesn’t adore their own adolescent brain?

Eight years ago I wrote a blog with this title, to remind us that we often think our way past reality.   Despite our ongoing technological revolution the human mind still has a series of fallback postures that fail to perceive reality but instead distort it – simplify it, really – to make it fit into categories more satisfying to our adolescent brains. Continue Reading

Continue Reading