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Monthly Archives: October 2019

architects pet rescue

Architects for Animals Is a Great Cause

Why would feral cats need architects? LA’s top architects and designers were asked to build a unique, one-of-a-kind outdoor shelter or dwelling that is functional to outdoor or feral cats. These original dwellings were then displayed at the “Giving Shelter” gala event, held at the HermanMiller showroom in Culver City. All proceeds benefit FixNation, a non-profit based in Los Angeles that provides free spay/neuter services for stray, homeless, and feral cats.

Today’s families, as well as single individuals, take animal homelessness very seriously. On any given weekend or holiday, there are fundraisers and promotions to get homeless animals into their fur-ever homes.

But what about feral cats? Let’s define these felines: a feral cat is one who is born in the wild or outdoors and has little to no human interaction. Due to their lack of socialization, they are scared of humans and will lash out. There is a period of time (usually when the kitten is three to eight weeks old) that if exposed to humans, can be socialized and adopted out. The ones who aren’t socialized are feral and live outdoors, but they still need dwellings and protection from the elements. 

Some of the architectural design firms that were asked to participate in this year’s sold-out gala included: Abramson Teiger Architects, 3Darchitecture, HOK, Morphosis/Xtech, Perkins & Will, Stantec (fka) RNL, RDC, Standard Architecture and Design, Tracy A. Stone, Word Design & Architecture, among others. These architects created functional designs that the cats would love and use. 

Also on display at this gala event were cat food bowls that were decorated by animal-loving celebrities such as William Shatner, Morgan Fairchild, Jason Momoa, Clint Eastwood, and Charlize Theron. 

FixNation’s co-founder Karn Myers was pleased with the creativity as well as the level of practical application in the designs. FixNation is a very successful model and example for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for humane feral cat colony management programs globally.  Myers and her late husband Mark Dodge, founded FixNation in 2007 as an effective and compassionate alternative to mass euthanasia. 

Look for their gala event next year!

From the ADG Jobsite

Sculpture for Malibu home in collaboration with Cami Forte…

Adg Job Site Oct 2019

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

NEW YORK CITY, November 19, 2013: Woolworth Building, New York C

The Woolworth Building, New York

For those of us who remember Woolworth’s, the five-and-dime store, it was a wonderful interactive experience. It was a place where you could get creepers, those parakeets that couldn’t fly and were inexpensive enough for kids to be able to purchase and have as a pet. You could get 45 vinyl singles affordably, if you were okay with the record having a hole on the top of the center, as it didn’t affect the sound quality. Best of all was the lunch counter and the food. Woolworth’s was a place where memories were made.

The Woolworth Building was originally deemed the headquarters for Woolworth’s retail stores, even though F.W. Woolworth had been operating without a headquarters for many years with stores all over the world. The site for the building was originally purchased by F.W. Woolworth on April 15th, 1910, for the price of $1.65 million. There weren’t any loans taken out or any type of financing done.

The Woolworth Building, located at 233 Broadway in New York, was once hailed as the tallest building in the world, with its impressive 60 stories measuring 792 feet above street level. The construction of the building took place between 1910 and 1912 and cost $13.5 million. Since F. W. Woolworth paid cash, he had a say in the style in which it was to be built, so he was noted as the developer on record. The architect was Cass Gilbert, who was an early supporter of skyscrapers. The Woolworth Building was constructed in neo-Gothic style, complete with a steel frame structure and stunning sculptures, mosaics, and veined marble brought in from Greece.

On November 13th, 1966, the building was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Today, the very top 30 floors of the Woolworth Building houses the most luxurious condominiums ever to grace New York City.  

While many today may never have had the opportunity to visit the iconic store, for those who have, their memories of Woolworth’s probably include lunch at the counter.



Mark Twain

If The Mark Twain House Could Talk

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain (November 30,1835 – April 21, 1910) was a prolific American writer. He wrote classics such as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” His writing style always contained his cleverly wicked sense of humor, and his stories were fodder for social commentary.

Twain’s home, now showcasing as a museum, is named as one of the 10 Best Historic Homes in the World and is also on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It also offers tours to the public. 

Twain’s personal adventure began after his father died unexpectedly. At age 11, Twain became a printer’s apprentice, and shortly after that he began contributing articles for the Hannibal Journal. In 1859, he became a river pilot on the Mississippi River and continued until the onset of the American Civil War in 1861. He joined the Marion Rangers, a Confederate militia. He left after the Marion Rangers disbanded. He travelled with his brother and ended up in Virginia City, Nevada, where he worked as a miner, then soon became a writer for the Virginia City newspaper.

On November 18, 1865, a story written by Twain based on something he had overheard about a jumping frog got published in the Saturday Press in New York, and was a big hit with the readers! It was entitled, ”The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

In his book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Huck Finn is based on a boy named Tom Blankenship who Twain knew growing up in Hannibal. The book was banned by the public library in Concord, Massachusetts over its language and low morals. Many called the book racist and removed it from school reading lists.

In 1891, Twain closed up his house, which he and his family had lived in since 1874. This house was designed by architect Edward Tuckerman Potter and built in the Victoria Gothic style. While living in this house, Twain wrote, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” “A Tramp Abroad,” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.

Although Mark Twain doesn’t have any living direct descendants, the house located on 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut is very much alive and thriving in his memory.

From the ADG Jobsite

One of our favorite chandelier projects from New York…


by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

Capitol Records Los Angeles Historic Landmark

Capitol Records Building Remains a Star

It has been scientifically proven that music has a profound effect on the brain. Many of us non-scientific types just feel music is magic. Listening to an old song can bring up so many memories or transport you to an exact location, and even go as far as inviting who you were with for the full experience. That is the majesty of music, so it should come as no surprise that the Capitol Records Building would be among our choices for this list.

The Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower, is located at 1750 Vine Street in Los Angeles. It is right smack in the middle of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It can be seen from the ever so famous corner of Hollywood and Vine.

The building was based on the designs using the graduate school drawings of Louis Naidorf of Welton Becket Associates. In 1955, the British company EMI purchased Capitol Records, and soon thereafter the construction began. The Capitol Records Building was completely constructed in 1956.

The Googie-style building was designed to resemble a stack of records, standing 13 stories high. Located approximately 30 feet underground, there are echo chambers, which were designed by the legendary guitarist Les Paul.

The building also has a rooftop spire that looks like a record needle from an old school phonograph, and on top of that needle is a red light that blinks continuously the word “Hollywood” in Morse code. Leila Morse, the granddaughter of Samuel Morse, had the honors of originally flipping on the switch. 

Capitol Records was founded in 1942 by Johnny Mercer. Just about every legendary musical artist recorded their music in the studio inside the Capitol Records Building, with Frank Sinatra being the first. On the south wall of the building, there is a mural titled “Hollywood Jazz: 1945-1972” by artist Richard Wyatt. On every Christmas since 1958, there has been a Christmas tree on top of the building.

On November 15th 2006, the building was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.  

All the musical artists involved in the creation of this iconic building have passed on, but one can’t help wonder if perhaps posthumously they still run the place. 

From the Factory Floor

Our artisans hard at work …

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG

Los Angeles Sherman Yang CLaEwNoIHyg Unsplash

Famous Los Angeles Architectural Landmarks

It seems that Los Angeles, California has the magic ability to bring fame, even if the person, place or thing has been in hibernation for a few lifetimes. The line starts at the left for the most iconic landmarks in Los Angeles that have made it to stardom.

Since we are talking stars, why not start with the Griffith Observatory? This star-gazing venue is 80 years young and built on land donated by Griffith J. Griffith, who also donated the park that surrounds the observatory. The architects who designed the Griffith Observatory were John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley. Austin also designed Los Angeles City Hall and the Shrine Auditorium. The Griffith Observatory has appeared in several films, including “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” just to name a few.

Another Los Angeles landmark worth mentioning is the Watts Towers, also high up on the star meter. It was originally built by one uneducated laborer, Sobato Rodia, born in a tiny village of Ribottoli in Italy. In 1921 with his brother’s help he bought a small lot at 1765 E. 107th Street. 

Every day after he got off work, he would look for material to build his obsession. He lost his job, but kept building, despite the fact he didn’t have any permits or plans. His wife is buried underneath the tallest tower. The Watts Towers withstood earthquakes, and even after much of the neighborhood was destroyed in the Watts Riots of 1965, they stood strong and unharmed. Most of all, their fame is for being a symbol of pride for the underdog and a source of inspiration for the world. 

The Watts Towers have appeared on numerous album covers, and Rodia himself appeared on the cover of the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Watts Towers are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rodia died one month before the Watts Riots erupted.

From the Design Studio

“Working it Up!”

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting