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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…

Adg

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

route 66 adventure travel

Route 66: Part History, Mostly Romance

To hear someone mention Route 66, your mind automatically goes to a place that starts in Chicago, Illinois, then goes through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before it ends at the corner of Olympic and Lincoln boulevards in Santa Monica, California. 

Route 66 exemplifies Americana at its best, and an era that was somewhere in time. Route 66 covers a total of 2,448 miles in its entirety. Beginning in 1916, the legislation for a public highway started named the Federal Highway Act. Revisions began in 1921 and continued until 1925, when the government created a plan for a national highway to be constructed.

From 1933 to 1938, thousands of unemployed young males from surrounding states were put to work as laborers on road gangs to pave the final stretches of land that needed to be the extended highway. Route 66 helped us mobilize our manpower. 

As time went on, urban culture began to lay down its foundation that would contribute to the mystery and romance of this historical highway. Gas stations, cafes, and small general type stores popped up, providing an attentive audience for the popular highway.

By the end of the war, roadway travel along Route 66 was at its heyday. The roadside architecture represented the region that happened to be in that particular section of the highway. The material used to build the food stands, gas stations and motels included brick, wood, and stucco; many used canopies to cover the seating areas. This all added to the character of the different sections.

As time went on, Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments to extend its usefulness and appeal. Then in 1985, Route 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System. However, some states have adopted significant sections of the former highway into their state road networks. These sections are called Historic Route 66 and are alternate routes, but maintain much of that allure. 

Today you can still see the cocoons of what’s left of roadside motels, gas stations, and tourist-type attractions. If you truly believe, you might see a 1962 Corvette Convertible drive by and disappear into the romance of Route 66.

To hear someone mention Route 66, your mind automatically goes to a place that starts in Chicago, Illinois, then goes through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before it ends at the corner of Olympic and Lincoln boulevards in Santa Monica, California. 

Route 66 exemplifies Americana at its best, and an era that was somewhere in time. Route 66 covers a total of 2,448 miles in its entirety. Beginning in 1916, the legislation for a public highway started named the Federal Highway Act. Revisions began in 1921 and continued until 1925, when the government created a plan for a national highway to be constructed.

From 1933 to 1938, thousands of unemployed young males from surrounding states were put to work as laborers on road gangs to pave the final stretches of land that needed to be the extended highway. Route 66 helped us mobilize our manpower. 

As time went on, urban culture began to lay down its foundation that would contribute to the mystery and romance of this historical highway. Gas stations, cafes, and small general type stores popped up, providing an attentive audience for the popular highway.

By the end of the war, roadway travel along the romantic highway was at its heyday. The roadside architecture represented the region that happened to be in that particular section of the highway. The material used to build the food stands, gas stations and motels included brick, wood, and stucco; many used canopies to cover the seating areas. This all added to the character of the different sections.

As time went on, the iconic roadway underwent many improvements and realignments to extend its usefulness and appeal. Then in 1985, it was officially removed from the United States Highway System. However, some states have adopted significant sections of the former highway into their state road networks. These sections are called Historic Route 66 and are alternate routes, but maintain much of that allure. 

Today you can still see the cocoons of what’s left of roadside motels, gas stations, and tourist-type attractions. If you truly believe, you might see a 1962 Corvette Convertible drive by and disappear into the romance of Route 66.

 

summit inn, route 66, route 66 historical, americana, local, california, las vegas, los angeles

The Summit Inn: The Loss of An American Icon

If you have ever travelled the high desert on I-15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, you have seen the Summit Inn. The Summit Inn was an iconic bit of Americana in the middle of the California desert, a landmark along the historic Route 66. The Blue Cut fire exploded in the high desert on August 16th, catching the area residents and emergency responders off guard. During the first day, it burnt about 30,000 acres and took with it numerous structures, homes and landscapes.

A History of the Summit Inn

It wasn’t an architectural point of interest for SoCal, but it was a significant landmark along historical Route 66 that represented a picture of Americana from the heyday of 1950’s travel. The Summit Inn took its name from the original location, between the east and westbound lanes of Route 66 in 1928. The present location was in operation since 1952, when Route 66 was changed along a lower elevation. In 1966, a new owner hit the scene and took control of the Summit Inn, with the idea of having just a Texaco filling station. However, his idea was changed and he agreed to keeping the restaurant portion of the Summit Inn, if a local German woman took control of the food service. Hilda Fish took control of the restaurant and operated it until 2002, when she retired. Route 66 was demolished in 1970 to make way for I-15, but the Summit Inn remained in operation and became an major attraction for travelers between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Remembering an Icon

We are sad to see the loss of the Summit Inn. It represented the best of Americana and preserved the history of Route 66. It preserved the memory of the era for future generations to experience. It is too early into this epic fire event to know if the Summit Inn will be rebuilt. There was so much memorabilia and historical articles lost in the fire. We can only hope the Summit Inn will return to its place of honor on along the American highway where it deserves to be.

The Summit Inn

summit inn, route 66, historic

Those Were The Days

summit inn, historic route 66, route 66

A Bit of Americana

summit inn, historical route 66, route 66, americana

A Little Inspiration from California’s Missions

There is significance and relevance to observation of the past. With our Folksy Spanish Revival Monterey styled by ADG Lighting presentation (click to download) we can poke fun at the past, make reference with the design and details of the present, and create the antiques of the future. The following images are from our travels up the California coast.

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Exploring the California missions from San Diego through Northern California, we admire and emulate details of these historic buildings. Inspirations come from stone, ironwork, passages, ceilings, walls and floors. Wrought iron gates to keep out the unwanted are the embellishments today that enhance our estates and properties.

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Ignore the compact fluorescent bulbs, and admire the beauty and simplicity of this historic light. Covet the the raw elegance of this stone fountain carved by the Native Americans during the California Mission period.

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Simple lanterns from hooks and forged iron straps are electrified now. The early days of lantern making was done with candles. Rustic handmade characteristics are part of the movement during the American Folk Art period. For some inspiration, check out our Client Marci Carsey’s Store Just Folk. We find that practical solutions to creative and artistic elements are most inspiring.

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Buttresses and stone walls are the sportive details of buildings.  The old wood decorations, floors, beams and headers are part of the established structures. However, when fences were mended and horse carts no longer functioned, the wood was tossed aside. Today we take the gesture of upcycled elements and repurpose them.

Below is a modern minimalist side table by Gerald Olesker of ADG Eco Lighting. Old redwood siding completes the top as if it were a strewn away shutter. The forged method of the base is an ode to the past, made with care in his California metal fabrication shop.
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Here is an iron chandelier (prior to installation) as it sits at the client’s entry. Much more ornamental than functional in the fabricated iron pendant, it will brighten the room with its 18 candles. Six clusters of three candles make up the strapped iron arms.

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What is the difference between American Folk Art and ornaments of the same time period? It is a question that we address with a fun and light attitude. Crafts, handmade objects that are not European in method, were based on the abilities of the craftsman and the experience of the apprentices in the shop. Emulating these details can be as simple as how we at ADG manufacture a light fixture.

Back in the day, making lanterns, brass and tin were easy and were considered malleable pieces while iron needed to be hot forged. Simplicity and price were all part of the past, and still are addressed in today’s metal fabrication techniques at ADG Eco Lighting.

2056-mb4-ir-h-ba 4 light scrolled iron pendant oiled parchment shades  ADG Lighting

A lathe turned center spindle with forged irons scrolls and leafy husks manipulated by hand in brass are part of the make up of this chandelier and decorative pendant fixture. The team at Architectural Detail Group, Inc. designed this for a coastal beach home with a shake roof, metal clad windows and wood turned columns set against stone walls.7-7-2009 284

As we exit the missions’ painted windows and doorways, we extend a wanted memory of the light fixtures, the doors, the beams, the rails and the movement in and out of spaces that were designed for function and embellished with a crafted timelessness.

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For more information about the designs and manufacturing of Architectural Detail Group and ADG Lighting, please email EcoCA@adgmail.com  or call 818-640-0758.

For all PR and social media inquiries for ADG, please contact Endrea Kosven, Executive Director of EDK & Company at Endrea@EDKandCompany.com or call (818) 259-0339.

Government work, private projects, commercial properties and hotel properties are part of the exclusive packaging by Architectural Detail Group’s team.

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Forge techniques emulate nature and details and ornament are part of the exaggerated and fun techniques of the hot forge.

all photos by Gerald Olesker (c) all rights reserved 11-2013

ADG Design Log Decorative Lighting Catalog

ADG Design Log Decorative Lighting Catalog

ADG Designlog is the custom lighting catalog for Architectural Detail Group, Inc..
 
The Made to Order Lanterns, are unique to each client’s needs. The custom chandeliers are made from iron, brass, bronze, wood, rock crystals and other architectural materials..
 
Ready made light fixtures can also be purchased from
V and M the VANDM.com website.Light fixtures by ADG Lighting can also be found at Antiques.com lighting webstore and in specialty lighting showrooms across the country.
 Inner Gardens in Brentwwod, Culver City and on Melrose carry a line of lights by us as well as Lightopia in Newport Baach, CA.
 
 
 
Our line of Eco and sustainable fixtures can be purchased from Authorized ADG Eco Lighting Dealers throughout the US and Canada..
 
 
Architectural Detail Group’s ADG Eco Lighting Dealers are located in San Antonio Texas, South Texas, Georgia, Huntsville Alabama, Florida, Ontario, New York and New Jersey, Myrtle Baach, South Carolina, California, Western Ohio and otherregional areas. Induction Lighting and LED lights are a large part of the sustainable technology in lighting program. Our fixtures are made in the  USA and meet NEFDLA standards..
 
To check for lighting Dealers in Chicago and other Mid West States pleasecall our Lighting Factory or Design Offices in Southern California..
 
UL Light Fixturesand ETL Light Fixtures are  approved, light fixtures meet ETL standards. Lighting can be custom made for each order and or ordered from our lighting catalogues..
 
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For updated monthly Lighting newsletter and lighting industry updates. Inspires stories of architectural lighting.  Trade Pricing and Trade discounts on Light fixtures welcome. Trade discount on Architectural Ornamentation and factory pricing available upon request.