adg lighting - architectural detail group

Archives

armour-stiner-architecture-historic

Armour-Stiner House Reemerges

The Armour-Stiner house set its mark as an architectural landmark. Year after year, the Lombardi family were visited by strangers wanting to see their house. It seems that an eight-sided Victorian house that looks like a Roman Temple isn’t an everyday occurrence, so the Lombardi family has recently decided to educate the public by opening its doors and conducting tours of this great piece of architecture from America’s octagonal phase.

There was a point in time, about 160 years ago when all the rage was octagonal homes. This interesting eight-sided style of real estate was short-lived, but did leave its mark in American architecture.

There are only about one thousand homes built during this wild and odd phase. The Armour-Stiner House is in a category all its own mostly because of its design. It was designed in the shape of a Roman temple. The original architect remains unknown, but between 1872-1876, Joseph Stiner, who was a tea importer, had a dome added and had the house enlarged.

In the 1970s, when architect Joseph Pell Lombardi bought the house it was in a terrible state of collapse. According to Joseph Lombardi’s son, Michael, who is the property manager of the Armour-Stiner House, the place was literally crumbling.

Much of the house had awful water damage, and the beautiful detail had been painted over. Painting over any detail on any original architecture is akin to throwing away the only picture you have of your mother.

It took the Lombardi family 40 years of research to restore small but significant details to its original beauty. One such detail mentioned were the birds on the salon ceiling, as well as the exquisite detail in the Egyptian revival room.

When restoring stunning architecture of long ago, it is important to understand the significance of the detail that was included in the original design.

The Lombardi family stated that restoration of the house is a work in progress and will probably never finish, as they keep finding new things to fix. As their goal is to restore the Armour-Stiner House to its heyday in the 1870s, they have even carefully scraped away paint that once had covered up great detail. The kitchen has the original cast iron stove.

With strangers wanting to stop by and view the odd-shaped house year after year, the family decided to conduct tours which are deemed to be educational as well as interesting for the art history enthusiast and spectator alike. The Armour-Stiner House is located in Irvington, New York.

From the ADG Factory Floor

 Oakland leaf crown gilded for a client…

adg-custom-lighting 

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

River Street In Savannah Georgia

The Architectural Beauty of Savannah Is Credited to Like-Minded People

Savannah, Georgia is the oldest city in the state, with over 1,000 architectural structures that have great historical significance. Truth be told, you can’t bring up Savannah without mentioning Anna Colquitt Hunter and the impending destruction of the Isaiah Davenport House.

Isaiah Davenport — the man was a master craftsman and builder. It has been said that he was way ahead of his time. This was before power tools and electricity had been invented; his craftsmanship was so detailed and strong that he set the standard for his excellence, and his work stood the test of time. He was responsible for many of the homes that were built in the early 1800s in Savannah. Some of Davenport’s accomplishments were his restoration of Savannah’s historical squares, the construction of a Martello tower, and many others once he partnered with the federal government.

Davenport built his own house known as the Isaiah Davenport House which was considered one of the greatest examples of Georgian architectural style. His life was surrounded by death, as he and his wife had ten children, but only six survived. Legend says that the Isaiah Davenport House still holds the ghosts of his dead children. Before his death at the age of 43, Davenport served as city alderman. He also became a firemaster, and was also a constable for Columbia Ward.

Fast forward to 1955, by now Savannah was a bit run down and needed to rebuild, so Anna Colquitt Hunter, who was a news writer and painter, got a group of wealthy like-minded ladies together (wealthy wives of aristocrats) and together they formed the Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF).

The HSF had saved and rebuilt many buildings, but were limited as destiny had other plans. With the resources and ability, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) took over. They had the capability to restore large historical buildings across Savannah. The total count was 68 buildings that SCAD have restored in the last 40 years.

SCAD also launched its first international location in Lacoste, south of France in 2002; then in 2004, SCAD restored the previous home of Equifax in Atlanta to the college’s main campus, and in 2009 SCAD opened a campus in Hong Kong.

It takes like-minded people to create a strong foundation that can restore, preserve and ultimately make institutions of higher learning global; along the way, the little cobblestone city of Savannah was restored to its current architectural beauty.

From the ADG Factory Floor

 The first of six bronze fountains for a favorite client. Thanks Joey G, our Senior Coordinator of everything! 

Adg Custom Liighting Factory

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

deutinger-hostile-architecture-adg

Deutinger Offers Shocking View Of Architecture

German-born architect, writer and designer Theo Deutinger’s most recent book, “Handbook of Tyranny” gives us a shocking view of how architecture and design help implement laws or obstruct individual freedom (depending on your point of view).

Deutinger wants us to question what we see in the landscapes we have come to love. This all started for Deutinger when he found out that big boulders were strategically placed in front of De Nederlandsche Bank in Amsterdam to provide an obstacle for bank robbers and their getaway cars from getting too close to the bank.

He gives stunning examples of how political power and authoritarian intervention has worked its way into our most illustrious landscapes. He tells his story primarily through technical drawings. He encourages the reader to question every fence and institutional design that was constructed to control human behavior.

Deutinger makes it known that there are non-human entities or acoustic controls that restrict, and otherwise govern and guide daily existence in our macrocosm. Many of these could be termed as cruelty, such as benches designed to discourage homeless people from using them; or gravel walkways that loudly warn if someone is approaching. These are used as a form of control.

Recent studies have shown that there are many high-pitched sounds that only young people can hear. So as a deterrent, many business owners have installed very high-pitched sounds to prevent teens from loitering outside their businesses.

Deutinger shows us that some of these deterrents that are in the architectural designs are engineering innovations. Others are small tweaks that are in the design themselves; they are supposed to provide security and safety for all. Perhaps this is a great example of the old saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

From the ADG Jobsite

Garage install flashback!

 deutinger-hostile-architecture

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

 

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Finds New Home in Historical Los Angeles Architecture

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is slated to open in the Fall of 2019 and is bringing new life to the mid-city region of Los Angeles. It will inspire and attract fans of the cinematic arts from around the world. But this iconic venue will not just attract movie fans to Los Angeles; it will attract the interest of architects and designers to visit one of the most recognizable architectural landmarks in the City of Angels. The museum will be in the old May Company building in the Miracle Mile in the Fairfax District.

Completed in 1939, the May Company building was the finest example of streamlined modern architecture in the region and was heralded as the western gateway to the Miracle Mile. The enormous gold-tiled cylinder at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard was a beacon for all. The May Company department store was seen as the height of luxury and convenience in Los Angeles.  

The building’s architect was Albert Martin Sr., who also designed the Million Dollar Theater and the Los Angeles City Hall. Starting in 1908, Martin started his own firm and designed some 1,500 buildings in Southern California. The May Company building was his final notable project in the region. In 1959, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce recognized Martin for his contributions to the development of Los Angeles, by awarding him its annual “Man of Achievement” award.

Without doubt, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be located on hallowed ground in Los Angeles. Its home will have been painstakingly restored to its original glamorous detail. For both the movie buff and the architectural aficionado, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will not only be a home, but a rebirth of one of the finest examples of streamlined modern architecture in the city. It will be a partnership that will revive the spirit of a grand time gone by.        

From the ADG Job Site

One of our modern lanterns set in the landscape…

adg custom lighting

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG

Francois Perrin Architecture

Francois Perrin Defined Architectural Boundaries

Architect Francois Perrin, known as the center of gravity of Los Angeles architecture and united the design community, passed away after a long battle with cancer at age 50. As the founder of Air Architecture, the Paris-born architect worked in Southern California while remaining professionally active in France. Francois Perrin will forever be known for his creative and inventive approach to materials, and for his ability to rethink everyday life through his work.

Born in Paris, Francois Perrin would eventually settle in Los Angeles, where his design practice, Air Architecture, was well known for creating materially inventive spaces filled with ethereal physical qualities that transcended everyday experiences. His architectural projects were widely published. His Venice Air House from 2006, an addition to a single-family home that used trapped air visible through clear polycarbonate siding as a form of insulation, was well known. His Hollywood Hills house from 2012 was designed as a series of terraces that simultaneously disappeared into and were hung off of a steeply-sloped site. In 2004, the Francois Perrin project The Weather Garden changed the courtyard of Materials & Applications in Los Angeles using netting, a wooden platform, and palm tree saplings.

In 2019 at the French Consulate in Beverly Hills, Consul General bestowed on François Perrin a knighthood, Insignia of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

From the ADG Factory Floor

Yes, we make furniture! This piece went to a client in San Francisco

adg-custom-furniture

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

 

Hugh Kaptur Architect

Hugh Kaptur and the Palm Springs Desert

In 1962, the public learned of a projected $2,500,000 home development project adjacent to Tamarisk Country Club in Palm Springs. The proposed development was for the construction of 40 homes. Each home would be a distinctive design by Hugh Kaptur, capturing the architectural freedom that the desert offers. That architectural freedom was exactly what the desert offered.

Hugh Kaptur was one of Palm Springs’ most prolific architects and set the tone the architectural design that embodies the region. He was born in 1931 and studied architectural engineering at the Lawrence Institute of Technology. During a visit to Palm Springs in 1956, he made an inspired spur-of-the-moment decision to stay in the region and make it his home. Hugh Kaptur quickly set up shop and set out to make a name for himself and start a career that lasted over 50 years, designing across many typologies from private and multi-family houses, to civic and commercial buildings.

The exuberance of the 1950’s post and beam spilled over into the 1960’s in Palm Springs with the 1970’s evolving into a more masculine forms of design. Influenced by heavier beams, rougher stucco and the simpler carvings of Mexican traditions, the 1970’s Palm Springs designs were highly adapted to the harsh environment and provided the setting for a rougher bachelor lifestyle, epitomized by William Holden, James Dean and Steve McQueen.

Hugh Kaptur brought the development near Tamarisk Country Club to life with his innovative designs, which were within sight of homes of such notables as Frank Sinatra, Groucho Marx, Danny Thomas, Zeppo Marx, Ray Anthony, Hoagy Carmichael and Ellsworth Vines. Word traveled quickly amongst the wealthy Hollywood stars that called Palm Springs home which put Hugh Kaptur and his work in high demand.

His work went on to catch the attention of William Holden (who became fast friends with Kaptur), who wanted a contemporary home and to be able to look over the house and down at the valley. He built the house to exhibit Holden’s extensive art collection and offer strongly delineated exterior spaces. A stunning cantilevered concrete plinth jutted out over the escarpment and made for a dramatic view of the suspended modern sculpture it supported.

Hugh Kaptur would go on to design numerous condominium projects, municipal buildings, fire stations, homes and commercial buildings in Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and beyond.

From the ADG Job Site

Walk the path with the ADG Advantage

adg-architect-jobsite

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG