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key west hemingway

Key West and the House Hemingway Wrote

Key West conjures up images of nautical adventures. When we think of Ernest Hemingway, our minds immediately are transported to the literary classics such as “The Old Man and the Sea” and “A Farewell to Arms” — a couple of his masterpieces. We rarely think of where he lived, or what kind of decor he fancied unless it is in relation to what he wrote. Yet, what he wrote was greatly influenced by his surroundings. For Hemingway, his surroundings were his muse. 

Originally built in 1851 by Asa Tift, who was a marine architect and salvage wrecker, the Hemingway House is a French Colonial-style estate located at 907 Whitehead Street in Key West, Florida, across the street from the Key West Lighthouse. The house was a gift from the uncle of his wife, Pauline. The house was what you would call a fixer-upper in today’s terms, but the Hemingways’ always saw “the pretty in it.”

The Hemingway home in Key West was where Hemingway wrote “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” “The Happy Short Life of Francis Macomber,” “To Have and Have Not” and “Green Hills of Africa.” Both Hemingway and his wife lived here from 1931 to 1939.

All that time he was surrounded by 17th and 18th-century antiques, which he absolutely loved. Another great love of Hemingway were cats. When he lived in Key West in this very house, he had a six-toed cat named Snow White.

On November 24, 1968, the Hemingway House became a National Historic Landmark. Today, it is known as The Hemingway House and Museum, where many tours are given to the public. As a little piece of immortality, many of the descendants of Hemingway’s beloved cat Snow White reside at the Hemingway House and happily greet tourists. Can’t help wondering if Hemingway himself planned this ending all along.

 

hollyhock house architecture

Hollyhock House and the Genius of Frank Lloyd Wright

The Hollyhock House was just named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The mission of UNESCO is to build peace and harmony through the contribution of important information among nations of the world through scientific knowledge, communication and education to further multicultural respect and universal collaboration.

It is the epitome of creative genius — the Hollyhock House was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Originally commissioned by oil heiress Aline Barnsdall in 1919, it was named after her favorite flower, the Hollyhock.

Nestled in the hills of East Hollywood, the Hollyhock was planned as a performing arts complex and and to also serve as a home for the heiress and her children.

Part of the creative genius of Frank Lloyd Wright was his spontaneity, and he encouraged that in others. He even coined the phrase, “Freedom to make one’s own form.” Although the Hollyhock House was built to its entirety in 1921, it was never quite finished.

The house took years of restoration, which included extensive research on the detailed history and exact craftsmanship so that it would be brought back to its original glory in which it was intended. Now the Hollyhock House stands with massive structural improvements to its foundation, but the design and other important details have been kept to its original integrity.

The Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright’s contribution to California Modernism. Wright had a reputation for never having the most practical choice. In staying with the integrity of the original design, a more convenient, less fragile approach could not be taken, because that would change the entire architectural feeling of that space, which would have invalidated the purpose of their intent, which was to stay 100% true to that period and design.

So through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius lives on and continues to inspire. Check out Gerald’s sketch of the Hollyhock House below from his Mused book, and read more about ADG Lighting’s connection to Frank Lloyd Wright!

Hollyhock ADG Lighting

Los Angeles Architecture Architect Adg

Los Angeles Is Synonymous with Modern Architecture

With examples such as the Schindler House built in 1922 in West Hollywood, the Fitzpatrick- Leland House built in 1936 on Laurel Canyon, and the Mackey Apartments built in 1939 on South Cochran Ave, Los Angeles has been the mecca of modern architecture for almost 100 years.

The modern movement, or modern architecture defined in simple terms, is based on new groundbreaking, and many times avant-garde technologies of construction. The materials used are also part of the allure, for along with its clean lines and minimalist concept is the use of such materials as glass, steel, and reinforced concrete. The mantra of modern architecture is form follows function, which accounts for such innovative shaped buildings and creative living spaces.

Los Angeles is still going strong in the new crop of architects that are making their way into neighborhoods and city streets by way of their uniquely constructed building and living concepts.

Are you curious about how to see all the new modern masterpieces in Los Angeles architecture all at once? A book published by Prestel available on Amazon titled “New Architecture Los Angeles” does a fantastic job of chronicling the new modern architecture starting from the year 2000.

Akin to designing and building a piece of architectural genius, this book is also a collaboration of text written by Brooke Hodge, whose resume includes Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Hammer Museum; Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, and most recently was named Palm Springs Art Museum’s first Architecture & Design Director.

The pictures in this book are breathtaking and taken by architectural photographer Mike Kelley.  

Some examples of the new modern architecture include: the Formosa 1140, built in 2008 on North Formosa in West Hollywood and designed by Lorcan O’ Herlihy Architects (LOHA); the Wilshire Grand Center, built and designed by AC Martin in 2017 and located on (surprise) Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown LA; and the Vespertine, built in 2016 in Culver City by Eric Owen Moss Architects.

Los Angeles is just one of those cities which happens to have a psychic architectural past…just one of the many mysteries of living in LA.

Hot off the Press!

ADG Lighting Founder Featured in Architectural Digest

Our founder Gerald Olesker was interviewed for Architectural Digest for this feature on how the trade war is impacting design businesses


adg architecture lighting Read the Article
HERE

 

 

ADG 4 custom lighting

Hidden Hills Estate Features ADG Custom Lighting

This gorgeous Hidden Hills estate is the epitome of quality and luxurious design. It is currently on the market for $17.5 million and listed by Marc Shevin of Berkshire Hathaway.

To accentuate and refine the design quality of the home, ADG Lighting was commissioned to design and custom manufacture lighting fixtures throughout. The wide-open floor plan prominently features high volume ceilings, glass sliding walls and magnificent picture windows which flood the home with natural light. This Hidden Hills estate offers 11,850 square feet of living space, including 6 bedrooms with an additional 2,300 square feet of living space over the four-car garage. It is loaded with amenities which include a private study, a spa with steam shower and sauna, along with a mirrored gym. There so also a 4-stall barn with turnout, as well as multiple fruit and shade trees.

ADG Lighting enjoyed the opportunity to design and build lighting throughout the home, including the gas lights on the pathway and leather-wrapped pendants featured prominently on the property.

Special Thanks to ~ Marc Shevin

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – California Properties

From the ADG Job Site

Thanks William Hefner for having us at your beautiful midcentury reboot. We appreciate helping to design and fabricate this 17-foot long skylight. Three cheers to collaboration and working together! 

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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

Leedy Architect

The Noted Passing of Gene Leedy

Gene Leedy was known as the father of the Sarasota School of Architecture, and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. This renowned architect passed this week at the age of 90. Leedy was born in Isaban, West Virginia. His parents subsequently moved the family to Gainesville, Florida, where they opened a small family restaurant. After high school, Leedy entered the University of Florida, where he studied architecture. He married his wife Kathryn Home and settled down in the town of Winter Haven, Florida, where he opened an architectural firm. In 1954, he was commissioned to build his first recognized work, the ‘Sparrow House.’

His design philosophy resulted in a phenomenon of modern architecture, a unique collection created during a period of over fifty years. Leedy produced innovative work with pre-stressed concrete, which led to his creation of double T beams. These techniques have left an enduring legacy and impacted both the past and future of architecture.

The work of Leedy has been recognized with countless awards and accolades. His steadfast conviction to this modern design philosophy resulted in his work being recognized on a global scale. The work of Leedy continues to transform the face of the architectural community and the spaces beyond.

Notable Commercial Work

Cypress Gardens Bank, Winter Haven, Florida, 1965

City Hall, Winter Haven, Florida, 1960

Keiltronix Office Building, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1987

Taxdal Medical Center, Winter Haven, Florida, 1986

Flagship Bank, Orlando, Florida, 1975

Chamber of Commerce, Winter Haven, Florida, 1990

Walden Lake Country Club, Plant City, Florida 1985

Commerce Bank of Central Florida, Winter Haven, Florida 1990

American National Bank, Winter Haven, Florida, 1962

Brentwood Elementary School, Sarasota, Florida, 1958

First National Bank of Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, FL 1963

Notable Residential Work

House for Contemporary Builders, Sarasota, Florida, 1950

Craney Homes, Inc, Winter Haven, Florida, 1956

Weaving/Thomasson house, Winter Haven, Florida, 1956

Navickas Residence, Winter Haven, Florida, 1957

Dormon Residence, Winter Haven, Florida, 1963

Libby Residence, Winter Park, Florida, 1957

Sands Residence, Winter Haven, Florida, 1965

Sparrow Residence, Winter Haven, Florida, 1954

Brogden Residence, Winter Haven, Florida, 1979

Miller Residence, Plant City, Florida, 1985

Carlton Beach House, Boca Grande, Florida, 1985

Lifsey President’s House, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 1994

Smith Beach House, Boca Grande, Florida, 1985

Solomon Residence & Studio, Siesta Key, Florida, 1970

Strang Residence, Winter Haven, Florida, 1970

Strasberg Residence, Longwood, Florida, 1982

From the ADG Jobsite

Custom pendant at Newport Coast property!

 adg jobsite architecture

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting