Monday’s Roses

Yesterday's Roses-1

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Yesterday's Roses-2

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Yesterday's Roses-3

These have been processed with the ‘Diffuse Glow’ filter in Photoshop (TM), also utilizing a pure white background (Glow) color.

The result?

Very romantic, I feel!

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It occurred to me the other day…

…while walking to the grocer’s, that I hadn’t kept you informed of the progress in the renovation of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Emil Bach House here on Sheridan Road in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

The west and south facades

The west and south facades

Lots of building supplies clutter the front yard, and the scaffolding remains while the fascias are being strip-sanded and repainted, and the walls are being prepared for the application of a new layer of stucco.

The west facade

The west facade

A pile of rubble next to an already-full Dumpster is all that remains of the old roof–I don’t know if this was the original.

Mr. Wright did have a reputation for creating leaky roofs, such as those at the Johnson Wax Center in Racine, Wisconsin, and at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The front Tulip garden

The front Tulip Garden

I’m not certain if the fabulous Tulip Garden will be brought back, but the garden will be smaller with the addition of about six feet of sod laid as a buffer between bushes and the rich-looking soil.

The deck and rear entryway

The deck and rear entryway

The former sunroom walls have been removed to expose the original deck, which at the time of construction (1915) overlooked the shore of Lake Michigan.

Sadly, the lake was filled in, and the rear of the Bach House is now a half-block west of the shoreline.

The backyard

The backyard

This was a complete and beautiful surprise!

A curving hand-laid stone pathway now surrounds a short retaining wall and flower beds.

This area was originally several feet high and quite ‘wild-looking’.

The structure on the right (a guest house?) is not original to the property–it was built, if I correctly recall, in 2008 and is attached to the two-car garage, which I also think is not original.

The building permit

The building permit

It’s posted on the temporary cyclone fence at the alleyway, and gives you a pretty good idea of what is being added/renovated By Tawani Enterprises, Inc., which is headed by billionaire J. N. Pritzker.

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Tawani Enterprises also has bought the parking lot just north of my own building and the Shambhala Meditation Center just north of that.
Beginning October 1st, this building will be demolished--I don't look forward to the noise and dust right outside my living area window!

Beginning October 1st, this building will be demolished–I don’t look forward to the noise and dust right outside my living area window!

The corner will supposedly look something like this after construction of the Sheridan-Sherwin Parking Structure...except that this rendering is in very forced perspective--the length of the Sheridan Road footage is only about 160 feet +/-!

The corner will supposedly look something like this after construction of the four-story Sheridan-Sherwin Parking Structure…except that this rendering is in very forced perspective–the length of the Sheridan Road footage is only about 160 feet +/-!

That’s my building sticking up behind the structure–I hope I don’t lose my view !

Meterological Autumn…

…is just a week away, so I thought I’d show you some of the food neighbors have grown in their small plots in the community garden.

A walkway between the raised beds

A walkway between the raised beds

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Iron-laden Swiss Chard

Iron-laden Swiss Chard

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Purple Cabbages, coming along nicely

Purple Cabbages, coming along nicely

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Fresh Dill, to add to a potato salad for a nice lift

Fresh Dill, to add to a potato salad for a nice lift

Physalis philadelphica, or Tomatillo, is a great addition to Salsa Verde

Physalis philadelphica, better known as Tomatillo, is a great addition to Salsa Verde

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Cheery Cherry Tomatoes...I almost wanted to pick the ripest and pop it in my mouth, but I did not--I didn't grow it!

Cheery Cherry Tomatoes…I almost wanted to pick the ripest and pop it in my mouth, but I did not–I didn’t grow it!

Don't know about this...it IS a Tomato, perhaps a newer variety?

Don’t know about this…it IS a Tomato, perhaps a newer variety?

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Small Acorn Squash...they'll be ready to pick in about two weeks

Small Acorn Squash…they’ll be ready to pick in about two weeks

And lastly, at the far end of the garden…

...tiny Crabapples are ripening, just waiting to be pickled and served for Thanksgiving dinner!

…tiny Crabapples are ripening, just waiting to be pickled and served for Thanksgiving dinner!

One huge plus at this location:  There is a water tap, so the gardeners do not have to rely on Mother Nature, who didn’t provide quite enough rain this Summer!

There’ll be some great, fresh meals in a number of homes in the neighborhood–the gardeners’ hard work certainly paid off!

 

After quite a bit of research…

…I finally discovered what these beauties are!

Hydrangea paniculata–Pink Diamond

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Hydrangea paniculata-Pink Diamond-2

So very delicate-looking, yet quite hardy!

It’s been a beauty of a Summer so far…

…and Autumn is just a month from today, on September 22nd at 9:29 PM (CDT), so I thought, because my computer was down for so long, I’d show a few flowers from the neighborhood.

Creamy white Gladioli

Creamy white Gladioli

 

Heidi's mother's yellow Rose

Heidi’s mother’s yellow Rose, with a Diffuse Glow treatment

 

Deep red Hibiscus, from the Emil Bach House parkway just up the street

Watercolor treatment of a deep red Hibiscus, from the Emil Bach House parkway just up the street

 

A huge Sunflower at a corner planting a few blocks away

A huge Sunflower at a corner planting a few blocks away

 

The back view of that same Sunflower, which is very interesting too, don't you think?

The back view of that same Sunflower, which is very interesting too, don’t you think?

In the previous post…

…I showed images of Exelon Plaza just south of what is now named the Chase Bank Tower, at the corner of Madison and Dearborn Streets.

At 60 stories and 850 feet in height, it’s the tallest building inside the tracks of the Chicago Loop–and its architecture is astounding at first glance.

Impressive, isn't it?

Impressive, isn’t it?

 

Even its reflection in the glass of 1 South Dearborn is impressive!

Even its reflection in the glass of 1 South Dearborn is impressive!

But I was there to see something much more of interest to me as an artist, The Four Seasons mosaic, designed by Marc Chagall and presented as a gift to the City of Chicago by Frederick H. Prince via the Prince Charitable Trusts in 1974.

First, the eastern facade:

Four Seasons-1

The north facade:

Four Seasons-2

The west facade:

Four Seasons-3

The south facade:

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The Four Seasons is, according to Wikipedia, 70 feet (21 m) long, 14 feet (4.3 m) high, 10 feet (3.0 m) wide rectangular box, and was dedicated on September 27, 1974.

It was renovated in 1994 and a protective glass canopy was installed.

The City of Chicago website presents a bit more information:

Composed of thousands of inlaid chips in over 250 colors, Marc Chagall’s mosaic artwork The Four Seasons portrays six scenes of Chicago. It features a vocabulary of images informed by the artist’s Russian-Jewish heritage and found in his Surrealist paintings such as birds, fish, flowers, suns and pairs of lovers. Chagall maintained, “the seasons represent human life, both physical and spiritual, at its different ages.” The design for this mosaic was created in Chagall’s studio in France, transferred onto full-scale panels and installed in Chicago with the help of a skilled mosaicist.

Chagall continued to modify his design after its arrival in Chicago, bringing up-to-date the areas containing the city’s skyline (last seen by the artist 30 years before installation) and adding pieces of native Chicago brick.

In Chagall’s words:

“I chose the theme of the four seasons because I believe there will be many people going through this plaza in the heart of the city of Chicago. In my mind, the four seasons represent human life, both physical and spiritual, at its different stages. I hope that the people of Chicago will feel the same emotion that I felt when doing this work.”

Here are closer-up images of Chagall’s enchanting oeuvre, which was executed in France by the mosaicist Michel Tharin–ENJOY!

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Four Seasons-16

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If you’re interested, there is a video of the creation of The Four Seasons by Chuck Olin called The Monumental Art of Marc Chagall here.

It’s well-worth watching the full 30 minutes to see and hear Chagall at work, correcting and making additions to Michel Tharin’s hand-cut tiles!

Marc Chagall-Still Frame-1

Marc Chagall-Still Frame-2

These two still frames really don’t do justice to the mastery of Chagall, so if you can, watch the video.

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It was very exciting to work on and present Chagall’s masterpiece as I saw it, mesmerized by the placement of each subtly(and not-so-subtly)-colored tile, viewing this huge work in smaller images on a computer some 39 years after its construction.

I just wish I knew what the top looked like, as in the video, it was said that there are also mosaic panels which are no longer viewable due to the plastic canopy!

Yesterday…

…while walking up Van Buren Street to the Harold Washington Library, I noticed this odd reflection in the back window of an SUV:

I love the distortion of the building on the northwest corner of Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue...it wasn't really falling over!

I love the distortion of the building on the northwest corner of Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue…it wasn’t really falling over!

Just a few steps later, I saw this plaque:

I've walked by this building so many times, yet never took a shot.

I’ve walked by this building so many times, yet never took a shot.

Here’s a look up at The Buckingham facade, with the CNA Insurance building reflected in its windows:

I always like 'wavy glass'!

I always like ‘wavy glass’!

The CNA Center, at the northeast corner of Van Buren and Wabash Streets, is 600 feet tall with 44 stories…I got a little dizzy looking up to take some shots!

Some years back, a woman was killed when one of the panes of glass quite high up dislodged from its frame and fell directly on her...all windows were repaired while the building was surrounded with scaffolding for a lengthy amount of time.

Some years back, a woman was killed when one of the panes of glass quite high up dislodged from its frame and fell directly on her…all windows were repaired while the building was surrounded with scaffolding for a lengthy amount of time.

After I finished at the library, I walked up to Madison and Dearborn Streets to pay my phone bill.

Just across Van Buren stands the Chase Bank Tower, but I haven’t processed those shots yet because…

...to the south of Chase is the Exelon Plaza, with this fabulous fountain surrounded by all the downtown-types having luncheon.

…to the south of Chase Bank Tower is the Exelon Plaza, with this fabulous fountain surrounded by all the downtown-types having luncheon.

Here’s a closer-up shot in color:

It was a glorious day to dine al fresco, but I didn't, as I had quite another reason for being there!

It was a glorious day to dine al fresco, but I didn’t, as I had quite another reason for being there!

(to be continued)