From my window: The last tree and poof…gone!

Shortly before 4:00 PM (CST) yesterday, the tear-down began. There were still at least twenty or more trees left unsold, which would be hauled back to Wisconsin and run through a shredder. The Christmas Tree Lot, a tradition at this spot for many years, will most likely not be back, as Mr. James N. Pritzker (of real estate development/restoration fame) now owns the property…and there are plans for a four-story parking structure to be built on this and the property just north, which is now owned and occupied by the Shambhala organization of Rogers Park.  Apparently, their fine building will be torn down within the year!

Two customers watch as their tree is shaved down to fit their tree stand.

Two customers watch as their tree is shaved down to fit their tree stand.

The sawbucks used a support for the trees are dismantled, and the trees are laid out, ready to be hoisted onto this pick-up truck...there was a second truck off to the side, as so many trees went unsold.

The sawbucks used a support for the trees are dismantled, and the trees are laid out, ready to be hoisted onto this pick-up truck…there was a second truck off to the side, as so many trees went unsold.

The last tree being tied to the customers' car roof was a sad sight, as usually the Tree Lot remains open uintil Christmas Eve...when trees have been offered for no cost!

The last tree being tied to the customers’ car roof was a sad sight, as usually the Tree Lot remains open until Christmas Eve…when trees have been offered for no cost!

Here's Bob, this year's 'not-so-successful' salesman, readying the trailer for it trip back to northern Wisconsin.  Bob was a bit of a negative guy, and frequently trees were on the ground (not nicely arranged against the sawbucks, until early afternoon.  Not much of a 'go-getter' personality, which the previous salesman, George, had scads of!  And George had a great sense of humor, too!

Here’s Bob, this year’s ‘not-so-successful’ salesman, readying the trailer for it trip back to northern Wisconsin. Bob was a bit of a negative guy, and frequently trees were on the ground (not nicely arranged against the sawbucks, until early afternoon. Not much of a ‘go-getter’ personality, which the previous salesman, George, had scads of! And George had a great sense of humor, too!

One of the tear-down people collects all the 2x4s.  At that point, my window began to steam up, due to baking squash, and I was unable to see through the window for the rest of the night...but here's what the place looked like at 7:05 AM (CST) this morning:

One of the tear-down people collects all the 2x4s. At that point, my window began to steam up, due to baking squash, and I was unable to see through the window for the rest of the night…but here’s what the place looked like at 7:05 AM (CST) this morning:

Not the best focus (hand-held dusk/dawn shots never turn out!), but you get the idea of emptiness.  I'll go down today and check for pine cones...the lot has been a great source for small and medium-sized cones which I use in my decorations!

Not the best focus (hand-held dusk/dawn shots never turn out!), but you get the idea of emptiness. I’ll go down today and check for pine cones…the lot has been a great source for small and medium-sized cones which I use in my decorations!

Advertisements

Some really ‘good’ news!

From CNN:

Frank Lloyd Wright Home. Saved!

By APizm  |  Posted December 21, 2012

The David and Gladys Wright House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The David and Gladys Wright House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright  Photo: APizm

When the sun rises tomorrow we will know two things. One, the Mayans were wrong. Two, the David and Gladys Wright home, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is SAVED. I am proud to announce that an anonymous buyer has purchased the house and has plans to preserve it.

 I have been inside the house a few times now and believe me, it takes a few times to notice all the tiny design details that Frank Lloyd Wright put into this house. I included a few images of those tiny details for you.

 Here is the write up from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy website, SaveWright.org:
“Christmas came a little early this year. Culminating six months of intensive work and many ups and downs, we can finally announce that this unique and important Wright house is safe! The Conservancy has facilitated the purchase of the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix through an LLC owned by an anonymous benefactor. The transaction closed on December 20 for an undisclosed price. The property will be transferred to an Arizona not-for-profit organization responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the David Wright House.”

(CNN PRODUCER NOTE     APizm is a photography instructor for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at Taliesin West in Phoenix, Arizona, and has been following the story for a while. He first reported on it in early October, when the David and Gladys Wright house was facing demolition.)

 For more information see: www.savewright.org
For more images see: www.APizm.com

*********

I would love to know who the ‘anonymous’ purchaser is…could it be James N. Pritzker, the owner of the Emil Bach House just a block and a half north of my building here in Rogers Park?  Frank Lloyd Wright built the Bach House in 1915, and much to everyone’s surprise, it is undergoing a very heavy rehab, begun about two months ago.

The Emil Bach House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1915.

The Emil Bach House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1915.  Image taken 15DEC2012, copyright http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

 

 

As you see, many of the windows have been removed.  When I spoke in 2007 with Mr. Pritzker’s secretary, who was occupying the house at the time, I was told that they hoped to re-do the windows, as they had obtained Mr. Wright’s original drawings for the Wrightian-style stained glass.  I hate to assume anything but, it does look as if the stained glass windows will be in place soon enough, as will other ‘original’ amenities and some new as well!

Kudos to Mr. Pritzker, who also owns the building at the left (The Cats Cradle Bed and Breakfast) and the tall building behind (The Farcroft, a 12+ story former apartment building which has been undergoing a total gut rehab for over a year now).

If you thought Hallowe’en was scary…

…how about this?  The building is the Farcroft, just a bit less than two blocks north, which has been undergoing a gut rehab for the past 11 months or so.

It’s twelve stories, plus the tower room at the front.  Every window is new, and the lighter, bricked-in spaces used to be the entry doors to a fire escape, which I believe will now be on the west (left) side of the structure.  Look closely at the scaffolding on the left; as a matter of fact, I’ll provide a closer look:

Yes, that’s a workman, who spent approximately five days building this scaffold…by himself!  Here’s a shot of him taking a break (yes, he is tethered) and looking out to the west, which must be a great view…he can probably see past Skokie all the way to Des Plaines, and most likely all the way south past the Loop and Downtown Chicago.

Back when I first began working as a Scenic and Lighting Designer, I had to train myself to overcome my fear of heights.  It took several months, but I could finally climb and work in a 35 foot high lift, hanging, cabling and focusing lighting instruments…but 100 feet is a bit TOO high, especially when all one has is a plank to stand on and open air to step over!

I took a walk over early that evening, just to capture some images from the ground, and found he had built the scaffold twice as wide along the front of Farcroft as well.

The Farcroft and many other properties in the Rogers Park neighborhood are owned by James N. Pritzker, a member of the family which owns the Hyatt Hotels.  He believes in restoration, and certainly the crews he has hired are hard-working and doing a marvelous job here.  I snuck under the ground floor scaffold and took some shots of the lobby and front office area, which I shall present another time…and it’s too early to get a definite finish date, so I’ll keep checking, and hopefully arrange permission to get some interior shots as well.

I’d love to capture the view from that lovely tower room, which I prefer to call ‘Rapunzel’s Place’!

From my window: Special Delivery

At around 9:30, I heard a tremendous noise…and grabbed the camera, of course.  As I peeked through drawn blinds, this is what I saw, only a block and half away…

 

…delivering heavy equipment (A/C and such) to the Farcroft, a 12 story apartment building, owned by James N. Pritzker.  The gut rehab has been going on for most of this year…and they are a long way from the finish!

The helo made four quick trips and the noise ceased, unlike the other day, when I photo’d another helo, thinking it was the Chicago Police Department assisting in a lake rescue.  When I uploaded the shot, it became apparent that someone was just shooting video or pix, as this helo hovered for about 20 minutes.

Today’s walk…

…yielded so much beauty it will take two posts.  I began at the Emil Bach House, designed in 1915 by Frank Lloyd Wright, and now owned by James N. Pritzker, founder of the Pritzker Military Museum here in Chicago.  The annual tulip display is phenomenal, but they are coming to their end.

Last of the Bach House Tulips  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

Just next door, heading north, is another Wright-era house, also owned by Mr. Pritzker.  There is a grand tulip display, but these lovelies also abide here:

Bleeding Hearts and Dew  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

The morning fog left everything kind of dewy, including these Hosta in the parkway:

Dewy Hosta  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

As I crossed Rogers at Ashland Avenue, I noticed these purple iris getting ready to burst:

Purple Iris Buds  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

Thinking I was finished shooting, I crossed Rogers Avenue…and something bright caught my eye.  I almost could not believe…a poppy!in full bloomon the first of May!

First Poppy  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

It always bothered me…

…that my dearest Greek great-uncle, Pelopidous Constantinopoulous, had this photo taken…and there was a huge hanger-crease in his white flannel pants.  I’ve known this photo since I was about three years old…more than 6 (yes, SIX!) decades ago.

Pelopidous-Original Scan (@300 dpi)

So…two years ago, when I began scanning family photos, I decided I, and Photoshop (TM), could make things right, correct, because I’ve been using it since 2005.

And….I did!

Pelopidous-Restored 2009

I rebuilt, through ‘Clone’, the entire right side of the photo, and…of course…totally eliminated the hanger-crease!  Fun to do, as I am most respectful of my Greek heritage.

Oh, BTW, Uncle “Poley”, as we called him, was among the original founders of Annunciation Greek Orthodox church in Milwaukee WI…you know, the church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright built shortly after his death.

I walked by this church, as it was being built, and every day thereafter when I walked or was driven to high school.  It was only 8 blocks from our house, and I remember when it was still ‘wild land’, where I could walk up and watch the planes from the nearby Timmerman Airport take off and land.  It inspired me to study architecture, then design, then Stage Design…and aided me to become the artist I remain…at least for the interim.  Thank you, Mr. Wright, for your beautiful architecture and great memories.

P.S.  I live now just down the road from Wright’s 1915 design, the Emil Bach house, now owned by Mr. James N. Pritzker of Chicago.