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Posts tagged ‘architecture’

Panoramas and my phone is on Fire

McFadden Ward House Museum in Beaumont Texas

This week’s photo assignment was to take a panorama using at least three images shot sequentially with our camera. However, I finally got up the courage to get my new Fire phone activated=========and drum roll, here—-there is a panorama option on the camera. So today–the first really nice day we’ve had for several weeks, I played around with my phone taking a dozen or more panoramas of not even all that interesting things—parking lot, bedroom furniture, and then there was the marsh. I thought this might be nice==but it turns out that one bunch of cat tail reeds looks pretty much like another and so there wasn’t anything particularly distinguishing amongst the photos—so I took this one of the museum that is just two blocks away from my house. Looking at my class mates contributions–it seems that there are two forms—the distorted form and the flat form–I sort of like this distorted form as who could tell except those of us who live here that the driveway isn’t round like this.

This week’s assignment is play around with filters—and I think I have a great subject for that—-old water pipes pulled out of the swamp and piled along one of the roads through the tertiary water treatment area.  This doesn’t sound nice but it is really quite lovely and there were a lot of people there today–running, walking, birding, bicycling–and taking photos.

Hurricane Ike update

The wind is picking up and there is a fine mist. The doors in my house are beginning to rattle a bit but I think I’m prepared. I’ve been touched by the number of folks that have commented or emailed–sorry I’m not quite facile enough at this blogging thing yet to answer on-line. I thought I’d show you a few photos outside my front door. I’ll take photos every couple of hours or so as long as I can see and I promise I will not venture any further than my front porch and definitely not if it is raining.

Across the street is the Hobson house. This beautiful home is built in the same style as the McFadden-Ward Museum, former home of the McFaddens who were oil/cattle business people.The Hobsons were our neighbors for many years and we raised our children together. Now that their children are grown (as ours are as well), they are seeking to simplify and reduce square footage. There used to be two palm trees in front but they lost one to Hurricane Rita. I’m not sure why it isn’t boarded up as it was for Gustav just a week ago.



Catty-corner is a lovely cottage or bungalow which originally was owned by a photographer. The yard is nicely kept with a lovely gazing ball in the backyard and a newly tiled roof and walkway.

I’m not sure what the current owners do, I think they were from California but I haven’t seen a lot of them over the past few months and a wheelbarrow full of weeds stood for a long time on the corner. That flower bed on the corner near the street used to be a lovely oak tree–gone now thanks to Rita.







At the end of one of our driveways, we have a circular driveway that goes around the back of the house is this house. It used to be owned by Big Rosine McFadden–who was quite short but it differentiated her from another Rosine McFadden who was younger and her neice. The current owner is a pleasant guy who was impressed when I nailed up most of the uprights of our fence.

I believe the style is Queen Anne Tudor cottage, a not very common but truly lovely architectural style.



And lastly, this is our house. Those are crepe myrtles all around it which interestingly enough did not break during Hurricanes Rita or Humberto but just left lots of tiny little twigs and leaves all over the yard and in the street. Note the nice new looking fence on the right. After Rita, we discovered some of our neighbors used my garden pool as a dumping ground for household refuge. Hopefully this fence will stand up to Ike and present a discouraging face to trespassers.

Sorry, I’ve forgotten it’s architectural style but suspect I’m a bit stressed and not so important things aren’t at the top of my brain.


The internet has gotten rather slow and I suspect I wont’ be able to post again for awhile. I’ll try again tonight if I still have power. Water should be turned off shortly and I’m scheduled to work on Sunday in local hospital for an unknown shift length. I’ve made fresh bread and I’m spending my time with my sewing machine finishing up some old projects–the kind that don’t take a lot of thought but just a bit of effort.

Philip Johnson’s best building

pennzoil building


Philip Johnson’s buildings


One of my favorite buildings is the Pennzoil building in downtown Houston. It was designed by Philip Johnson who boasted he saved his best buildings for Houston. The Pennzoil is a prime example of modern architecture focusing on geometric shapes. The Bank of America across the street and reflected in the glass panes of the Pennzoil was also designed by Philip Johnson and represents late Modern architecture.


The Pennzoil is twin mirror-image trapezoidal shaped towers connected by triangular shaped plazas enclosed by a 45 degree glass slope. The faces are black glass and reflect not just portions of itself but the buildings around it. Depending upon where you stand, one of the towers appears markedly shorter than the other—but they are identical in size- and just ten feet apart.


In sunshine or rain, the building is always wonderful. I’m working on a piece for Tactile Architecture using it as an inspiration but alas, it will not be completed in time. Perhaps next year.