For my first post, I decided to discuss a place that holds a special spot in my heart. Many people from Oklahoma might know about it, but others might not. This museum, the Woolaroc Museum, was built to house a wide variety of western and Native artifacts, art, and was home to the famous Frank Phillips. The museum has been a special place in my heart since my family and I first visited so many years ago. It is where I first connected to my Native American background and helped teach me about the struggles settlers went through as they moved west. What has mystified me for so many years is the fact that, while the collection does not change often, I am still learning new and exciting things during my visits. The buildings that they have preserved, such as Frank Phillips home and the museum that he created, all continue to stand the test of time. For many, it is like taking a step back in time to see what life was like for many so long ago. My hope is that this collection continues to educate future generations and that, one day, I might be able to bring my own children and share with them the wonders of the Woolaroc Museum.
The French Family Math, Science, and Technology Building had a positive impact on my high school experience. Ursuline Academy of Dallas spent years planning and raising money for a new building that would help enhance the students’ learning experience. The building was designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. It is the first school building in the Southwest to be certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). 77 percent of the waste from the demolition of the old buildings were used in the construction of the new building. The building uses 25% less energy than the typical school building, and one of my favorite aspects of the building is that every classroom receives natural light from windows, and when the natural light is sufficient enough, specific light fixtures automatically turn off. Another part of the building that I enjoyed was how it was built to surround a courtyard, which supplied nice views from the large windows in the classrooms. The courtyard is also designed to be energy efficient. It is landscaped with drought- resistant plants and has water features that capture the rain from the roof of the building and reused for other purposes. All of these features helped make the days that I spent at school more enjoyable and convenient.
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to work at a remote fishing lodge in Alaska. Most of my peers were sitting behind a desk all summer but I decided to opt out of that. Instead, I was hanging out and hosting groups of fishermen (and women) from all over the globe & making sure they had a world-class experience at Riversong Lodge. I worked with an awesome staff filled with a lot of diverse talent. We had 5 dedicated and intelligent fishing guide extraordinaires, 2 spectacular chefs & a welcoming house staff. Working (and living) all together as a team we were able to give each and every one of our clients a trip to remember, on and off the water. I am looking forward to visiting the lodge again soon and highly recommend planning a trip there!
As for the main lodge (pictured above) and its architecture, it was built in 1948 as a log cabin for a single-family home on the Yentna River. It was built with two stories and the original logs and hardwood floors are still intact. In the 1970’s it was turned into a fishing lodge and the seconds owners expanded the lodge by adding a kitchen, dining area, bar, and fly-tie room. Under the newest ownership, the interior of the lodge has been completely re-done with rustic yet sophisticated furniture, made of mostly repurposed wood from Chinese sailboats. It is a modern take on how an Alaskan fishing lodge should look and feel. The exterior and interior work seamlessly together to create a contemporary and cozy atmosphere yet not forgetting the fact that it is in the middle of nowhere, Alaska. Did I mention you should go visit? Put it on your bucket list, now!
The Vanna Venturi House was built by Robert Venturi for his mother, Vanna Venturi. is located in the neighborhood of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I thought it was really neat that Robert designed a house for his mother. The personal relationship made me appreciate the uniqueness of the house, and I really like it.
In 1978, my grandparents gave the library board a challenge when they pledged $300,000 for the project. The library was required to raise the matching funds by December 1980. Unfortunately my grandpa died on July 9, 1980, but the library board was able to match the funds on October 31st and the city council named the C.E. Brehm Memorial Library on November 3, 1980. A few years later, my father Dwight Brehm added on to the library.
The first time I visited the library I was in high school, and It was a very positive experience. There were pictures of my family all over the walls and it was very inspiring to see the way my father and grandfather contributed to the community. It was a good experience!
I think I will start out with a building that left a negative imprint on me. Many years ago I toured Washington University in St Louis with my family, as my twin brother was considering attending. The walk up to campus is breathtaking, as you go under a massive archway with this incredible gothic structure towering over you. We were told in our first class that gothic architecture tends to be a standard of higher education, and certainly Washington University has held itself to that standard. I was certainly impressed with the grandeur and aura of the campus. However, as the tour went through the center of campus I was surprised to find this ugly, squat thing dominating the middle of an otherwise impressive lawn. The concrete, square, and jarring building clashed horribly with the stately buildings around it. I was reminded of Frank Lloyd Wright, whose buildings often seemed designed to challenge our preconceptions of what a building SHOULD look like. I suppose I am too conservative, for all I could see was the clash of ideas instead of an artistic expression that was merely different from the older, more conservative styles around it. Regardless, I have always been left with a negative impression of the building.
Last Christmas I was lucky enough to slip in a road trip to Chicago, Illinois. It was the first time I’ve ever visited the Windy City. I was immediately in shock when the city and its plethora of towers came into view along the horizon. The only area I had to compare it to was Bricktown, and this city made Bricktown look like child’s play. Needless to say, I was extremely overwhelmed. The first massive structure I visited (my personal favorite) was the Hancock Tower. From the base of the tower, staring towards the top, I was very disoriented and it actually made me dizzy. This tower flaunts its support beams, some of which cross over each other and accomplishes its intimidating, industrial
look. If you want to capture one of the best views in the city, you’ll have to pay $20 to hop on what they claim to be the world’s fastest elevator. It’s a very small price to pay for such an outstanding view.
It really felt like I was on top of the world and in comparison, most of the other towers seem tiny. I definitely look forward to visiting again and hopefully it’s sooner than later.