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.
This Summer I was blessed to have an internship with Kirkpatrick Oil Company, Inc. as an in-house landman. This was my first legit job experience, and it exceeded my expectations. The company has its own office building that is located on the northern part of Oklahoma City. I remember when I initially went to interview with the company and the first thing I noticed was the unique architecture. Once I landed the job, I was later informed by a coworker on the story behind the uniqueness. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the office building, and I contribute that partially to me having such a great experience. I have attached a couple of links below that gives a brief history of the company I worked for, and the second link tells the story behind the office building.
This summer I got a chance to study aboard in China for 18 days. This learning experience gave me that chance to explore 6 of China’s cities, one of them being Chengdu. Just outside of the city is Mount Qingcheng, the birthplace of Taoism. As I hiked up the mountain (which by the way was not a easy task), I was blown away by the scenery. The mountain itself is an incredible piece of work alone. The mountain has mainly stone stairs, some even look like they were craved into the mountain because they looked so natural and rugged. Even though the hike was rough, every 100 or so steps I was rewarded with a magnificent pavilion open for people to come worship and give thanks.
After about 2 hours of hiking, my friends and I finally reached the Summit of Mt. Qingcheng. At the top, there lies an enormous Taoist Temple. The temple’s design reflects the typical Chinese style pagodas. Because of its size and beautiful architecture, it seem too grand to be just a temple. However, the best part was looking out from the temple. The view from high above was breathtaking…
My favorite piece of architecture in whole wide world lays in the East River and connects two of the most important boroughs of New York City, it is the Brooklyn Bridge. As a kid one of my mother’s cruelty was enrolling me in Chinese school every summer. However, my school was in Chinatown (located lower east side Manhattan) and I lived in Brooklyn, so that meant waking up early to catch the F-train. Looking back now, I can remember looking out the window of the train and seeing the bridge as the train runs. I grew up more than half my life in Brooklyn, so this bridge holds a lot of sentimental value for me. Even so, I am still always fascinated by the bridge’s history.
According to my memory from elementary school, the Brooklyn Bridge began construction in 1869. The bridge designer, John Roebling, was never able to see the completion of the bridge due to fact his toe was pinned and crushed against a ferry; after the toe was amputated it became infected and Roebling died and passed on his design to his son, Washington Roebling. However, his son became paralyzed due to decompression sick, also know as “the bends.” The bends was a common illness for bridge workers, due to some of them working in compressed air in the caissons. The bridge opened in 1883, making it 132 years old and it’s still being used! Fun fact, did you know that the toll is now cheaper than it was back in the late 1800s? Back then it would cost 10 cents for a wagon and a horse to cross, nowadays it’s free passage! So for those of you out there planing a trip to New York City, I encourage you to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. I can promise you that you will get the best skyline view of Manhattan from standing on this bridge!