John Hancock Center

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John Hancock center

The John Hancock center was constructed under the supervision of Skidmore, Owings and Merrills, with chief designer  Bruce Graham and structural engineer Falzur Khan.  It has a glass facade that allows natural light into the different spaces of the building. The reason the building is significant to me is because I visited the building with my siblings to do the 360° Chicago which is the John Hancock Observatory that allows a 360° view of the city, and a distance of over 80 miles (130 km). It is located on the 94th floor and is the highest I have ever been in a building. It was surreal, and an amazing experience. The floor of the observatory is 1,030 feet off of street-level below. The observatory has an additional attraction called the TILT which is a series of floor to ceiling windows that slowly tilt outside the building to 30°, I did it with my brother and it was really scary, but amazing.

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The TILT

Skylon Tower (Ontario)

Skylon Tower

Tried of Oklahoma’s scorching heat? Well heading north might cool you down. Back in 2009 around early June,  my family and I decided to take a trip to Canada to checkout Niagara Falls and Thousand Islands. During our stay in Ontario, we visited the Skylon Tower. This tower stands at about 775 feet tall, but don’t worry, the elevator ride to the top is only 52 seconds long.

Mom and Dad

However, what I loved about this tower the most is the restaurant on the top floor. This is NOT your ordinary restaurant. Not only does this restaurant have a spectacular view of Niagara Falls, but the tower turns at a 360 degree motion. Since the top of the tower spins, where ever you decide to sit in the restaurant you will get a full view of Niagara Falls and more! Hands down, this is the coolest restaurant I have ever been to–food was amazing as well! So for all you guys (or gals) out there wanting to take your honey some where special, check out Skylon Tower because I am positive this restaurant will surely impression them! ^.^

The restaurant

 

The Berlin Cathedral

1048449_10200916561890131_776918099_oLast summer, as most summers since my family moved to the United States, I have had the pleasure of going back to Europe.  This time was different because my best friend came along with me so we decided to go a couple places such as Berlin and Prague on top of staying with my family in Szczecin, Poland. When we got to Berlin and spent some time walking around, we came to this giant, breathtaking structure. This building was the first one to ever take my breath away.
966356_10200916554449945_151549609_oThe size of the Cathedral was incredible and no picture could do it justice. The accents of gold sparkled in the sunlight and the detailed engravings on its walls were like nothing I’ve seen before. The Baroque, Renaissance, and Brick Gothic architectural styles integrated in this beautiful church made the atmosphere around it truly special.1040669_10200916550569848_268359993_o

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ San DiegoTemple

Recently my wife and I traveled to San Diego California. We took some time to stop in and admire The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Temple.  This building is a house of worship for members of the church.  It is located close to interstate 5 and has caused a commotion over the years because people will slow down and even stop on the interstate to get a look.  We were able to go inside and see how beautiful this building is. It has an atrium in the middle of the building that was amazing and by far my favorite part.

It was under construction from 1988 to 1993. It is 72,000 square feet and sits on 7.2 acres of land.  The architects for this building were William S. Lewis, Jr – design architect, Dennis Hyndman – project architect and Shelly Hyndman – interior design architect.

Here are a few pictures, enjoy!

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McKinley National Memorial

This is the memorial that was in for former President of the United States William McKinley and is located in Canton Ohio.  When I was living in Ohio, I lived about a mile from the McKinley Memorial.  I would go running up the steps every morning.  I had always admired the building’s design and the uniqueness it had.  It defiantly does what it was built for in giving you a lasting impression of President McKinley.

Construction begun in year 1905 and was completed in 1907.  It was built with marble, granite and brick.  The interior dome measures 50 feet in diameter and is 77 feet above the floor with a skylight at the top.  There is 96 steps leading up to the building and 12 more just inside the building totaling 108 steps.  The interior is the resting place of President McKinley and his family.  The architectural designed that was chosen was by Harold Van Buren Magonigle.

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Haitian Inspiration

This past summer I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Haiti on a mission trip. I worked in an orphanage there with an organization called CoreLuv. For one week I was able to run around chasing children in one hundred degree heat, push them on the swings, play soccer with them, and let the little girls braid my hair. These children live in a small, gated area that has two buildings with rooms and a common area where they eat. Just outside the fence they have a school that children from the orphanage as well as children from the community attend. While I was in Haiti back in May, they were in the process of constructing a health clinic so that they can simply walk their children there when they need care. These buildings can be seen in the picture below (along with the amazingly beautiful landscape of Haiti).

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The pink and blue buildings to the far left are where the children sleep, and in between those is a courtyard where the children can play and spend most of their days. The lighter blue/green building in the middle is the school, and the building that is in the middle of construction on the far right is the health clinic. What I noticed about these buildings, and the architecture in Haiti is that it is very, very basic. It seemed as if its purpose is to simply stand and serve as a place for the children to live. The buildings are painted blue and pink for the boys and girls, and the windows are simple medal bars because there is no air conditioning.

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I was extremely inspired by the buildings of this orphanage for that reason. They are made for a purpose. Here in America it is so important that buildings are extremely aesthetically appealing on the outside, but in Haiti they just need to withstand any tropical storm or earthquake that might come through. I was also very inspired by the way they were working on building the health clinic while I was there because they do not have any heavy machinery. The last day I was there I watched in amazement as they passed 5-gallon buckets up a ladder with cement in them in order to pour the roof. Ultimately I realized that I take so much for granted and need to be thankful for what I have in the United States each and every day.

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The Old Science Hall

This is the Old Science Hall here at OU, located in the North Oval. This building is very important to me, because it houses the film department, which is my major, and I spend a lot of time in here. It’s mostly outdated (hello, old is in the name), but it’s a great building. It has a big staircase out front and you walk into a landing where the stairs split to go up a half level or down into the basement. However, I love that because of the slop of the ground, when you go in the front you’re going onto the second floor, but if you go in the back way, you’re on the first floor (basement). The film department is on the third floor, where we have the student lounge. The lounge is beautiful, too. There is one entire wall that is floor to ceiling windows, and the windows have big arches, to add a little design to the mix. The building has decorative stars set in circles all over the outside, which makes me think of Hollywood stars, fitting for the film classes held inside. I love this building, because it’s so welcoming and I spend so much time in it. I love looking out the windows to see across the oval, and in one classroom the windows face towards Campus Corner, and you can always people watch. I think it looks like a very grand, theatrical building that’s welcoming to all!

Woolaroc Museum

Woolaroc Museum

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.

Ursuline Academy French Family Math, Science & Technology Building

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. 7a5486d2285d32eb7ad26ed3d13c7525

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Riversong Lodge (1948) Lake Creek, Alaska

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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!

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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!

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