Places We Love, Part I
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we once again spoke with our staff about the buildings, spaces, and places they love the most. The subjects of our affection vary in form and function, but they all have some unique draw that earns our admiration. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do and we encourage you to share the love by telling us about some of your favorite places and spaces.
U.S. Botanical Garden Conservatory, Washington, D.C. – One of my favorite places in Washington and a building I really do love is the United States Botanical Garden Conservatory. Nothing is more cathartic than spending an hour here on a cold winter day. We often go after ice skating at the sculpture garden on the mall and find the warm, humid air and fragrant, floral smell to be just what we need. Highly recommended for all who can’t swing either the time or money for a trip to the Caribbean. Ted Houseknecht, Associate
Fallingwater, Bear Run, PA – There is a reason this building is on every architect’s bucket list. Dramatic and gravity-defying in pictures, the house is even more impressive in person. Chris Teigen, Architect
Carbide and Carbon Building, Chicago – After 85 years, its still one of the best skyscrapers on earth. I love to see it against the rest of the Chicago skyline; it’s shape and use of green terra cotta are extraordinary. Everyone, should go have a drink in the lobby to see the gorgeous interiors. Book a room (it’s now a hotel) and if you’re lucky enough to get upgraded, you can get one of the corner rooms with a balcony where you can actually touch the terra cotta & bronze details. Gregory Hoss, Principal
Mount Trashmore Park, Virginia Beach, VA – A rather unique site, but one that I loved as a child and appreciate even more as an adult. As a child I loved it because it had everything I wanted to do outdoors in one place: two fishable lakes to the north & south, a huge playground and skate park to the east, and a hill that to a beach kid was rivaled only by Everest. As an adult I appreciate the concept that the ‘mountain’ of Mt. Trashmore Park is actually a 60’ high, 800’ long landfill that was repurposed into a public park. It opened 40 years ago next month and it is a perfect example of turning an eye sore off the highway into a beautiful public space for all to enjoy. Kyle Veater, Marketing Assistant
Seath’s Bar & Grill, Pittsburgh, PA – 1216 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA (built c. 1920, demolished 2003). I grew up in the apartment above the bar and restaurant my family owned for more than twenty years. The ground floor had been a bar since the end of Prohibition, and the upstairs was a boarding house during World War II. During my first year of college [when I was not yet an architecture student], a developer bought most of our block to build a chain drug store. The old building is now the store’s parking lot. Of course, I love this building because I grew up there, but I also love it because its loss pushed me to study architecture and urban design. My memories of the building still teach me the value of a humble but beloved institution in a genuinely human-scaled neighborhood. Will Seath, Intern Architect
Part II of this series featuring more amazing places from the hearts and minds of our staff will be posted on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.