23 March 2010

ideal villas

As we rode in the cab from the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel to Rathbun's Restaurant for supper last Saturday night, we passed an interesting building. There it rose on a bluff overlooking downtown Atlanta, rising over the multi-lane street. The style is gentle deconstructivism (if that's not an oxymoron). The view from the big windows (toward the West) must be glorious at sunset.

After I got back to Alfred, I sent a note to VRA-L to see if anyone knew anything about the building. Frank Jackson, Emory librarian who had done some of the local arrangements for the VRA conference responded with a real estate advertisement for the house which is a 1929 or 1930 garage-like building with a villa atop. Now if you know me very well or not even very well, you know I love the works of Palladio and he is, of course, Mr Villa. Frank also led me to the post-pessimist who blogged about the house in 2006. (The pictures above are from the blog entry.) And that led to another Atlantan who blogs about unusual architectural sightings. Love this social networking. If somebody with an extra half million buys the house, I'd love to come visit in real time.

And thinking about villas and ideal homes, I was reminded again of the plan that Arnold Klukas drew for me twenty-five years ago. Arnie was a medievalist and architectural history grad student at Pitt when I worked there just after library school. We loved to talk about architecture and things medieval. He one time doodled up a residence for me, actually "being a library with house attached." The house started around the remains of a 1350 cloister and the last part was a new brutalist garage from circa 1970. Of course, by now, there would be new wings in pomo and decon and Ungers- or Krier-influenced late modern, and perhaps a neotraditionalist development down the road, out of sight (I hope).


Jean Sirius said...

looks like 35 years ago, sherman. and i can totally see you living there.

Sherman Clarke said...

Oh, you're right; it was 35 years ago. How fast time flies, he said most originally.

Ray Anne Lockard said...

Did you know that Arnie is now in Wisconsin? I miss him being in Pgh and coming to our library - we always had great discussions about the Episcopal Church and also architecture.

Sherman Clarke said...

Not only does time pass quickly but it's a small world. John Taormina read the blog entry via Facebook and sent me a message about his knowing Arnie when they were both in Oberlin in the mid 1980s. I googled Arnie and found him at the seminary in Wisconsin. He was a good and friendly library user.