Architecture in America That Would Make Frank Lloyd Wright Proud

 

Architecture in America That Would Make Frank Lloyd Wright Proud

by Amy Lignor

There is a brand new headline when it comes to an innovative new building; a building that the creator hopes to construct in America. It is a design that looks stunning on paper, however, it is also a design that is ‘far right’ of, well…even Wright’s own ideas.

A conceptual design by Oiio Studio proposes “the Big Bend” as Manhattan’s longest (not tallest) residential building. Photo: Oiio Studio.

Manhattan, as everyone knows by now, is the King of the skyscraper business. They are also always striving, along with Seattle, Chicago and others, to own the tallest building in America, let alone the world. Greek architect Ioannis Oikonomou and his firm, Oiio Studio, may just be the ones to give Manhattan this glory.

Not only could he break the “tallest” record with his idea, but he would also create one of the most interesting, beautiful, yet slightly supernatural looking building in all the land. This would be a U-shaped tower that’s along the lines of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis or the first big drop on a roller coaster as far as construction is concerned. It will also be the “longest” structure and has already been assigned the name, “Big Bend.” A skinny skyscraper bent in half, if you measured from end to end it would be approximately 4,000 feet. The stretch running from the sidewalk to the building’s peak directly in its center would make it 200 feet taller than One World Trade Center was; thus, creating the longest/tallest skyscraper.

It already has a place, of course. If everything were to go perfectly and investors signed on to the project, “Big Bend” would be built on the south corner of Central Park. You know the area as Billionaire’s Row.

It is not a stretch to say that this is a design that very well could come to fruition. And although it would come in as the longest skyscraper, it would not be the “strangest” architectural site that America has to offer. You see, almost every state can claim one site that is so beautiful, unique, or just simply odd that tourists go to see them every year.

Just take a look at a few…

In Alaska, the “Dr. Seuss House” can be found in a place called Willow. Although this is an unofficial name, the beloved author would be proud to see it. The 12 stories, that sat untouched for ten years and was only recently completed, resembles the illustrated homes that Seuss was famous for.

In Arkansas, A stunning architectural work of art comes in the form of Thorncrown Chapel. Wood and stone were used to create the structure, yet a wandering eye that wandered too quickly would see it as just a chapel sitting in the middle of the forest completely abandoned. But don’t let the eyes deceive, because this is one chapel that is not “buried in overgrowth and weeds.” Up close, it is actually enclosed by huge glass panels on all four sides and is truly a sight to behold.

A favorite of many can be found in the state of Connecticut. Gillette Castle is an awe-inspiring site, whether seeing it on land or from a boat staring up at the hill it sits upon. This is a very odd stone monstrosity that was commissioned by William Gillette, who was an American actor best known for playing the role of Sherlock Holmes. He was also a man with a sense of humor and a whole lot of bad luck. In his Will, he stated that the castle was never supposed to be owned by (and I quote): “a blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” Seeing as that the state now owns it, seems that Gillette did not get his wish after all.

For those who love their canines, in the state of Idaho you can find The Dog Bark Park Inn. Locals call this structure “Sweet Willy” and the building is two stories built and painted to look like a beagle. Best dog-themed B&B out there in America. A real “treat” for both you and your special friend.

In Michigan you are granted a look at the Earl Young Mushroom Houses; in Oklahoma, the “Arts & Crafts” House (AKA: The Bavinger House) is also something you’ll never forget. Oddly enough, when it comes to alien beings, it is not Roswell, NM but actually Signal Mountain, Tennessee where you must go to see “The Spaceship House.” Built in 1972 for his son, the owner created this UFO-shaped home with interior décor that is totally round (even the furniture) and a drop-down staircase that allows you to “climb up” and enter the alien transport from the ground below.

But you really can’t speak about “odd” architecture without at least throwing in the name everyone knows. In Dodgeville, Wisconsin, “The House on the Rock” may have a bland name, but the oddities of the building came from the minds of builder Alex Jordan Jr., and designer Frank Lloyd Wright. This is a rural home, but inside you will find everything from the world’s largest indoor carousel to something called ‘The Infinity Room’, which is cantilevered and projected out over 200 feet beyond the actual rock the house sits on. Talk about a view, aye?

It will be interesting to see if investors jump at the chance to construct “Big Bend” in Manhattan and give the already beautiful spot even more cred. But even without it, take some time to research the stunning architecture that has been a part of the U.S.A. for a long time – some are even in your neck of the woods. Because even with the mastermind Wright gone, at least we can be proud that “over-the-top” designs continue to be a part of our architectural universe.

 

Source:  GIG News

Oscar-Nominated Documentary Inspired by James Baldwin’s Unfinished Manuscript

 

Am Not Your Negro

Film Review by Kam Williams

Oscar-Nominated Documentary Inspired by James Baldwin’s Unfinished Manuscript

When novelist/social critic James Baldwin passed away in 1987, he left behind an unfinished opus entitled “Remember This House.” The 30-page manuscript assessed the plight of African-Americans in the United States while specifically reflecting upon the assassinations of three civil rights icons: Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Am Not Your Negro, Film Review, by Kam Williams, Raoul Peck, unapologetically-racist nation, slavery, lynchings,segregation, America

With I Am Not Your Negro, director Raoul Peck (Lumumba) fleshes out Baldwin’s  musings, cinematically, into a searing indictment of the United States as an unapologetically-racist nation. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the movie has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary category.

The focus of the film never strays far from Baldwin, nimbly alternating between archival footage of the fiery figure challenging the status quo and Jackson’s readings from “Remember This House” and his other writings. Again and again, we hear him question the depth of the country’s commitment to reverse the damage inflicted upon the black community by generations of slavery, lynchings and Jim Crow segregation.

Am Not Your Negro, Film Review, by Kam Williams, Raoul Peck, unapologetically-racist nation, slavery, lynchings,segregation, America

James Baldwin

For example, he asserts that most Caucasians are perfectly comfortable relegating African-Americans to a second-class status. He even goes so far as to refer to them as morally-blind monsters for seeing blacks as sub-human. Until that attitude is eradicated,  whites will never recognize that “I am flesh of their flesh.”

Baldwin concludes that “The story of the Negro in America is the story of America.” Therefore, with black and white fates inextricably linked, “It’s not a question of what happens to the Negro. The real question is what is going to happen to this country.”

Given the precarious state of race relations, the late visionary’s prescient insights perhaps prove more timely, posthumously, than in their own day. 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity, mature themes, violent images and brief nudity`

Running time: 95 minutes

Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Source:  Aiken Local News