Wednesday, November 11, 2009
but the auction is a bittersweet event--a reminder that one of the most influential and well known architectural book stores will unfortunately join the ranks of many other institutions that have been affected by not only the down turning economy, but also the shift towards the internet being the chosen method of buying goods. this will not turn into a rant, but is meant to be merely a lament for the experience that browsing, selecting and reading books offers to our cultural existence. consumerism aside [overindulged expenditure], a society's values can be measured by the quality of their creations--our built environment included. architect david chipperfield said it best recently when asked about the state of british architectural values [which could also be said about the usa]:
this attitude could be applied to many different aspects of our culture [including books]: expediency over thoughtfulness, convenience over tactile experience. given our nomadic way of life, this not surprising. some will also argue that reading a book on your iPhone saves trees from being made into books. to us, this sounds more like tunnel vision. trees are a renewable resource and can be replaced if handled responsibly [it's not about the delivery, it's all about the approach]. the physicality and weight of a good book can offer new emotional, physical & intellectual connections to our environment and society. it is a [semi] permanent snapshot of our society's discoveries and interests, whether it be the twilight series or research on stem cells.
of course there are many degrees of value, and we are not promoting the death of digital book reading in any way. we just want to keep the choice of "the book" alive...
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
We have closed the doors of THE PRAIRIE AVENUE BOOKSHOP after a glorious era in the history of architecture. The Bookshop is a proud accomplishment and made many other things possible.
We published a magazine on a seminal movement, THE PRAIRIE SCHOOL REVIEW, which defined a period in Midwestern architectural history, published books on Sullivan, Wright and Griffin, wrote a Student Guide leveling the playing field for students in Idaho, wrote a history of the 19C leap of Chicago to the forefront of world architecture, and opened this mecca ("the best architectural bookshop in the world", LONDON FINANCIAL TIMES) for architects from all over the world. All this while Bill was planning and supervising the restoration of Wright's Dana House and Sullivan's Cedar Rapids Bank, among others. The master plan for the Robie House with Getty funding was also part of the mix with too many others to list.
Granted we rode a revival in preservation and historical studies, and a publishing revolution as well: facsimile printing and President Johnson's junior college program in the 60's, the duotone and color technology by the Italians and Japanese in the 60's and 70's, instantaneous ordering by fax and then by the web, the photolithography process for printing THE PRAIRIE SCHOOL REVIEW in the 60's, and self publishing on the computer, all while several new movements in design came to the fore. Why, a couple of my Prairie Avenue Bookshop catalogs with contemporary architectural bibliography were even offered online in
Then of course came the debacle of Amazon and its destruction of 1000's of independent bookstores and the Senate Committee disallowing sales tax on the internet sales which punished brick and mortar businesses, ours included, (which in turn hikes your state's budget shortfalls and local real estate taxes). The unnoticed present and future destruction of publishers is in progress. And critical editing in general will disappear as foretold in the Graham Foundation's seminar several years ago. In
But that's another story.
Bill's book THE CHICAGO ARCHITECTURAL CLUB, Prelude to the Modern, chronicles the change in architectural historiography itself: a club, letters, drawings, blueprints, magazines documenting ideas and design, as opposed to the 20C telephone, e-mail in lieu of letters, the death of magazines, and CAD--the death of drawing. Such a book will not be written on 20C architecture. No one writes or keeps that kind of record today. Alas!! Artistic works such as Sullivan's A SYSTEM OF ARCHITECTURAL ORNAMENT and Wright's WASMUTH PORTFOLIO will not be produced. We donated a "carload" of documentation from THE PRAIRIE SCHOOL REVIEW and later nineteen boxes of research (including too many drafts) for the CAC book to the Art Institute of Chicago, which in turn has skipped nearly all of the 20C of
But--it's been a great ride. We enjoyed talking for 48 years to visiting architects, architectural historians, architectural critics, students and architectural buffs. We will miss you all, and especially our incredibly loyal staff, particularly Beth, Karl and Emily, known to all of you, who stayed with us to the end.
Now it's time to retire. Marilyn's two new knees and Bill's ubiquitous cane spell the end of exciting professional lives. Bill will be finishing his new book on Dwight Perkins--the man he considers the third in the triumvirate of turn-of-the-century architects, Sullivan, Wright and Perkins--and Marilyn is delving into literary criticism again.
Thank you for your conversations and support.
Marilyn & Bill Hasbrouck
Prairie Avenue Bookshop
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
a recent blog post called "the modern list: colorado" from some guys we really admire [build llc] has gotten our attention after their somewhat whirlwind tour of this great state.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
in good we trust | denver biennial for the americas
A Letter to the Future: In Good We Trust
February 3, 2009
We find ourselves between things. In transition. We find ourselves asking questions new questions - questions of purpose. Propelled by these questions we seek new possibilities for change. In this way we are on the cusp of a new era. The 21st Century brings with it a sense of optimism for what is to come. I believe in this optimism and the sheer massive potential of this future. I have born witness to its roots over the past decade through a network of innovators, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers. And, I witnessed its blossom to scale at an inspiring spectacle, in Denver, in August 2008.
Never before had I experienced such spirited engagement with this future as I did during the Democratic National Convention held in Denver. There was a sense that we were all in this together, actively participating in the optimism. My contribution at this historic moment was through a series of conversations about the future challenges of sustainability that we face as a nation and as a collective world. From this dialogue, so fresh in our memory and so recent as it has launched a new leader, we begin to move towards a new space of action. This is the place in which we begin to imagine a new kind of cultural and civic "Biennial" engagement, that is based on the most fundamental creative acts: Innovation, the act of introducing something new into the world and Entrepreneurship, the act of a building a significant undertaking.
Through our work on Massive Change we have documented and mapped the movement of change-makers broadening the discourse on the future of our collective world. These innovators and entrepreneurs have been leading and participating in a movement in production of new models of public good. This movement is action-based in form and demands active participation by many. It is bound and interconnected by an unspoken and invisible cloud of trust across boundaries of disciplines, institutions, and geographies. I imagine the title of this movement as, “In Good We Trust”.
We will 1) exhibit and articulate, 2) engage participants, 3) produce experiences, 4) build networks, and 5) launch new contributions to “In Good We Trust” in Denver in summer of 2010. This project, a new and radically ambitious cultural project, takes its cue from the energized civic life currently characterizing Denver and innovations currently underway across the Americas and globally. It will be organized through the principles of “proof and possibility”. We will present to the world the diverse creative practitioners that prove this movement is already active and we will catalyze the new possibilities they invite. It is my honor to serve as the first Creative Director of the Denver Biennial of the Americas and lead a vision of the program: In Good We Trust. Be Possibility,
Bruce Mau will be serving as creative director starting in 2010 and Denver will be the host city of the biennial every two years after.
Monday, July 13, 2009
In my inbox [Bruce Mau is coming to Denver--sweet!]:
Tuesday, July 21st, will be Denver's 6th volume of PechaKucha Night. The line-up of presenters is amazing - from Big Blue Bears to Biennials, furniture design to fashion, this round includes some of Denver's top local creatives along with a special guest presenter: Bruce Mau, Artistic Director for the 2010 Denver Biennial of the Americas.
Since it's summer, we're taking the show outside. We'll still be at Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St., we're still asking for a $5 donation, and the show still begins at 8:20, but unlike PKN events in the past, this will be an OUTDOOR event. Please bring your own blanket or low-slung chair - larger chairs will be asked to move towards the back. Come at 8 and set up in the parking lot or grass outside the theater. Being outside will let us fit more folks than usual and you can camp out early to get a good spot. In the event of bad weather however, the event will be held indoors and seating will be limited, first come first served.
Berger, Henry & Foehr: Design Team, cypher13
Charles Carpenter: Graphic Designer, EBD
Larabee & Thornton: Furniture Makers, DoubleButter
Scott Lary: Art Director & Sculpture Artist, Slary Design
Bruce Mau: Designer and Artistic Director, Bruce Mau Design Inc.
Ted Schultz: Architect, CTA Architects Engineers
Brandi Shigley: Dreamer & Doer, Fashion Denver
Ravi Zupa: Visual/Video Artist, Parts and Labor Union
Jaime and Angela
Angela Schwab and Jaime Kopke
PechaKucha Night Denver
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
this year's ghost lab has been completed for about a week now, and through evidence at the Ghost 11 flickr Pool this year's lab was quite different from past projects. from the photos, what we can tell is that this year's ghost was a re-construction [and re-locating] of an existing structure onto the ghost village site. being an alumnus of ghost lab 8 ourselves, the documentation of these exploits in nova scotia are always a pleasure to view.
*Update*--here is an article briefly explaining how this year's historically significant ghost 11 came to be:
"...Granville Centre may have lost its Troop [family name] barn heritage landmark, but the 121-year-old octagonal building has found a new home.
Halifax architect Brian MacKay-Lyons bought the historic barn with its vertical faded red clapboard and cupola. Last month he had the barn dismantled, loaded on a truck, and taken to his farm in Kingsburg.
Catherine Pretty of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects writes that the Troop barn will get a new life as part of the Ghost Architectural Laboratory, an intensive two-week design program currently underway in Kingsburg. For background, go to www.mlsarchitects.ca and click on Ghost.
Ms. Pretty says the barn will become a community building on the campus. When it’s finished later this year, the new/old Troop barn will be christened with a Lennie Gallant performance.
The Troop barn was built by William B. Troop in 1888, and is one of two surviving octagonal barns in Nova Scotia. The other one is in Old Barns, just outside of Truro."
we will leave you to discover the ghost photo set on your own. here are some more highlights of ghost 11:
Thursday, June 11, 2009
our plotter literally blew out its back side [of the magenta cartridge], and here are the crime scene photos. ambiguously eerie and almost david lynch-ian in aesthetic...
speaking of...try dark night of the soul on for size. listen here.
we can't stop listening and visualizing the types of spaces this music should be heard in.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
photo by iwan baan; friends of the high line
NYT: Renovated High Line Open for Strolling
NYT: On High, A Fresh Outlook
Friends of the High Line Blog
More photos of the high line on flickr search.
time for a field trip!