Saturday, March 31, 2012

The sunsets of Seaside

Not only is the town architecturally beautiful, the sunsets seen in Seaside were some of the prettiest I've experienced.Why is it that one notices such things so much more during a vacation then during their daily lives?

Friday, March 30, 2012

The towers of Seaside

One of the architectural features you find throughout the different styles of Seaside are towers. They not only make the house they belong to distinctive, these towers are a great place to catch the sea breezes in the summer, views of the Gulf year round and provide private outdoor space as yards tend to be miniscule.This green house was one of the most charming in town.One of the many modern houses had this interesting tower; notice the curved ceiling within the peaked roof.One of my favorite houses, designed by Charles Warren, was inspired by a Roman villa.This distinctive red shade, in a town full of pastels, makes the house the brightest in Seaside.Many of the houses along 30A are Victorian, a natural style for a tower.What do you think, Yea or Nea? It becomes a bit overwhelming in person as so many houses have towers -how many is too many?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

National Portrait Gallery

One of my favorite museums in DC is the National Portrait Gallery. In 2000, the building underwent a major 6 year long renovation which included enclosing the courtyard, done by the starchitect Norman Foster.While I think this contemporary roof blends harmoniously with the classical building, formerly the National Patent Office, it's the restoration of the amazing Greek Revival building that really fascinates me.The building encompasses an entire city block so you can imagine the number of staircases required to provide access to all 3 floors.Each is different and the details astound me, every one.The stone scalloped treads of this curved stair elegantly cantilever out of the wall.While the stringer of this stair is amazingly shallow. Aren't the shadows beautiful?The first floor is almost treated as a basement in Piano Nobile style. This stair with heavy granite treads reminds me of a servant's stair from Downton Abbey.The top floor has this mezzanine and is a light filled atrium thank to the skylight, perfect for the more modern and celebrity portraiture.Check out these colorful Victorian tile floors!The art is as beautiful as the building, naturally, and there is always an interesting exhibit to check out. This bronze sculpture of the Spirit of Life, 1914, by Daniel Chester French, lies at the top of one of the many stairscases.A portrait of the beautiful Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler, 1893, by John Singer Sargent, is one of my many favorite portraits.The collection houses a number of works from the aesthetic period (my favorite) such as this painting of a Woman with red hair, 1894, by Albert Herter. So if you're in DC checking out our Cherry Blossom Festival and beautiful spring weather, don't forget to stop into the National Portrait Gallery!
The National Portrait Gallery is located at 8th Street NW & F Street NW atop the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop.