Wednesday, January 30, 2008

226 Main Street

Union Savings Bank moved into this building, designed by the New York City firm of Berg & Clark, on Tuesday, March 29, 1887, after the first floor was completed. You can read more about the history of Union Savings Bank here.

"Intuition is not raw feeling. When you turn design over to intuition, you imbue the design with a system of proportions. Proportion, how one shape relates to another, is at the center of the old way of seeing. Mastery of proportion demonstrates a kind of judgment that goes far beyond what your "practical" side knows how to do. In a sense, using intuition is far more practical than any other method of design. Intellect calculates effect, intuition organizes shapes. Effect has its place; function has its place; keeping the rain out has its place. But we are too good at keeping the rain out; it is almost the only thing we do. The goal of design is not to find the correct proportions; the goal is to express life. It is not necessary, it can be counterproductive, to try to be lively, interesting, mysterious. To make a building that comes alive, it is, above all, necessary to play among the patterns.


"When we visit the old towns, when we go into an ancient cathedral, when we see a masterpiece by a twentieth-century architect, we notice something most of our buildings lack. As we look at these places we know something is absent from the everyday buildings of our time—the suburban house, the office building, the mall. And we accept this lack. We may complain about it, but in the end, we don't expect our buildings to have that spark we see in the buildings of the past. Theorists tell us we should accept the "Ugly and Ordinary" building. We assume there must be an unbridgeable gap between what our age builds and what was once produced with a light touch, as a matter of course. But there were once, and there can be again, interesting, even magical, ordinary buildings."

Jonathan Hale, The Old Way Of Seeing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2008

"There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from re-ordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war."

Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam, delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 1967, at Manhattan’s Riverside Church. Click here for the full text and a portion of the audio of the speech.

NOTE: I have replaced the original image with one that I found at the Images of 20th Century African American Activists page at the Library of Congress website. These images are all believed to be in the public domain unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Myers Briggs in 5 Minutes

It's still intersession at school, and instead of all the web programming projects I had lined up, I've been learning the ins and outs of selling on eBay and Amazon in an effort to make ends meet for this one last year of graduate school. (Seller name firstgentrekkie on both, if you're interested.) So I haven't been out taking pictures lately, although I did snap a few photos of Monday morning's snowfall. It almost looks like I had the camera in B&W mode, doesn't it?

I learned about this website from librarian blogger Helene Blowers at LibraryBytes. I took the full-blown Myers Briggs test about 20 or 25 years ago, and as I recall I was much more centered then. It seems that age has made me more introverted, more perceptive, and less judgmental. I'm still pegged as an engineering type, though. I guess some personality aspects are immutable.

Click to view my Personality Profile page