A New Definition of Fixer Upper?

A New Definition of Fixer Upper?

Historic Perservation, News
With so many beautiful historic homes being demolished today, last week I received some wonderful news from one of my clients who lives in Rockville, MD.  Jennifer excitedly told me that after overcoming many obstacles, her and her husband, Lee, had just purchased a 137 year old Victorian mansion . . . but, she added, it needed a LOT of work. That was indeed an understatement!  I found out that Jennifer and Lee had just purchased the Winderbourne, an amazing Queen Anne-style mansion that sits on nine acres and overlooks Little Seneca Lake in Boyds, MD. The home sat empty for many years and the wooden boards, beams and shingles became a canvas for vandals. [caption id="attachment_26967" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Lee Levin stands in front of the 1884 Winderbourne House, his…
Read More
Chicago:  Destroying its Architectural Heritage with Abandon!

Chicago: Destroying its Architectural Heritage with Abandon!

Historic Perservation, News
1886 Georgian Beauty Becomes New Target of the Wrecking Ball! On this day, 150 years ago, Chicago residents were recovering from the Great Chicago Fire. It raged from Oct 8 - 10, 1871, leaving a mass of molding rubble and destruction. The deadly fire killed 300 people and destroyed roughly 3.3 square miles of the inner city. A total of 17,500 buildings were lost and more than 100,000 residents were left homeless.  In true Chicago style, the city rallied its forces and rebuilt. . . this time mainly in brick and stone and other sturdy structures. The buildings were unique, well designed and meant to last. Who would have thought that a century and a half later, these beautiful old buildings would be facing a new threat of extinction. .…
Read More
Urban Warfare:  Another Beloved Historic Beauty Destroyed by the Wrecking Ball

Urban Warfare: Another Beloved Historic Beauty Destroyed by the Wrecking Ball

Historic Perservation, News
This is how this historic Tudor looked when they tore it down! This story makes my blood boil.  A truly magnificent 1927 architectural showplace designed by architects Henry Knauer & Clarence Smale, was one of the original design showcase homes of the prominent Hancock Park neighborhood in Los Angeles CA.  Built of superior quality materials and close to a century old, this unique home was well loved and maintained and likely to last another 100 years or more.  The new owners spent 2.3 million to buy the house and property and agreed at the time they would not tear it down. In 2020, they cold-heartedly oversaw the demise of this stunning architectural art form. [caption id="attachment_26557" align="aligncenter" width="1020"] Built 1927, this historic Tudor style home has occupied a corner lot…
Read More
Why I love historic homes. . .

Why I love historic homes. . .

Historic Perservation, House Portraits, News
Touring a Historic Tudor Home A few days ago I delivered a house portrait II had just finished to Linda and Jim, the owners of a charming brick Tudor cottage in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Heritage Hill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its abundance of large Victorian houses.  My clients were most gracious and asked if I would like the “grand tour” of their home. “Well of course!” I replied. The experience reminded me just why I love historic homes so much. As I have always said, architecture is about people, and every home with history has a story. The moment I entered their Tudor abode I could sense almost a 100 years of memories  embedded in its walls. I thought…
Read More
Painting of Historic Grand Rapids Church Transformation Unveiled!

Painting of Historic Grand Rapids Church Transformation Unveiled!

Historic Perservation, News
Community flocks to weekend event in East Hills, Grand Rapids MI Rainy weather did not dampen the enthusiasm for our community event and pop-up art show last weekend on the premises of what will become a vibrant art center at 1009 Hermitage St SE in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids. [caption id="attachment_25539" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Project Manager Carol Moore and Chair of the Hermitage at Diamond non-profit, Maureen Kirkwood, brief the attendees[/caption] Two hundred and fifty members of the community attended to find out more about the plans to transform this beautiful church constructed in 1875. They also witnessed me “unveiling” of my original painting  of the church, depicting how it will look as an art center when fully restored. I was honored to present the painting to Maureen…
Read More
The Destruction of Historic Architecture

The Destruction of Historic Architecture

Historic Perservation, News
 The sad demise of 10 Shelly Beach Road: Why did they tear it down? Every building with history has its own story and precious memories. Those of you who have witnessed the sudden disappearance of a home or building very dear to you, will understand the emotional impact and loss I felt that day. It was a defining moment I will always remember. It was the moment when I realized I had to tell the stories of beautiful historic structures through my art …. before it was too late.  The day started out well. I had traveled back home to New Zealand to see family and also take a nostalgic journey, re-tracing my artistic roots in Auckland, the city I grew up in and where I created my very first…
Read More
Completion of my Historic Chicago House Portrait Series!

Completion of my Historic Chicago House Portrait Series!

Historic Perservation, House Portraits, News
Chicago Architecture is one of a kind! I am proud to display these paintings of my Chicago Historic House Portrait Collection. It is a well known fact that the architecture of Chicago has influenced and reflected upon the history of American architecture.  Chicago's imaginative architecture displays the city's fascinating history and its multicultural heritage.  It features a variety of styles designed by many prominent architects. Sadly, in the downtown area, most structures were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 (the most famous exception being the Water Tower), therefore Chicago buildings are mainly noted for their originality. My series of paintings goes beyond the downtown area and its towering skyscrapers. I wandered through the vibrant neighborhoods and drove down leafy residential streets and soon discovered why Chicago uniqueness is…
Read More