So we were just talking about Holiday Inn (the movie) and now here’s a CNN feature on the Holidome – the indoor pool/amusement park/party center that was a feature of many Holiday Inns (the hotel chain) in the 1970s and 1980s. Yes, the actual hotel chain was named after the inn in the Bing Crosby movie.
A colonial farmhouse in the Hudson Valley that, realtors say, was once owned by Bing Crosby is for sale for just under $1.5 million.
The New York house is not far from the Connecticut border, within reasonable commuting distance of NYC, and includes a barn and rentable cottages, so you could recreate the whole Holiday Inn fantasy for real.
The house is described as “a 1700s pre-revolutionary mansion which has undergone several major renovations. Originally built as a Dutch Stone House in 1743 it was made into a brick colonial in 1772. Then it was made into a Gothic Victorian at the turn of the century. Its final major renovation was as the center piece of an outstanding 600 acre beef farm owned by Bing Crosby.”
But wait – did Bing actually live there?
Jazz legend Dave Brubeck’s house has eight bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, and at least four pianos. It’s not clear whether the latter, or the Nakashima furniture, is included in the $2.75 million price tag.
Dave and Iola Brubeck hired an unknown young architect, Beverly David Thorne, to design their first house, completed in 1954, in Oakland, California. When they moved east, Thorne also designed their Connecticut house. He “often slept outdoors on the property in a sleeping bag while designing the house to chart where the sun emerged in the sky each day so he could best position the structure for maximum sun exposure during season changes,” according to Brubeck. The house was completed around the same time Thorne designed Case Study House #26 in California.
The Rogers House is a fine example of 18th century pattern brick architecture that unfortunately was neglected long enough that by the time funding was acquired, the only option was to preserve it as a stabilized ruin. Mercer County acquired the house in 1970; the preservation project was not completed until 2019. Still, a stabilized ruin is better than a collapsed house.
“Pattern brick” means that letters and numbers are built into the walls using glazed brick ends inset among unglazed brick stretchers. On one end is “1751” commemorating when the house was built (although there has been debate about whether the third digit is a “5” or “6”). On the opposite side are the letters “J + R R” for John and Rachel Rogers, the original homeowners. The rest of the walls are built a Flemish bond with alternating brick headers and stretchers.
Recommendations for great, mostly modern, buildings to visit this pandemic summer on your architecture-themed road trip. According to the New York Times, you may not even have to get out of your car to experience some of them.
The cover of General Electric’s introduction to illuminating buildings using electric lights – a new subject in 1930. Source: General Electric/Archive.org/Building Technology Heritage Library CC-BY-ND 3.0.
This former Standard Oil gas station built around 1930 in Cañon City, Colorado is currently occupied by an antique store. A 2008 National Park Service Preservation Brief notes that beginning in the 1920s, gas companies began designing gas stations to look more like residential buildings to help them blend into their surrounding neighborhoods.
The move toward the house-type station was also a sign of growing competition within the oil industry as businesses worked to garner customer trust and loyalty. Companies developed distinctive brands and signature building forms. Pure Oil, for example was well-known for its English Cottage stations, while Standard Oil favored Colonial Revival designs. The effort to develop iconic signage and stations foreshadowed all-encompassing branding campaigns that dominated gas station design later in the century.Chad Randl, The Preservation and Reuse of Historic Gas Stations. Preservation Briefs 46.
The first thing to realize is that the Hog Island cranes are no longer on Hog Island. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, a massive shipyard was set up alongside the Delaware River on Hog Island in Philadelphia to build transport and cargo ships, although none of the ships were completed before the war ended in 1918.
In 1930, Philadelphia bought Hog Island and transformed it into what is now the Philadelphia International Airport. Two of the cranes were sold and moved upriver to Trenton. At the Trenton Marine Terminal, they were used to load and unload ships for several decades before being taken out of service. Only the two gantries remain; the cranes that sat on top of them are gone. The Hog Island cranes were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
For more on Hog Island, see The Necessity for Ruins.
Glencairn was built by Raymond Pitcairn, “self-taught cathedral architect” (as his New York Times obituary described him) and heir to the massive empire created by his father, John, the founder of PPG industries.
After completing construction of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral of the The New Church, Pitcairn turned to building himself a new house. Located north of Philadelphia (the Philly skyline can be seen from the top of the mansion’s seven-story tower), it was designed by Pitcairn and constructed between 1928 and 1939, while Pitcairn was simultaneously fighting against Roosevelt’s New Deal. Glencairn is built in the Romanesque style out of hand-cut stone and concrete. It contains 90 rooms, including 17 bedrooms, a chapel, and the expansive living room, decorated with both actual Medieval-era items and modern recreations built by artisans in the same style.