Monday, July 24, 2017

Philip McDuffie House (1922) Hentz, Reid & Adler, a "Neel Reid" Part 1 of ?

If Neel Reid himself walked though the front door of 7 Cherokee today, he'd likely say, "You haven't changed this foyer in 90 years! Let's get to work." That's what I think anyway.

The new owners are renovating and adding on. They are removing some of the fancy woodwork in the public rooms. "Fancy?" I really mean HEROIC. Are they ruining a "Neel Reid?" Someone said Yong Pak and Pak Heydt & Associates will be working on it. Take comfort.

It's taken me two weeks to publish a few pictures with captions. How to start when it's a legend? I don't know the names of styles or design details. How much of this did Neel Reid personally design? Did he set foot inside once it was done or decorated? How much has changed in the last 90 years?

My pictures and videos are so lame in telling you about the house but I'll show you a few in the blog. Here are links to my 7 Cherokee pictures in Flickr, my four 7 Cherokee videos in YouTube and a nice biography of Philip McDuffie from Buckhead Heritage. Phillip McDuffie developed Garden Hills among other things.

I don't get invited to these places so I follow estate sales. Once in a while I get lucky, this one thanks to VT Estate Sales.

This is as close can you get without an invitation. 8,562 square feet on 4 acres. My impression is the "whole" rather than the parts, a single composition.

Peachtree Heights West, has been of Atlanta's prestigious neighborhoods for 90 years. There's a nest of Neel Reid's (and more) surrounding the intersection of Andrews and Cherokee.

There's the gate. Looks like money wasn't the issue.

I got stuck at the gate wondering if I could process the house.

Gate details. Original? Neel Reid? James Means? There are many more pineapples and lanterns and lamps ahead.


The triple double-windows to the left are the front of the narrow end of the living-room / library. Not a weed in the lawns, the gardens, or the driveway.

Fancy balustraded wall and steps, fancy for the cars.

Even the tire stops are fancy.

Here you go. My long eye says: symmetrical, balanced, harmonious. My close eye wonders: how many design decisions, how many measurements to make harmony? How many budget decisions, value engineering? Do people live here, have consulate parties and debutante receptions? All and more I think.

I felt more important than intimidated. Did the medallions, niches and urns have to be just so?

I've got to stop here for now. Let me tease you with one picture from the inside.

This would be the dining room.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Keeping Morrow Weird: Branch Library by Scogin, Elam, and Bray

It was my birthday and I am the Architecture Tourist after all. I was in Stockbridge, Google said it was only eight minutes to the Carol Cobb Turner Branch Library in Morrow by Scogin, Elam, and Bray.

First: The bottom lines.
  1. I salute places that are open to the public.
  2. You've just got to see this place. Pictures don't convey how strange-wonderful it is. 
  3. It's totally nutty on the outside. But when you walk in... 
  4. I like places that can accommodate a mess. And this place...
  5. Scogin, Elam, and Bray designed two more libraries in Clayton County.
  6. I'm thinking a Saturday morning road trip to see all three. Interested? 
  7. There's a Star Trek reference below.

So I went and I've been giggling ever since.

"This is the weirdest building I've ever seen." Prison worker emptying the trash 16 May 2017

"Do you ever get disoriented in here?" Terry 16 May 2017
"Yes!" Morrow Branch Library desk clerk 16 May 2017

"... the Talosians, who then allowed Captain Pike to see that her youthful beauty was an illusion. (Vina) explained she had nearly died in the crash and that the Talosians, who had never seen Humans, had had no guide in repairing her smashed body." Star Trek "The Menagerie, Part II" 24 November 1966

"Weird is what what we do." paraphrasing Merrill Elam (left) speaking about the new Austin Courthouse at Record on the Road - Atlanta 29 March 2017

“Morrow library could have been built for less.” 30 January 1992 The Clayton Sun

Then there's the alien spaceship pointing to the mother-ship.

20170516_103859 2017-05-16 Morrow Branch Library Carol Cobb Turner Branch Scogin n Elam n Bray 6225 Maddox Road Clayton County Georgia 1991 General Contractor Lusk and Associates
But also a human touch.

Road trip?

Let's visit one Saturday.

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