The Drouillard House

We often sat on the front porch of the homeplace after dinner, listening in the dark to “brother” — the oldest of mother’s siblings — talk the Bible into flesh and blood. Sometimes, the stories turned to the mansion down the road built for a southern belle who shocked Nashville society with her marriage to a Union officer in September, 1864.

Relatives and friends of Mary Florence refused to attend her wedding to Capt. James Pierre Drouillard, an Ohio native and West Point graduate. So they moved west, to the hills and hollows of Cumberland Furnance, TN. Eventually they were accepted back into the Nashville fold. In the next century, mother’s friends lived in that home. The girls would drift slowly down the three-story spiral staircase, practicing for their grownup lives. So did I, once, when mother took me there.

So I always wondered about the girls as they moved along the stairway toward long-ago beaus waiting in the foyer. Did they see the faint outlines of a man in uniform standing in shadow? A wisp of a forever love conjured by bedtime stories and the embedded memories of a magnificent old home.

Decoding the Decodex (to the Codex Seraphinianus)

For those interested in Luigi Serafini’s Codex, I posted a hack translation of the accompanying «Decodex» that came with the most recent edition.

The Six Weirdest Cities People Actually Live In

Look, we’re idiots: None of us knows what, exactly, goes into city planning, but we assume it’s probably a lot of distinguished gentlemen emailing each other about math, statistics and blueprints. But somewhere along the line, somebody accidentally CC’ed the insane asylum, and we wound up with the following civilizations that simply should not be.

(via @tylercowen)

Cristóbal Vila, Fallingwater

Cristóbal Vila created a beautiful CGI fly-through — from construction to completion — of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

(thanks, Chris)

Chicago Screenshots

Chicago Screenshots is a (slowly growing) collection of Chicago-centric movie and television stills, presented as architectural and urban landscape photography.

Art Institute adds Warhol’s ‘Empire’ to Chicago skyline

From 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. [Friday, December 9], the modern skyscraper [the Aon Center] overlooking Millennium Park will be acting as a movie screen onto which the Art Institute of Chicago will be projecting Andy Warhol’s eight-hour silent, black-and-white epic “Empire,” which consists of one long, unbroken shot of New York’s Empire State Building. Said to be the first outdoor U.S. screening of this landmark — if not exactly action-packed — film, the event marks the very public, logistically challenging kickoff to the Art Institute’s new exhibition Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964-1977, which opens to members Saturday and to the public Tuesday.

Ice Cube Celebrates Charles and Ray Eames (and Los Angeles)

In a world full of McMansions where the structure takes up all the land, the Eames made structure and nature one.

(via @gary_hustwit)

The Transportation Building (Chicago, Illinois)

Like a keypunch card it was, in a way. Long. And slim. And punctured.

I lived in it for a couple of years. Strange to say (perhaps), I might have lived there happily for many another year.

But that is a very long story. And it moves both backwards and forwards.

The Unbridge

A series of moats and fortresses were built over the West Brabant Water Line region of the Netherlands during the 17th century in order to provide protection from invasion by France and Spain. Fort de Roovere was surrounded with a shallow moat that was too deep to march across, and too shallow for boats. In turn the earthen fort had remained protected –until now.

This trench-like bridge was designed by RO & AD Architects to allow tourist access to the fort in a natural, thoughtful way.

(via inhabitat)

things to see in Rome when you think you’ve seen it all

Being that I’m on a moratorium against photographs on my own blog, I’ll break my sight-silence (sitence?) to show you some things you might otherwise not know about:

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