Wednesday, October 9, 2013

World Monuments Fund 2014 List and More...

The World Monuments Fund issues a list every two years of sites in danger worldwide. They just issued their 2014 list and I was interested to check out what sites I might know that were on the list. Here's their interactive map - check out your area of the world. Anything you recognize?

The Gateway Arch, associated with St Louis for many years, is
deteriorating with corrosion. Hopefully funding can be found
to renovate this symbol of western expansion.

The more recognizable site in the US is the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis, Missouri. The Arch was built to indicate the historical position of St Louis as the archway to the West. In the 1800's, a large variety of immigrants moving from the eastern states to explore and settle the "wild west" came through St Louis. The city's location on the Mississippi also made it a shipping hub for traffic from Minneapolis/St Paul down to New Orleans and back. The Arch has been corroding and is in need of major work to save the monument.

Other US sites on the WMF 2014 list are:

The Chinati Foundation was established as a home for
minimalist art. This art style isn't for everyone, but it
can be stunning when presented properly. 

The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Close to the Mexican border, these two former artillery sheds were transformed into a museum for modern minimalist artwork by Donald Judd in 1979. It has become an international destination for art supporters who support the work of Judd as well as John Chamberlain and Dan Flavin.

I love Taliesin. I've been here twice and to the western Taliesin once. I'd love
to go again and again because it's such a beautiful location and I adore
the architecture.

Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconson. I've visited Taliesin several times, even though it is far off the beaten path for me. The renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, had two areas of operation where he lived, worked and taught in his lifetime. One was Taliesin in Wisconsin, his original home and workshop, the second was Taliesin West near Scottsdale, Arizona. Both sites contain original buildings designed by the master architect amid sprawling landscapes and beautiful overlooks. Taliesin is a unique and beautiful site that, like many of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings, has problems as the buildings age. It would be a real pity to see this site deteriorate further.

One of the notable things about The Cloisters is the magnificent stained
glass work and the views into the gardens and across to the Palisades of
New Jersey. Construction projects proposed for the Palisades could
destroy the bucolic views across the Hudson River. 

The Cloisters and Palisades of New York and New Jersey are on the list. Located in northern Manhattan, this gift of John D Rockefeller, Jr from 1925 is visited by thousands of people and schoolchildren each year. It currently houses the Metropolitan Museum of Arts collection of European medieval art. It features architectural elements including numerous stained glass panels. When I last visited New York I wanted to get to the Cloisters, but time just didn't happen. I still would love to spend a day wandering the stone buildings and looking at the artwork and the views of the Hudson River and the Palisades.

George Nakashima was renowned for his furniture and his general
ability to speak through the wood he carefully chose and cultivated.
This room features many examples of his furniture.

The final US site on the list is the George Nakashima house, studio and workshop located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. George Nakashima was a world renowned master craftsman, architect and designer who melded his Japanese heritage with contemporary styles, materials and aesthetics. This complex features his original workshop, his home which he designed and reworked to showcase his personal vision, and his studio, all of which were built between 1960 and 1975. It is hoped that it will be able to be transformed into a community educational resource.

Linder's Greenhouses and Garden Center has been a Saint Paul staple
for more than 100 years. It will be closing its doors this year.

And in a final note for today's list, a more personal note. For years, all of the years I've been here in Minnesota, my go-to place for garden plants, flowers and holiday swag was Linder's. Founded 103 years ago, it's been a mainstay for people throughout the metro area for their landscaping needs, the seasonal foliage, and the occasional potted plant. Yesterday they announced that they are closing the doors after more than 100 years of serving the community. Although they haven't announced an absolute date yet, I assume they will be out of business no later than the end of the year, and probably sooner. It's always sad when a long-term business like this leaves the area and I don't know where I'll go for my bedding plants. I have friends and customers who work for them who will now be out of a job, and a large complex on east Larpenteur Avenue will now stand vacant. It's a shock and very sad.

No day off for me today - I have to work. My laundry was started at 3:30 am
(time to take things out of the dryer) and I'll do another load tonight
and the last one tomorrow morning. I hate it when I don't get a day off!

Happy Hump Day!

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