Friday, February 27, 2009

A Quick Note on Friday

I am watching President Obama speaking at Camp Lejeune on CNN. I just have to say it. I admire the way he thinks. He has a world view. He is smart and reasonable. He is articulate. I trust him. I wish those who "hope he fails" change their minds. (I know they won't... but I wish they could.) Because I think he is the best chance we have.

Now, I am off to California... see you next week!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rookwood Pottery

Rookwood Pottery was established in Cincinnati in 1880. This fine art pottery is valued by collectors of pottery and ceramics. The original Rookwood Pottery building is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. This is an old photo of the original building.

The building still stands today, on Cincinnati's Mount Adams, overlooking downtown. Today there is a restaurant in the building, with display cases containing examples of the pottery made by Rookwood.

The company employed chemists who developed new glazes and artists who created the designs. There are different periods that are identified by the artists' designs and the type of glaze used. The Cincinnati Museum of Art has a large display, representing the many distinctive styles that developed over the years.

The interior of the building has been redesigned around the original brick kilns. If you go to the restaurant, you can eat at a table that is inside one of these large kilns.

Many homes in older Cincinnati neighborhoods have fireplace surrounds made from Rookwood Pottery tiles:

Also in Cincinnati, Rookwood tiles decorate such buildings as Union Terminal and Dixie Terminal. In New York City, Rookwood tiles can be found in the Vanderbilt Hotel, Grand Central Station, the Mayo Clinic, and Lord and Taylor. Several NYC subway stops feature Rookwood tile designs.

Rookwood Pottery began production in 1880 and discontinued in 1967. However, in 2006 the Rookwood Pottery was re-established at a different location in Cincinnati. There is an interesting article at Wikipedia about the history of Rookwood Pottery. (I tried to create a link to it, but am not yet computer savvy enough to make it work.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Art Deco: The Netherland Plaza Hotel

The Netherland Plaza Hotel was completed in 1931. Located in downtown Cincinnati, it is a National Historic Landmark. This photo is the hotel's restaurant, The Orchids at Palm Court.

The Palm Court features Brazilian rosewood paneling, two-story murals, and a dramatic Rookwood pottery fountain, shown in the photo below.

Sconces are silver and nickel:

A staircase:

Detail in a hallway:

Personal note: I was thinking about discontinuing this blog. i was beginning to wonder if anyone was looking at it. I love the few of you who always come and leave a comment. You make me want to continue because I love hearing from you. I could use any advice anyone could offer, on how I could make it more interesting to come here.

Is Anyone Out There?

I'm just a little blue right now.

Cincinnati's Union Terminal: Art Deco Style

Cincinnati's Union Terminal building is an Art Deco landmark. It was completed in 1933.

At the front of the building, there is a large, multi-tiered fountain. Stairsteps on either side allow visitors to walk beside the long expanse of the fountain.

At one time the station served the Pennsylvania Railroad, the New York Central, Chesapeake and Ohio, Norfolk and Western, Louisville and Nashville, and the Baltimore and Ohio. At its peak, it served as many as 20,000 passengers per day. By the early 1970s, however, only two trains a day passed through the terminal, and by 1972 train service to the terminal was halted completely.

During the 1980s the terminal was renovated with funds from the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio. The terminal reopened in November 1990 as the Cincinnati Museum Center, an educational and cultural complex. It now houses the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, the Cincinnati Historical Society and Library, a Children's Museum, and an I-Max Theater.

This is inside the main concourse:

The concourse features murals depicting workers in various Cincinnati industries.

The building also serves as a venue for many events and programs. Special exhibits in 2008 included "Bodies, The Exhibition". Currently it houses the "Dinosaurs Alive" exhibit. Throughout the year, it is used for private events and celebrations.

In July 1991, train service was restored to the terminal when Amtrak scheduled a Cincinnati stop on its Chicago-bound route from Washington, D.C.

To Be Continued: in my next post, I will feature another Art Deco landmark in Cincinnati.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The John A. Roebling Bridge

The Roebling Bridge spans the Ohio River, connecting Cincinnati with Northern Kentucky. It was designed by John A. Roebling, and completed in 1866. At that time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. John A. Roebling went on to design the Brooklyn Bridge, which opened in 1883.

For comparison, this is the Brooklyn Bridge...

And this is the John A. Roebling Bridge in Cincinnati:

As I mentioned in my previous post, a new building called The Ascent at Roebling's Bridge was completed in 2008. The architect, Daniel Libeskind, said that the Ohio River and the Roebling Bridge had influenced his design. He designed the Ascent to be placed at the foot of the bridge on the Kentucky side of the river.

This photo shows his spiral-shaped building, with the bridge in the foreground:

Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Cincinnati... the big city to the north. We live in Northern Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Airport is actually located in Northern Kentucky. This part of Kentucky is often considered part of the Cincinnati area. Which is strange because we are in two different states. My husband and I lived in Cincinnati years ago. Since then we have lived in Chicago and in Philadelphia. Now we are back in the "Cincinnati area" but we are now across the river. We moved here because the airport is here and because my sister is here with her family.

Cincinnati Ohio and Northern Kentucky are divided by the Ohio River. These photos show the Cincinnati skyline north of the river, and Kentucky on the south side of the river.

The Riverfront area is shared by the City of Cincinnati on the north and the Cities of Covington and Newport, Kentucky on the south.

On the Cincinnati side of the river, there are two ballparks: one for the Cincinnati Reds and the other for the Cincinnati Bengals.

On the Kentucky side of the river, there are historic homes in Newport...

And a futuristic condominium building in Covington:

Downtown Cincinnati is much more built-up than the small cities in Northern Kentucky. But along the riverfront, Kentucky has been developing in a different way. It is fixing up its historic homes. New restaurants are opening. That new, futuristic building in the photo above was designed by Daniel Libeskind, a world renowned architect. He designed the building, which is called the Ascent at Roebling's Bridge, to sit at the foot of the old Roebling Bridge. He taught at the University of Kentucky from 1973 to 1975 and says he still has fond memories and good friends in the area.

I will write more about his building, the bridge, and other interesting places in the Cincinnati area. Since I am coming back to this area after 20 years, I am just getting to know it again.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

California, Here We Come!

Next weekend, we are headed for California! My husband's daughter and granddaughter live there. It will be our granddaughter's fourth birthday.

These pictures were taken last year, on her third birthday.

She calls him Papa. I am Grandma Judy. She has a total of eight grandparents (two sets on each side) thanks to blended families. She lives just around the corner from one set of grandparents... and a set of great grandparents. They are her California grandparents. She has another set of grandparents in Arizona and one set who splits their time between California and Hawaii. We are her Kentucky grandparents.

Here is the birthday girl with "Papa":

Here she is with her great grandfather:

and with her great grandmother:

This little girl has a lot of family to celebrate with her.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cabin Fever

It's that time of year. The holidays are over. Valentine's Day has come and gone. All we have left is the rest of winter. We want to look forward to spring, but winter just hangs on and on and on. Occasionally we get a warm, sunny day, and we get our hopes up. The next day the temperature drops thirty degrees and everything ices up. It's the time of year for Cabin Fever.

In case you don't watch "Lost" the photo above is Claire, sitting in Jacob's cabin. She looks like she might have a case of cabin fever, don't you think?

Friday, February 20, 2009

One More Day of Sewing

I finished two more pillows this week:


That makes a total of five so far, from the same old quilt. That's enough for one week. I think I will take the weekend off and do something else for a change! After all, there should be more to life than making pillows out of old quilts... don't you think? I certainly hope so!

Here's hoping for an exciting weekend for all of us!