December 4, 2009 - Architechtural Mish-Mash


Here are a few pics from that 'other blog' that I had lumped under 'architecture' (in a very broad sense of the term).
The first three are from the mid-1980's when I lived on the fourth and topmost floor of the "Laurel Building" on Laurel Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.
The building is still there, and is still "inhabited." I wonder who lives in my old apartment now. It was on the fourth floor, center east, and had a stupendous picture window with a killer skyline view.

The building itself was quite a piece of work. A former hotel and brothel, it had one shared bathroom with one hopefully unshared shower per floor (ugh!), My apartment was a one-room with attached kitchen and boarded up fireplace. I tried to wait until I got to work to take a crap if at all possible. And that was in a Satellite. It was cheap, I can't remember how much, somewhere in the $450 a month range, and half of the musicians in town lived there, including Billy whatshisname, the Replacements roadie that sang all those Alice Cooper songs with 'TBA', along with god knows who else, probably some famous people but I didn't recognize anyone except musicians back then.

When I first moved in I slept on my only piece of furniture, a purple chase lounge with the vinyl webbing that always sagged to the floor by morning, when the light of the dawn reflected off of the IDS center and lit up the room like a searchlight. Who needs curtains when you live on the top floor? Soon I had a dream detailing how I should build a futon frame, so I did. Inside the apartment.
Directly across from it was another dirgy old apartment building that isn't there anymore, but it had a great roof where people used to hang out.

Next to that was the infamous 'Downtown Chevrolet', one of the few remaining outdoor car dealers until the stadium tax put the deathnail into all of the downtown car dealers and it became a commuter parking lot.
I wish I had time-lapse video of the goings on there every morning, especially in the winter. The place itself had a romantic charm though, and if you could get over the shared bathroom, there was a surprising lack of bugs, and everyone got along really well for a bunch of punks and junkies.
I will never forget the hours spent standing in front of the huge picture window at night, playing my electric guitar along with my records with my eyes half closed, standing on one leg. Over time I realized I had gravitated to this stance when I was really into improvisation. I don't know how or exactly when it happened, it just did. Glorious days in that place though.

In addition to that, we have this image of the Longfellow House breathing heavily and about to pop.
Something about them having a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning problem involving too tight a seal on the windows, or something.

And the Stevens House, the very first - (er, white people's) dwelling in Minneapolis, back over in our current neighborhood. Now rendered into a veritable M.C. Escher of angles and balconies, courtesy of Paint Shop Pro and too much time spent dinking around.
Also featured is the curious dome shot of the inside of the 'Great Lakes Interpretive and Visitors' Center' in Ashland, Wisconsin.
Just shake it up and it snows.



Finally, this one goes back a long ways. This creepy pink house resides in Saint Augustine, Florida and had to be the inspiration for numerous Anne Rice novels.
Not far from the 'Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not' mansion, (yes, it actually is there and is pretty cool too, believe it or not) I think this structure was used for the monthly meetings of the Grave Dancers Union or similar. It literally exuded 'haunted house' as soon as you laid eyes on it.
There you have it; 'Homes of the Stars.'
Until next time, your Realtor in the Infinite Universe, - T.