Upcoming ‘Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ issue to focus on historic preservation and architecture

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“Redland” in Columbus, GA, renovated by architect Frederick Spitzmiller
(Image: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle / Erica George Dines)

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles will soon release its August issue, which will focus on historic preservation and architecture. We asked Editor in Chief, Elizabeth Ralls, to offer her insight on the current preservation climate in Atlanta and perspective on one of the August issue’s main stories: Redland, a Shutze Award-winning renovation project by ICAA member architect Frederick Spitzmiller.

“Everyday is an opening day”; “A phoenix is rising from the ashes.” When it comes to Atlanta, both old and new, economic development-approved mottos have been constructed to symbolize the rhythmic pattern of newness and reinvention to which our burgeoning city has grown so accustomed.

That sense of eternal optimism, of course, has served us well from the outside looking in. (Look who just landed Super Bowl LIII!) The flip side, however, is that this kind of philosophy, by default, also begets destruction.

Recent demolitions include a Philip Trammel Shutze-designed home in Buckhead; the four-columned facade of Ansley Park’s Craigie House, built in 1911 for the nation’s second Daughters of the American Revolution chapter; and the 1929 Tudor Revival estate, Glenridge Hall, where even a listing on the National Register of Historic Places could not offer protections from economic development.

Thankfully, however, Atlanta counts itself fortunate to have organizations such as the Southeast Chapter of the ICAA, to both advocate for and foster appreciation of classical architecture as well as complementary disciplines including craftsmanship, interior design, landscape architecture, artists and more.

Each year, the ICAA Southeast Chapter pays homage to our city’s most prolific and renowned architect, Philip Trammel Shutze, with an esteemed awards ceremony held in his honor. In the August issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, we are thrilled to feature one former Shutze Award winner, Frederick Spitzmiller’s antebellum home, Redland. In this issue, we head to Columbus, Ga., to explore the noted architect’s weekend retreat, which he lovingly restored following an extensive relocation of the historic home that required sawing the house to pieces. Ultimately, however, that relocation afforded him the architectural freedom to make the house comfortable, including creating a new kitchen, bathrooms and extra living space to host family and friends. Thanks to a mix of historic charm, modern updates and an idyllic setting, it’s the perfect marriage of form and function.

Elizabeth Ralls
Editor in Chief
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

To learn more about Frederick Spitzmiller’s remarkable renovation of Redland and to view additional photos, visit AtlantaHomesMag.com.

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The formal living room at Redland
(Image: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle / Erica George Dines)

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Doric columns, original to the classic home
(Image: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle / Erica George Dines)

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The spacious porch at Redland
(Image: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle / Erica George Dines)

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Your Support is Needed: A Message from ICAA Student Scholarship Recipient Fay Edwards

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Dear Friends of the ICAA,

As a student pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Urbanism, I am so grateful to have attended the 2016 Rome Drawing Tour, which would not have been possible without a student scholarship from the ICAA.

 

The ICAA’s Rome Drawing Tour was a transformative experience for me. This incredible program combined my interests in history, urbanism, drawing, and architecture seamlessly. The lessons imparted by the ICAA’s talented, passionate instructors have strengthened my technical abilities and design skills, which will be invaluable to my future professional and creative endeavors.

 

I look forward to one day supporting the ICAA’s scholarships so that other students may benefit from the same exposure to this type of immersive education. In the meantime, I hope that you will consider making a donation in support of ICAA student scholarships to make a difference in the life of a student like me.

 

Sincerely,
Fay Edwards
ICAA Rome Drawing Tour Student Scholarship Recipient

 

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Scottish Enlightenment

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ICAA travel programs provide participants with numerous benefits, including access to some of the world’s most remarkable buildings and landscapes, as well as fellowship with other travellers who are passionate about classicism. In June, I had the pleasure of hosting the ICAA’s Great Houses & Gardens of Scotland tour. Based in Edinburgh – the “Athens of the North” – my guests and I experienced nothing less than Scottish Enlightenment as we encountered some of Scotland’s most magnificent private homes and their hospitable owners.

A photo from Charlotte Square, conceived by architect Robert Adam at the end of the 18th Century as part of the “New Town” development project in Edinburgh

I truly believe that learning is most enjoyable when one experiences architecture and art first-hand. Books, websites, and other media have made education in the 21st Century more accessible than ever – but they can only reveal so much about a building or a work of fine art. Hearing the history of great Palladian houses from their owners, as well as scholars of 18th Century Scottish architecture, was tremendously valuable for guests on our “Grand Tour” of Scotland.

We were reminded throughout our journey that no one had more influence on classical architecture in Scotland than the Adam family. Many admirers of classicism are familiar with the work of Robert Adam, but we all developed a deeper appreciation for Robert’s father, William, and his brothers, James and John, who also had a lasting impact on Scottish architecture.

 

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Exterior of Hopetoun House, originally designed by Sir William Bruce and later extended by William Adam with interiors completed by his sons, Robert and John

As a reaction to the Baroque period, the Adam brothers introduced to Scotland a neo-Palladian architectural style that incorporated Roman, Greek and Etruscan motifs from antiquity, which they experienced during their many years on the Grand Tour. We credit the Adam family with an architectural approach that unified the building’s exterior with its interior design, as well as the surrounding landscapes.

Relishing in our own Grand Tour of Scotland, our group of over twenty ICAA supporters had the opportunity to meet descendants of the Adam family. We viewed personal archives, drawings and even original watercolors by Robert Adam – never before seen by the public.

The Adam family’s influence extended beyond Scotland to more distant shores – especially Russia and Ireland – and was a driving force behind America’s Federal period. (It is no wonder that nearly all my favorite homes are in these countries!) The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, a book authored by the Adam brothers themselves, illustrates the full range of their design styles – from small villas and medium-sized houses for the gentry, to the grand palatial homes (such as Hopetoun House) designed for the noble elite.

Hopetoun House interior rooms and architectural details

One of the many highlights of our Scottish Grand Tour was a private excursion to Dumfries House, which included a visit to the house’s recently restored library. Dumfries was built by Robert and John Adam in the 1750s for William Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Dumfries. However, it was His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, who recently led a fundraising crusade to restore the house and maintain its collection of antique treasures.

Dumfries House, Image: dumfries-house.org.uk

The contents of the house – including a large set of original Chippendale furniture – were in transit to London for auction when Prince Charles, through his vision and leadership, secured a $40 million loan from one of his foundations, in addition to $50 million from other sources, to prevent the sale and return the property to Dumfries.

 

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The Blue Drawing Room at Dumfries House, featuring original Chippendale furniture
Image: dumfries-house.org.uk

Thanks to HRH Prince Charles and many other generous supporters, Dumfries has since been restored to its original glory. Most importantly, Dumfries has helped to revitalize the local economy through numerous employment opportunities and serves as a critical center of education for the public. We at the ICAA are excited to be working with the Prince’s Foundation on future joint educational programming opportunities, uniting in our shared vision of promoting traditional principles and sustainable building practices in our communities.

ICAA President Peter Lyden in front of Dumfries House (left)
and the John Adam-designed Avenue Bridge at Dumfries (right)

Another cherished experience on the tour was meeting the Duke and Duchess of Fife – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s cousins – for lunch in their portrait-lined dining room. From this experience, we learned so much about Scottish history, such as the Jacobite rebellions of the 17th and 18th Centuries.

In fact, we discovered a great deal about architecture and Scottish history not only from the private houses we visited (such as Kinross House), but also from our fellow travellers, including several renowned architects and designers.

Kinross House exterior (left) and interior (right)

Our tour of the Great Houses & Gardens of Scotland would not have been possible without the expert planning of Lani Summerville of Classical Excursions, as well as Mark Donnelly, who helped to provide access to many of the private homes we visited.

On his decision to restore Dumfries House, Prince Charles said: “I hoped that present and future generations would be able to visit and enjoy the different facets of the life and times of a bygone era and to appreciate British craftsmanship at its best.” Dumfries and its architectural counterparts stand before us today not as relics of the past but as symbols of timelessness and endurance in a world that is ever more fleeting. Intellectually and architecturally enlightened, my guests and I left Scotland more aware of this truth than ever before.

We hope to see you on an upcoming ICAA travel program soon.

 

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Summer Studio in Classical Architecture 2016 | Week Four

Follow the ICAA’s Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program, from June 20th through July 16th, as students from across the country spend four weeks in New York City and the surrounding region exploring the ideas, methods, and issues related to classical architectural design.

View blog and video content from weeks one, two, and three.

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Summer Studio in Classical Architecture students with Instructors and ICAA Supporters

July 16th by Lucas Draper: We wrapped up the month long Summer Studio [program] with final project reviews and critiques;. We then had enjoyed lunch together before saying our final goodbyes. Each of us came to this program to learn about classical architecture and to acquire skills such as hand drafting.

At the ICAA, we met today’s great stewards of the classicism and, through them, learned the application and formula of classical buildings. But that wasn’t all. We also found our individual places in this tradition. Some of us will go on to be classical architects. Some will continue on as designers and artisans. Some will become researchers and preservationists. Regardless of where we go, we will all remember the lessons we learned at the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture. This program has changed the way we see and interpret the language of buildings.  We won’t soon forget.

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Students presenting their final projects

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ICAA President Peter Lyden presenting a student with the Certificate in Classical Architecture

 

July 13th by Jeff Derricott: The last few days have been exciting and the environment of creativity and knowledge continues to be fostered here at the ICAA. Starting bright and early our large group packed our backpacks with lunches and sketchbooks for a day spent in New Haven, CT visiting Yale University and its new college projects designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA).

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Summer Studio students touring Yale University with instructor Clay Hayles

It was intriguing to see the old part of New Haven and it’s orderly grid-like street system. Afterwards, we toured Yale’s campus with Michael Mesko, Summer Studio instructor; Clay Hayles, a Yale graduate and an architect at RAMSA; and George Knight, a professor of architecture at Yale University. We were allotted a few hours to explore Yale’s first residential college, the large campus library, and many more architectural features.

The buildings were beautiful and inspiring, and we were fortunate to get a little bit of time to sketch the things that impressed us the most.  Once we finished exploring, we were given hard hats, glasses, and bright yellow vests as we ventured on to the construction sight of the new residential colleges at Yale.  The tour was led by Kirk Glauber and Ken Frank of RAMSA. The site was amazing, and it provided a valuable perspective of how classical buildings are constructed in this day and age. We were all very grateful for RAMSA and how they allowed us to tour this sight and gain this rare perspective on classical architecture construction.

Like every day here at the ICAA, the expectations of being inspired, taught, and motivated were met as we were able to tour the amazing and historic campus of Yale.

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Summer Studio students on their way to a construction site

July 11th by Hamilton Brindley: We began our fourth and final week of the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program with an open studio dedicated to developing our design projects. Instructors Michael Mesko and Stephen Chrisman helped us all with the process by going around and giving desk critiques.

Students receiving critiques from instructors Michael Mesko and Stephen Chrisman

In the afternoon, we visited the renowned firm “Roman and Williams,” where Whitley Esteban gave us an insightful tour and elaborated on some of their various projects.

Kellen Krause leading students on a tour of Columbia University’s campus

We finished up the day by traveling to Columbia University. While there, Kellen Krause had us sketch various architectural details of the campus’ stunning architecture.  We were also fortunate enough to be shown many beautiful original architectural drawings in the Avery Library’s archives.

Students viewing original architectural drawings

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Summer Studio in Classical Architecture 2016 | Week Three

Follow the ICAA’s Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program, from June 20th through July 16th, as students from across the country spend four weeks in New York City and the surrounding region exploring the ideas, methods, and issues related to classical architectural design.

Summer Studio group and ICAA President, Peter Lyden, at Edgewater in Barrytown, NY with host, Richard H. Jenrette

July 9th by Elizabeth Suggs: Today, our class left Downtown Manhattan to experience and study Edgewater, private residence of Richard H. Jenrette and part of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (CAHPT). We were filled with anticipation, having heard so much about how wonderful the site is, but nothing could prepare us for just how beautiful it was when we arrived!

Edgewater exterior

Upon arrival, we were met by a scenic road that led us past the guest house and over to the main home. Located on the Hudson River and built in 1825, Edgewater is an excellent example of the Classical Revival style that emerged in America during the early 19th century.

Students sketching elements of Edgewater’s interior

The residence’s owner, Mr. Jenrette, met us with a kind smile and shared an incredible amount of information. Edgewater’s interior was as breathtaking as its exterior and filled with exquisite Duncan Phyfe furniture, most of which belonged to the estate’s original owner. After the tour, we had the great privilege to explore and sketch the house and grounds.

Summer Studio student sketching the Edgewater grounds

To conclude the day, we gathered in a group and discussed what we observed about the home regarding circulation, function, sustainability, and aesthetics. The group truly enjoyed this incredible opportunity to see and learn from Edgewater!

Students enjoying lunch in Edgewater’s garden

Student sketching Edgewater’s exterior

 

Forest Hills, Queens

July 8th by Francis Mougne: Today we turned our attention towards Traditional Urbanism. Instructors were architect & town planner, Mike Watkins, FAIA, FAICP, and Michael Romero, founder of the Atlas Collaborative Foundation.

Students gathered outside of Gramercy Park

Site visits included Forest Hills and Gramercy Park, the former a picturesque neighborhood in the borough of Queens. We discussed and observed thoroughfares, the public and private realm, and drew comparisons between the civic, commercial and residential. Several sites were field measured throughout the day.

Stephen Chrisman at Ferguson & Shamamian Architects

Lastly, we visited the office of Ferguson & Shamamian Architects. Senior Associate Stephen Chrisman led the tour and discussed the firm’s design process where hand sketching and model building are vital to their success.

Summer Studio students sketching in Forest Hills, Queens

 

Students admiring the Morgan Library & Museum’s collection

July 5th by Elaina Fagan: After an exciting holiday weekend, we went right back to work in the studio on Tuesday. In the morning, Calder Loth discussed some of the most important architectural treatises and the brains behind them, including Palladio, Vignola, Alberti, and many others who have influenced classical architecture throughout the centuries.

A plan and elevation from Palladio’s Four Books on Architecture, one of the rare books Summer Studio students viewed at the Morgan Library & Museum

Later in the day, we were lucky enough to view some of these rare original treatises in person at the Morgan Library & Museum, such as Palladio’s Four Books on Architecture, which dates back to 1570.

Students working in the ICAA’s classroom.

In the evening, we returned to the studio where David Genther gave us an introduction to ink washing techniques, which we will continue to explore in the upcoming days.

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Student contemplating a work at the Morgan Library & Museum

 

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Summer Studio in Classical Architecture 2016 | Week Two

Follow the ICAA’s Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program, from June 20th through July 16th, as students from across the country spend four weeks in New York City and the surrounding region exploring the ideas, methods, and issues related to classical architectural design.

Rachel Fletcher leading a class on proportion

June 30th, by Britteny Kitchen: On Wednesday afternoon, Rachel Fletcher led a lesson that deepened our understanding of proportions, and in the evening, Aimee Buccellato gave a riveting lecture on some of the impactful work that she has done at her firm, Buccellato Design, and the impressive breadth of her scholarship.

Summer Studio students visiting The Frick Collection

Thursday morning, David Rinehart gave us detailed instruction on architectural design compositions and viewing architectural design as the summation of parts. To help us further understand this, we took a trip to The Frick Collection and spent a while composing detailed sketches of the beautiful, intricate courtyard. To finish up the day, we visited the prestigious firm, Robert A. M. Stern Architects, where we learned about the process behind some of their projects and got to enjoy the spectacular view from their office.

Students enjoying the view from Robert A. M. Stern Architects

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Summer Studio students enjoying an impromptu visit to the High Line

Summer Studio instructors, Richard Economakis and Stephen Chrisman, at Grand Army Plaza

June 28th, by Ally Hawk: The day’s Summer Studio session began with a lecture by Richard Economakis on design methodology. He began with a brief account of the pedagogical history of one of the most prominent and historical fine arts schools, L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He explained how L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts operated, detailing the original structure of the institution. An education at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts included preparation courses for two final projects, which built upon one another.

The southern edge of Grand Army Plaza

From there, the lesson moved on to cover the elements and procedures involved in effective architectural analysis. The first element of a successful analysis was documentation, which includes field measuring, walking around the site or building and drawing it. The second element was diagramming, which involves noting and identifying patterns, proportions, figure ground, massing studies, and ratios. And lastly, this method called for a focus on composition, both formal and informal.

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The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch at Grand Army Plaza

After lunch, we began a small project: we were asked to design a door front on a building, which consisted of two main challenges. Once finished, we presented our projects to the class and visited Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn – the focus of our main project for the rest of the program (learn more in the below video). At the site, we divided up into groups and each group took a portion of the site to analyze. The evening ended at a meeting hosted by PLINTH, an ICAA emerging professionals group, where we were introduced to a number of practitioners.

 

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