Bookends…

8 02 2012

This is an update on a project the Hue Architecture has been involved in since late 2007. The project, featured in the rendering below, has had its share of starts and stops but is now scheduled to be completed late Spring of this year.

400 Block of North Market Street in Downtown Wilmington, Delaware

The property, stretching from 4th to 5th Streets and situated on the Easterly side of North Market Street, has a varied history of commerce and habitation. Many of the buildings were a part of the vibrant downtown fabric of Wilmington commerce that was active for 100+ years prior to the urban flight that plagued so many other cities across our country during the mid part of the 20th Century. By the early 1990’s these buildings had become decaying shells of the original glory only to be compounded by the encroachment of a new office building, The Renaissance Center, which started construction in 2005.

The Renaissance Center, Fronting on North King Street, eventually took most of the block, from King to Market, for the office tower and associated parking garage and all that remained of the Market Street side was the corner buildings (in their entirety) and facades (of the balance) as were required by The City of Wilmington in an effort to preserve the historic character of Market Street. While the Renaissance Center developers had plans for rehabilitation of the Market Street side, the property was eventually sold to Preservation Initiatives (our client) and this odyssey began.

Now, fast forward to 2012, and we are quickly approaching the completion of this unique project. As mentioned above, only the 4th and Market and 5th and Market buildings survived in their entirety; the other structures were whittled down to their facades and about 18′ of dilapidated and unsafe structures. These buildings are now being transformed into unique retail boutiques and eating venues on the street levels and creative living spaces above. The images, below, give a quick “perspective” of how the “bookend” structures are evolving and a taste of what’s to come as North Market Street continues to become a jewel in Downtown Wilmington, Delaware. As the project nears completion, I will provide another update with interior images but, for now, enjoy and share this wonderful evolution!

Corner of 4th and Market Before, Proposed, and Progress

5th and Market Before, Proposed, and Progress





Back in the Saddle???

6 02 2012

In the immortal word of one of my childhood heroes, Gene Autry:

I’m back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly gypsum weed
Back in the saddle again…

…Whoopi-ty-aye-oh
Rockin’ to and fro
Back in the saddle again
Whoopi-ty-aye-yay
I go my way
Back in the saddle again…

I seem to run in spurts, on this blogging thing, but I am going to give it another go…I’m going to start out by simply posting one of my poems as I cogitate a more substantial piece on architecture (I’m getting the soapbox back out).

I’ve always heard that many great artists and writers have muses that provide them with inspiration. I too have a muse and you all have heard me speak of her often, as she is the keeper of my heart and soul, my dear Judy. Yes, she provides me with much inspiration but, she also helps me to maintain a great perspective on life and not get to tangled in the daily minutia that can drag many of us down; basically, she keeps me honest with myself.

I must have sensed, early on, the importance of her influence on my life as I wrote the following poem shortly before our decision to spend “Forever” together. It’s kind of nice to dust some of these off…

For Judy:

Forever

Elusive muse,

Teasing my want

       With amazing radiance

              And wonder.

Beckon me to forever…

 

Inquisitive muse,

Stirring my introspection

       With innate curiosity

              And query.

Beckon me to forever…

 

Inspirational muse,

Heralding my awakening

       With soulful thought

              And possibility.

Beckon me to forever…

 

Eternal muse,

harmonizing my feelings

       with playful insight

              and balance.

Accompany me to forever!!!








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