Jon Crispin's Notebook

Another Connecticut Avenue Apartment Building

Posted in Buildings, Architecture, historic buildings by joncrispin on 27/11/2015

Connecticut Avenue Apartment Building

Here’s another Connecticut Avenue  apartment building.  Clearly of a different era from the ones I posted this morning.

Sulgrave Manor / La Reine

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, historic buildings, historic preservation, History by joncrispin on 27/11/2015

sulgrave manor

Cris and I are in DC for a few days visiting Peter.  There are so many nice apartment buildings along Connecticut Avenue, and these two caught my eye this morning.

la reine

These residential prewar buildings are so common throughout the district.  They sure don’t build ’em like they used to.

Men’s Room, Stockbridge Hall, UMASS

Posted in Architecture, bathrooms, Buildings, public toilets, restrooms, toilets by joncrispin on 22/03/2015

I was really happy to have an assignment in Stockbridge Hall today.  It gave me the chance to visit one of the best public toilets in the area.  The building was built in 1915, and most of this room seems original.  One of the sinks on the left is missing but the space is otherwise mostly intact.  Look at those urinals! / Here is a different angle↓.

It is really rare to find a bathroom in an institutional setting that hasn’t been completely destroyed by modernization.  This room would be so easy to restore to its original state, but given that it is on the grounds of a public university, that is something that will probably never happen.  Several years ago I shot a 360° panorama in here, and unbeknownst to me, there was a guy in one of the stalls!

Kalamazoo Asylum for the Insane

Posted in Abandoned Buildings, Architecture, Asylums, Buildings, Travel by joncrispin on 12/12/2014

After my fantastic visit to Wittenberg University I drove up to Kalamazoo, Michigan to visit my great friend Ken Schaefer.  We were taking a tour of Western Michigan University, where he works, and I looked to the south and saw this.  Amazing.  The State Hospital has an interesting history, and dates back to the earliest of New York State’s asylums.  The only building that remains from the original Kirkbride plan buildings is the water tower, and it is huge.

Driving back home tomorrow.  It is about 14 hours and I might break it up back in Erie.  We’ll see.

Hallway 2

Posted in Buildings, hallways, hotel hallways by joncrispin on 07/12/2014

I made it to Springfield.  Off for a beer and then to work on my presentations.

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Posted in Abandoned Buildings, Architecture, Buildings, Community, Government, History, Travel by joncrispin on 10/11/2014

I moved to Berlin in January of 1986.  I really needed to get away from Ithaca, and I had some issues which needed attention.  I spent mornings at the Goethe Institute studying German and the rest of the day photographing.  I was drawn to the city because of the division; one could see the extremes of Capitalism on the West side, then go through a checkpoint on the same day and see what the Commies were up to.  It was like stepping back forty years.

I like the phrase “wer mauert hat’s nötig” which I always took to mean “whoever builds walls needs them”.  Which is relevant here as the East Germans built the thing and then called it an “anti-facist barrier”.

In looking over my contact sheets this morning I realized that there are very few people in any of my wall photographs.  It always amazed me that even on the West side, people stayed away from it (except the graffiti folks who must have worked at odd hours, as I never saw anyone writing on the thing).

I used to like to take the bus to Steinstücken and wander around.  It was an odd little Western enclave almost totally surrounded by the East.  You can read about it here.  There was a rail line running straight through it and you could stick your head around a corner and be face to face with a guard tower.  It always seemed a likely place for a crossing, but I never heard of one. / I met a lot of Berliners and was always interested to hear stories of unique situations with the wall.  I was once told that at some locations there were gates where Westerners could use a key to access their gardens in the East.  Probably not true, but interesting to think about.

Here is Checkpoint Charlie at night.

The wall has been down for 25 years now.  I seriously doubt it was Reagan’s “Mr Gorbachev, bring down this wall” plea that had anything to do with it opening up.  More like the East Germans made some really stupid mistakes, which is not surprising as they were running a completely effed up and vile organization.

Mr Turner and More

Posted in Architecture, Art, Birds, Buildings, Cities, Jon Crispin, Travel by joncrispin on 08/10/2014

We made it to the Tate Britain today to see the Turner show.  It was amazing.  No photography in the temporary exhibits, so no pics, but oh my, what an exhibit.  He was it.

The rest of the museum was nice.  All Brit artists and huge, with lots of variety.

Walked around London afterwards and saw these coots in St. James’s Park.  I love coots.

Long bus ride out to Hammersmith to have a few pints at The Dove.

To me, it is the nicest and most welcoming pub in London.

John and I have a long history here.  We never made it to the V and A for the Constable exhibit.  Maybe tomorrow or Friday.

Block Island Southeast Light

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, History, Jon Crispin, Landscape by joncrispin on 01/07/2014

I took a long bike ride around the island this morning with the intention of stopping at the Southeast lighthouse.

It is now owned by a private foundation, and they offer brief tours for $10.00.

A very nice young woman by the name of Winter showed me around.

The building was built in the 1870s and shows signs of wear, but it is still a functioning lighthouse.

The lens is amazing and beautiful.

There are two bulbs; Winter thought the one on the left was a backup.  It cycles on and off every 3.7 seconds. It is interesting how such a small bulb can produce so much illumination.

The hexagonal shapes in the floor are small glass skylights.

  I usually photograph Nineteenth Century buildings that are not in use and are abandoned.  It is lovely to be in one that is still used for its original purpose.

Tilghman(‘s) Island/DuPont Circle

Posted in Architecture, Automobiles, Buildings, Cities, Fishing, Food, History, Maps, Rivers, Transportation, Travel, Water, Work by joncrispin on 26/06/2014

I  have spent the last two days on Tilghman Island shooting more artifacts and a bunch of really interesting artwork.  It is a remarkable place, and I just love working there.  The above shot is a detail from a very old linen map of oyster beds near the island.  It was literally falling apart but is an amazing remnant of work life on the bay.

After 6 months of really hard work, it looks like Peter has found a job.  It will be a few weeks before he starts, but we are so happy for him.  I took a quick shower after the drive back to DC from Tilghman’s and we went right out to buy him some work clothes.  There is a GAP practically next to Nando’s so we ate some chicken and then went to Larry’s for ice cream.  It is a wonderful place on Connecticut Avenue.  I had lavender, which was probably the most interesting flavor I’ve had in years.

Home tomorrow.

Peta Pixel/Peabody Essex Museum/Farnham’s

Posted in Architecture, Art, Asylums, Buildings, Family, Fish, Food, Fried Clams, Friends, Travel, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 18/06/2014

There was a very nice mention of the suitcases project on PetaPixel yesterday. Thanks DL Cade!

Cristine, our friend Kate, and I drove to Salem today to see the J M W Turner exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum.  It is amazing and worth the trip.  No photos allowed in the gallery, but it is a very cool museum.  Note the early Airstream trailer (lower right) that is part of the mid century LA exhibit.

We then drove up to Essex to eat some clams at Farnham’s.  For those of you who follow this site, I have posted about this place before.

The upcoming 10 days are going to be very hectic for me, so please be patient if I don’t respond directly to email.  I’ll do my best.


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