An Inspiring Place for Play

I would love to have this playground in my neighborhood.

And yes, it is as it looks: a limited edition bronze sculpture designed as a functional playground!

Created by artist Tom Otterness, the piece above was commissioned as a private installation in Massachusetts. But, Otterness has done public playgrounds as well, including the Big Girl Playground in Yonkers, NY Continue reading

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In Memoriam of Memorials

To walk through downtown Colorado Springs is to gain a beginner’s history of the city and the Pikes Peak region.

Life-size bronze sculptures dot the major intersections, and provide a walking tour of who’s who in our history.

Including one of General Palmer on a horse. I talk a lot about Palmer. (Okay, truth be told, I sort of have a crush on him.) But there were certainly others that helped to shape our community in ways just as numerous and meaningful. And many of them stand downtown, tall and bronzed.

So in honor of Memorial Day, my posts this month will include nods to some of our region’s other historic notables, as documented by downtown’s collection of sculptures. Continue reading

Art in the Digital Age

I have a box of old floppy disks, loaded with critical data that I needed to save from the early 90’s. I also have a MacBook, and so no way to access any of that important information.

But, thanks to artist Nick Gentry of London, my disks can be saved from the landfill!

Gentry is creating “social art from the obsolete” with his Xchange program. You send him your disks, he makes art with them. And, if you include your address along with your donated disks, he’ll even send you “a gift for your contribution.”

via Stranger than Vintage

A Good Room and Three Squares

This is the fourth in a series of posts chronicling some of the tuberculosis-influenced architecture in Colorado Springs. See earlier posts here.

A 2001 article in the Colorado Springs Gazette cited that tuberculosis treatment before antibiotics included “three hearty meals a day, plus 6 raw eggs and 8 to 10 glasses of milk.”

Last week I wrote about the large tuberculosis sanitariums that helped define Colorado Springs in the early 20th century. And they surely gave out a lot of eggs and milk.

But there were smaller, private tuberculosis boarding houses providing good rooms and three squares as well. Continue reading

A History of Hospitals

This is the third in a series of posts chronicling some of the tuberculosis-influenced architecture in Colorado Springs. See earlier posts here and here.

The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce’s 1917 brochure, City of Sunshine, advertised a list of eleven well-respected tuberculosis sanitoria and private boarding houses serving tuberculars. Interestingly, at least three of these institutions have persevered to modern times, growing into Colorado Springs’ main modern-day hospitals. Below is a then and now, in pictures and words: Continue reading

Play Me, I’m Yours

I love the idea of this touring public art project by artist Luke Jerram.

Play Me, I’m Yours began in Birmingham, England in 2008, and has been traveling internationally ever since. So far, the project has placed public pianos in 22 cities. Continue reading

Union Printers: A Dime at a Time

So, back to tuberculosis. This is the second in a series of posts chronicling some of the tuberculosis-influenced architecture in Colorado Springs. See the first post here

As you drive along Union Avenue, on the southern edge of downtown Colorado Springs, the small storefronts and retail spaces suddenly give way to this:

The Union Printers Home, built in 1892 by the International Typographical Union (ITU), to serve its elderly and sick members.

A beautiful building, made of “Castle Rock white lava stone, with red sandstone trimmings”, the home was first referred to as the Childs-Drexel Home for Union Printers. Continue reading

Little Cabin in the Big City

Manifest Destiny!, by Jenny Chapman and Mark Reigelman, has brought a little log cabin to downtown San Francisco.

A site-specific public art piece installed last November, the cabin will hang on the side of the Hotel des Arts through October of this year.

Here’s my favorite thing about this piece: Not only is it made from reclaimed wood from an 1890’s barn, but the reach for authenticity includes the cabin’s interior as well. Inside, the tiny structure is fully outfitted with a rocking chair, a functioning wood stove and tea stained curtains.

Read more about it here.

Built for Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis was big money  for Colorado Springs in the early 1900’s. So much so that a 1917 Chamber of Commerce booklet devoted more than half of its 87 pages to detailing all the reasons why tuberculars should make the trek out west.

They could have nice, fresh, “germ-free” air and loads of sunshine. A stunning mountain climate would provide beautiful vistas and thin, dry air at the same time. And, as if those weren’t reason enough, welcoming citizens and local businesses were on hand to provide ample opportunities for rest and relaxation, a nourishing diet, and a charming social life. All of which, according to medical thinking of that time, were just what the doctor ordered for “lungers”. Continue reading