Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Blending touches of modernity in with the old

Above: The view from our bedroom window in our rental in Bordeaux

Mysterious mushrooms appeared popping up from the traditional tile rooftops surrounding our temporary headquarters in the midst of the historic center of Bordeaux. And tucked behind the residential building next door was a contemporary adaptation of space for brightening up offices – most likely for attorneys, as shingles on first floors all around us seemed to have as primary occupants.

As we explored, we found the mushrooms sprout up from a major ultra-modern addition behind the 1846 Palais de Justice fronting Place de Republique. Architect Joseph Adolphe Thiac (1800-1865) drew his inspiration for the impressive façade of the original structure from the Parthenon. Not visible from the square, the new construction does not intrude upon the classical majesty of Thiac’s design.

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Postcard from Merida, Mexico: Contemporary art with metaphorical humor

Above, “Memento Mori,” by Rodrigo de la Sierra

Dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of modern and contemporary art in the Yucatan, the Fernando Garcia Ponce-Macay Museum opened in 1994 in a prominent landmark (built in 1573) on Merida’s Plaza Mayor adjacent to the Cathedral. A passageway between the two was enclosed with glass in 2001 and offers the opportunity to house large works for the public to interact with on a daily basis.

The main exhibition while we were in Merida early this year placed Timoteo in the spotlight. The plump, elfin-like, endearing Timo allows artist Rodrigo de la Sierra “to embrace the subtle art of the metaphor.”

click here To read post and view photographs

When it seems way too quiet on the western front

crockett block palace theatre

The western front of Alamo Plaza. Is no news good news, or just a well-guarded secret?

It has been almost two years since the Alamo issued its request for qualifications to hire a firm to conduct an historical assessment of the significance of the Crockett Block (above, a personal favorite), the Palace Theatre and the Woolworth Building on Alamo Plaza. The RFQ included an evaluation of their appropriateness for reuse as a visitor center and museum for the Alamo.

The historical assessment is easy. These structures are well-documented as part of an historic district included in the National Register of Historic Places.

As for their reuse? That might depend on how the issue is approached. The illustration used on the Alamo website only highlights obstacles.

Click here to see illustrations and read this alamobsessive post