It’s about to get sketchy

As I read about graduate programs for historic preservation, I have noted in the descriptions of some classes’ assignments where you are required to do some drawings of buildings or features by hand. Since then, I have been telling myself that I need to practice sketching so I can become comfortable with it by the time I reach those classes in my journey. Armed with my copy of A Field Guide to American Houses, I have begun this endeavor. I open to a random page, pick a house, and draw.


The Italianate house on the right was the first one and I think it was rather late at night when I thought trying to add brick to the house was a good idea.  But as with anything the more I drew the more confident and comfortable I felt, as you can hopefully see the smoother lines in the next image.

DSC_0002 The Second Empire house in the middle of the page is my favorite style. This one is not as elaborately decorated as most are in that style but I do enjoy a mansard roof. Next on my list is to get out and do some sketching in the field. I would like to also focus on particular features and not on just the front facade, maybe some fireplaces, windows, and doors.


The Big 2-5-0

In just a few weeks, the “Salem” of Winston-Salem will begin celebrations in honor of its two hundred and fiftieth year. Salem was founded in 1766 by Moravian settlers who followed the Great Wagon Road south from Pennsylvania. Salem was the center of commerce between the outlying settlements of Bethabara and Bethania, as well as others. Today, all three of these settlements operate very similar to how they once did. Since 1950, Old Salem, Inc. has been on a mission to preserve this little town. Over the years, the organization has blossomed into Old Salem Museums and Gardens. The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts or MESDA, has called Old Salem home since 2006 and the town can boast eleven gardens that use gardening practices that date from no later than 1847. Part of the celebration will include history lessons which reveal what life was like in the 18th century as well as a light show that shows Salem’s journey. Here’s a link to the website for more information regarding the goings-on.

Celebrating 250 Years of Salem

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Award Winning

On Marshall Street in downtown Winston-Salem, you can find The Winston-Salem Journal Company’s office where it has sat since 1927. Architect Harold Macklin designed this structure along with its younger sister building on Spruce Street. 1927, the year construction ended, the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects agreed this was the state’s best commercial building.


Reynolda Revisited

With the warmer weather we’ve been having I decided to swing by Reynolda House and check on the landscaping.

IMG_0433All the stone paths have been refurbished and set in place.

IMG_0434Work on the Sunken Garden has begun. Winston-Salem’s own Larmore Landscape Associates has been given the contract for the renovation of the gardens.

Rainy day finds!

As I was scrolling through Instagram, wondering just how many miles my thumb has scrolled, I saw something that caught my eye. A hand holding a wooden miniature gothic bookshelf. I clicked on my profile and was blown away. This young woman has been building and customizing a Victorian dollhouse. She has crafted furniture that is time appropriate and even has chandeliers with working electricity. I immediately began looking for similar projects online for myself. I was overwhelmed by what I found. Websites, forums, and all kinds of online shopping, just a huge online presence. I enjoy puzzles and models so maybe one day I’ll start a little house of my own. Here’s a link to her blog, Architecture of Tiny Distinction.

Coffee on a cold, winter day

My lovely lady and myself checked out a new coffee shop and bakery the other day. Camel City Coffee and Tart Sweets Bakery are located in The Rosenbacher House. The house was built in 1909 by Carrie Rosenbacher. Mrs. Rosenbacher was involved with the Rosenbacher and Brothers clothing store which was in the heart of downtown. A second owner was worried about the house falling into disrepair and thought it should be protected. Preservation North Carolina was contacted and the house was sold to a local company, LMI Builders. The sale included stipulations on the work that could be done to the house, preserving all the house’s unique features. LMI has since moved their office to the second floor of this home.





The Richest Man in North Carolina

The girlfriend and I took our little pup to Reynolda House today to walk around the grounds. The house was built for Robert Joshua Reynolds and his wife, Katherine. Reynolds founded the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in 1874. With his company he brought a booming economy into Winston, North Carolina. This house was completed in 1917 where he died, only one year later.

Upon our arrival, we discovered the house and museum to be closed for annual maintenance. After all the events that go on here, I can imagine the wear-and-tear on the grounds. The staff here plan on restoring the front and rear vistas as well as the connecting paths according to a press release.


IMG_0329IMG_0331In December 2014, the restoration of the pool was completed, and although the house is closed until February, I was able to take a few pictures of the pool through the windows.

IMG_0338IMG_0339IMG_0336I was interested to learn that bars across the windows were cages for the Reynolds’ parrots. With the fire place in the pool house I can imagine that it was quite warm year round.