Thursday, December 26, 2013

What's in a Named Building? (Part 1)

From Dave Brigham:

Architects still design buildings with corporate names on them, but too often these days signs designating a business tend toward the ugly and temporary. The same is true of apartment buildings and condos -- the name may be on a sign out front, but rarely it is etched into the stone.

This is a new fascination for me -- seeking out old buildings with names carved in for all eternity. Or at least until a developer comes along and knocks it down. Below are five named buildings I found on a recent walkabout. There will be more in coming months.

Otis Building

The Otis Building in Watertown, Mass., was built in 1899; an addition was built in 1913. Both were designed by Alberto F. Haynes, an architect who also designed St. John's Methodist Church, which is right around the corner from the Otis Building.

Natoli Building

The Natoli Building is also in Watertown. I've been unable to find out anything about its history. Located in a rather unremarkable commercial block, the structure is nowhere near as imposing as the Otis Building.

Yerxa Building

The Yerxa Building is also in Watertown, and was evidently named after a grocery store that dates back at least a hundred years.

BPOE 1327

This is the Elks Lodge in Newton, Mass.


Built in 1905, the Evans Hotel in Newton, Mass., was incorporated into an assisted living facility about 20 years ago.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

When the Fun Dies

From Dave Brigham:

Tip of the hat to my buddy Ken Tretler for pointing me to this feature on creepy abandoned theme parks on the Weather Channel's web site.

They're not all in the U.S., but once in a while I bend my rules.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Big Reveal

From Dave Brigham:

A former elementary school close to my house is coming back to life. The city of Newton sold the Carr School decades ago, and then bought it back at a loss, of course. For quite some time, the building housed a nursery school, a Suzuki music school and other non-profit groups. Now the city is spending upwards of $12 million to renovate the facility, which will be used as a "swing" school while other elementary schools in the city are rebuilt or renovated in the coming years.

Recently, I checked on the school's progress. Demolition crews tore down a cement patio, shedding light on this 32-year-old mural for the first time in, well, who knows how long.

Carr 1981

I'm not sure what's going to become of this piece of art. I love all of the Boston references here: Boston Celtics mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun; the Hatch Shell along the Charles River; the Prudential tower. And of course I dig the music stuff -- the Van Halen logo; the Lynyrd Skynyrd hot air balloon; and the Grateful Dead skull.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Two by Two

From Pete Zarria:

Remnant of the animal park that was part of the Blue Whale attraction along Route 66 in Catoosa, Oklahoma.