Friday, December 17, 2010

School 78, Indianapolis

We're excited to see the article in the Indianapolis Star describing the Indianapolis Public School Board's approval on Tuesday to make School 78, 3734 E. Vermont Street, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's East District headquarters.

Designed by architects Edward Pierre and George C. Wright in 1925, the building is a great example of early 20th-century school architecture and the Police Department and IPS should be commended for saving it. Why are we so excited about this particular school? The archive maintains the original ink on linen plans, which we've been using in class visits this fall since news arrived about its potential sale. Groups of students have been encouraged all semester to envision its possibility for adaptive reuse and came up with a range of possibilities--from a charter school to a corporate office. A police department headquarters wasn't exactly on the list, but it should make a perfect fit.

Image: IPS School 78, detail of cartouche, 1925, Pierre & Wright Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive.

Camels on Monument Circle

These drawings for two of the four life-size camel statues were made by architect Edward Pierre for the Nativity scene installed at Monument Circle for the holidays.
Image: Camels, ca. 1940s, Pierre and Wright Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yuletide Greetings, 1962

Joseph Cezar showcased his new Indianapolis Arts League building at 3103 N. Pennsylvania Street in Indianapolis for his 1962 holiday card. The small structure made a big impact due to its modernist design amongst a neighborhood of early 20th century residences. The Arts League outgrew this building 15 years later and moved north to Broad Ripple where they became the Indianapolis Arts Center.

Today, the building is an unfortunate shell of its original stylish and confident design. Here is a recent picture of it in Google Maps:

Images: Holiday card, 1962, Joseph O. Cezar Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive.

3103 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, Ind., Accessed via Google Maps

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Seasons greetings

In addition to being an architect, Charles Sappenfield, better known to everyone as Charlie, was the first dean of the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University. He left a thriving practice in North Carolina to create an entirely new program at what was then, a fairly small university in the Midwest. His legacy as a dean is considerable and continues to be felt in the college today, from the design of the building to the professors he hired who are still teaching in its classrooms.
The archive recently received and is currently processing his collection of material related to his architectural practice, from the early 1960s to the late 1980s.

To say he fully embraced Modernism is an understatement and his clients knew that. We've found photographs of houses in project folders that have written on the back, "We like this, but it needs modernization". We've also found mid-century product catalogs and fabric samples from Knoll and Herman Miller. And, of course, we've found the holiday cards. Enjoy the Modernist Noel.
Image: Noel card, Carles Sappenfield Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seasons greetings

It's often easy to forget that architects run their own business and have all the same marketing concerns that any small business owner would have. What better way to advertise your business, thank clients who have hired you in the past, and remind them that you're still around than to send out personally-designed Christmas cards. Not to mention that it gives the architects a chance to flex design skills in an entirely artistic way without worrying about pesky issues like load-bearing walls and where to install the HVAC system.

We find these cards in most of the collections here in the archive. Some depict local landmarks or important commissions the architect built that year. Others are solely focused on design, like a few that we found today while processing a new collection. We'll show those in an upcoming post.

Image: Holiday card, 1952, Joseph O. Cezar Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Monument Circle at the Holidays, 1950s

Architect Edward Pierre (1890-1971) was one of the civic-minded businessmen who spearheaded the effort to decorate the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument during the holidays as a way to spread cheer and bring people downtown to shop. He first came up with the idea during the 1930s, but the financial constraints at that time prohibited the expense of decorations. It wasn't until 1945, after World War II ended, that he was able to realize his vision of the Circle decorated for the holidays.

This is only one example of Edward Pierre's interest in beautifying and improving the city through architecture and civic engagement. After Pierre died in 1971, then-mayor Richard Lugar described the architect as "one of the most significant and imaginative thinkers in regard to the beauty of Indianapolis". Every year we're reminded why.

Images: Yule Tidings on the Circle, Indianapolis Star Magazine, December 6, 1953. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Meadowbrook Apartments

To accommodate the need for low-income housing in Indianapolis in the late 1940s, the city hired architects Joseph Lloyd Allen (1897-1975) and John Kelley (1902-1991) to design a 50-acre housing project located at the corner of 38th Street and Rural Avenue. The firm of Allen & Kelley created the streamlined Meadowbrooks Apartments--with 620 units in a total of 36 buildings spread across the site. Each building was two stories, with glass block windows and a unique, modern front door inset with three small windows. The firm lists the project cost at six million dollars.

Photographs from an Indianapolis Star newspaper story depict a couple receiving the keys to their new apartment and exploring the interior.

Images: Meadowbrook Apartments presentation drawing, Allen & Kelley Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive.
Meadowbrook Apartments photographs, Allen & Kelley Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive.

Monday, November 29, 2010


No doubt you've spent an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen lately. If any thoughts were given to your hard-working kitchen counter at Thanksgiving time, they were probably of the "I need more counter space" or "which of my relatives spilled red wine and didn't clean it up?" variety. Chances are you didn't give much thought to the history of one of the country's most popular solid surfaces for counters: Formica.

In our Trade Catalog Collection and in the Kibele and Garrard Architectural Records Collection we have some very interesting examples of Formica from the early to late 20th century.
It was created in 1910 by David J. O'Conor, an engineer at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, who impregnated sheets of paper with the new invention liquid Bakelite. He had created a durable surface with insulating properties. A few years later, in 1913, O'Conor and Herbert A. Faber, another engineer, left Westinghouse in order to form their own company in Cincinnati to focus on this new invention.

Wondering about the name? Faber is credited with that: because it could stand in place for mica, an insulator that was becoming increasingly expensive at the time, the product officially became Formica. And it went on to cover kitchen counters around the world.

Formica samples, 1920s-30s, Kibele and Garrard Architectural Records Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University Libraries.
Formica trade catalog, TC 146, 1960s, Trade Catalog Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University Libraries

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright: Architectural Alchemist lecture November 18th

Frank Lloyd Wright: Architectural Alchemist
Thursday, November 18, 2010
5 pm reception & 5:30 pm lecture at ISU's Center for Performing and Fine Arts

A lecture by Dr. Sidney Robinson, faculty, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and Preservation Program Coordinator, Taliesin Preservation, Inc.

The power of Frank Lloyd Wright's creativity is demonstrated by the wide range of sources on which he based his architecture. He exercised his remarkable interpretive ability on Louis Sullivan's ornament, Japanese prints, music, and his own ornament. Wright's interpretation of non-architectural sources is the clearest evidence of his goal to make architecture integral and inclusive. We must take clues from this wide-ranging practice and continue these multiple dimensions in preserving his legacy.

This program is co-sponsored by Indiana Landmarks, the Swope Art Museum and Indiana State University, and is planned in conjunction with The Samara House: A Usonian Design by Frank Lloyd Wright, an exhibition at the Swope which runs through December 31, 2010.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween

Some say wisdom, I say spooky.

Meant for a stained-glass window in a Hagerstown, Indiana residence designed by the architectural firm Pierre & Wright in the 1930s, this owl was supposed to connote wisdom. Here at the archive, we feel the owl might be better suited for scaring small children out trick-or-treating this weekend.

Friday, October 15, 2010

CAP Alumni Win INSLA Design Award

Last Friday, theIndiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (INASLA) presented the local landscape architectural firm of Rundell Ernstberger Associates with the Award of Excellence for its work on The Nature Conservancy’s Indianapolis headquarters, the Efroymson Conservation Center.

The INASLA Professional Design Program was created to recognize professional excellence and outstanding examples of landscape architecture by Indiana landscape architects. The awards honor works that represent the forefront of the profession of landscape architecture and embody high levels of creativity and imagination.

“We are thrilled for Rundell Ernstberger,” said Mary McConnell, state director for The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana Chapter. “Throughout the design process, Rundell Ernstberger’s work was guided by the Conservancy’s goal of achieving LEED Platinum certification, our mission of protecting biodiversity, and our limited budget. They coordinated very closely with all members of our design and construction team to find creative and unconventional solutions. We couldn’t be happier with our new home.”

“The Efroymson Conservation Center was a great opportunity to work with The Nature Conservancy to achieve their ambitious goals,” said Brian McNerney, Associate for Rundell Ernstberger. “The Conservancy wanted to emphasize their site as a model to inspire others to follow. We have shown that with good planning, teamwork, and creativity, a truly sustainable site development with native gardens is possible in a dense urban area.

McNerney added that the Efroymson Conservation Center is also a signature project for the City of Indianapolis for its innovative stormwater management design.

The site design for the Efroymson Conservation Center includes many features that highlight Runsdell Ernstberger’s successful design solution, from the parking lot with its permeable pavement to the green spaces, gardens, and green roofs that cover nearly half of the site, using unique native Indiana species not normally seen in urban environments.

Rundell Ernstberger was also part of the Efroymson Conservation Center’s award-winning stormwater management system, in which a combination of permeable pavements, a bio-swale, green roofs, and native gardens translate to zero stormwater run-off . This stormwater management system eliminated the need to connect to the City’s combined sewer system (with substantial cost savings for both the Conservancy and the City of Indianapolis).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

George Rogers Clark Memorial, Vincennes

This is a 1930s era photograph depicting leveling the concrete foundation for the George Rogers Clark Memorial in Vincennes, Indiana, located along the Wabash River at the southern end of the state. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt later dedicated the completed memorial June 14, 1936.

If your memory of high school history class is a little rusty, George Rogers Clark defeated the British on a cold February day in 1779. According to the National Parks Service website for the memorial:

The British flag would not be raised above Fort Sackville Feb. 25, 1779. At 10 a.m., the garrison surrendered to American Col. George Rogers Clark. His American army, aided by French residents of the Illinois country, had marched through freezing floodwaters to gain this victory. The fort’s capture assured United States claims to the frontier, an area nearly as large as the original 13 states.

Although it depicts something a bit more mundane than capturing a fort, this photograph has us all enthralled with the small details--the engaged audience for the workmen, the process of leveling the concrete, and even the workman's coat hanging on a wooden post in the center of what will later become a beautiful monument. Go ahead and click on it to see it for yourself.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Modern Water Colors

Modern being, of course, a relative term.

When this Discriptive Handbook of Modern Water Colour Pigments was written in 1897, Modernism defined the shift from Victorian ornamentation to the Arts and Crafts movement. My own house, which was built around this time, perfectly illustrates the time period in its own imperfect way. Like an awkward adolescent, it had outgrown the need for superfluous decoration but still couldn't give up its Victorian proportions. I like to think it exudes charm, although in a somewhat artless fashion.

Modern, in the terms of this handbook, could also imply improvements made to the paint formulas. The "water colour controversy" mentioned on the front cover references fade tests that had been performed on Winsor & Newton paints. Today, conservators have accelerated aging tests that can predict the long-term aging effects of light on inks and photographs well into the future. In the late 19th century the tests were perfomed by placing color washes in a window for 15 years and waiting for the results. As you can imagine, the colors reacted differently and Winsor & Newton was working to adjust the formulas for increased color permanence.

This handbook, along with others produced by the Winsor & Newton paint company, is part of the Kibele and Garrard Architectural Records Collection. This collection contains, in addition to architectural drawings, a wide variety of materials related to the practice of being an architect in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

International Symposium on 19th-Century Architecture Photography

Indiana University South Bend and University of Notre Dame are hosting an international symposium in South Bend, Indiana, October 3-4 titled Documenting History, Charting Progress, Exploring the World: Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Architecture. In concert with the symposium, there's also an exhibit, curated by Micheline Nilsen, professor of art history at IUSB, of photographs from the Snite Museum of Art's collection on display.

The symposium is free and open to the public. For more information contact


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Uncertain future for Washington Elementary School in Vincennes

Indiana Landmarks reported in the latest issue of Indiana Preservationist magazine that Washington Elementary School in Vincennes, along with nearby Inman Field, is facing an uncertain future. The stately, Collegiate Gothic landmark has been closed due to budget cuts, and joins two other vacant historic schools owned by the Vincennes Community School Corporation. Hopefully Vincennes will be able to identify reuses for these beautiful buildings.

In happier times, the city celebrated the building's 25th birthday in style, according to this news article in our Jay C. Bixby Architectural Records Collection:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ball State + Geothermal

Construction work on a college campus in summertime is certainly not unusual. It's even to be expected. However, this summer on this college campus there is something rather unusual happening as far as construction is concerned. The university is installing pipes to the nation's largest geothermal initiative, which is expected to save the university over $2M a year in energy costs as well as make Ball State a leader in alternative energy.

The project will replace four coal-burning furnaces that heat and cool 45 buildings and span the entire 660-acre campus. It is nothing short of extraordinary.

The boreholes are located away from the core of campus, but the hot and cold water pipes will be installed underground throughout campus. For a map of the of the geothermal project:

And for more information about the project, including links to IPR segments:
These pictures were taken this morning and the construction crew appears to be installing sections of the hot water loop in front of the Health and Physical Activity building. In the picture above, you can see the Health building on the left. Architecture is between that building and Shafer Tower. The picture below is looking north on McKinley.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Architecture's Modern Marvels Culture:

What this link doesn't have: any buildings in Indiana.

What it does have: extraordinary photographs of some of the best examples of architecture around the world since 1980. One of them is even a library!

Architecture's Modern Marvels Culture:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Student Design Competition

Ball State University's ICMA Student Design Competition

Second Annual Foundation Golf Scramble

Wednesday August 18, 2010 / 1:00PM Shotgun Start

Valle Vista Golf and Conference Center

Indiana Concrete Masonry Association, Ball State University and CAP invite you to participate in the Second Annual ICMA Student Design Competition Foundation Golf Scramble, Wednesday, August 18, 2010 to be held at Valle Vista Golf and Conference Center. Proceeds of the event will go directly to the foundation, insuring another 40 years of success. CAP and Ball State University are supporting this event benefiting the ICMA Student Design Competition Foundation Account. Every Ball State Architectural graduate can remember the time and effort they dedicated to this program. CAP separates itself from most architectural schools in the nation by requiring second year students to complete the ICMA Student Design Competition.

Together, Ball State University, CAP and ICMA have offered this rite of passage to architectural students for over 40 years. Second generation students have come through this program, which helps keep the ICMA Student Design Studio the longest externally funded design competition in CAP's history.

If you do not play golf, please consider sponsoring the event or send a gift directly to the Ball State University, Development, attention Brenda Bergl, Muncie, Indiana, 47306. The check must be made out to Ball State University Foundation, ICMA Fund #677 in support of Ball State, CAP and ICMA's Student Design Competition. We appreciate your consideration during these challenging economic times.

Your golf registration provides you the free driving net, putting green, cart, 18 holes, lunch, beverages on the course, dinner, cash bar and awards.

For more information, contact:
Brenda Bergl
Ball State University
University Development 765.285.2549
Image: Pictorial, National Concrete Masony Association, Volume 17, Number 5, 1961.
Part of the Drawings + Documents Archive's Trade Catalog Collection

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Something fishy

Perhaps it's the torrential rain we've experienced in Indiana lately that inspires today's posting of a fish design in lineoleum created by the Fort Wayne-based architect Alvin Strauss in 1936 for an addition built onto Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Isay's house in South Whitley, Indiana. The stylized fish themselves appear as though they would be right at home in a Betty Boop cartoon, thanks to their prominent lips and curvaceous figures. By the time Strauss drew these in 1936, Betty Boop had already starred in a series of animated films and was incredibly popular across the country, so it is probable the architect had been influenced by the cartoons he had seen at the theater.

The extensive Strauss Architectural Records Collection contains drawings of theaters, residences, businesses, and schools built primarily in the northeast region of the state in the early 20th century. The collection is available for research. During the summer, the archive is by appointment only and you can schedule a visit by calling 765-285-8441.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Researching an Architect

Need help researching an architect? The American Institute of Architects maintains an online database of historic architects (determined as AIA members before 1978) that can assist you in your serarch.

Here is what you will find in the AIA Historical Directory:

  • Names of all national-level AIA members up to 1978
  • Years of membership until 1978
  • Does NOT include members who joined fewer than 30 years ago
  • References to their entries in biographical directories (example: Jamieson Parker)
  • Full text of the 3 editions of American Architects Directory
  • Digitized files from the AIA Archives (example: Francis Abreu and note Related Records link to Abreu & Robinson with other digitized files)
  • What might be in their AIA Archives file, if it isn’t digitized yet—you can request it to be scanned if the person is deceased
  • Links to architects’ papers and drawings in other archives (example: Irving F. Morrow)
  • Names of non-member architects who appear in directories or other archives
  • Names of firms that appear in directories, in other archives, or in the AIA Archives
  • Does NOT include lists of buildings

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Modernmasters trade catalog

Our Trade Catalog Collection contains over 700 brochures, product literature and samples of building items from the 19th to late 20th century. Among them is this Modernmaster catalog from 1953, featuring chairs, sofas and tables that have become iconic representations of mid-century modern furniture design.
Tucked into the catalog, was this one-page pricing sheet from Herman Miller, featuring chairs designed by Charles Eames, one of the foremost designers of the Modernist movement.

Image credits:
Modernmasters: America’s Foremost Collection of Classically Modern Furniture, layout and typography by Clifford Pascoe; photography by Lionel Freedman, John B. Watkins Company, New York City, 1953.
Trade Catalog Collection TC 160.

Herman Miller Furniture Company chair price sheet, Furniture Forum, 1950s.
Trade Catalog Collection TC 160.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bush Stadium

At one time elegant and stately, historic Bush Stadium (originally Perry Stadium) continues to fascinate us as it awaits its fate. Languishing in its current condition near downtown Indianapolis and on Indiana Landmarks' list of "10 Most Endangered Places," the building has fortunately inspired much revitalization interest lately. It's exciting to hear about plans to preserve the building while making it relevant to current needs.
While the Archive does not have the original plans in our Pierre & Wright Architectural Records Collections, we do have drawings made during renovations in the 1940s-1980s that are in the Indianapolis Parks Collection. If you're interested in seeing any of these drawings, you are welcome to make an appointment to see them here at the Archive.

For more information on the history and condition of Bush Stadium, visit Indiana Landmarks:
Image credits:
Perry Stadium, linen postcard, n.d. Postcard Collection.
Perry Stadium, photostat, 1920s. Pierre and Wright Architectural Records Collection.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Monon Railroad and Camp Ida Wineman

While processing a collection of Monon Railroad drawings from the 1920s, we uncovered this interesting drawing of the section of bridge spanning the White River in Broad Ripple. Camp Ida Wineman is prominently represented near the bridge, complete with its two-story building, porch and portico, however we have found little information about the camp. One reference mentions it was a Jewish summer camp in the early 1900s. Anyone know anything else about it?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Modern Lighting

It may look like a UFO flying over a well-lit suburban home, but it is only an advertisement for a 1939 lamp fixture that will "light condition" the American home. This brochure from Silvray Lighting of Long Island City, New York, is part of our large and soon-to-be cataloged trade catalog collection.

"Silvered bowl Mazda lamps in Silvray Sight Savers provide modern eye-saving indirect light at the lowest cost.

Sight-Savers are designed especially for use with the Silvered Bowl Mazda lamp which has a pure silver mirror reflector hermetically sealed to it. The need for expensive, bulky, auxiliary reflectors in the fixture is thus eliminated."

Image: Mazda Lamp catalog, 1939. Silvray Lighting, Inc. TC-2009.147. Part of the Drawings + Documents Archive trade catalog collection.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mass transit in Indiana, 100 years ago

The Interurban network in Indiana had a profound impact on towns and cities, as well as architecture during the first thirty years of the twentieth century. What was the Interurban? The Interurban was a series of electrically-powered railcars that had their own rail lines and traversed the entire state, from South Bend to Evansville and Richmond to Terre Haute. The term “interurban” was coined by a Hoosier native named Charles L. Henry. Henry, born in Pendleton, Indiana, was a lawyer, businessman, and politician. While attending the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, he saw the electric streetcars transporting people between the fairgrounds and the city and thought why not use this same technique to transport people and freight between towns and cities.

In 1898, Henry established the first Interurban company in Indiana, which operated an Interurban line from Anderson to Alexandria. This company, the Union Traction Company of Indiana, was the first of dozens of Interurban companies that would be created during the early twentieth century. Over time, the Interurban was replaced with bus routes and the automobile. The last Interurban line that still exists is in Indiana is the South Shore Line, which runs from South Bend to downtown Chicago.

The Interurban fueled the population growth and development of new residential neighborhood in towns and cities throughout the state. The Interurban companies built multiple office buildings, depots, and warehouses. Regrettably, many of these historic structures have been demolished, including the Indianapolis Traction Terminal. The Indianapolis Traction Terminal was purported to be the largest Interurban station in the entire United States. It was located on the northwest corner of Market and Illinois Streets in downtown Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Traction Terminal was designed by Daniel Burnham and constructed in 1904. The terminal featured a large train shed constructed of steel and a nine-story office tower that contained a large station and various shops in the first floor and office space for various Interurban companies in the upper floors. The terminal was built to be the central hub where all of the Interurban lines that traveled through Indianapolis would use. Thousands of people traveled through the terminal each year. For example, in 1918, over seven million passengers traveled through the Indianapolis Traction Terminal. The train shed was demolished in 1968 and the office tower was razed in 1972.

Today, the site of the former Indianapolis Traction Terminal is home to the Indianapolis Hilton Hotel. This fine example of Interurban related architecture has been lost to history, but lives on in historic photographs and postcards, such as the one above.

Submitted by Ryan Shrack, graduate assistant in Historic Preservation

Image: Traction Terminal Building, Indianapolis, Ind., color postcard. Part of the Drawings + Documents Archive's postcard collection.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Edward Pierre's Designs

Much of the Pierre and Wright Architectural Records Collection has recently come back from being scanned into our Digital Media Repository. For unprecedented access to a large number of images from this collection, go to

Digitization of any collection requires quite a lot of sorting to determine which images are to be scanned, and then re-integration of the collection once the scanning process is complete. We are currently re-boxing the collection and I discovered this very small photostat of a drawing for the Chevrolet Sales and Service building in Kokomo, Indiana, designed by Edward Pierre in the 1950s or early 1960s.

Pierre, who began his architectural career designing Art Nouveau and Art Deco inspired buildings in the early 20th century, embraced Modernist designs as they evolved. It is evident he wasn't rigid in his design sense (such as someone like Louis Sullivan), but you can, however, see similarities in his design principles that are translated through the changing architecture of his time.

This is evident in his work for two car-related buildings he designed. The first, the Rose Tire Company building from 1930, has a wide band of windows, bays for cars, a designated office area, and an ornamental sign on top of the building. The second building, the Chevrolet building, ca. 1950s, has all of the same elements except that the area for cars is inside, behind the wide band of windows. The design has been stripped of the ornamentation seen in the 1930 design, most noticeably the sign on top of the building.

Of course, these are all standard elements of a car business. In the U.S., we have certainly seen plenty of car dealerships reminiscent of the Chevrolet building. What makes it interesting is how Pierre balanced the proportions similarly from one design period to another. You might think it would be impossible to link the two very different designs to the same architect but, seeing the two drawings side-by-side it becomes, if not obvious, at least believable it is the same designer.
I've been unable to locate the buildings today, or determine if the buildings were built. Does anyone know if either are standing?
Edward D. Pierre, Chevrolet Sales and Service Building, Kokomo, Ind., ca. 1950s, perspective view.
Pierre and Wright, Rose Tire Building, Indianapolis, Ind., 1930, perspective view.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Louis Sullivan

The film showing of Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture last night at the College of Architecture and Planning was an overwhelming success for students and members of the community who came out to see it and meet the filmmaker, Mark Richard Smith. Many thanks to Mark and our sponsors, the Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library and the College of Architecture and Planning, for a fascinating and educational evening. It was particularly gratifying to see the exploration of Sullivan's techniques, theory and practice using his original drawings.

It was also thrilling to see the soaring panoramas of Sullivan's detailed facades and then be able to look closely at the Chicago Stock Exchange cornice on display in Architecture Professor Michele Chiuini's exhibit DiCSX, the Digital Chicago Stock Exchange.

No one should underestimate the role food plays in any event on campus, and our Sullivan-inspired terracotta-esque cupcakes were quite a hit.

Photos by Amy Trendler and Carol Street

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Louis Sullivan film tonight @ 7:30

See Louis Sullivan's architecture as you've never seen it before--in HD and on the big screen--tonight in Ball State's Architecture Building, room 100. Mark Smith, the film's director and producer, will be here to talk about his film and answer questions after the showing. It's also the last night to see the 13th floor cornice from Sullivan's Chicago Stock Exchange, the exquisite building that sparked a preservation movement when it was torn down. To see it up close, as only the architect and builders would have seen it, is rather remarkable and gives you a renewed appreciation for building details.

This HABS (Historic American Building Survey) was made in the 1960s, before the building was torn down:

Monday, April 5, 2010

March Madness + Sullivan Fever, part five

The Indiana film premiere of Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture is tomorrow! Expect an exciting evening that consists of seeing the movie in HD, getting up close to the actual cornice of Sullivan's Chicago Stock Exchange building, and eating terracotta-inspired cupcakes. It's all free and not to be missed. See you at 7:30 in Architecture Building, room 100.

With Butler's exciting win this weekend, we happily continue our postings of basketball-related collections from the archive. The extraordinary Ball Gymnasium, located on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, was designed by Muncie architect Cuno Kibele and constructed in 1925. The building cost $400,000 to build, which would be approximately $4.5 million in today's dollars, with money coming mostly from the Ball family. The building is designed in the Collegiate Gothic style and matches the Burkhardt Building, which Kibele also designed, the Fine Arts Building, Lucina Hall, and the North Quadrangle Building, all located in the Old Quadrangle at the southern end of campus.

The Ball Teachers College Hoosieroons (now the Ball State Cardinals) played their home games in this building until 1963, when a new physical education building was built and Ball Gymnasium became used primarily as a women's gym. George F. Schreiber of Indianapolis was the architect of an addition built in 1939. An extensive restoration renovation of Ball Gymnasium was completed in 1997.