Calicut and Nilambur

Following Mysore, my travels took me to the Design Ashram Community Organization in Calicut, where I taught a drawing workshop sponsored by World Architecture Travel. It was indeed a pleasure to walk the streets of Calicut and to sketch with a group of area architects and student interns.

To end my trip to India, I gave a presentation at the Zonal NASA Convention that the College of Architecture of Eranad Knowledge City hosted and spent two days drawing with students at Nilambur Kovilakam, the royal palace of the rajas who ruled the local area once known as Eranad 200 years ago.

Thanks to all who made my trip to India a memorable one.

Mysore

From Bengaluru, we drove to Mysore, where I met with faculty and students at the Wadiyar Centre for Architecture and toured Mysore Palace. The above is a 25-minute sketch of Mysore Palace I managed to do before leaving on the 5-hour drive to Calicut. 

The residence of the Wadiyar Dynasty, the first palace dates from the 14th century and was built within the confines of the puragiri or citadel of Mysore. Over the centuries, the palace was rebuilt several times. The existing Indo-Saracenic structure, designed by the British architect Lord Henry Irwin, was constructed between 1897 and 1912, after the previous structure was extensively damaged during a fire in 1896.

Below is the entrance to the Royal Orchid Metropole where I had spent the night. This was originally built to serve as a residence for British guests of the Maharaja of Mysore.

Bengaluru

Many thanks to Anand Krishnamurthy and his colleagues of MASA (Alumni Association of the Malnad Architecture School) for giving me the opportunity to visit Bengaluru and address an audience of architects and students. Also had the opportunity to tour the city, visiting temples and markets. Above is a view of the city from my hotel balcony and below is a sketch of the flower market, where the activity became more important than the architecture.

Waiting for the Interurban

This cast-aluminum sculpture by Richard Beyer is another Fremont landmark at the corner of North 34th Street and Fremont Avenue North, at the east end of the Fremont Bridge. Erected in 1978, it depicts five people waiting for the Seattle-Everett light rail line. Not shown in this view but included among the figures is a sixth (shown below), that of a dog with a face that resembles Armen “Napoleon” Stepanian, the unofficial Mayor of Fremont in her early days and with whom Beyer is supposed to have had several disagreements. The figures are often dressed by local residents in costumes appropriate to the season or to celebrate birthdays, weddings, even political events.

Bleitz Funeral Home

In 1904, Jacob J. Bleitz established Bleitz Funeral Home. In 1921, Bleitz had this structure built southeast of the Fremont Bridge, across the Ship Canal from the Fremont neighborhood.

The city of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board designated the Bleitz Funeral Home a city of Seattle landmark early last year. In the landmark nomination application, architect Susan D. Boyle wrote of the building’s eclectic style: “The original two-and-a-half story funeral home is a combination of a vernacular building with an eclectic revival style front facade. It appears to have been the work of a designer, although the identities of the original designer or architect and builder remain unknown, and no original design drawings have been discovered.”

While the concrete exterior still stands, most of the interior has been gutted in preparation for its conversion into office spaces for small to mid-size companies.

Here is a brief video clip of my drawing process.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

Founded in 1889, St. Mark’s eventually outgrew its first two churches in downtown Seattle and on First Hill. So in 1926, plans were drawn up for a larger facility on Capitol Hill, on its present site overlooking Lake Union. It remains a Seattle landmark that can be seen from the west along the tree-lined ridge of north Capitol Hill.

Because of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression, an incomplete cathedral was dedicated in 1931. And after a St. Louis bank foreclosed on the mortgage in 1941, the empty structure was used by the U.S. Army during WWII as an anti-aircraft gun training center. After the war, fundraising helped erase St. Mark’s debt and on Palm Sunday 1947, the mortgage was burned before the parish in front of the Altar.

What we see now is the result of a series of renovations and additions over the years, the latest of which is a redesign of the sanctuary by Olson Sundberg featuring a glass and steel screen by northwest artist Ed Carpenter.

Denny Hall

The cornerstone for Denny Hall, the first structure to be built on the University of Washington campus, was laid on July 4, 1894. Designed by Charles W. Saunders, the four-story edifice contained a library, museum, music room, faculty offices, student lounge, six laboratories, and a 700-seat lecture hall. Originally called the Administration Building, it was renamed Denny Hall in 1910, after Arthur Armstrong Denny, one of the founders of the city of Seattle.

I intended these views of Denny Hall to be a lesson in composing and beginning a drawing—first framing the view, establishing a vertical measuring line, sizing and placing a major plane, and then roughing out the overall structure before developing the details.

Wallingford Center

A fine example of the adaptive re-use of a landmark building is Wallingford Center, developed in 1985 by Lorig Associates and designed by the architecture firm of Tonkin Hoyne Lokan. The original 3-story, wood-frame structure, built in 1904 to house the Interlake Public School, now houses a mix of shops, restaurants, and apartments. It is a historic Seattle landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Coliseum Theater

The Coliseum was the first theater in Seattle built specifically to show motion pictures. Designed by B. Marcus Priteca, it opened on January 8, 1916, at the start of the silent-film era, with a showing of The Cheat, starring Fannie Ward and Sessue Hayakawa. An advertisement at the time called the theater “the world’s largest and finest photoplay palace.” It is just one of a series of vaudeville and motion picture theaters Priteca designed for the Alexander Pantages chain.

The Colesium continued operating as a movie theater until 1990. It sat idle until 1995, when Banana Republic transformed it into a clothing store. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a City of Seattle Landmark.

Below is a short video clip of my drawing the view using the Procreate app on my iPad.

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church

St. Demetrios is part of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. The Greek Community Association established this parish in the Cascade neighborhood in the early 20th century and named it after an icon of Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki. Several decades later, under the stewardship of Father Neketas Palassis, the parish developed plans for a new complex, which culminated in the construction of the current church in the Montlake neighborhood. It was dedicated on March 31, 1963.

This thin-shell concrete structure was designed by Paul Thiry, a pioneer of modernism in the Pacific Northwest who was a supervising architect for the 1962 Century 21 Exposition in Seattle. At the time of St. Demetrios’ completion, the magazine Architecture West praised how Thiry “adapt(ed) materials and techniques of the 20th Century to a church that follows early Greek Orthodox architectural forms, with interior spaces dictated by centuries old liturgical forms.”