Here we are at a familiar place to some of you. The historic Point Iroquois Light Station, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had just walked up to the lighthouse and started to get into a position that looked like a nice angle to me, when all of a sudden I heard the sound of a prop plane, and within an instant it was in my frame. I took a quick shot, the one you see here, then angled to get one of the place by itself. As the lens I was using wasn’t much of a telephoto, the plane didn’t come out as I would have liked it to.
Maybe some of you may know what aircraft it is by the shape. I was really more interested in this historic lighthouse though! The image here was taken in mid September. I went back again in early October and got a late autumn photo, which I will try to bring at a later date with all the fall foliage!!
The beauty of this lighthouse makes it one of my favorites along Lake Superior. The surrounding area with its beautiful lakes and forests are another plus!!
This image of a wonderful stone lighthouse is from a recent visit to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York at the place where The Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. Quite a lovely location!!
The lighthouse was originally built by the French and established in 1782. It sat atop a chateaux or “French Castle” as it was called, which is still located inside the actual fort. The lighthouse was later moved off of the chateaux in order to make more room for more officer’s quarters, and is now located just outside of the fort itself.
The chateaux is wonderful and I’ll be bringing you images of that in a later post. I spent a lot of time at the fort with my son who was mesmerized by the history, and gave me plenty of time to get as many images as possible! 🙂
The type of stone used here in the lighthouse is limestone, it also has a brick lining, which you can see when you go inside of the tower. The original lens was a fourth order Fresnel lens.
The lighthouse itself was deactivated in 1996 and was replaced by a light beacon which is located at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Niagara.
To me there is something really fascinating about lighthouses, the stories they could tell and the history they’ve witnessed.
As many of you know I have a great love of history and architecture in addition to my love of nature. I have many more images of lighthouses and historical places to come in later posts. I hope you’ll enjoy that.
For those of you who don’t live on or have never visited any of the Great Lakes in the U.S., you’ll find that the majority of, if not all the lighthouses were the type connected to a living quarters, more like a light station. Different from the style you’d find on the coasts near the ocean.
Each style has its own beauty. I especially love the strength and charm of the limestone one here at Old fort Niagara!!
On the day I visited the fort itself, it was pouring down rain the entire time. I had to wait another day for the weather to clear to get this and many other beautiful images of the lighthouse!!
In 1885, Michigan opened its third mental institution which was in Traverse City. The institution contained twelve cottages, as well as two infirmaries. The original central administrative building was a hallmark of Victorian-Italiante architecture, but it was sadly demolished in 1963, after it was deemed it a fire hazard.
The twelve smaller cottages, which date from 1885 to 1903, still stand, and have been renovated for different purposes.
Dr. Munson, who headed the Hospital at the time believed in the idea that we should use the “beauty as therapy” method for the mentally ill, so the grounds were covered with trees and flowers. I didn’t get the chance to get images of the grounds, but they are still lovely, with huge trees, gardens, and large open green spaces!
The asylum was completely self-sufficient. The patients worked making furniture, canning fruit, and farming, all to earn funds for the hospital. The hospital produced its own steam to heat and electrify the buildings.
Over time, the space was used to treat other diseases, such as tuberculosis, polio, and, in the mid-late 1980s, as a drug rehabilitation center. But in 1989, the state finally closed the doors of the hospital.
In a twist of fate, the property was purchased by a group of developers, who then renovated the deteriorating buildings to develop it for commercial and residential use. The project was finished in 2010. It now houses hotels, apartments, boutiques, quaint shoppes, an urban winery, coffee roaster, a bakery and more.
While today very different, the Village at Grand Traverse Commons still evokes a time when the mentally ill lived here in a harmony which was rarely found even in the sane world. Quite a beautiful location and series of buildings!
My image here was taken as the sun was beginning to set behind this main building. The clouds were amassing, and the combination of architecture and sky was beautiful.
I decided to take make this image on a slant as to gain more of the sky, get in some of the more important aspects of the building, and to keep unwanted shoppers and visitors out of the frame.
I also processed this in monochrome which really gave it the feel of “Darker Days”. That image can be seen on 500px for those of you who missed it.
So as you see. Today I decided to get away from cars, which I’ve done quite a lot of lately, and give you a bit of architecture and sky drama, as well as a little history.
When you look at the title of this image, then actually take a look at the photo. You may wonder why such a title? Well I’ll explain. First of all let me tell you that it was a cold late winter”s day when I took this. I was on the same architectural photo hunt that I mentioned to you in my previous post.
After going around the main part of the central campus of The University of Michigan, I headed off towards the direction of the hospital, which is still part of the school. There are plenty of medical school buildings there as well.
After turning onto a side street I happened upon the building you see here. I really wanted to get out of the car and take in the whole of the building, but I wasn’t able to, I searched everywhere for some place to park. I knew I just had to have an image of this place although I had no idea even what it was from the vantage point I was in.
Being that it was in the middle of the day, on a busy week day. There were cars, and people everywhere, and no way for me to actually park and roam around. So I did the only thing I could.
I put my car in park, put on my flashers, right in front of the building and took a few photos of the entrance area. I loved the style of architecture, looking like that of something from the U.K.!
In the color version of this image you can see all the embellishment and the crest above the doorway really standing out in on the brick. You can see it here too, but not quite the same.
You may also notice bunches of snow still piled up along the stairs and entry area. Well this is where the title comes in.
When I was processing this photo, I noticed there was quite a bit of salt that had been put down on the stairs and walkway. The salt was blue in color, so of course it was not plain salt, but one mixed with additives to melt ice. This didn’t look very nice, but it also wasn’t very practical to take it out of the photo either.
So I opted to leave it in, and do a monochrome version, and then title it “Salt”. Since I didn’t know the name of the structure, I had to search it up. I came to know that it is the Kinesiology Building. Part of the U of M, and also has a sign on another area that says Observatory Lodge. I’ll find out more about it in the future.
I’m planning on going back there again. Probably in the warm weather, when I’m able to get out of the car, find an actual parking space, and get a full view of this lovely piece of architecture. I know you’ll love seeing the complete structure too!
This image is of historic Parker Mill during the wintertime. The Mill was originally built in 1873, and at that time was used to grind flour and corn for the Parker family and their neighbors. In 1887 a second building was added to press apples into cider.
It is one of the historic treasures of Washtenaw County located in Ann Arbor Michigan. The grist mill is still in operable condition and also still has the original milling machinery that was left in it when the Parker family stopped operation in 1958.
On weekends in the fall you can tour the mill, and talk to the really knowledgeable and helpful guides as you watch the grain being ground. If you ask, they will also give you a small bag of ground corn to put out for the wild birds in your yard!
There’s something so special about old buildings like these. One of the first things to me is the heavy scent of old wood. There’s nothing quite like it!! Another thing is just imagining how the people who built, owned and used the mill were. What they did,and how their lives were!
To me I find it so wonderful that places like this are still preserved for future generations to see, learn about and enjoy. Especially a place like Parker Mill, which is still in working condition!!
As you can see, it’s quite a beautiful place with it’s huge and colorful stones as the foundation, and a light mustard yellow colored wood on top.
It is beautiful in any season, but I like it especially well in winter, when nothing obscures the view! Enjoy! 🙂