“IDS and Foshay Towers Minneapolis”

On my last visit to Minneapolis MN. I spent a day in this beautiful city just wondering around the streets essentially with my eye to the sky.

My original destination was The Foshay Tower, which I went to first. I toured the inside, then went to the observation deck for the spectacular view from the top. I love the historical aspect of the architecture there! You’ll see the Foshay Tower in the last image.

The IDS Tower was the building that called for my attention next! It’s such a lovely building with it’s glass facade, angles, and height. Two of the images below are from one frame and processed differently. The third image is from a slightly different angle of the same building that reveals some of the reflections of other structures in the area.

I really like the sharp edges and deep contrast of the architecture of the IDS Tower itself. When processing I also used high contrast in these two images, whether color or monochrome. Only the last image is done in a softer tone.

The IDS Tower is 57 stories tall, it became the tallest skyscraper in Minneapolis when it surpassed the height of the Foshay Tower, which is 32 stories tall. This happened in 1972, which then ended the Foshay Tower’s 43-year reign over the Minneapolis skyline. In addition to being a lot taller, The IDS Tower occupies much more real estate than the Foshay does. The Foshay Tower was desighed to look more like the Washington Monument so it has an obelisk-like look to it.

Enjoy these images from a small part of Minneapolis as you look to the sky. Be careful don’t strain your neck! 😉

"IDS Tower Framed" mono
“IDS Tower Framed” mono

“IDS Tower Framed” mono

"IDS Tower Framed"
“IDS Tower Framed”

“IDS Tower Framed”

"IDS Tower Reflections" mono
“IDS Tower Reflections” mono

“IDS Tower Reflections” mono

"Foshay Tower" monochrome
“Foshay Tower” monochrome

“Foshay Tower” monochrome

“Light of Sunlight”

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!!

Enjoy!!

-Light of Sunlight-

“Darker Days”

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.

Enjoy!

Historical Architecture
Historical Architecture