Tribune Tower


One of my all-time favorite and fun buildings is the Tribune Tower in Chicago. On my very first trip to Chicago, I decided to walk on Michigan Avenue, the shopping capital of the United States (and if it’s not, it’s pretty high up on that list). The building is located very close to the Chicago River and is a multi-faceted neo-gothic or gothic revival building. I wasn’t actually focused on the building in particular when I walked by because there is so much to look at, but when I came to the more smoothed section of the building, I started noticing odd bits and pieces sticking out randomly on the facade.


After getting up close and reading, I realized that there were a lot (150 to be exact) pieces of other buildings or parts of history that had been integrated into the building.



The architecture of the building included a piece of other great architecture from all over the world.  You literally have to walk around 3/4 of the building to see all the pieces because they are scattered in random places.


The most heart breaking piece was a piece of steel from the World Trade Center after it was attacked in 2001.



I know most of you were small when this happened, and I was probably about the age most of you are now, but I was married with a child by this time and it was one of the most unnerving times of my life. Being able to see that artifact of the building, knowing I would probably never get to actually go to New York, meant (and still means) so much to me.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park

I was lucky enough to have to go to Chicago on a work/furniture related trip and was able to go on the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park tour.



The first location on the tour was FLW’s Home and Studio. When I walked in it was literally breathtaking! There was so many details to see down to the furniture (that he made specifically for the homes he designed and built).



We walked the neighborhood to look at various houses he had designed. Most were obviously done by FLW, but there were a few that were not so obvious. I took a ton of pictures, but I went on the tour in 2006, so they are not readily accessible. All of the picture in this post came from the FLW Trust website.


The last place we visited was Unity Temple and it is awe-inspiring. This has to be one of the most beautiful and timeless religious space in the world. And if not, there are only a few that can beat it. Again the simple lines, craftsmanship, and details are exquisite! No one does details like FLW!



Thorncrown Chapel

As a huge architecture nerd (I have an Associates in Architecture CAD and worked for architects for almost 10 years), when me and my husband decided to get married, it had to be somewhere cool!


We decided to have the ceremony at the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Thorncrown was designed and built in 1981 by Fae Jones who worked under Frank Lloyd Wright (If you don’t know who that is, go look him up, I’ll wait!) at the Taliesen Fellowship.


To me, one of the most amazing thing about the chapel, besides it simplicity, is the fact that in order to preserve the surrounding natural setting, the chapel was built with materials that was carried to the site by hand.

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As a family we have visited the chapel every time we are in Eureka and every time it looks different.


The time of day, weather, and season all play a role in what the chapel looks like at the time. I tried to include pictures that showed the different elements in different times.

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Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum

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The Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum was designed by and dedicated to Tadao Ando. The museum is built directly into the hillside in order to preserve the environment which is characteristic of Tadao Ando. Which as you can see in the first picture its presence does not distract from the natural beauty of the island. It is meant to be accessed by boat via a stepped plaza along the shoreline that serves as an entrance and an outdoor performance space; these steps are shown in the second picture. After entering the main building visitors descend into the hillside and enter into a large underground art gallery. The gallery has a large window at one end that allows a view of the lush vegetation of the island and the other end has an exhibition room with no roof that allows natural sunlight, third picture. The small hotel annex on the island was also designed by Andao and is above the museum. Upon entering the annex there is a corridor that shows views of the ocean and the water plaza, this corridor also leads to a room with a cut out roof and shimmering pool that reflects the sky. I love how Tadao Ando is able to insert his buildings into the environment without disturbing the natural beauty of the land. I am also a big fan of how he is able to almost make the building apart of nature by adding spaces that allow for natural light, rooms that open to the sky and water that reflects the sky.

Cinderella’s Castle

While this is probably extremely cheesy, I love this iconic building. It is even the “Walt Disney Pictures” logo. Everyone knows exactly what it looks like. And if you’ve been to Disney World you’ve most likely taken a picture with it in the background. Seeing Cinderella’s Castle located at Disney World in Florida for the first time allows little girls everywhere the opportunity to feel like a princess. Also like everything else in DCinderella Castle day timeisney World, it brings to life stories that we have all grown up watching  on TV screens. The very first time I encountered Cinderella’s Castle was when my parents surprised me and my brother early in the morning and told us we were going to Disney World. It all still seemed like a fairytale anyways but then stepping through the gates and seeing the castle was just breath taking, especially as a 4th grade girl. Seeing the castle is just so magical. It gives hope, especially to younger girls, that dreams and fairytales do come true. While I have never actually gcinderella insideotten to step foot into the castle I can only imagine all of the beautiful artwork and extravagant details that fill the inside. But actually the best part about seeing the castle is when it is night and they light up the sky with fireworks. Like nothing screams “the happiest place on earth” like fireworks filling the sky behind Cinderella’s Castle.



My House


This is the house I grew up in. 1100 square feet, 1 bedroom, 2 loft bedrooms, and 1 bathroom. It is is a 2 story house, wood siding, back porch, and big front and back yard. My grandpa built it on his own in 1996. It is built on 2 acres.  We moved out 3 years ago in 2013, with the house being sold for almost $200,000. It was one of the only houses built in the area at the time. Now it is in a “tourist” area. Beaver’s Bend State Park is the area it is in. There is a story where I actually dug a post hole for the fence around the house. That was my contribution. This house has so many memories from my childhood. Moving out took a toll on my emotions but that’s a part of growing up, but I wont forget the great times this house has been a part of.

My Church



This is Hochatown First Assembly of God. It is the church I grew up in.  It is very important in my bringing up. It was the place that shaped my religious foundation.  It was built in 1997 and it was added onto in 2005. It holds around 200-250 people.  I’m not sure what you would characterize this architecture as. I would just say cabin-style. It is very welcoming and country. It has a main fellowship hall on the right with the tall windows. It has a dinning area on the right. It is built on a hill with a large parking lot. I am very glad I grew up where I id. This building will always be a part of me.

Kunsthaus Graz, Graz Austria

My fourth grade teacher told me about how this was her favorite building on Earth, and that she just had an enormous love for it way back when. Known warmly as the “Friendly Alien” this building most definitely stands out within the second largest city of Austria, Graz. This building is unique because it most definitely does not look like its neighbors, and has a special secret of its anterior. Acrylic glass covers the building and lights up the streets when the sun sets. The lights are easily variable, from being bright to dim within less than a second. It is an art museum that specializes in contemporary art of the last few decades, and is still going strong to this day. I think that this building is spectacular and the curvature and color make it all the more distinctive.


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Skating Rink



This is the Broken Bow Skating Rink. This was built in 2000.  It has switched owners twice. It is an open concept building made of tin. It is 800 square feet , not big especially with a bunch of kids. When you walk in to the left is the concrete skating rink and to the right was the concession stand and skate racks. In the back in the arcade and pool room. This used to be the hangout place for all the kids in the area. It was always packed with people of all ages. My friends and I ran the place.This place has had an impact on every kid who went. It looks simple and may look like nothing to the people just looking at it. However, to the kids who went here it was the hot spot of the town.

Walker Tower Residence Hall

Last year, as a freshman, I lived in the Walker Tower dorms. Along with Couch and Adams Towers, it stands apart as having a wildly unique building design. It’s a twelve-story building in the shape of a plus sign, with four wings that project outward from the center. The outside of the building is all covered in brick, and each wing is an alternating series of vertical stripes of inset windows or brick. The inset windows and the ends of each wing are decorated with large off-white square projecting ledges, one layer to each floor, giving the building a spiny appearance.

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Most buildings have a rectangular footprint, or at least a compact footprint, especially tall buildings with double-digit numbers of floors. Walker Tower, however, sprawls outwards, seeming to stretch and extend rather than be compact and efficient. I suppose that it was probably built with tornadoes in mind, because a wider base with extensions makes it more stable and less prone to toppling. However, it has the effect of sequestering the building into sharply separated halls. The two west halls are for boys, and the two east halls are for girls. On some floors, the two boys’ halls are connected to each other, as are the two girls’ halls, but on others, they’re divided into non-adjoining north/south halls, creating even more of a compartment atmosphere.

The outside of the building, with its ledges and recessions, seemed to me to suggest a hive, which was the main impression the dorms left on me. Divisions and subdivisions; I’m delineated by building, floor, side, hall, suite, room. My room felt like my little corner, a bubble, of sorts, a compartment tucked away in the middle of this massive hive. Maybe if I’d spent more time with people on my floor and hanging out in other rooms on my floor, it would have felt more communal, but the way that the hallways radiate away from each other, rather than running parallel, certainly contributed to the niche feeling.

In no way is Walker Tower an elegant building. The outside is jagged, all corners, edges, points, and right angles. It comes out of the ground and rises directly upward until it stops. It isn’t ugly, per se, but it certainly took some time to adjust to.