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This Old House

By Sunday, January 29, 2006 No Comments

When I was ten years old, if not younger, I started watching This Old House with my parents on PBS. For some reason, I was hooked. I watched as often as I could and looked forward to seeing the weekly progress with Bob Vila and Norm Abram. I could go on about my obsession with the show and how I started visiting contruction sites in my neighborhood, solely to pretend I was Bob or better yet, Norm. A friend and I would scavenge the site looking for carpenter’s pencil and woodworking relics. It was really comical in an odd sort of way.

Oddly enough, though I became a woodworking enthusiast (I took wood shop three times in high school); I never used my passion to study architecture. Instead I followed my interests in computers and blah blah blah. But in the past several years, my appreciation of architecture, construction, and woodworking has been coming back. Maybe I’m getting old, who knows.

Over the summer when I went driving cross country, I made it a point to go to Falling Water to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s epic masterpiece. Along with stops to the Ray and Charles Eames house in Santa Monica, I checked out houses and buildings all over the country. Two weeks ago, I went to Denver for the day and spent some time studying the new wing of the Denver Art Museum. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the new museum wing boasts some rather impressive angles and form. If nothing else, just the design and construction challenges alone require a hefty amount of thought and planning. I now have a reason to head back to Denver for a visit. Who knew?

Getting back to This Old House, the team is currently working on rebuilding a modern house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The home’s owner, George Mabry seems an interesting study. He’s been working on the redesign of the home for over 6 years or so. Needless to say, I’ve been glued to the tv set every Sunday or Monday night for the past two months. My trusty TiVo has been recording the episodes for me, along with all the New Yankee Workshops, as I’ve been secretly contemplating selling everything and buying a workshop somewhere upstate. I’m hoping to watch as the This Old House crew finishes the project, and then travel up to Cambridge to see the house myself. Trouble is, I wonder if George would consider this “home stalking”?

A few links, including a project description from This Old House:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tvprograms/houseproject/overview/0,16542,1062246,00.html

http://www.icynene.com/TOHCambridge.aspx

http://www.kcts.org/seriesdetail.asp?N1=THOH

http://www.denverartmuseum.org/

I also plan to visit MIT and see the new Computer Science building. It’s an impressive piece, hopefully you’ll see some pictures on flickr by the end of February!

http://www.buildings.com/Articles/detail2.asp?articleID=100736

http://www.usenix.org/events/lisa05/tech/wollman/html/slide_12.html

http://www.cio.com/archive/051504/mit.html

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