Friday, October 30, 2009

downtown intitutions

we started at the intersections of
Market Street and Elm Street again today. we worked our way North this time. we looked at the old Wachovia building. it has been renovated on the inside to be apartments but kept the outside appearance of a legal building with the glass and metal. across
from the apartment building is the
Center City Park. it is a public private park
owned by the Center City Organization. it was
open space that was bought and cleaned up. it is strategically placed beside the apartments to give
the dwellings somewhere peaceful to go. a water
system is being put in at this time. it is important
to put water in the park because when the town was originally founded, it was dry, very dry. the local museum was originally a church. it was reused as the library for a while, becoming a museum recently. they have an exhibit about Gate City and how it was run. after the library was in the old church building, it got its own building which is now the Elon Law School building. the library now is bigger and set up similarly to the Elon Law School. as things expand they build new buildings but have always reuse
the old ones.

Monday, October 26, 2009

back to the center

the center of Greensboro NC is
the intersection of Market Street
and Elm Street. the four corners consist of a bank, a law building, and two others that are in reconstruction. this intersection is the highest point of town; there is a hill in each direction. all of the streets in Greensboro are
named significantly: Elm Street was lined
with elm trees, Market Street was the main road to the market places.
there are numerous stacks around town...they are commonly referred to as parking decks. they stragetically placed so that they are closest to the big industries and companies. the old Woolworth Company building is under renovation to restore the structure and to convert it into a museum. a lot of the old retail building that were here originally are being renovated and reused for practical reasons. most of the older buildings were built
without electricity so they were built with a lot of windows all
around the building to allow the sunlight in through out the day. the whole district we were looking at was one road wide. it is lined by the city-state-government buildings (aka courthouse, jailhouse, police department...ect...). some of the alleys have been converted for practical reasons with a pretty look to entertain the public.

Friday, October 16, 2009


governor morehead's mansion is amazing. it was originally a 1795 four bedroom farm house, it is the oldest standing structure in greesboro. it sat on 100 acres stretching from railroad to market st one way and spring st to eugene st the other way. in 1822 it was expanded to a six bedroom home. in 1827 it was bought by
john motley and haley morehead. when mr. morehead became governor, he felt the home needed to appear grander so he hired Alexander Davis to design/build an addition in 1844. it then became the oldest example of italianate structure. this consist of a multi-level marble tower in the front of the house. it created a porch on each floor. the downstairs of the home has high ceilings and long horizontal windows. the west parlor was designed with cast plaster and marble. the chandeler was designed with grape and magnolia leaves in the plaster mold. it ties in the surrounding habitat. the west parlor was the gathering room in the evening so there are three big windows to be opened in the summer. they have doors with windows to close in the winter. the doors on the opposite side of the room have mirrors so that the
sunlight reflects off to make the room brighter. the east parlor was the morning gathering area. it was more for casual use so the design is not as elaborate as the west parlor. the chandeler's plaster mold is less decorated and more simple. the chandeler is referred to as the queen
chandeler and isnt as big or fancy as the king. the windows are also designed to brighten the room. in the winter though the doors are closed and they have mirrors to reflect the candle light or sunlight from across the hall. these front rooms are furnished with matching furniture that would have been moved from room to room. the fact that they matched demonstrated the family's wealth and stability.
the upstairs is plain and simple yet designed with taste. there is still the coordinating marble in the fireplace and floor boards(??). the ceilings are very low because it was one of the first southern homes to be designed/built by a northern designer/builder. the windows were built smaller as well. the beds were a traditional sleigh bed. the back rooms are the original bedrooms so they are very simple in design with not much at all. the primary color of paint in the house is green because it is the most stable(it doesnt fade). the house is very pretty over all and is an important historical landmark in greensboro.

Friday, October 2, 2009

re-purpose : re-use

there are several buildings that have been renovated as the wafco building was. there is the charles mciver school which is now used as church place. the old YMCA building which was turned into the physical ed building for greensboro college is another example. there are also new
buildings that have gone up. there are apartment buildings that have been built up on the street with the old run down buildings behind it. there are strip malls on the front of the street also "hide" older buildings behind it.

there are several older
which have been allowed to just sit and rot. in general i think that all the old buildings should be reused rather than torn down or allowed to rot. there is a white building that looks as if it was once a large house or apartment building. i think that it would be beneficial to renovate it into an apartment building and maybe add it to the new apartment buildings recently built across the street. there is an old white house on the edge of the street that has been boarded up. i think that it should be fixed up into a home once more or maybe an office building.

side streets + back alleys

there are some differences between the main streets and the side/back streets.

the main streets have more apartment and industrial buildings. the houses are kept a bit nicer and there is a lot of infill. renovated apartment buildings, new houses, and parks are some of the things that have taken the place of old buildings, old houses, and space. the apartments show appeal to college students, the new houses show appeal to students
and families, and the park shows
appeal to the children in the neighborhood.

the back/side streets arent built up as nice and most of the houses are the original ones from way back. because these houses are behind the industrial buildings there are a lot of fences. on certain places in the road you can see the old road which was made of brick, which was later covered by asphalt. there are a lot of little side buildings such as sheds and garages. some of the alleys are still utalized but most have been closed off in the back to serve more as driveways.