Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Pasadena Bonus - Greene and Greene

This post is a follow up to my first commentary about my experiences at the Rose Bowl and Parade in Pasadena.  On my first trip over to the Rosemont Pavilion, where the floats were being assembled, I looked out the shuttle window and noticed that we were passing by a house I recognized.  It was the home of Doc from Back to the Future, where Marty first encountered him and his Delorean time machine.  It is otherwise known as the Gamble House by the brilliant California arts and crafts period architects Greene and Greene.

Their houses were inspired by their trip through Chicago on their way to California, where they saw the Japanese pavilion at the World's Fair, and also some of the early Prarie Style work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

What I most appreciate about this and the other houses is their amazingly beautiful attention to craft in the detailing.  The edges of the supporting beams and rafters are all rounded, and the joinery is all very intentional.

The craftsmanship also carries over into related areas like the woodworking and stained glass in the main entry doors.  Where the glass in Wright's Oak Park houses is very geometric, the patterns here are much more natural and organic.

Seeing the Gamble House, first from the bus window, and later as I walked back into town, I was inspired to walk back over the next day to see all of the Greene and Greene houses in the neighborhood.  They are  really beautiful and wonderfully preserved examples of the best architecture of the period, and i was fortunate to have a beautiful day to visit them.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to tour the interior of the Gamble House, as it was closed the days I was there, but that house is open to the public, and well worth seeing.  All of the others I saw are still private homes, but you can walk around the fronts and see the amazing details firsthand.

There is a large group of homes located on Arroyo Terrace, right off Orange Grove, just before arriving at the Gamble House.

My favorite of the houses I saw is called the Duncan Irwin house, and it's located at one of the corners of Arroyo Terrace, with great views out into the surrounding valleys.  The colors, forms, and details are similar to those of the other homes, but the corner site enabled them to do an incredible composition, and the entry way, with large natural stone posts and climbing vines, is really nice.

Brothers Charles and Henry Greene had an architectural practice in Pasadena in the late 19th and early 20th century.  The Gamble House was designed in 1908, and is their largest project.  They also designed the Thorsen house in Berkeley that how houses the Sigma Phi fraternity.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

still loving those cars!

I've always had a fascination with cars, and over the past few years, 
i've begun photographing classic cars at car shows and wherever else i find them.
here are a few of the photos.  If you want to see more, check out my photography/glass website:  www.schatzpix.com.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Smelling the Roses and More

Our new year got off to a great start with Stanford's exciting victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl Game, which I was fortunate enough to be able to attend thanks to my good friend, Steve Banuelos.  However, even that long time coming thrill of victory was overshadowed by my other involvement at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena.

My wife, Amy Peele, is the director of clinical operations for the transplant programs at UCSF Medical Center.  Earlier in December, Amy had the good fortune to meet an 18 year old college student named Alfonso at a press conference.  Alfonso was the fortunate recipient of a new liver, and he was chosen to be one of the float riders on the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade.  Along with Alfonso, Amy met his family, and the family of a 22 year old named George, who had sadly passed away, and who amazingly donated his liver which saved Alfonso's life.  Given that I was already planning to go to Pasadena, Amy decided that she wanted to take part in all of the events surrounding the Donate Life float, and I got to come along for some of that ride too.

Another of our close friends, Charles Bearden, was already planning to participate, and was generous enough to invite us to join him.  It proved to be an experience I'll never forget.  Charles himself had an interesting connection to the float.  Around 26 years ago, he was the coordinator for the third ever infant heart transplant.  He brought the donor baby cross country to Loma Linda Hospital, where the heart was transplanted into "Baby Eve", now known to us all as Leila.  This was the first time that Charles and Leila had ever met face to face, and it was amazing.  She is now the mother of an 18 month old, and pregnant with twins, and she rode on the float too.

We all became part of Team George.  Alfonso rode on the float, holding a photo of George, and standing beneath a floral portrait of him as well.  We cheered and wept along with George's mother, father, and sister, and all of the members of Alfonso's family, including his father, who coincidentally also works at UCSF.

We had the great pleasure of hugging Claudia, a young woman who got a kidney/pancreas transplant, and now works as a dialysis nurse.  She just completed her first marathon race, and is one of the sweetest, most endearing people I've been lucky enough to meet.  

We met Syracuse Sue, another kidney/pancreas recipient, who was decked out in orange from head to toe.  We took Chase, an 11 year old boy from Nebraska to lunch one day, and he told us his story of getting a bone donation 2 years ago which enabled him to save his arm after a cancerous tumor was discovered.

 We met two moms from Wisconsin, who didn't have sponsors to help pay for their participation, but who felt they had to be there.  Each had lost a child who became an organ donor, and now both work to educate young people in high schools about the need for organ donation.  The float celebrities were ex-Angels and Cardinals shortstop (whom we Giants fans remember all too well from 2002), David Eckstein, and his brother Rick, who is the hitting coach for the Nationals.  Kidney disease runs in their family, so Rick has already donated to one sibling, and David is now set to donate to another.

It was such a moving experience, capped off by sitting in a designated grandstand with all of the participant families and other volunteers to watch the float go by, screaming and waving at all the riders.  Meeting all these people who either helped save lives by donating organs, or had their lives saved through transplant really helped me put my personal issues into perspective.  I have so much respect for all of these people, and the professionals like Amy, Charles, Lisa, Ken, Tom, Kathy and so many more, who help make this all happen.


Welcome to the first posting on my new blog site.  

For the past few years, I have been posting on the Field Paoli blog page, and a lot of people have enjoyed the posts.  However, now that I've retired from my position with that firm, I've decided to start a new page of my own.

The topics are going to be very diverse, ranging from personal musings, to photo shows, to architectural  and other design related discussions.

I hope people will read, enjoy, share, and comment on the posts, and that some might lead to some interesting real discussions too.

Thanks for visiting, and keep an eye out for future postings.  i know i'll get the hang of this soon.

Yours, Mark Schatz