600 Central, Wilmette, February 2021. The house is dated to 1893.
Old Parsonage, 1872, Washington Street at Maple Avenue, Downers Grove, Illinois, February 2018.
Jason and Lucy Flanders House, 1841, 24044 Main Street, Plainfield, Illinois, August 11, 2013.
Plainfield was settled at the end of the 1820’s when James Walker constructed a sawmill on the DuPage River. The mill attracted settlers to the region and created Will County’s first permanent community. Located about halfway on the Chicago-Ottawa stagecoach line, Plainfield developed commercially, including a booming lumber trade. Jason and Lucy Flanders married in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1833 (they were both 23 years old). Jason Flanders, born in Vermont, had worked in Boston, Massachusetts since 1830. Lucy Ann Clark Flanders was born in New Hampshire. The Flanders arrived into Will County in 1833 and after seven years of farming, moved to Plainfield in 1840. The Flanders had six children.
Built in 1841, Flanders House exhibits characteristics of both the Federal and Greek revival styles. This includes symmetrically arranged windows and a central entrance overlaid by a porch of the 1920’s. Also known as Mapleview Farm and Bragaw-Klomhaus House, The Flanders’ Place has had only a handful of owners in its 180-year history. There is no record of the house ever being used for any non-residential purpose though it may have served in a commercial capacity, perhaps serving travelers on the Dr. Temple Stage Line Chicago-Ottawa route.
The two-story, side gabled rectangular building is approximately 30 x 40 feet in dimension and with later additions. Jason Flanders built the house with hewn logs and sided it with walnut, its original siding hidden by later exterior finishes. The house was finished on the inside also with walnut. Walnut was abundant in the Plainfield area which may explain partly why the Flanders did not hesitate to whitewash the house exterior.
Jason Flanders was the town constable (Plainfield’s first) and at his death had amassed many hundreds of acres of land. The Flanders and their descendants retained control of the property until 1974. While it is recorded that Jason Flanders was a Methodist, his late-20th-century descendant sold the house to a Lutheran church for use as a parsonage. It was sold again in the early 1990s and restored to emulate its original appearance. Flanders House remains one the oldest extant houses in Plainfield, Illinois, today.
Venard/Kelly/Orwin House, 4540 Highland Avenue, Downers Grove, Illinois. Constructed in 1914, this American Foursquare with Craftsman influences maintains its original features.
The exterior has bevel siding on the first story and shingles on the second with dividing molding. The full width front porch has double and triple columns and a front door with oval glass. There is a bay window off the dining room with triple windows. The view is taken from the southeast on February 16, 2021.
5414 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago. Park Tower Condominium is on the lakefront next to north Lake Shore Drive and across from Foster Beach in Lincoln Park. Constructed in 1973 by Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz (SCB), a Chicago architectural firm founded in 1931, the tower was planned as the first of three towers in a triangular formation but the others did not materialize.
At 55 stories tall (513 feet high), Park Tower Condominium is one of the tallest structures in Chicago outside the downtown area. It is the tallest structure between downtown and Foster Beach. It is one of the largest all-residential buildings in the city. Originally built as luxury rental apartments, the building became condos in 1979. The photograph was taken on August 7, 2015 in Lincoln Park.
In the Edgewater neighborhood, Park Tower Condominium is one of three residential towers in Chicago with black Miesian windows and three rounded lobes. The others are Lake Point Tower (505 North Lake Shore Drive) and Harbor Point (155 North Harbor Drive).
The Mentor Building, 39 S. State Street (6 E. Monroe Street), 1906, Howard Van Doren Shaw (1869-1926).
A Mentor building has stood on this northeast corner of State and Monroe since 1873 when there was a 7-story building erected here.1
Shaw’s only skyscraper presents an unusual mixture of styles. There are windows grouped in horizontal bands between a four-level base of large showroom windows. The top is classically inspired and details are strong and idiosyncratic. The building retains the character of classical sources though used as large-scale motifs.2
Shaw’s 1906 building is 17 stories high with two basements on rock caissons.3
The photograph was taken on July 5, 2015.
1 Frank A. Randall, History of Development of Building Construction in Chicago, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded by John D. Randall, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1999, p, 196.
2 Alice Sinkevitch, AIA Guide to Chicago, 2nd Edition, Harcourt, Inc., Orlando, 2004, p. 59.
I lived with the seriousness of someone who has caught a tiger by the tail. Once you have caught hold of a tiger’s tail, you have to follow it all the way to the end, on pain of being eaten alive. Kim Tschang-Yuel (1929-2021), painter of water drops.
From an interview with critic and curator Michel Enrici published in 2018 and cited in The New York Times, “Kim Tschang-Yeul, 91, Dies; Painted Water Drops Swollen With Meaning,” updated January 19, 2021.
Kim Tschang-yeul (December 24, 1929–January 5, 2021) was a French-Korean artist known for his abstract paintings of water droplets.
CHEVY DEALERSHIP: A TRIBUTE TO ROUTE 66, 2007, 396 N. Chicago Street, Joliet, Illinois, by Marion Kryczka with the assistance of community members. Photograph by author.
Joliet, Illinois, a city of nearly 150,000 people about 45 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, is famous for many things not least of which is its appearance in the opening credits and scene of the classic 1980 comedy film, The Blues Brothers. Starring John Belushi as “Joliet” Jake Blues and and Dan Ackroyd as his brother, Elwood, there is a flyover of Joliet’s old steel mills in operation at night as well as the old limestone walls of Joliet Prison at dawn. The city of Joliet takes pride in this popular culture heritage, though those manufacturing mills are shuttered and the old Joliet Prison, only one mile away from Chevy Dealership: A Tribute to Route 66, closed in 2002.
Joliet set out in the early 1990s to celebrate and present its rich and diverse heritage by way of a city-wide public artwork initiative. Depicted in painted murals placed at strategic points throughout the city, it presented the various historic periods, people, and significant activities that preceded and followed Joliet’s establishment.
After many hundreds of years living on the undulating prairie with its deep rivers, Native American communities were met in 1673 by French-Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet (1645-1700)— and after which the city could have been later named—accompanied by French Jesuit Père Jacques Marquette (1637-1675). These European explorers paddled up the Des Plaines River on which the present-day Joliet straddles and camped just south of its downtown. By the nineteenth and twentieth centuries came a proliferation of canals, various industries, railroads, and quarries that saw the economic boom of this northern Illinois city surrounded by a broad geographical area of farms. In 1964, Joliet’s significance in the development of this part of the nation’s interior was officially recognized with the establishment of the Illinois & Michigan National Heritage Corridor designation.
In the early 1990s, Joliet started a public art mural project. Contemporary art murals were created throughout the city often on exterior building walls or under viaducts. Several of these early murals, after 30 years being constantly exposed to the harsh weather conditions in summer and winter, are today in varying need of restorative work. Whether as an individual mural or as part of a series, these public murals have looked to depict in contemporary art the diversity of Joliet life in more than five centuries of its history.
The 2007 acrylic mural called Chevy Dealership: A Tribute to Route 66 is the artists’ imagined depiction of a Chevrolet automobile showroom in Joliet, Illinois in the mid-1950s. Newer than other murals in the city, the mural is in remarkable physical condition as it sits in the direct western sun on an exterior wall along a high-trafficked downtown street corner. The 10-by-15-foot mural was created by a team of artists led by Marion Kryczka, a Chicago-based artist who was a longtime professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The artists who matured under Kryczka’s mentorship are today accomplished artists in their own right.
The mural is part of a series at the site. It is the larger of two murals displayed on west and south walls of a historic one story red-brick building at 396 N. Chicago Street in downtown Joliet, Illinois. The building had been the original showroom of Winston Chevrolet, a busy auto dealer in the mid-1930s and 1940s. In 1955 the dealership was acquired by Bill Jacobs, Sr. A vintage photograph from that time connected to the mural shows a bevy of new and used cars lined up and parked around the perimeter of the building apparently awaiting customers.
The acrylic mural of Bill Jacob’s dealership in the 1950s is imbued with cultural and historical significance. Bill Jacobs Chevrolet, which opened in 1955, stayed in the family until it was sold in 2015. The founder’s son, Bill Jacobs, Jr., bought the dealership from his father in 1978 at 23 years old. In 2010, Bill Jacobs, Jr., following a 7-year battle with cancer, passed away at 55 years old. Starting at this showroom building in 1955, Bill Jacobs Automotive Group had, by 2010, expanded to five Chicagoland dealerships. It employed almost 500 people and generated about $300 million in annual sales. Mrs. Jeanne Jacobs, the wife of Bill Jacobs, Sr., and Bill Jacobs, Jr.’s mother, passed away in October 2020. It was because of Jeanne Jacobs that her husband Bill Jacobs, a university professor, entered the car business. Jeanne Jacobs’ father owned a car dealership in Chicago where Bill Jacobs worked before he bought his own dealership in Joliet in 1955.
Since the 1970s, artist Marion Kryczka has had a career as an artist. Mr. Kryczka’s drawing is rooted in his foundation as a figurative artist and a lively technique which uses realism as a launching point to create familiar, beautiful, and meaningful scenes. For Chevy Dealership: A Tribute to Route 66, Krycka’s painting imagines a realistic American social scene which reflected Bill Jacobs Sr.’s business philosophy. Mr. Jacobs believed that business is about people and the mural’s showroom is filled with people who worked, lived and played in Joliet in the mid-1950’s. For a public mural like this one, community input was an important part of the process. There were group design sessions and meetings with city officials, with the city approving topics and contracting for the projects. For historic pieces, local residents sometimes posed.
The placing of Chevy Dealership: A Tribute to Route 66 in the mid20th century in the middle of the 1950’s helps express several important historical facets about the building, its car dealership, and the road (U.S. Route 66) that runs past it. In this art project are displayed many facets of Joliet’s rich heritage.
The mural is directly meaningful as a display of Joliet, Illinois, especially as it developed into a vibrant city where the Jacobs and many others put down roots. The mural also expresses the profound economic and cultural impact of the car industry in Joliet at that time reflecting national trends. Finally, it evokes the popularity of the legendary U.S. Route 66 which had opened in 1926 and followed a quilt of interconnected state and county roads for motor travel from Chicago, Illinois, through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and all the way to Santa Monica, California in Los Angeles County. Chevy Dealership: A Tribute to Route 66 shows Joliet’s connection and contribution to this important larger national phenomenon.
The mid1950s for the Chevy dealership mural depicts that unique historical moment when old Route 66, just then 30 years old, was already on the threshold of major change. In the mural U.S. Route 66 was still in its hey-day—though, at the very same time, it was headed for a rapid and transformative decline. In 1956 the Federal Aid Highway Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Eisenhower. It authorized $25 billion for the construction of over 40,000 miles of an Interstate Highway System. The bill was the largest public works project in American history—and quickly displaced U.S. Route 66 as a major throughway.
Jerry Peart (b. 1948, American), Wildflower, Sinnissippi Gardens, Rockford, Illinois, in July 2017. The 20-foot painted aluminum sculpture in a fountain setting stands near the entrance of the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens along the Rock River. The Conservatory, which opened in October 2011, offers a main exhibition house, greenhouses, classrooms, a roof garden, a lagoon, walking trails, outdoor gardens, and more. Peart, a Chicago-based artist who has created over 35 large-scale public sculptures according to his website https://www.sedgwickstudiochicago.com/jerry-peart, created Wildflower in part because he was inspired by this place in the Midwest dedicated to all things clean and green.
Bob Mangold (b. 1930, American), Anemotive Kinetic, Sinnissippi Gardens, Rockford, Illinois, in July 2017. As a kinetic (movement) artist, Mangold’s sculptures explore concepts of space and motion. In 1962, Mangold began his Anemotive series of spherical, wind-propelled kinetic sculptures. As with this work, the anemotives are characterized by cup-like shapes mounted on arms which allow for motion.
Chicago Harbor Lighthouse (1893), Chicago, Illinois, 2017.
Known as the “Chicago Light,” the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse is an active automated lighthouse dating from 1893.
About one-half mile beyond Navy Pier, the lighthouse stands at the north of the main entrance of the Chicago Harbor in Lake Michigan. The lighthouse has had a significant role in the development of Chicago and the American Midwest and remains an active aid to nautical navigation today.
For more than a century, the U.S. Coast Guard has staffed this lighthouse at the breakwater outside the Chicago Harbor Lock. The lock separates Lake Michigan from the mouth of the Chicago River.
The lock was built in the mid-1930’s and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lock is one of the entrances into the Illinois Waterway system at the Great Lakes. The waterway system is a commercial and recreational shipping connection to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
The “Chicago Light” is at that waterway system’s headwaters as it stands in the outer harbor constructed in 1880. The Chicago Light’s conical tower dates from 1893. Twenty-five years later, in 1918, the tower was reconstructed and the base building which contains a fog-signal room and boathouse was added. The architects are not identified.
Through its breakwaters, the main entrance into Chicago Harbor is 580 feet wide. The Chicago Harbor Lighthouse was designated a Chicago Landmark on April 9, 2003. It is the only surviving lighthouse in Chicago and one of two remaining examples in the state of Illinois.
The mouth of the Chicago River at Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. About one mile ahead, the Chicago Harbor Lock, built in the 1930’s, provides the entrance/exit of the Illinois Waterway system at the Great Lakes. The waterway system is a commercial and recreational shipping connection from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
The Logan Theatre, Chicago, illinois, February 2013.
Lakefront, East Chicago, Indiana, July 2016.
Chicago (The Loop), November 2017.
Downers Grove, Illinois, July 2018.
Chicago (Michigan Avenue), August 2015.
Chicago (Michigan Avenue), May 2014.
Chicago, July 2016.
Chicago, July 2016.
Chicago, July 2016.
Chicago, September 2015.
Chicago (Navy Pier), September 2016.
Chicago, August 2015.
Chicago (West Loop/East Garfield Park), October 2016.
Chicago (Millennium Monument), September 2016.
Chicago, Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, 4600 S. King Drive, October 2016. Originally a synagogue founded in 1861 by German Jewish immigrants, the neo-Classical building was home to Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1912 until the 1940s. In 1961, Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church moved into the building. The church community brought a strong commitment to social justice and played an instrumental role in bringing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference to Chicago. Since the late 1960’s the church has provided a neighborhood food bank.
Chicago (Navy Pier), September 2015.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 2018.
Chicago (Edgewater), 2014.
Oakbrook, Illinois, summer 2019.
Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago (1975) in late 2017. The 28-story building is a right triangle shape. Architect Harry Weese (1915-1998) designed each cell with a floor-to-ceiling slit window, 7 feet (2.1 m) long by 5 inches (130 mm) wide. The windows were narrow enough that they did not require bars and beveled out to allow natural light to pass inside.
Chicago, August 2017.
Chicago (Magnificent Mile), May 2016.
Chicago (Skyline Walk), September 2015.
Crown Fountain (Millennium Park), Chicago, September 2016.
Chicago (Old Town), August 2017.
Concert, October 2014.
Chicago, (Wabash Avenue near Adams Street), August 2017.
Chicago, (Wabash Avenue and Jackson Street), August 2017.
Chicago (Wabash Avenue near Congress Parkway, renamed Ida B. Wells Drive in 2018), September 2015.
Chicago, August 2015.
violin shop, Wilmette, Illinois, June 16, 2016.
bus stop, Chicago, February 2, 2018.
Downtown (Theater District), Chicago, February 2018.
The Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., in downtown Wilmette, Illinois, 2016. The theater was built in 1914, and originally called the Central Theatre. Owned by Encyclopedia Britannica Films since 1950, the vintage movie house had been shuttered when Richard S. Stern bought and re-opened it in 1966. Stern came from a family of movie theater owners. His father, Henry Stern, opened what is credited as the first art film theater house in Chicago–the Cinema Theater at Michigan and Chicago Avenues opened in 1929. After it was demolished in 1981, a skyscraper and high-end retail store were built on the site. In 1966, Richard Stern asked his father for a loan, and bought the property. Decades later, after renovating the Wilmette Theater into a two-screen operation, Richard Stern decided to sell it. In 2006, Stern sold the Wilmette Theatre to a small group of community investors interested in the movie theatre’s unique history and continuing to operate it showing top-quality first run and art films. The lobby portion of the building retains much of its vintage charm.
The Tivoli Theatre (1928), Downers Grove, Illinois, 2016. 1,000+-seat movie theater designed by Van Gurten & Van Gurten architects. Opened Christmas Day, 1928. It is the second in the U.S. fitted for sound movies. The first was the 1200-seat Brooklyn Paramount Theater in New York City that opened in November 1928 and closed in the early 1960’s.
Macy’s on State Street, Chicago, 2018.
Chicago Loop Synagogue (1958), 2015. Ten Commandments.
The Nutcracker by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, December 2017. The 3,900-seat Auditorium Theatre (1889) in Chicago was designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan.
The Braddock Road, PA, March 2010.
The Braddock Road was a military road built in 1755 in what was then British America and is now the United States. It was the first improved road to cross the barrier of the ridge lines of the Appalachians. It was constructed by about 2,500 troops of the Virginia militia and British regulars commanded by General Edward Braddock (1695-1755), part of the expedition to conquer the Ohio Country from the French at the beginning of the French and Indian War (1756-63). George Washington, who was aide-de-camp to Braddock, had pioneered this route a year earlier when he traveled into the Ohio Country and met Native American leader, Tanacharison (1700-1754). The expedition gave Washington his first field military experience as well as other American military officers whose numbers profited from this military outing later during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
Braddock’s men had to cut a road wide enough to accommodate the wagons and draft animals that accompanied them, as well as the siege artillery that they brought along to use against the new Fort Duquesne established by the French in 1754 at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. Progress was painstakingly slow until Braddock split the force into a lead column of about 1,500 men and the rest as a support column to drag artillery and supplies. The flying column made rapid progress, and with each day, the distance between it and the support column increased. This marker is on the (later) National Pike (Route 40) between Elk Park and Farmington, Pennsylvania.
April 2020. Postponed to 2021.
CTA stop, Oak Park, Illinois, January 2018.
Forest Park, Illinois. July 2016.
Chicago, September 2015.
Chicago, July 2015.
Chicago, August 2015.
Chicago, September 2015.
Chicago, June 2018.
Fried Green Tomato Fest, Aug 26, Watseka, Illinois, August 2017.
Wicked at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, 24 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois, December 2017. The Oriental Theater, now the James M. Nederlander Theatre, opened in 1926. It is one of the many ornate movie palaces built in Chicago by the architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp.
The venue presented both movies and vaudeville acts in its first years. When talkies arrived, the Oriental Theatre became predominantly a movie house in the 1930s. Live stage, theatrical, and concert performances continued for Chicago audiences in a venue that currently seats over 2,000 people.
Duke Ellington and his orchestra made frequent appearances at the Nederlander/Oriental Theatre which was built in the exotic ornate style. Some of the legendary stars who were seen at the Nederlander/Oriental Theatre were Judy Garland, George jessel, Fanny Brice, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Cab Calloway, Eddie Cantor, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Jean Harlow, Billie Holiday, Bob Hope, Al Jolson, Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis, The Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges, Frank Sinatra, Sophie Tucker, Sarah Vaughan, Henny Youngman, and many more.
The theatre underwent a multi-million dollar restoration in the mid 1990s and reopened in 1998. From June 2005 through January 2009, the theater housed a full production of Wicked, making it the most popular stage production in Chicago history. In December 2017 a traveling national tour of Wicked had just started its Chicago run.
Murphy’s Food King, Kentland, Indiana, August 2017.
Chicago (Uptown), August 7, 2015.
Wow Bao-Theater District, Chicago (1 W. Wacker Dr.), February 2018.
Somonauk United Presbyterian Church, 14030 Chicago Rd, Somonauk, IL, September 18, 2016.
The church was founded by Scotch and Scotch-Irish pioneers who came from Washington County, New York, north of Albany on Vermont’s western border. These hardy stock settled in the Green Mountain foothills of New York 40 years before the American Revolution. The first permanent settlers to the rolling prairies of this part of northern Illinois, between the Fox and Rock Rivers, about 60 miles west of upstart Chicago, arrived in 1842.
The Beveridges, George (1785-1870) and Ann (née Hoy) (1788-1865) settled into a log cabin built by a trapper in 1834—the first permanent house in the County. The church first met in the log cabin that was located just northeast of where the present church, built in 1875, still stands. (See-History of the Somonauk United Presbyterian church near Sandwich, DeKalb County, Illinois, by Jennie M. Patten, 1928, Chicago and S. H. Lay and T. G. Beveridge, “Somonauk United Presbyterian Church,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984) Vol. 18, No. 3 (Oct., 1925), pp. 694-720.)
[H]A[PP]Y BIR[THD]AY Charlotte, February 24, 2021.
Michael Bloomberg (born February 14, 1942) is an American businessman, politician, and author. He is the CEO and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P, which he co-founded. Bloomberg was the mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013 where he presided over a period of relative prosperity as well as controversial city-wide policies and practices such as “stop and frisk.” By having the city’s term limits law extended in 2008, Bloomberg served three consecutive four-year terms as mayor. In 2020 he became a candidate for President of the United States running in the Democratic Party primaries. According to Forbes business magazine, Bloomberg is worth about $64 billion. He is divorced and has two grown daughters.
My favorite childhood book was called Johnny Tremain, about a Boston boy who joins the Sons of Liberty at the dawn of the American Revolution. At the end of the book, Johnny stands on Lexington Commons and sees a nation that is “green with spring dreaming of the future”. That’s the America I know and love. Michael Bloomberg, 2020 Democratic National Convention speech, August 20, 2020.
Growing up, I was taught to believe that America is the greatest country in the world. Not because we won the Second World War, but because of why we fought it; for freedom, democracy and equality. Michael Bloomberg, 2020 Democratic National Convention speech, August 20, 2020.
I’ve supported Democrats, Republicans and independents. Hell, I’ve actually been a Democrat, Republican, and independent. Michael Bloomberg, 2020 Democratic National Convention speech, August 20, 2020.
I believe we need a leader who is ready to be Commander in Chief, not college debater in chief. Michael Bloomberg, Super Tuesday speech, March 3, 2020.
I follow facts, respect data, and tell the truth. My whole career I have been a doer. And I believe we need less talk, less partisanship, less division, less tweeting. Michael Bloomberg, Super Tuesday speech, March 3, 2020.
Let me also say, since I have the floor for a second, that I really am surprised that all of these, my fellow contestants up here, I guess would be the right word for it, given nobody pays attention to the clock, I’m surprised they show up, because I would have thought after I did such a good job in beating them last week, that they’d be a little bit afraid to do that. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Well, I think what’s right for New York City isn’t necessarily right for all the other cities, otherwise you would have a naked cowboy in every city. So let’s get serious here. But I do think it’s the government’s job to have good science, and to explain to people what science says, or how to take care of themselves and extend their lives. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
We shouldn’t be fighting wars that we can’t win. We should go to war only as a last resort. Nobody argues with that. But this is a dangerous world, and if we haven’t learned that after 9/11, I don’t know what’s going to teach us what to do. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
We have to be able to stop terrorism. And there’s no guarantees that you’re going to be able to do it, but we have to have some troops in places where terrorists congregate, and to not do so is just irresponsible. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
You can’t move the embassy back. We should not have done it without getting something from the Israeli government, but it was done, and you’re going to have to leave it there. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Only solution here is a two-state solution. The Palestinians have to be accommodated. The real problem here is you have two groups of people, both of whom think God gave them the same piece of land. And the answer is to obviously split it up. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Misconception? That I’m six feet tall. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
This election is just too important, and we cannot afford to get it wrong. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Vladimir Putin thinks Donald Trump should be president of the United States. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I’ve apologized and asked for forgiveness. I’ve met with black leaders to try to get an understanding of how I can better position myself and what I should have done and what I should do next time. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Let me tell you, I have been working very hard. We’ve improved the school system for Black and Brown students in New York City. We’ve increased the jobs that are available to them. We’ve increased the housing that’s available to them. We have programs– Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
But if you talk to the people in New York City, I have over 100 Black elected officials that have endorsed me. A lot of them are in the audience tonight. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I was the mayor of the largest, most populous city in the United States for 12 years, and people will tell you it’s a lot better city today. It is safer for everybody. The school system is better. The budget is under control. We’ve done the things that people need in New York City for all ethnicities. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I know that if I were Black, my success would have been a lot harder to achieve. And I know a lot of Black people that if they were white it would have been a lot easier for them. That’s just a fact, and we’ve got to do something about it than rather just demagogue about it. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I have been training for this job since I stepped on the pile that was still smoldering on 9/11. I know what to do. I’ve shown I know how to run a country. I’ve run the city which is almost the same size, is bigger, than most countries in the world. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I’m the one choice that makes some sense. I have the experience. I have the resources. And I have the record. When people hired me to run New York City three times, in an overwhelmingly Democratic, progressive city, they elected me again and again. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Let’s just go on the record. They talk about 40 Democrats. 21 of those were people that I spent $100 million to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president–I—I got them. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
If you keep on going, we will elect Bernie. Bernie will lose to Donald Trump. And Donald Trump and the House and the Senate and some of the statehouses will all go red. And then between gerrymandering and appointing judges, for the next 20 or 30 years, we’re going to live with this catastrophe. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
The polls aren’t the election. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Can anybody in the room imagine moderate Republicans going over and voting for him? And you have to do that, or you can’t win. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
We have put background checks — we have got background checks in 20 states. So you can do it. It’s Congress that can’t seem to do it. And I don’t know why we think they’re going to do it. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I saw a statistic the other day, when I came into office, zero New York City schools were in the top 25 of the state. When I left, 23 out of 25 were from New York City. We’ve cut the gap between the rich and the poor. We’ve made an enormous difference in all of the options that parents have. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I raised teacher salaries by 43 percent. I put an extra $5 billion into our school system. I value education. It is the only way to solve the poverty problem is to get people a good education. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I think the Chinese government has not been open. Their press — the freedom of press does not exist there. They — their human rights record is abominable, and we should make a fuss, which we have been doing, I suppose. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
We have to deal with China if we’re ever going to solve the climate crisis. We have to deal with them because our economies are inextricably linked. We would not be able to sell or buy the products that we need. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
In terms of whether he’s a dictator, he does serve at the behest of the Politboro, their group of people. But there’s no question he has an enormous amount of power. But he does play to his constituency. You can negotiate with him. That’s exactly what we have to do, make it seem that it’s in his interest and in his people’s interest to do what we want to do. Follow the rules, particularly no stealing of intellectual property, Follow the rules in terms of the trade agreements that we have are reciprocal and go equally in both directions. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I do agree with her that the rich aren’t paying their fair share. We should raise taxes on the rich. I did that as mayor in New York City. I raised taxes. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
What a wonderful country we have. The best known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses. What did I miss here? Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
I can’t speak for all billionaires. All I know is I’ve been very lucky, made a lot of money, and I’m giving it all away to make this country better. And a good chunk of it goes to the Democratic Party, as well. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
What am I, chicken liver? Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
I can’t think of a ways that would make it easier for Donald Trump to get re-elected than listening to this conversation. It’s ridiculous. We’re not going to throw out capitalism. We tried. Other countries tried that. It was called communism, and it just didn’t work. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
I don’t think there’s any chance of the senator beating President Trump. You don’t start out by saying I’ve got 160 million people I’m going to take away the insurance plan that they love. That’s just not a way that you go and start building the coalition that the Sanders camp thinks that they can do. I don’t think there’s any chance whatsoever. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
Look, this is a management job, and Donald Trump’s not a manager. This is a job where you have to build teams. He doesn’t have a team so he goes and makes decisions without knowing what’s going on or the implications of what he does. We cannot run the railroad this way. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
This country has to pull together and understand that the people that we elect — and it’s not just the president of the United States — they should have experience, they should have credentials, they should understand what they’re doing and the implications thereof. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
Fortunately, I make a lot of money, and we do business all around the world. And we are preparing it. The number of pages will probably be in the thousands of pages. I can’t go to TurboTax. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
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Flames engulf Notre Dame de Paris in an historic early evening blaze on Monday, April 15, 2019. The fire left the 850-year-old Gothic cathedral standing, but suffering serious damage.
Hundreds of Paris firefighters battled the blaze for hours at Notre Dame de Paris on April 15, 2019. They saved the cathedral though its expansive timber roof, frame and spire burned crashed into the nave.
Fire broke out at Mass with 1,000 people inside the building
Notre Dame de Paris suffered a devastating fire on April 15, 2019 causing most of its roof and a 300-foot oak spire to collapse. The fire broke out during an early evening Mass when more than 1,000 people were in the cathedral which is the most touristic site in the center of the most touristic city in the world. The priest had been in the middle of reading that day’s Gospel of John. It was Holy Monday, the first day of Holy Week where the gospel tells the story of Mary pouring oil over the feet of Jesus which will anoint him for burial. Judas complains the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor.1
Pledges to rebuild
Notre Dame de Paris (“Our Lady of Paris” named in honor of the Virgin Mary) will take years, even decades, to rebuild and at great expense. This will be the case whether the edifice is simply restored or, as some have argued for, more creatively re-imagined for modern times. Whichever rebuilding vision or visions are followed – and there will be voices from many quarters involved in the restoration process ahead – French president Emmanuel Macron promised to complete its rebuilding by around 2024. Within 48 hours of the fire, donations poured in from around the world to rebuild the cathedral amounting to more than one billion dollars whose substantial amount may prove inadequate to fully cover rebuilding costs.2
Maintenace holes in an 850-year-old stone and wood building in the middle of a major European city
While the fire’s precise ultimate cause is yet to be fully determined, the conditions surrounding the blaze are recognizably available:
its spotty maintenance record over 10 centuries;
the anachronistic methods and complexity of its 21st century renovation going on when the fire broke out;
the twelfth and thirteenth century flammable oak “forest’” that constitutes the building’s roof and frame;
and the challenges encountered by hundreds of firefighters owing to the cathedral’s size and the fire’s location and breadth.
Almost ironically, the Cathedral roof that burned—a major attic fire— was one of the larger parts of the original 12th century cathedral builder’s monied investment.3
Architectural History of a World Icon
Notre Dame de Paris is one of Paris’s famous icons–an historical and religious treasure–and one of France’s great cathedrals along with Reims (which was nearly destroyed by fire during World War I) and Chartres (reconstructed after a fire in 1194). Others on any short list of great French cathedrals would include Amiens and Bourges, among others.
Above: Notre Dame de Paris before the April 15, 2019 blaze. The Roman Catholic cathedral is the tourist mecca in the most touristed city in the world.
Below: The Cathedral’s great nave in the immediate aftermath of the April 15, 2020 fire.
Reims Cathedral on fire in World War 1. The site of the coronation of French kings, the Gothic cathedral was virtually destroyed by bombing. After the war, the massive cathedral was completely rebuilt.
In 1163 when it became time to roof the superstructure of Notre Dame de Paris’s choir which was the first part of the church to be constructed, Paris bishop Maurice de Sully (1120-1196) provided 5000 French livres so that it could be richly and securely layered with lead. That and other of the Cathedral roof’s protective lead covering was stolen during the French Revolution in the eighteenth century. The roof’s space and design provided a large part of the church’s riddle of secret passages – including spiral staircases in the nave’s columns – that served mainly for the needs of the religious complex’s maintenance. Obviously twelfth and thirteenth century engineering proved resilient but not impregnable over ten centuries. The 2019 blaze caused serious damage leaving questions to be answered about the medieval stone and timber building’s ultimate stability. This is highly symbolic as Notre Dame de Paris is Paris Point Zero – the very center not only of the Île-de la-Cité and Paris, but the place from which all distances in France and, by extension, the world are to be judged.4
The Paris bishop Maurice de Sully (1120-1196) who with his chapter of cathedral canons started the building of Notre Dame de Paris in 1163. The structure was completed in 1250.
Episodes from the life of a bishop, c.1500, oil on panel, 61.5 x 47 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Though about 300 years after the death of Bishop de Sully, this artwork captures some of the grandeur and long history of the archbishop at his cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
The story of the Gothic cathedral, such as Notre Dame de Paris, is essentially a French story. By the end of the Gothic Movement in the late 14th century, all corners of France -– and points between — possessed a Gothic church that displayed pointed arch, stained glass, and buttresses, some of them magnificently flying. The style and power of Gothic art reflected not only a new theological thinking in the Renaissance of the 12th century but also an assertion of royal power.5
Notre Dame de Paris viewed from the south side of the Seine. Its magnificent flying buttresses can be seen supporting the nave and apse as well as its oak spire erected in 1860 that burned and crashed into the nave during the April 15, 2019 fire.
Collégiale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Laurent d’Eu in far northeastern France is a Gothic church constructed between 1186 and 1240, roughly contemporaneous to Notre Dame de Paris. The subterranean crypt contains the tomb (excepting his heart which is at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin) of Irish St. Laurence O’Toole (1128-1180). The main impetus for the building of the new Gothic Collégiale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Laurent d’Eu was to accommodate the pilgrims who came to venerate at the saint’s tomb. French Gothic building efforts stretched from a Collégiale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Laurent d’Eu (1186) in northeastern France to Toulouse Cathedral (13th century) in the south in France’s historic Languedoc.
Impact of the Crusades on Notre Dame de Paris
It was the age of international crusades of Western conquest to the Holy Land where a French king, King Louis IX, or St. Louis (1214-1270) led its seventh manifestation from 1248 to 1254 and died while on its Eighth. Here the king purchased relics to bring back to France, including the highly prized Crown of Thorns reputedly worn by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion. During the April 2019 fire, scores of ordinary people and cathedral personnel formed a human chain to save the cathedral’s many irreplaceable artifacts and preventing them from being consumed forever into the hellish blaze.
Louis IX (St. Louis) with his counselors and mother Blanche de Castile (1188-1252) in a miniature of the 15th century.
King Louis IX, or St. Louis (1214-1270) led the Seventh Crusade from 1248 to 1254.
As one of the first cathedrals built Notre Dame de Paris is of enduring architectural significance. Monday, April 15, 2019 was a tragic day in history as fire broke out in the 850-year old edifice while the world watched. Thousands of people gathered in the streets of Paris, and transmitted pictures of the dramatic blaze from smartphones and other devices onto the internet and television. It caused many to shed tears as well as express consternation and questions about what lies ahead for one of the most famous and beloved symbols of Paris.
Notre Dame de Paris is on fire, April 15, 2019. Countless pictures were taken and transmitted instantaneously around the world on the internet.
Extent of the fire damage (in red) at Notre Dame de Paris on April 15, 2019.
The fire’s immediate aftermath.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2019 fire, workers
aimed to secure and protect the edifice which will take several months to
finalize. By May 2019, the north tower was stabilized and secured while the
transept’s beams were declared in good condition. Although the interior was not
damaged, the structural integrity of the high vaults that protected it remains
precariously uncertain and requires further close study to determine its ultimate
fate. The cathedral is undergoing a major effort to remove fire debris
including the oak spire (or flèche)
dating from 1860 and the arch that fell into the nave.
To the highest degree possible, each bit of fallen debris will be deciphered, cataloged and saved for potential reuse in a restoration. Just one month after the fire, it would be premature to determine if the building is completely stable and it could still suffer some sort of collapse. Working on the cathedral in the 21st century are virtually the same type of skilled laborers who built it in the first place in the 12th and 13th centuries – namely, masons, stonecutters, carpenters, roofers, iron workers, and master glassmakers.6 The work associated with the Notre Dame de Paris in the aftermath of the 2019 fire promises to concentrate long centuries of history into one place looking to sustain its continued thriving existence for future generations.
1. “Vows to Restore Notre Dame Following a Harrowing
Rescue,” by Sam Schechner and Stacy Meichtry, The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2019; see Gospel of John, Chapter 12.