Cleveland – July 2019 – The Garden Walk

A beautiful Saturday afternoon was the perfect time to go for a walk around the neighborhood. Only in this case we chose to go to the ‘Detroit Shoreway’ neighborhood in Cleveland for our walk.

Why – because this neighborhood, and many others in Cleveland, were participating in ‘GardenWalk Cleveland 2019’. We were fortunate enough to meet one of the founders of Cleveland’s, who said they go the idea from Buffalo, New York’s.

The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is named so from Detroit Avenue, which is the original road from Cleveland to Detroit, and it is located along Lake Erie. Most of the homes in the neighborhood are over 100 years old, with many being exquisitely restored.

For the Garden Walk there were over 80 gardens to see, each with their own unique interpretation! Each had a sign indicating they were participating in the walk, and to guide us to which part of the yard was open (front, side, back)
































































New Orleans – May 2019 – Residential Architecture

New Orleans is a city with a lot of history, from many different places, resulting in one unique culture. They like to refer to themselves as living on ‘the island of New Orleans’.

Their residential architecture and style reflect that diverse environment as well. There are a number of different residential architectural styles prevalent in the Crescent City. Perhaps the most common one is the duplex ‘shotgun’ house.

So named because if you had all the doors open in the house you could fire a shotgun straight through the house and out the back door without hitting anything. Note while they all started out the same, the owners have given their own unique style to each.















The bungalow is another style commonly found in New Orleans.



Most streets have a mix of architectural styles side by side.



While the term townhouse is used for this style, it is not what is commonly found in northern cities where they are a row of attached houses, rather they are the two story ‘boxy’ look that is detached from the neighbors.





There are even modern variations of the townhouse scattered throughout the city.



Some of the new construction seems out of place.



In this new construction the traditional courtyard was replaced with a pool.



With the damage from Hurricane Katrina, many sections of the city had numerous properties that the structures were no longer habitable, so the new construction is welcome.



There are a few cottage styles found as well – again with the owners unique take on style.



As noted previously courtyards are a very common use of the small space behind the home.



While not common, there are some examples of larger duplexes often found in American cities.



Another unusual structure for the city are more traditional rowhouses.



This unique home appears to have once been a firehouse.



Easily the most unique houses in New Orleans are found in the Holy Cross section of the lower 9th ward. They are known as the Steamboat Houses.

In the early 1900s a steamboat captain designed and constructed the first of the two homes, adding the second in 1913.

Built to resemble a steamboat, they even use steel stacks instead of chimneys.

New Orleans is a fantastic city for architecture fans, just make your way to any neighborhood and you will find examples of multiple styles.






Columbus – June 2018 – Old Oaks Neighborhood House and Garden Tour

Like many cities in America Columbus had significant growth in the early 1900s. One of the main drivers of this growth was the development of streetcars, which allowed people to live further than walking distance from their place of work.

One of those neighborhoods in Columbus is the Old Oaks neighborhood just southeast of downtown. When the streetcar line was electrified in 1891 the neighborhood followed shortly after.

On this sunny warm June day they had their annual Home and Garden Tour. But before we could tour the homes we made a stop at Holy Rosary St John Church to purchase our tickets.

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The church has impressive stained glass throughout.

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But we were here to tour the neighborhood …

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As with many inner city neighborhoods there had been a long period of lack of investment leading to deterioration. Many neighborhoods, including Old Oaks, has had an infusion of gentrification over the last 20-30 years.

While many Columbus neighborhoods have had a near complete gentrification, Old Oaks still has a mix of the original residents and those who have come in and rehabbed a home.

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The neighborhood is nearly all stately brick homes.

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There is an interesting mix of those that are in dire need of repair, those that have been fully restored, and then those like this one that are in between. It is understandable with the amount of work and money it takes.

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Amongst the large brick homes is this beautiful Craftsman style home – note the house on the left is boarded up – waiting for the right person to come in and bring her back.

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Not all of the homes shown here were on the official tour, but grace the streets of the neighborhood.

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With the flags it is clear you are in Ohio – USA.

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At the edge of the neighborhood, along Livingston Avenue is Greek Revival style home that was built much earlier than the rest of the neighborhood – dating from 1852. Known as the Caroline Brown home, it was a stop on the Underground Railroad to freedom for slaves prior to, and during the Civil War of the 1860s.

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A few of the interiors of the homes were open for inspection.

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They were all beautifully restored and decorated.

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A great use of an old pull down school map – a window shade!

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Some had stained glass windows (you can also see the use of stained glass from the street as well).

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Fireplaces were present in many of the bedrooms.

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All of the homes have excellent wood work throughout.

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Another example of a bedroom with a fireplace.

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An older look was present in one of the homes.

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The highlights though were the garden tours – this one featured a massive pergola leading to the original (apparently un-restored) garage.

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An arch frames the garden of another home.

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If nature wipes out your tree, make it art.

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One of the homes had extensive outdoor living space including a pool and a palm (Ohio palm tree?)

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Another had a number of artistic touches include beer bottles made into candles.

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The garages are in the rear, as originally they were carriage houses, to house horses. Alleys line all the houses in the back.

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Technically not a garden, but the front porches were great – giving the neighborhood a sense of community.

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Old Oaks is a community in transition but as is remains a vibrant part of the city. Thanks to all who shared their homes and gardens!

As our tour ended back on Livingston Avenue, we visited the boyhood home of Eddie Rickenbacker, truly one of America’s great men. Raised in this humble house in the early 1900s, Eddie went on to become a record land speed racer, a World War I fighter pilot, a pioneer in the development of Aviation, and many other things.

For some interesting reading about one of Columbus’s great native sons check out the wiki page on Eddie.¬†https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Rickenbacker

Somebody should make a movie (although they did back in the 1940s it could be done so much better now – and Eddie has the stories that would be worth telling).

 

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