Beautiful Lithography Stones

n 2011, while the REI store in the Puck Building in Manhattan’s SoHo
district was undergoing renovation, workers made an unexpected
discovery. Hidden behind one of the walls of the cellar were more
than 100 lithography stones from the building’s days as a printer.
They are now on display on the store’s lower floor.

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The historic building got its name from the magazine Puck, the first
wide-reaching humor publication in the United States, which was
founded in 1871 and moved to lower Manhattan in 1887. It shared
the space, in a mutually beneficial relationship, with its printer,
J. Ottman Lithographic Company. Their shared headquarters was
he largest building in the printing district at the time.

J. Ottman Lithographic Company printed many things beyond the
Puck magazines, including theatrical posters and board games.
Among the works now hanging on the REI wall are a high school
diploma, a certificate of election, and a mortgage bond. Some of
the litho stones are in rougher shape than others.

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Most of the writing and images on the stones is “backwards,”
standard practice so that the final print is the reverse of
what is seen on the plate or stone. Some, though, were
prepared for offset printing, which involves an additional
step between the plate and the final product. The inked image,
prepared “forwards,” or as it would be seen in the final
product, is first transferred to a rubber blanket, reversing
the image once, and then to the final surface, setting it right.

Puck continued to operate out of the Puck Building until 1918,
when it ceased publication. It was known for beautiful, full-color
lithographs and sharp political satire. Statues of the magazine’s
mascot, Puck, decorate the outside of the building.
J. Ottman Lithographic Company shuttered around the same time.
Other printing companies, and even another satirical magazine,
have called the building home since the original tenants left.

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During REI’s renovation, a deliberate effort was made
to repurpose materials from the original building.
Fixtures from the steam engine that powered the
presses are on permanent display, including two
flywheels and the governor. Nineteenth century
I. P. Frink chandeliers, newly fitted with LED lights,
help light the main floor.

 

Source: Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Historic Architecture

Trolling around Queen Anne Hill this week
inspires me to share an example of beautiful reuse.
Old Queen Anne High School, designed by James Stephen
in 1899, is a Neo-classical building that sits high atop
Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. Originally noted for its
spacious corridors, ample exits, and abundant light
and fresh air it was considered “modern” when it
was constructed. Today is houses, in all its
Neo-classical glory, high-end condominiums.
An excellent example of the adaptive reuse of
historic buildings.
photo1 photo2 photo6 photo4 photo5

Beautiful 300 Year Old House Renovated

This home renovation in Tel Aviv is breath-taking.
This 300-plus year-old house is located in the ancient
port city of Jaffa, the oldest part of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa
municipality in Israel. The gorgeous renovation is by
the Tel Aviv-based Pitsou Kedem Architects
well-known for their minimalist approach to
architecture and design. The design maximizes
the sea view while keeping the historical feel of
the building intact. It feels like a sanctuary.
I love the gorgeous arches, the exposed texture
of the old stone, and the beautiful balance between
the old and the new, such poise. Seriously beautiful.
300 houe TURJEMAN_APRT_2_072-944x630 001-factory-jaffa-house-pitsou-kedem-architects c_383_3f60b0e677864fe894b98811881e3f3d Factory-Jaffa-House-Israel-8 1685790_original    TURJEMAN_APRT_2_077-420x630 TURJEMAN_APRT_2_079-502x630 TURJEMAN_APRT_2_075 Factory-Jaffa-House-Israel-11

Beautiful Architecture

During one of my random walks recently I stumbled
upon a gem at 777 Thomas Street. It’s a great example
of an Art Deco style building designed by
George Wellington Stoddard in 1931, a notable and
prolific Seattle architect whose buildings are scattered
throughout Seattle.
777 thomas st 777 thomas street

But little did I know, this gem is at the center of an
interesting controversy that surrounds the future of
the building. When I got home I was curious and
researched the building to learn more about it and was
surprised to learn that it’s “fighting for its life” and seeking
to be preserved as a landmark. Currently the developer is
suing the city in what sounds like a battle over development.
It will be interesting to follow and see what happens.
With all the new development around the South Lake Union area
I think would be nice to save it…what do other people think?

Read the interesting story here
This is an architects report on neighborhood preservation
Here is the new proposal