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Snapshots: Whitehall

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Snapshots: Whitehall

Whitehall was the winter residence of Henry Flagler, the father of Florida tourism. Having made his fortune in Standard Oil, Flagler set out to build a railroad from Jacksonville to Key West and a hotel and tourism empire along the way. Bringing tourists too Florida was one thing, but he also brought fruit and vegetables from Florida as well, making tourism and agriculture the two foundations blocks of the Florida economy. One of his signature hotels, The Breakers, is located in Palm Beach very close to Whitehall.

Built in 1902, this Gilded Age, Beaux Arts mansion boasts 75 rooms including a grand ballroom, a spectacular music room, a wonderful library and a beautiful dining room. When it was built, Whitehall included all of the modern amenities of the time including electricity, indoor plumbing and even a telephone. They also had central heat which was surprisingly used mostly in summer to dry the building out from the damaging Florida humidity. It is a beautiful home, inside and out with some phenomenal detail work (albeit most of it was created with plaster casts). I really enjoyed my visit, and I hope you enjoy these photos from Henry Flagler’s Whitehall.

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Snapshots: Bonaventure Cemetery

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Snapshots: Bonaventure Cemetery

Established in 1846 on an old plantation, Bonaventure Cemetery is the largest municipal cemetery in the city of Savannah. It gained notoriety from John Berendt’s novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and it’s film adaptation, and is one of the more visited sites in Savannah with several companies offering tours. It was also featured in John Muir’s Thousand Mile Walk, as he camped out in the cemetery for 6 days on his journey. I visited Bonaventure by myself and enjoyed wandering through this peaceful park. The Spanish moss gives it so much Southern atmosphere. Bonaventure is the final resting place of Savannah’s own Johnny Mercer and many other notable people from the city. It also has some magnificent statues. I hope you enjoy these photos from beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery…

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Snapshots: Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery

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Snapshots: Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery

Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery was dedicated in 1848 and is the final resting place for over 120,000 people. During the Victorian Era and in a time before city parks were as prevalent as they are today, “garden cemeteries” were often designed and promoted for recreational activities. People would stroll down the winding lanes and maybe have a picnic by the lake. I like this idea and have always seen beautiful cemeteries as a nice place to walk and think and ponder life and death, a place to consider and draw from generations of people who came before us. Funerary art and statues are remarkable and often overlooked as a true art form. I spent several hours in Cave Hill over two visits, neither under the best of conditions for photography, but it was beautiful nonetheless. You will see photos of some of the famous people buried there like Colonel Harland Sanders, Muhammad Ali and Louisville founder George Rogers Clark. There are also lesser known people like Harry L. Collins, who was the official magician of Frito-Lay and Nicola Marschall who designed the official flag and uniforms of the Confederacy. Cave Hill is also a National Cemetery with graves for both Union and Confederate war veterans. It is a beautiful place to visit and was high on my list of sites I wanted to see in Louisville. I hope you enjoy my photos from Cave Hill.

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Kentucky State Capitol Building

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Kentucky State Capitol Building

The “new” Kentucky State Capitol Building was built in 1910 at a cost of just over a million dollars. Designed by Frank Mills Andrews in the Beaux-Arts style, the beautiful Capitol sits high above Kentucky’s capital city of Frankfort. All three branches of the Kentucky government are housed within the Capitol building. The Capitol features a magnificent rotunda and some wonderful statues and artwork throughout. Entrance and tours are free. I hope you enjoy my photos of the Kentucky State Capitol…

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Ohio's Bicentennial Barns

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Ohio's Bicentennial Barns

Starting in 1998, artist Scott Hagan set out to paint the Ohio Bicentennial logo on 88 historic barns, one in every county of the state. He completed the project in 2002 and when the bicentennial celebration began the following year, every county had its “Bicentennial Barn” proudly on display. You can still see many of these barns as you travel around the state today. Unfortunately I was only able to get these four photos in my travels around the Buckeye State, but every time I saw a Bicentennial Barn, it made me smile from ear to ear.

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Three Different Ohio Skylines

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Three Different Ohio Skylines

I really love these three photos from my time in Ohio. The top one is from Cincinnati, the middle one from Cleveland and the bottom one I took in Toledo. I love the vertical lines in them and how they have elements of old and new, modern and industrial. To me they speak of what I saw throughout my stay in the Buckeye State: a place holding onto its past but moving boldly towards the future.

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Snapshots: Tail Art at the National Air Force Museum

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Snapshots: Tail Art at the National Air Force Museum

The National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio houses a massive collection of aircraft ranging from the very earliest flyers to space-age satellites. Highlights include Boxcar, the plane which dropped the atomic bomb Fat Man on Nagasaki in 1945 and the newly restored legend Memphis Belle. Also on display are all of the retired planes which have carried United States Presidents throughout history. You can go inside the plane which carried John F. Kennedy's body home from Dallas while Lyndon Johnson was being sworn into office on-board. The museum is free and open 7 days a week. While touring the museum, my eyes were drawn to my favorite aspect of old planes: the nose and tail art which was often hand-painted by the airmen themselves. These are often telling of the men who painted them and the situations in which they found themselves, many of them as far from home as they had ever been. Here are some of my favorites from my recent visit to the museum. 

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Snapshots: Cincinnati Murals

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Snapshots: Cincinnati Murals

Cincinnati has done a great job of commissioning murals around the city to adorn blank walls and help fill wide open spaces. These murals have changing the whole aesthetic of the city. During my stay I ran across dozens of beautiful murals. These are some of my favorites. 

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Snapshots: The Portsmouth Flood Wall Murals

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Snapshots: The Portsmouth Flood Wall Murals

Inspired by murals he had seen across the state in Steubenville, Dr. Louis Chaboudy hoped to create something similar in his hometown of Portsmouth. In 1992, he commissioned Robert Dafford to begin work on a project which would last 10 years. Over that time period, Dafford painted over 50 murals which stretch 2200 feet along the Ohio River. These murals tell the history of Sciotto County and of the people who have lived there. It is a wonderful project which I really enjoyed visiting. The local Visitor's Center provides brochures and even a cell phone tour for your visit. Unfortunately I was shooting into the sun while I was there, and all of the murals are different sizes making it difficult to crop them and still have a nice layout for this post, but I still thought that they were wonderful and wanted to share them with you today. Enjoy!

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Letterpress Printing in the Digital Age

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Letterpress Printing in the Digital Age

If you've been following my travels, you know how much respect I have for traditional arts and crafts. In an era of mass-produced crafts imported from China and sold at every Pier One and Crate & Barrel, I consider myself very fortunate to stumble across someone using traditional methods to produce hand-crafted items. When I was introduced to Sarah Brown this past weekend as someone doing traditional letterpress printing, I knew I had to find out more. Sarah and I sat down to discuss her craft and some of the projects she's been working on. The more I learned, the more fascinated I became with the process and the more respect I had for the patience required to create these products. 

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Billy Tripp's Mindfield

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Billy Tripp's Mindfield

I have written about Billy Tripp's Mindfield in passing in a few other posts, but I don't think they really conveyed how striking it was and how much I saw in it. I also don't think I can necessarily describe the ways it affected me in words, so I thought I would do a pictorial post just on Mindfield and some of the smaller details of it. Billy Tripp started building Mindfield after his parents passed away in 1989. An artist and an incredibly skilled welder, Billy kept adding to it and it just went from there. As he healed, he built, and as he built, it grew, and as it grew, it took on a life of its own. Mindfield is now a destination, and people travel from all over the world to Brownsville, Tennessee to see it.

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