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Architecture

Edgar Allan Poe, Design Critic

In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Landor’s Cottage,” the author paints an idealized picture of his own New York Cottage. He describes the building in painstaking–some might even say excruciating–detail, but Poe also devotes a short paragraph to cottage’s furnishings: On the floor was an ingrain carpet, of excellent texture – a white ground, spotted with small circular green […]

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Architecture

From Pits and Pendulums to Pastoral Porches: Edgar Allan Poe’s Bronx Getaway

Once upon a morning dreary, I left Brooklyn with eyes bleary, Wearily I took the subway to a poet’s old forgotten home. In 1844, Edgar Allan Poe and his young wife Virginia moved to New York City. It was Poe’s second time living in the city and just one of many homes for the peripatetic […]

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Architecture

The Abandoned Cathedral

We were sketching outside the Eglise Sacré-Cœur de Casablanca when a small man slowly shuffled out of the strange, Deco-Gothic structure and gestured for us to come inside. How could we resist? We stepped through the enormous cathedral door and our host smiled wide, saying in hesitant English, “a church with no chairs,” before disappearing. […]

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Architecture

The Architecture of Assassination

  The former Texas School Book Depository, now the Dallas County Administration Building (original image: Jim Bowen via Wikimedia commons) On November 22, 1963, a pall was cast over the country that some people say we’ve never emerged from. It is thought to represent a loss of innocence, or at the very least, a loss […]

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Architecture

Design Decoded: The Daring Escape From the Eastern State Penitentiary

“How 12 convicts escaped by tunnel from Eastern Penitentiary,” Diagram of the Tunnel published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, April 3, 1945 (image: Philadelphia Inquirer via Easter State Penitentiary) Eastern State Penitentiary opened its gates in 1829. It was devised by The Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons, an organization of powerful Philadelphia residents […]