Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gosling 2011 Crop-Five

The North Terrace Lake goose population increased by five a couple of weeks ago. Mother Goose and Father Goose are now parading them around the lake to there accustomed eating places.

All shots take with the Nikon D3 and 200-400mm zoom... at 400. F11 at 1/500th.. ASA 500.
While I was watching the geese two deer came out of the woods to watch me. The circle of life.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Saint Francis Revival

Two Northeast friends of mine, Jason and Mike, have undertaken the restoration of the St. Francis apartment building at Anderson Avenue and Gladstone Boulevard. It sits prominently next to the Richardson-Graham Bridge and the Concourse.
The stone foundation blends seamlessly into the base of the bridge. The bridge was built in 1897 and the St. Francis in 1912.
Jason and Mike in front of their new acquisition. While they will hire much of the specialty work, plumbing and electrical, heating and a/c.. they intend to live here on the top floor and do much of the work themselves.
Coming in the front entrance the marble is mostly intact on the walls, the floor tile is in excellent shape. Below, looking back toward the front door.

We first went up the staircase, illuminated by a skylight, to the top floor which will be reduced from multiple apartments to one... where they guys will live. Below their view of the Concourse from the front balcony.

All the apartments have gas fireplaces and all the tile is intact...
Spacious with large windows the rooms are very nicely laid out. Below they open the windows looking north over the tennis courts to the Colonnade.
The owners of the building in the early days either owned outright or controlled the tennis courts that are still there today. There was a tennis pro shop in the basement that sold tickets to play on the courts as well as rackets and other equipment. Long-time local residents remember the arrangement.

The building, despite its appearance in these shots, is in remarkable condition with solid oak floors laid on concrete. All the balconies are concrete as well. There is no creaking of or give in the floors anywhere in the building.
Claw-foot bathtubs, original to the building, will be reinstalled.
Above, the view from the back porch of the top floor... note the KC skyline over Jason's shoulder....
Since they are merging all the units on their floor into one, they will have four balconies, two front and two back. This view is south to the second rear balcony.

The hexagonal tile in the bathrooms is in great shape with no breakage...
Stairways are also solid with wooden railings and metal supports intact.
The double doors on the right in the above picture will lead out to the new fire escape. The renovations will include access to the roof for an even higher view.

Above and below the "other" rear balcony and the view back north to the other.

View above from the 4th floor front balcony and, below, the skylight. The sound absorbing tiles will vanish quickly.

All of the archways in the apartments are different.
Hallway above and closet below.

Above, the only remaining radiator.... the building was originally steam heat.
Above, the only thing "stolen" from the property was a section of oak flooring in this unit... below... some fine art deco linoleum possibly from the 30s... that will have to be replaced.

Above, original tile, original finish. Below, pencil inscription over the above fireplace saying, "John need help he isn't right in the head."

Heading down to the first basement.
Above, original light fixture.... below, there were apartments on the Anderson Ave. side ground level.

Above, heading down the "Saw" stairs into the black depths..... picture is misleading all we had was a flashlight.

There is a garage on the Anderson Ave. side which the guys will use. They hope to be able to move into their "penthouse" in a year. Good luck.... and thanks for helping to bring back the great buildings of the Northeast!!!!