Chapel of Jesus Ethic, Glendale, CA


Unknown by many, even in Glendale, the Chapel of Jesus Ethic is the centerpiece of a campus for the obscure Foundation of Niscience. The campus is located behind a high wall of yellow brick and is not easily accessible. The chapel dates from 1968 and was designed by local architect Culver Heaton, although most of the rest of the buildings date to the 1980s.

The small chapel features walls of matching yellow brick with a front wall of glass facing a reflecting pool. The pool features a sculpture by Herb Goldman and there are other sculptures throughout the campus. Definitely an intact, unusual religious campus worth visiting.



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Engine Company 9, Ladder Company 6, Chinatown, NYC

Located at 75 Canal Street is this fire engine company by Hausman & Rosenberg from 1968. They also did this synagogue on the Upper West Side which has since been demolished.

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Grantmoor Motor Lodge, Newington, CT

This was one of the grandest motels of the many that used to line the Berlin Turnpike, a popular destination for automobile tourism. The Turnpike, today a little down on its luck, has an interesting 20th century history, which can be read here.

Built in 1959, the Grantmoor extends far across a long site, its zigzag roofline visible to passing tourists. In the 1960s, the hotel built a separate banquet wing with a swooping roof, which still exists as a Shriner Hall.




The whole site today evokes a forlorn state and it’s unclear how long the Grantmoor will last with continued encroachment of big box stores along the turnpike.



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Mendel Rivers Federal Building, Charleston, SC

A positive adaptive reuse story, the Mendel Rivers Federal Building, is now the Dewberry Hotel. Commissioned in 1963, it was completed in 1965 to designs of Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle and Wolff–a Columbia based firm who completed numerous government, university and residential buildings across the state. After storm damage in 1999, the Federal government left the building and it remained empty for many years. There was much subsequent debate about saving or demolishing the building.

Enter developer John Dewberry, who repurposed the building into a mid-century modern hotel, which is quite an anomaly for Charleston. The interior includes wood paneling and marble flooring (see blurry picture below), whereas the rooms have more of a contemporary feel. Overall, a great use for a significant modern building.

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Augustus Constantine buildings, Charleston, SC

On a recent journey to Charleston, I spotted several buildings designed by local architect Augustus Constantine. A Greek immigrant, Constantine also designed his own office at 139 Calhoun Street. Following is just a small selection of buildings he did, all from the mid-1940s.

American Theatre, 1946 (above), Chase Furniture Co., 1946 (below)































Marilyn Shoes–299 King Street, 1945–exterior and entrance tiling detail.

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Francis Martin Branch Library, Bronx, NY

 The Francis Martin Branch of the New York Public Library is a surprisingly prominent building, occupying a curved stretch of University Avenue across from Bronx Community College. The building’s design works with the curve, stretching its length with a prominent wall of glass block in the center of the facade. There is minimal detail other than a doorway inset next to the glass block and rows of metal casement windows.

The construction of this branch, to replace a previous University Heights location, started in 1956 and the building was dedicated in 1958. The branch was renovated by 1100 Architect in 2008, primarily the second floor children’s reading room.









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Cruger Avenue Synagogue, Bronx, NY

This synagogue from 1964 sits off Pelham Parkway surrounded by earlier brick apartment buildings and homes. Today it seems largely empty although possibly still in use. There are a number of former or abandoned synagogues in the area as the demographics of this part of the Bronx has changed.

Also called Congregation Kehal Adath, the building is clad in a thin stone veneer and dark brown brick. An expansive site with the entrance set back. The street wall includes marble Judaica and a brick wall planter.

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