Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post (see link below), we found much to do during our August, 2017 visit to Astoria, OR. We continued to explore the town and the nearby riverfront. The morning was very hazy/foggy; some of it caused by the abundant wildfires in surrounding areas.

Walking by the river, there were many scenes I found picture-worthy such as this shot of the sun poking out behind the crows nest of a small ship.


Waterfront ship's crows nest with sun

We were interested in a paddle wheeler, the American Empress, that was moored at a nearby dock. We headed toward the ship and met two passengers along the way. They explained that the steamship was sidelined because of the wildfires and was “stuck” in Astoria until the air quality and wildfires improved enough for them to head upriver.


Paddleboat Steamship anchored in Astoria

Even the moss covered pylons against the mossy green and grey of the rocks led to a few colorful snaps.


Moss covered rocks and pilons create a colorful scene

We often enjoy speaking with the agents at the local visitor’s center and I need to brag about the Astoria staff and facility. They had many varied and interesting resources and we enjoyed learning about some of the local favorites uncovered through our questioning of the agents. The bus below was parked outside and little did I know it was the living quarters of someone and not an attraction; sorry!


Fanciful bus outside the visitor's center

Even with the fog, the aura of the waterfront was alluring and picturesque.


The fog created an eeerie waterfront mood

We read about the Astoria Column and the staff at the visitor’s center encouraged us to visit. There is a small parking fee of $5 that covers a year of parking. The car ride was uphill and the road to the tower was curvy. The column was constructed 600 feet above sea level on Coxcomb Hill. It is 125 feet high and those electing to ascend it will need to climb 164 steps.

Once in the parking area, you can look around and notice some of the sights Astoria has to offer. The view below shows the Megler Bridge partially covered by fog.


walking up the hill to the Astoria Column

You can see a person walking to the tower. If you don’t need to park, the visit is free!

Below is another view from the parking area.


Another view from the Astoria Column's parking area

Leaving the car, we hiked up the small hill to the base of the tower that commemorates the major events in Astoria history.


A closeup of the lower portion of the Astoria Column

It took a while to ascend the tower’s steps, but it really wasn’t too difficult (IMO).


Asotria Column circular stairway

The bird’s-eye view afforded by the column’s vantage point was very interesting.


Bird's-eye view from the top of the Astorial Column

There was a young man doing his morning exercises on the grounds and he ran up the tower and handed small, wooden gliders to the visitors so they could be tossed into the wind. He explained that he will later go around to collect them.


Small model gliders flung from the top of the Astoria Column

I enjoyed this view (below) of the tower against the cloudy blue-grey sky.


Partial closeup view of the top of the Astoria Column

I can recommend a visit to the tower if you are in the area. There is a small gift shop and I am sure when the skies are bluer and brighter, the views will be even better.


Moody sky and visitor at the Astoria Column

Here is a short paragraph from the Astoria Column Website Organization’s webpage:

“Standing above the city–600 feet above sea level to be exact–the Astoria Column unleashes an unrivaled view of Young’s Bay, the Coast Range, the mighty Columbia River, and in the distance—the Pacific Ocean. Its light shines each night as a silent testament to the pride, fortitude, and resolve of the people who settled the Pacific Northwest, and to those who live here today.”

This was just a small portion of our day exploring Astoria. JBRish.com will soon have more stories about Astoria and other adventures in Oregon.


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay

Part 9

On the way to the Cabaret Theater, we walked past the room pictured in the two photos below. It appears to be a mixture of formal and informal touches designed for meeting and/or eating.


Apparent mixed-decor meeting or dining area
This room appeared to be a mixed-decor meeting or dining area


Apparent mixed-decor meeting or dining area

The evening tour ended with a final visit to the Cabaret Theater. This is an area (below) where movies were shown or smaller concerts held.


The Cabaaret Theater
The Cabaaret Theater – overwhelmingly red


Geometric lighting fixture in the Cabaret Theater
Once again we notice a Geometric lighting fixture in the Cabaret Theater

 
NOTE – Keep in mind that this series represents only a partial exploration of the evening tour at Taliesin West. There was much more included with many stories and insights offered. The docent was very experienced and knowledgeable.

We will end this photo essay with a quote by Wright himself:

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay

Part 8

What motivates many people to take tours such as that offered at Taliesin West, is the interesting discoveries that await. There are so many nooks and crannies at Wright’s Arizona estate, that one never knows what will be found in the next room or just around the corner.

The picture below shows a detailed oriental sculpture that sat upon a dentil shelf in the Kiva Room that was used for conferences, etc. This evening they served cookies and juice.


The Kiva conference roo
A detail from the Kiva (conference room)

Taliesin has its own Music Pavilion.


The Pavilion theater
The Music Pavilion

This mural (below) in the Music Pavilion is called “City by the Sea” which some explain was Frank Lloyd Wright’s interpretation of the Chicago skyline.


City by the Sea mural in the Music Pavilion
City by the Sea mural in the Music Pavilion

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay

Part 7

Taliesin West has a wide variety of plant material both inside and out. Below is a picture of one of the office fireplaces that now serves to display houseplants which fit in well with the ceramic and metal pots.


Office fireplace with plants
Fireplace now holds houseplants


Refelecting pool outside the Kiva
Visitors walked past a reflecting pool on the way to the Kiva


Decorative dragon breathing fire
Decorative, sculpted dragon breathing fire (upper-left)

One of the “teasers” for the evening tour was this evening only event where the flame is lit to enable the sculpted dragon to “breathe fire.” You can find a daytime photograph with the details a bit more visible at this Deviant Art webpage – Click HERE.

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay

Part 6

While sitting in the Living Room at Taliesin West and looking at a good number of lighting fixtures and other elements, it was obvious that Wright favored geometric shapes especially the triangle.


Pyramidal shaped light fixtures
Pyramidal shaped light fixtures and square stools near the stone fireplace


Pyramidal light fixtures closer view
A closer view of the Pyramidal light fixtures


Another geometric light fixture
Another geometric inspired light fixture

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 5

Frank Lloyd Wright understood that a building cannot be a home without appropriate furnishings. He was concerned about decorating the rooms in a style that would enhance the overall architecture and aesthetic of each area.


Decorative Chinese theater scene
An example of the decorative ceramic Chinese theater scenes

Chinese theater scenes are placed throughout the estate with some used to mark transitions from one area to another.


Taliesin West wall of art
Room-separating artwork wall with sculptures and stones


The living room at Taliesin West
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West living room

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 4

In yesterday’s post about our evening tour of Taliesin West, I showed photographs of the drafting studio where students do their work based on the design principals taught at the school.

In those photographs, the reflecting pool was not visible. This water feature adds a very nice element to the landscaping that is both visually and auditorily pleasing. The pictures below show the pool located in front of the steps and lawn.


Reflecting pool in front of the studio
The lights reflect artistically in the pool at night and add visual interest


More detail can be seen when lit with a flash
Using a flash to light the scene reveals more reflecting pool details

NOTE – We were allowed to enter the drafting studio briefly, but we were not allowed to take any photographs or make any noise. Interacting with students was understandably not permitted.

It will become obvious to the most casual observer that Frank Lloyd Wright was a collector. He had a variety of interests such as petroglyphs (see post #2) and other types of art. Guests walking around the grounds will notice different statues and artwork prominently displayed.


Moon over statue of archer
This metal sculpture of an archer was partnered with a full moon this evening

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 3

While there are many interesting and innovative elements to be seen and appreciated at Taliesin West, visitors are reminded that first and foremost, this was and is an architectural training facility. This evening several students were busy working in the drafting studio seen here lit against the evening.


The tour group stopped at one end of the studio to peak through a window
The tour group stopped at one end of the studio to peak through a window

Although the docent had a flashlight and there were light fixtures on the grounds, some of the walks were a bit uneven and visitors used their cell phones to help light the way. It might be a good idea to bring a small flashlight for the evening tour if you think you might have difficulty seeing the paths.


An angled side view of the studiog
An angled side view of the studio


A better lit photo of the drafting studio with lawn and steps
A better lit photo of the drafting studio with lawn and steps

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 2

Before leaving the studio/office area for the introduction to the tour, the docent pointed to a concept drawing dubbed “The Oasis” which Wright submitted for the construction of the Arizona Capitol building. Apparently too innovative for its time, the design was not accepted. – Read more about it HERE.


AZ State Capitol Rendering
Wright’s concept drawing for Arizona State Capitol Building

Taliesin West backs up to the McDowell Mountains, a beautiful range in Scottsdale, AZ. While the development of Taliesin ensued, petroglyphs were located in the area and collected by Wright who found them of great interest. You can read about a petroglyph project on the property HERE.

“Frank Lloyd Wright was fascinated by the petroglyphs he saw in southern Arizona. It is not a coincidence that he located his winter home adjacent to a cluster of petroglyphs at the foot of the McDowell Mountains outside of Scottsdale.”


Petroglyph located at Taliesin
Wright was intrigued by Petroglyphs and collected some

This (below) is an interesting anomaly we come across in the desert on occasion. A seed of one plant or another finds the smallest of crevices and decides to make it home. Most of these volunteer plants live a shortened life because of the generally less-than-ideal location. This cactus has made its home in a hole in the wall; so to speak.

NOTE – There is a chance that this particular cactus was deliberately planted in the wall, but there is no way to know for sure.


Cactus living in a rock wall
Some plants volunteer to grow in the strangest places.

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 1

Introduction: – Photos Below (Please scroll down)

We have lived in the North Phoenix, AZ area for more than ten years. During our time in the Sonoran Desert, we have heard many things about Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural studio and school. Our interest had been piqued a number of times, but we wanted to wait for a special guest or visitor to express a desire to tour the landmark before we visited.

Last year, good friends stayed with us and they expressed an interest in touring the Frank Lloyd Wright studio as part of the evening tour; bingo!

Taliesin was established as Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter studio and school in 1937. During the summers, Wright would head to Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

The Scottsdale, Arizona studio was built to blend in with the Sonoran Desert geography and to take advantage of its perch above Phoenix and the surrounding outskirts. It is an interesting and uniquely personal vision of one of America’s most famous architects.

To learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin and Taliesin West, visit the Taliesin Website.

Notes about Tours of Taliesin West

The Insights Tour is offered during the daytime starting daily at 9 AM. The Night Lights Tour is offered at 7 and 7:15 PM as of this posting. Please check the website or call for current information.

Websitehttp://franklloydwright.org/taliesin-west/tickets-tours/
Phone – 480.627.5375
Email info@franklloydwright.org

On July 2, 2017 when I checked the website, this notation appeared:

“This summer, we’re offering a 50% discount to all Arizona residents. This offer is only available through advanced booking and proof of residency must be shown when picking up tickets. Reserve now at the link below.”

As indicated in the introduction above, we selected the Night Lights tour.


The main reception area seen from the parking lot
As we arrived, the moon was rising. This is a photograph of the reception center as seen from the main parking area.

Umbrellas for visitors
Recent rains brought out umbrellas .

Frist stop was an introduction in a nearby meeting room
The tour group stopped at a nearby meeting room for a general introduction.

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross