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Archives for August 1, 2017

wonderwall celebrates nike’s classic air max 30th anniversary with landscape garden

wonderwall / masamichi katayama constructed a dry landscape garden in tokyo’s national museum for the thirty-year anniversary of NIKE’s signature sneaker air max. the classic shoe was integrated into the design through repeated circular patterns which established an ethereal and organic exhibition. 

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all photos © tomooki kengaku



wonderwall in collaboration with hair and make-up artist asami nemoto, used the series of white NIKE sneakers as repeated forms within the display. in contrast, actual airmax sneakers in full color were positioned above to rotate and float on top of the garden. the overall exhibition aimed to capture the theme of ‘air max genealogy’ – a study which looks at the development of the design to its present day form. the organic nature of the design aims to mimic this concept by presenting the shoe within a landscape context, pointing both towards the roots of the design as well as its evolving form. 

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Richmond Weddings From A to Z


July 31, 2017

1:08 PM

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Nelson garden harkens to earlier time; education, history, community bloom

Members of the Nelson Agricultural Commission sit next to the Colonial garden they created behind the Olivia Rodham Memorial Library in Nelson. From left are John Bunce, Pat Rich, Val Van Meier and Barbara Voymas.

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NorthPoint releases new renderings, videos related to Compass proposal

These before and after images show what Archer Park in Elwood looks like currently (left) and what NorthPoint Development says it will add if Compass Business Park is approved.
This aerial rendering shows Archer Park, north of Walter Strawn Avenue. NorthPoint Development is proposing to enhance landscaping at the park to buffer residents views of the potential truck traffic from Compass Business Park.

ELWOOD – Developers of the oft-discussed Compass Business Park proposal have been meeting with residents who would live closest to the truck traffic and first industrial buildings to go up, if the project were one day approved by the village of Elwood.

Last week representatives from NorthPoint Development – the firm in charge of the 2,000-plus acre project – met with South Street homeowners, who live west of Route 53 and whose homes are closest to Walter Strawn Drive, as well as residents of Shady Nook, a manufactured home community east of Route 53 that would be nearest to the first buildings constructed.

During those meetings, NorthPoint shared various renderings of what the area could look like. The graphics show added trees, shrubs and other landscaping touches to the existing Archer Park, that NorthPoint says would serve as a buffer between the homes and the private truck road that Walter Strawn Drive would become.

“We’re using the latest design technology to develop concepts based on what we’ve heard from neighbors,” said Tim Sjogren, a transportation engineer with the Kimley-Horn engineering firm. “Near South Street, we’re taking advantage of the pre-existing hills and contours of Archer Park and adding a living vegetation buffer to screen Walter Strawn Drive. Setbacks and berms will help enhance the visual appeal for homes west of the park.”

NorthPoint also shared 3D before-and-after views from homes along South Street and in Shady Nook, and gave residents a look at the proposed multipurpose trail that would connect Archer Park to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie a couple miles to the south.

The working sessions with residents are follow-ups to the open house NorthPoint hosted in June at Elwood village hall, NorthPoint said in a news release, adding “they give local residents an opportunity to work with technical experts to hone in on ideas, concerns and feedback in greater detail.”

As part of the plan, NorthPoint would fund a gateway bridge over Route 53 that would provide the only truck access to and from Compass Business Park. Once inside the park, a “closed loop” would restrict trucks from exiting onto local roads.

But some residents of the village of less than 3,000 people, as well as Jackson Township residents, have been vocal about their distaste for another industrial facility near them, in addition to CenterPoint Intermodal.

Early projections by NorthPoint show the potential for 15,000 jobs upon completion of the park with 1,200 to 1,600 construction jobs while the park is built out in phases over an approximately 10-year span

Videos with a 3D look at the proposed changes to the area are available to view on YouTube. Search “Compass Business Park.”

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Saint Louis, MO



Partly cloudy. High 89F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph..


Some clouds. Low near 70F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

Updated: July 31, 2017 @ 8:53 am

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21 Things To Do With Your Kids Before Michigan Schools Start

Most Michigan kids go back to school on Sept. 5, leaving about a month before the summer of 2017 unofficially slips away. That was fast, wasn’t it? If you’re scrambling to fill the calendar with family outings before homework and school activities take over your kids’ lives, here are some ideas — both close to home and around Michigan.

Some of these events are free, others are good for families on a budget and some require more of an investment. The list includes road trips that you may want to squeeze in before school starts.

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Free Or Budget-Friendly Events

Go to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Admission to this world-class museum is free to residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. The DIA’s family-themed events include drop-in workshops, family tours and even a hip-hop showcase.

Go bowling. You’ll pay, but kids bowl free at dozens of venues around Michigan.

Take the kids for a ride on the Cullen Family Carousel at Rivard Plaza on the east riverfront in Detroit. While you’re there, check out the inlaid granite map of the Detroit River, a standing glass sculptured map of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a children’s playscape, playful fountains and lush landscaping.

Go to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Outdoor Adventure Center. It’s a great place for city kids to connect with nature in a fun way.

Go fishing. has several recommendations on the best fishing holes around the state. Kids 16 and younger fish for free under Michigan fishing regulations.

Events With An Admission Charge

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images Sports/Getty Images

Take them out to the ballpark. The Detroit Tigers have home games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians this month.

Get them in the mood to learn at The Henry Ford in Dearborn: The staggering collection from the Henry Ford estate offers not only a look at Americans’ fascination with the automobile and its development in the Detroit area, but also other American inventions and historic memorabilia. Be sure to tell the kids it’s where one of their Saturday-morning TV favorites, “Innovation Nation,” is filmed.

Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Are you sensing a theme about combatting summer slippage by easing kids back into learning? Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills has activities through August, but one for the calendar is Aug. 21, the date of the total solar eclipse. Cranbrook has a full day planned.

The Detroit Zoo is fun and educational, too. “The Difference We Make” exhibit continues through Aug. 3. It features artwork of some nearly extinct animals created by some Metro Detroit students created in collaboration with zoo artist-in-residence David Baile.

Go to SEA LIFE Aquarium Michigan in Auburn Hills. More than 250 species are represented, including sharks, seahorses, clownfish, turtles, touchpools, jellies, rays and octopus.

Take a QLine Cultural Tour. Stops include the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, Freer House and the Detroit Public Library.

Go to a drive-in movie. Drive-in movies are a vanishing part of Americana, but America’s largest with nine screens and parking for 2,500 cars is close to home in Dearborn. Gates open at 8 p.m. during the summer (it’s open year-round, and in-car heaters are available). You can use the theater’s FM stereo or the old-time speakers.

See almost every farm animal you can imagine at the Michigan State Fair, which runs Aug. 31-Sept. 4. There are lots of other family-friendly events, including a midway.

Road Trips

Get lost in the dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire was named “The Most Beautiful Place in America” by Good Morning America in 2011.

Visit a lighthouse. The Au Sable Light Station, built in 1874 and one of Michigan’s most notable lighthouses, but if you can’t travel that far, check out the William Livingstone Memorial Light, the only lighthouse in the nation constructed from marble and one of only two in Michigan erected as a memorial.

Take the Great Lakes Circle Tour along the scenic road system connecting all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The entire route is a 6,500-mile undertaking, but the trip can broken apart in manageable pieces.

Catch some of Michigan’s stunning waterfalls. There are about 200 waterfalls on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Mean it when you say you’re going to go to the beach. There are hundreds of beaches in the state. Why haven’t you been yet this summer?

If your quest for more beaches in your life took you to St. Joseph, treat your kids to the magic of the Silver Beach Carousel, which has 48 unique figures — a horse, of course, but also tigers, a panda, clownfish and others — and two chariots.

Kids love Christmas, and it’s Christmas year-round in Frankenmuth, where you’ll find Bavarian hospitality regardless of the season.

Take in a summer festival. There are still dozens of events around Michigan.

Feature photo by Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for American Express/Getty News Entertainment

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University of Wisconsin Cancer Center at ProHealth Care

Submitted by: CannonDesign (Baltimore)

The University of Wisconsin ProHealth Care (Waukesha, Wis.) houses a regional cancer center, a full array of diagnostics and treatment programs, and multispecialty ambulatory clinics. It’s organized to capitalize upon the natural features of the 14-acre greenfield site, extending the terrain surrounding an adjacent pond through the site and creating a landscape around which major therapy and public spaces are oriented. The landscaping and building are carefully balanced to create a pedestrian-oriented campus providing a variety of opportunities for both walking and gathering. Massed and oriented on the site to optimize daylighting and energy efficiency, natural light and framed views to the surrounding landscape are thoughtfully deployed to choreograph the patient and staff experience in a way that supports healing and rehabilitation.

Numerous discussions early on in the design process centered around the number of times a cancer patient will visit a cancer center during the course of their treatment—typically more than 100 times. Taking this into consideration, a significant amount of time was spent understanding the needs and emotions that come with battling cancer. Key to doing so was engaging and empowering a Patient Advisory Group consisting of cancer survivors, current patients, and family members to provide input on aspects of the care experience most important to them. In addition, we created a Whole Person Health Design Team consisting of staff members who work with patients in multiple settings. The result is a design emulating the idea that form doesn’t follow function, form follows experience—a cancer center designed from the inside out.

Project category: New construction

Chief administrator: Susan Edwards, CEO, ProHealth Care; Ken Price, COO, ProHealth Care

Firm: CannonDesign,

Design team: Kent Muirhead, design leader; Michael Pukszta, healthcare planning lead; Scott Thomas, healthcare planner; Scott Whitehead, project manager; Aaron Hernan, architectural designer; Dale Greenwald, interior designer

Total building area (sq. ft.): 162,140

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $423

Total construction cost (excluding land): $72.2 million

Completed: October 2015

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Jeremiah Oosterbaan: man with a plan

PLATTSBURGH — The DNA of architect Jeremiah Oosterbaan twists through disparate buildings in Plattsburgh and its environs.

The Clinton County Government Center, the Newman Center, Blessed John XXIII Community and the Press-Republican are three buildings on Monday’s daylong Adirondack Architectural Heritage’s Modern Architecture tour featuring “The Architecture of Jeremiah Oosterbaan.”


“As a historic-preservation organization, we are deeply committed to shining a light on the fullest, broadest range of interesting architecture in the region,” said Steven Engelhart, AARCH executive director.

“As we have moved into the 21st century, we’ve decided we need to pay more attention to late 20th century architecture. And so this year, we have done a number of things to do that including organizing this outing that looks at work of Jeremiah Oosterbaan. He is, I think, a very important Plattsburgh and regional architect. I think it’s something the people will increasingly, we hope, come to know and realize.”


Born in 1929 Chicago, Oosterbaan was the grandson of Dutch emigrée Siebrant Oosterbaan, who arrived in the United Sates in 1885.

The patriarch established Oosterbaan Sons, a paint and contracting business, on the Windy City’s far South Side.

“If he (Jeremiah) had stayed in that firm, he would have been the third or fourth generation to run it,” Engelhart said.

“But he grew up with a father that was in the painting-contracting business, so went all over the city of Chicago looking at jobs that the firm was involved with. I think this is where his initial love of architecture comes from.”


Oosterbaan graduated with an architecture degree from the Illinois Institute of Architecture in 1953. 

There he was a student of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a noted German-American architect and modern-architecture pioneer.

“Along with Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe was one of the four leading figures creating the modernist movement in the middle of the 20th century,” Engelhart said.

“He was a very important architect and teacher, and Jeremiah Oosterbaan was his student.”

While Oosterbaan was in architectural school, he met and worked for Wright on the Charles Glore House (1951) in Lake Forest, Ill.

“What the family has told us is that during that time Jeremiah Oosterbaan supervised the construction of two Frank Lloyd Wright projects. Here he is a young man, he gets exposed as a teacher to Mies van der Rohe. He gets to know and work for Frank Lloyd Wright.”


After graduating from college, Oosterbaan served in the U.S. Army at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., from 1953-55.

He wed Danielle, his Montreal bride, on July 13, 1957.

Here, he established a practice with Thomas Ferenc in 1956.

Plattsburgh Air Force Base was booming.

Plattsburgh Teachers College was expanding as were industries like Georgia-Pacific.

“There was a lot of economic activity in Plattsburgh,” Engelhart said.

“He came at a time when there was a lot to be built. He stays and practices from 1956 until he retires and moves to Florida in 1997. Because there weren’t that many architectural firms in Plattsburgh, he gets to be involved in building.”

His oeuvre includes St. Alexander’s Church (1967) in Morrisonville, Temple Beth Israel (1970) in Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh Public Library (1973), Sacred Heart Church in Chazy, Saint Mary’s of the Lake on Cumberland Head and Saint Alexander’s in Morrisonville.

“All these churches are built in the late 1960s,” Engelhart said.

“What just happened in the bigger, historical context is the Second Vatican Council called Vatican II. It just finished. The way that the church practices its liturgy and rituals is changed. The altar gets turned around, the priests are facing the congregation. Things are much loosening up, so he gets to design churches when the Catholic Church is undergoing big changes. He writes about how the architecture reflects this new attitude of the church.”


Oosterbaan designed Temple Beth Israel in Plattsburgh and celebrated artist Rockwell Kent’s Asgaard Farm residence in AuSable Forks, as well as his own family dwelling on Lake Champlain at Chazy Landing.

There, he and his wife raised their five children.

“The house is a long one-story building with a glass exterior wall facing the lake, taking maximum advantage of the view and morning light,” Engelhart writes.

“The facade also has a broad overhanging eave, which provides protection for the long and linear deck below.”

“Here he has a chance to create something that is very personal,” Engelhart said.

“It’s not institutional. It’s not related to church functions or the running of a newspaper. It has all kinds of built-in masonry planters for gardens and landscaping. It has a very open plan in the kitchen, living room, dining room, sun-room area. It’s a very beautiful, brightly lit space. It’s quite a remarkable house.”


Oosterbaan died at the age of 82 on July 13, 2011, on his wedding anniversary, in Naples, Fla.

He was an architect of great sensitivity and creativity in Engelhart’s estimation.

“He was here, at the right place at the right time, and Plattsburgh is really the better for it.”

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Woman returns to ‘passion’ of gardening after stroke

WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — As she is on most days throughout the spring and summer and into the fall, Gay Foust Swartzfager was working in her garden when she had a stroke in July 2016. Through the three-week hospitalization that followed and months of physical therapy, returning to the garden was never far from her mind.

A year later, Swartzfager, 64, is tending to her plants once again with the help of her husband, Walter Swartzfager, 82. She’s not 100 percent, she says, but with Walter’s help she once again was able to host nearly 60 fellow gardeners for the recent monthly picnic of the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Crawford County club.

“It’s a passion,” Swartzfager said not long after the gathering. She and Walter were seated on the shady porch of the log cabin home they built nearly 40 years ago, taking a well-earned break after the preparations. The garden has to look nice when you’re showing it off to other master gardeners.

Like their elaborate gardens, that passion has grown impressively over the past four decades since Gay began with a single humble bed in the shape of a star. Tucked away behind a screen of evergreens along Route 77, the quiet oasis that now spreads over nearly half of their six-acre lot shows the result of decades of care that have followed from humble beginnings.

“I hated it,” Walter said of his wife’s first foray into gardening. “I couldn’t mow around it.”

But before long, Gay had moved on from the star garden to bigger projects.

“My husband made the mistake of saying you can have as many plants as you like as long as you plant them yourself,” she recalled.

Gay liked have quite a lot of plants, and quite a variety as well, it turns out. It wasn’t long before Walter came to like the expanding garden as well. For years, the two of them have picked up scores of different types of plants at auctions, often adding dozens of varieties of the flowers and shrubs that they like best.

They continually experiment with placement, doing all of their own landscaping. Today, the results range from water lilies in the one-third-acre pond they had constructed, to grasses, to too many types of flowers to count, as well as 40 types of trees they have added over the years. Between the wooden bridge Walter constructed over the pond and the house sits a smaller cabin he made so that Gay can paint or relax in the midst of all the greenery they have created. Within, the croak of a bullfrog that shares the pond with 10 koi and a variety of other fish can be heard.

Just down a brick walkway and past a circular arrangement of ornamental grasses, some of them reaching 15 feet into the sky, a fountain bubbles outside their living room window. As the couple leaves the shade of the porch to lead visitors around the garden, butterflies flitter around the certified pollinator-friendly garden. Seemingly everywhere are daylilies, one of Gay’s favorites. Almost 100 varieties can be found throughout their yard. More than 100 varieties of hostas, Walter’s favorite, are scattered throughout as well.

“It’s a beautiful garden,” said Ron Mennano, president of the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Crawford County. In addition to their gardening education programs, the group volunteers at the Crawford County Fair, tends the flowers and landscaping in DeArment Park and engages in a variety of other outreach efforts. Each member volunteers at least 20 hours each year.

“The Swatzfagers have a variety of plants that are unique to our area,” he said, citing several varieties of dawn redwood trees as an example. “It’s absolutely gorgeous.”

Also gorgeous are the many perennial flowers in the garden — so many, in fact, that Gay shares the bounty.

“She’s been taking flowers out to our hospice house for years,” said Barbara Mulligan of Crawford County Hospice. “They are absolutely beautiful.”

Every two or three weeks during the spring and summer, Gay pays a visit with a half-dozen or more arrangements drawn from the garden.

“She would never really leave her name for us to properly thank her,” Mulligan said. “I think it’s just one of her wonderful things.”

The blooming flowers draw much of the attention from visitors, but trees have become more of a focus for the Swartzfagers in recent years. They have begun contemplating a not-too-distant future when they won’t be able to care for their many flowers the way they do now.

“It’s amazing how fast the weeds grow,” Gay said. “We’re not going to be able to take care of the garden all our lives.”

For now, however, Gay has accomplished the goal she set for herself a year ago and is back tending the flowers and the rest of the garden. She also accomplished another goal when she returned to her part-time work as an accountant during tax season. For now, the future is still a long way off.

More pressing are the concerns of the garden and the activities that keep them young, Walter said. While Gay was thinking about weeding and relocating some of the plants that had disappointed this summer, Walter was looking ahead to a number of trees that he would be cutting down and splitting by hand in the weeks ahead.

Losing plants or trees doesn’t sting as it used to when they first began, he said. Setbacks, like Gay’s stroke, can be prelude to recovery.

“We have so many now,” Walter explained. “We’re disappointed, but it gives us a chance to change the landscape.”

He and Gay paused as they walked down the garden path and looked at the scene around them.

“It’s a puzzle that keeps evolving,” he said.


The Swartzfagers offer free private tours for small groups of 15 to 30 people. Those interested in a tour can contact them at 724-1067.

The Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Crawford County offers a gardening hotline on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Anyone with gardening-related questions can reach them at the Penn State Cooperative Extension office, 333-7460.

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