Zebulon Abandoned School – Part 1

Last weekend, some friends and I finally had the opportunity to check out an abandoned elementary school in the small, rural town of Zebulon, Georgia.  I knew someone who knew someone, and was able to get permission and the keys to the building — the best of both worlds!  We were also told that there was supposedly a ghost that haunted this school — predominantly in the auditorium — but I can tell you (very thankfully) that none of us encountered it.

I’m most of the way through processing my photos from this location, but the three below have surfaced as my favorites.

paper towel holder

Unlike the last two abandoned buildings I’ve explored, this one has been locked up and the windows boarded up, so there was really no graffiti to be found.  While this allowed for a more pristine environment, the windows being boarded up did mean that the place was pretty dark.  With very few exceptions, shooting hand-held here would have been close to impossible.  (As much as I hate lugging my tripod around, I keep finding myself at locations whose environments pretty much require it.)

lone lightbulb in weather-worn room

The photo above is my favorite, and I actually knew it would be the moment I walked into this room.  There was wonderful natural light coming in from one of the few windows that wasn’t boarded up, and this bare lightbulb was just hanging there — begging to be photographed!  And then there’s the chair rail and the texture on the wall….  I’m not a people photographer (I wait for people to get out of my pictures :-)), but I so badly wanted to photograph someone here.  If I ever do a portrait shoot, I know where I’m going to do it!

pencil sharpener in classroom

Lastly, there’s this shot of the old, rusty pencil sharpener and a wonderful growing bokeh down the length of the weathered chalkboard.  All of the rooms were painted different colors.  Clearly, this was one of the blue rooms, which contrasted nicely with the brown of the pencil sharpener.

If you’d like to see more photos from this excursion, please check out my Zebulon Abandoned School set on Flickr.

Thanks!

Milwaukee Art Museum – Part 2

Some exterior photos from my visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum to check out the Quadracci Pavilion, an architectural structure built in 2001 and designed by Santiago Calatrava.  Highlights of the building are the magnificent cathedral-like space of Windhover Hall, with a vaulted a 90-foot-high glass ceiling; the Burke Brise Soleil, a moveable sunscreen with a 217-foot wingspan that unfolds and folds twice daily; and the Reiman Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge that connects the Museum to the city.

Milwaukee Art Museum's Burke Brise Soleil

I think the HDR might be a little over the top when it comes to the sky, but what can I say — I’m a sucker for puffy clouds against a popping blue sky.  🙂

Milwaukee Art Museum's Quadracci Pavilion

Next to the Milwaukee Art Museum they’ve integrated the existing Milwaukee County War Memorial Center.  This architectural achievement of renowned Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen stands as a fitting memorial to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Services.  Saarinen’s unique design, a floating cruciform with cantilevered portions, is now considered a classic in the development of modern architecture.  The War Memorial Center was dedicated on Veterans Day 1957.

Milwaukee County War Memorial Center

Of course, I couldn’t resist turning my camera around to get a shot of “The Calling”, a sculpture that represents the sunrise, and kicks off the start of Wisconsin Avenue.  It was a bit challenging, as the sun was still a bit high in the sky, but I stood so the sun was behind the US Bank building, and just embraced the light.

Wisconsin Avenue and "The Calling"

Please check out my Milwaukee Art Museum set on Flickr for more photos.

Thanks!

Milwaukee Art Museum – Part 1

While visiting my sister in Milwaukee, I decided to check out the Quadracci Pavilion, a wonderful, sculptural building incorporated into the existing Milwaukee Art Museum in 2001.  I’d seen pictures, but nothing compared to seeing in person.

Milwaukee Art Museum - Windhover Hall

The Pavilion was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who was inspired by the original building by Eero Saarinen, the topography of the city, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style architecture.

Milwaukee Art Museum - Windhover Hall

Windhover Hall is the grand entrance hall for the Quadracci Pavilion.  It’s Santiago Calatrava’s postmodern interpretation of a Gothic cathedral, complete with flying buttresses, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and a central nave topped by a 90-foot-high glass roof.

Milwaukee Art Museum - Windhover Hall

The hall’s chancel is shaped like the prow of a ship, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking over Lake Michigan.  Adjoining the central hall are two tow-arched promenades with expansive views of the lake and downtown.

Milwaukee Art Museum - Quadracci Pavilion

The Museum’s signature wings, the Burke Brise Soleil, form a moveable sunscreen with a 217-foot wingspan. The brise soleil is made up of 72 steel fins, ranging in length from 26 to 105 feet. The entire structure weighs 90 tons. It takes 3.5 minutes for the wings to open or close. Sensors on the fins continually monitor wind speed and direction; whenever winds exceed 23 mph for more than 3 seconds, the wings close automatically.  Unfortunately, the wings were closed on my visit.

Please check out my Milwaukee Art Museum set on Flickr for more photos.

Thanks!