Historic Oakwood was a home to the prominent members of Raleigh’s
society during the 19th century.
It is a neighbourhood in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina and it is
popular for its Historic Oakwood Cemetery, its many Victorian houses and its
location close to the Mordecai Plantation Manor. Its Victorian-era architectural styles
include Second Empire, Queen Anne, Italianate, and later infill brought the
bungalow, the American Foursquare, American Craftsman style, and the Minimal
Traditional house to the area.
It is also known for its Christmas Candlelight Tour, which
opens private historic residences to the public, and the Garden Tour, which
allows the public to see the vast gardens worked on by the Oakwood Gardening
The Natural Regions of Germany (2): The Northern German Plains
The Northern German plains are part of the vast Northern European plains, which extend from Eastern England to Eastern Poland.
Directly adjacent to the North Sea coast, there are the marshlands, extremely flat terrain at sea level, which consist of sediments that the ocean has deposited there since the last ice age.
Further inland, there is the Geest belt, a chain of slightly elevated terrain consisting mostly of sand deposited by the glaciers of the ice age. The soil is not very fertile and wrong treatment centuries ago has led to a steppization of some areas known today as the Luneburg Heath. In late summer, the purple flourishing heath attracts tens of thousands of visitors.
Further inland from the Baltic Sea Coast, however, there is the Mecklenburg Lake Plateau. With the Müritz, the largest lake that belongs entirely to Germany, it is a popular tourist area for people who love boating and other water activities.
Further south, the morains, sandy hills, change with boggy valleys, the meltwater valleys or urstromtäler: The glaciers of the ice ages reached until here. The swampy lowlands were major obstacles in the course of the ancient trade routes. Narrow points were preferred places for crossing the swamps, and towns developed there. One of them became Germany’s metropolis: Berlin – the name of Slavic origin can be interpreted as “swamp town”. The valleys are now popular with bicycle tourists who enjoy the easy ride in the flat terrain along the rivers, for instance on the Elbe Cycle Route.
Another notable city is Hannover, capital of the state of Lower Saxony and historic residence of the Kings of Hannover and Great Britain and Ireland. In the present days, it is known for its trade fair, the Hannover Messe.
The southernmost parts of the Northern German plains are the Loesslands adjacent to the following Central German highlands. These are exremely fertile areas and the granary of Germany. They are ancient cultivated land and carry some of Germany’s most important historic places: The city of Magdeburg was founded by Charlemagne and was the preferred residence of Emperor Otto I. There were many imperial palaces scattered in that area during the time of the traveling emperors in the middle ages, the best preserved one being the Palace of Goslar.
The southwestern corner used to be Germany’s powerhouse until the persisting coal and steel crisis, and the importance of heavy industry declined. During the 100 years from 1880 to 1980, Germany’s biggest and most populous multinuclear urban agglomeration, the Ruhr area, kept constantly growing. It is now home to 5.1 million people, In the wider sense, the agglomeration encompasses the big cities, Duisburg, Essen, Bochum, Dortmund, and a number of smaller cities. In a wider sense, Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Wuppertal can also be associated with this metropolitan area. The last coal mines are being closed in the near future, and steel production has significantly declined. The region is still struggling to cope with the structural transformation.
4 Reasons Independence Is the Right Path for Puerto Rico
By Maru Gonzalez
Puerto Rico is in a state of emergency. Its public debt, which Governor Garcia Padilla recently declared unpayable, is $73 billion and counting. Unemployment is hovering at a dismal 14 percent and 46 percent of the island’s inhabitants are living below the poverty line, a rate higher than that of any state on the mainland.
Puerto Rico’s recent surge in out-migration is also cause for concern. Spurred largely by the economic crisis, a historic exodus of residents to the mainland translates to a shrinking tax base which, in turn, puts additional strain on an already weakened economy and burdens those remaining on the island with higher taxes and dwindling resources.
Although a variety of suggestions have been proposed to save the island from default, here are four reasons a clearly articulated, multi-year transition to independence is the only long-term viable solution for Puerto Rico.
1. Puerto Rico’s serious and worsening economy is largely rooted in its colonial status.
As a U.S. colony, Puerto Rico’s insolvent municipalities and public corporations cannot declare bankruptcy. And because Puerto Rico is not independent, it is prohibited from seeking help from international financial institutions, leaving it with few options in the face of what seems like inevitable default. Yet while the right to declare bankruptcy is important in helping the island restructure its mounting debt, it is only part of a short-term solution to a crisis that is, at its core, deeply structural.
Puerto Rico’s economy is both limited by and dependent on Washington. Constrained by U.S. federal laws and regulations, the island’s economy lacks the structural capacity to thrive on its own. Puerto Rico has no control over its monetary policy and little control of its fiscal policy. Issues related to immigration, foreign policy and trade are dictated by U.S. law and U.S. regulatory agencies.
Further, because Puerto Rico has no actual representation in Congress, decisions are made with little to no consideration for the needs and general welfare of the island’s residents. Indeed, Puerto Ricans must adhere to laws passed by a government in which they do not participate. Independence would grant Puerto Rico a platform to address the debt crisis on its own terms and afford the island’s 3.5 million inhabitants the right to self-determination.
2. Statehood is a pipe dream.
Economic and cultural arguments aside, statehood has never been a real option for Puerto Rico. Contrary to Alaska and Hawaii, which were deemed “incorporated” territories with the intention of moving toward annexation to the Union, the decision to keep Puerto Rico as “unincorporated” was a ploy to avoid statehood.
Indeed, Puerto Rico’s status as an unincorporated territory means that it “belongs to, but is not part of the U.S.” And that is unlikely to change. A Republican-controlled Congress would never admit Puerto Rico — with its massive debt and overwhelmingly Democratic (and non-white, Spanish-speaking) voting base — into the Union, even if such a determination is made by the island’s residents.
3. Other nations have proved that independence is possible.
For far too long, the people of Puerto Rico have chosen to accept the comfort of a familiar yet broken status quo over the uncertainty of real, revolutionary change. Indeed, many on the island and in the diaspora adhere to a colonized mentality, one that believes an independent Puerto Rico is economically unsustainable. But liberated nations across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America have demonstrated otherwise.
Singapore is a prime example. With a size 14 times smaller than Puerto Rico, less natural resources, and a significantly higher population density, Singapore has thrived socially and economically since gaining independence — even exceeding the per capita income of the United States.
4. An independent Puerto Rico would more readily protect the welfare and the rights of its people than the United States.
Since the U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, Washington’s relationship with Puerto Rico has been one of exploitation and convenience. From the Ponce Massacre and government-sanctioned programs aimed at forcibly sterilizing working class Puerto Rican women to unethical testing and human radiation experiments on Puerto Rican prisoners, the U.S. government has a shameful track record of transgressions on the island.
And let’s not forget Vieques: for more than 60 years the U.S. Navy used the island of Vieques as target practice. Though the bombings stopped in 2003, the U.S.’ legacy on Vieques continues in the form of destroyed land (over half the island is uninhabitable), shattered livelihoods, and increased rates of cancer, birth defects, and illnesses — the result of contamination from years of continuous bombings.
Yet because Puerto Rico lacks any real autonomy or representation, these and other travesties — both social and economic — are largely ignored. Independence would hold accountable elected representatives at all levels of government and restore power to the people
The Sheats Goldstein Residence | Architect: John Lautner
James “Goldy” Goldstein discusses the home and working with famed architect John Lautner. The modernist masterpiece has been featured in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, French Exit, and The Big Lebowski.
It is speculated that Goldstein made billions in real estate (notably Century City in Los Angeles) - Via
New Orleans’ Garden District and Why You Need it in Your Life-
My first time visiting New Orleans was when I was 20 years old in the middle of a national tour with only one day to experience and enjoy it as much as I could, and I did. I immediately immersed myself in the culture and fell madly in love, as if I just discovered who I was and what I truly loved. Typically when people think of New Orleans they think barbaric college kids, mardi gras beads, or a rundown urban ghetto… which in a sense is dead on if you have tunnel vision, but there is SO much more to this city.
The Garden District/Uptown area is my absolute favorite neighborhood of anywhere I have ever been. The area was originally developed between 1832 and 1900 and is
considered one of the best-preserved collections of historic Southern mansions in the United States. What initially took my breath away was the architecture. I have always had a profound love for opulent, mid-1800′s architecture including Greek Revival, Colonial, and Victorian styles such as Italianate, and Queen Anne, but had never seen them so vast in person. The second showstopper was how the foliage abounds far and wide; from the tree lined streets, to the lush gardens nearly every home possessed. It is positively one of the most visually appealing places in the United States.
Below I have comprised a list of 10 places you MUST enjoy during your next visit to New Orleans in order of how they appear above. Enjoy:
1. The Wedding Cake House This ostentatious Victorian, Georgian revival mansion is one of the most prominent and recognizable historical residences along St. Charles Ave. Can you imagine an entire neighborhood of these? Built in 1896-Located at 5809 St. Charles Ave.
2. The Carroll-Crawford House The elegant, but dark Italianate design with the fine cast-iron double galleries will always remind me of the first time I saw this type of architecture… Disneyland’s Haunted House; it was surreal. Built in 1869-Located at 1315 First Street.
3. St. Charles Street Car You can hop on at several locations along St Charles and Carrollton and jump off at the French Quarter On Carondelet/Canal St. or vice versa AND it’s only $3 for a day pass.
4. Lafayette Cemetery Known for its old, often crumbling, and occasionally open, above ground tombs, Lafayette is easily one of the most fascinating cemeteries you will ever visit. Although St. Louis Cemetery is generally the first sought after by tourists due to it’s location in the French Quarter and the graves of more celebrities, Lafayette is much more serene and picturesque cemetery that you could probably spend hours in. Established in 1833-Located at: 2010 Washington Ave.
Tips: There are gates on each of the roads around the cemetery, but only the Washington and Sixth St are unlocked. Also, there is an awesome coffee shop across the street called Still Perkin’.
5. Blue Phoenix This is a wonderful place to acquire metaphysical and new age supplies including: herbs, oils, incense, amulets, cool candles, crystals, voodoo dolls and other spiritual supplies. Located at: 4304 Magazine St.
6. Sucre An Uptown sweet boutique that features an assortment
of handcrafted, luscious chocolates, fresh gelato, one-of-a-kind pastry
masterpieces and super-premium coffees. Located at: 3025 Magazine St.
7. Audubon Park This is a beautiful Uptown park that borders both the Mississippi River and St. Charles Ave. with a great set of walking/bike paths and plenty of benches near the lake, under the overgrown, live oak trees, also adjacent to the Audubon Zoo. Located at: 6500 Magazine St.
8. Commander’s Palace You will find this place at the top of every “Where to Eat in New Orleans” list. Located just across the street from the Lafayette Cemetery, this large, but intimate Victorian house is the perfect place to get some of the best Southern food New Orleans has to offer. Located at: 1403 Washington Ave. Established in 1880
9. Dos Jefes Cigar Bar If you’re interested in a more relaxed, but entertaining place to enjoy your evening, Dos Jefes features live jazz with great top shelf liquor and there is never a cover charge. Located at: 5535 Tchoupitoulas St.
10. Hubbard Mansion B&B This is an exquisite family owned business located in the heart of the Garden District that offers five exquisitely furnished suites in the Main House, and two
executive apartments. The beautiful rooms
recall the grandeur of 19th century New Orleans. The St Charles Street Car stops right out front for a convenient, quick ride to the French Quarter. Located at: 3535 St. Charles Ave.
Hundley-Clark House - Huntsville, AL by Brent Moore Via Flickr: The Hundley-Clark house at 400 Franklin Street is one of the Hundley Rental Houses. Here is the Wikipedia entry:
The Hundley Rental Houses are historic residences in Huntsville, Alabama.
But the 31-story Verizon building at 140 West Street, across from One World Trade Center in the financial district, may be the grandest of the bunch.
The full-block 1927 edifice, which like the other two phone buildings was designed by Ralph Walker, a prominent Art Deco architect, has an exterior lavishly decorated with carvings of vines, flowers and birds; it is a landmark, as is its vividly finished lobby, whose walls are trimmed in gold paint.
Upstairs, the developers the Magnum Real Estate Group and the CIM Group are adding 161 condos, from one- to five-bedrooms, in a project called Barclay Square, which will have the address of 100 Barclay Street, after the developers create a new entrance out of a loading bay.
The units are expected to hit the market in September, for $2,100 to $3,000 a square foot, said Ben Shaoul, Magnum’s president, although the offering plan for the $500 million project still awaits approval.
Phone companies need less equipment these days, but Verizon isn’t leaving completely; it will retain Floors 1 to 10 in a sharing arrangement similar to the Walker and Stella towers.
But to offer 47,000 square feet of amenity space, Magnum will avail itself of about half of that gilded lobby, which will be walled off and turned into a lounge. Residents will be able to enjoy their morning coffee, Mr. Shaoul said, under murals of the history of communication. One painting on the condo’s side shows a megaphone-carrying Egyptian. “You couldn’t build a space like this today,” he said.
Johnston -Felton - Hay House by LT Via Flickr: Johnston-Felton-Hay House, often abbreviated Hay House, is a historic residence in Macon, Georgia. Built between 1855 and 1859 by William Butler Johnston and his wife Anne Tracy Johnston in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, the house has been called the “Palace of the South.” The mansion sits atop Coleman Hill on Georgia Avenue in downtown Macon, near the Walter F. George School of Law, part of Mercer University.
The 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2), 24-room home designed by the New York architect T. Thomas and Son has four levels and is crowned by a three-story cupola. Commissioned by imaginative owners and constructed by the most skillful workers of the time, its technological amenities were unsurpassed in the mid-nineteenth century: hot and cold running water, central heat, a speaker-tube system connecting 15 rooms, a French lift equivalent to today’s elevator, in-house kitchen, and an elaborate ventilation system. House history
Two families lived in Hay House, the first over four generations. Most of the home’s present-day furnishings date from the Hay family’s occupancy (1926-1962). A few pieces are from the Johnston family (1860-1896), most notably the Eastlake-style dining room suite. The most notable piece in the collection may be the 1857 marble statue, “Ruth Gleaning,” by American expatriate sculptor Randolph Rogers.
The home was a place of comfort for the Johnston family and their daughters until the late 1800s. In 1896 after the death of Mrs. Johnston, their daughter Mary Ellen Felton and her husband lived in the home. The Feltons updated the plumbing and electricity and stayed in the home until the time of their deaths in 1926.
The Hay House living room
William Butler Johnston obtained his substantial wealth through investments in banking, railroads and public utilities rather than from the agrarian cotton economy. In 1851, he married Anne Clark Tracy, 20 years his junior, and the couple embarked on an extended honeymoon in Europe from 1852 to 1855. During their trip, the Johnstons visited hundreds of museums, historic sites and art studios. They collected fine porcelains, sculptures and paintings as mementos during their grand tour. Inspired by the Italian architecture they observed, the Johnstons constructed the monumental Italian Renaissance Revival mansion in Macon upon their return to America. Only two of the Johnstons’ six children survived to adulthood. Caroline and Mary Ellen Johnston were born in 1862 and 1864, respectively, and grew up in the house on Georgia Avenue.
After the death of Mrs. Johnston in 1896, daughter Mary Ellen and her husband, Judge William H. Felton, lived in the house. They remodeled and redecorated parts of the house, updated the plumbing and added electricity. Their only child, William Hamilton Felton, Jr., was born in 1889. He married Luisa Macgill Gibson in 1915, and the newlywed couple soon moved in with the Feltons. They and their two sons, William Hamilton Felton III and George Gibson Felton, lived in the house until 1926.
After the deaths of William Sr. and Mary Ellen Felton, the house was sold to Parks Lee Hay and his wife, Maude. After purchasing, the Hays redecorated the entire home, updating it to fit the new twentieth-century décor. The home was seen as a local landmark to all in middle Georgia. Mr. Hay died in 1957; when Mrs. Hay died in 1962, the home was turned into a house museum. In 1977, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation took over ownership of the home and it is now a National Historic Landmark. 
Following Mrs. Hay’s death, her heirs established the P.L. Hay Foundation and operated the house as a private house museum. By virtue of its national significance, Hay House was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974. In 1977, the ownership and operation of the house was formally transferred to The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation to ensure its long-term preservation.
In 2000, the White House Millennium Council designated Hay House an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures in 2000. Today, Hay House is one of Macon’s most popular tourist attractions with 20,000 visitors each year. The House is also a prominent rental venue for special events.