Monday, August 3, 2009

Hello from Virginia

I must make this post quick because I have my car on a meter and a part-time job to get to (my first day!) but I wanted to say hello to my blog-stalkers and let you know I haven't forgotten you! My internet access has been intermittent at best for the last two weeks, and I have a long list of topics to cover eventually. But for now I'll just focus on updating you that yes, we have completed the move and unpacking is underway... internet should be available tomorrow night, but I am not holding my breath. I did want to tell you that one of the cool things I've done since moving to Alexandria is visit the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library, designed by Michael Graves. It's a gorgeous, and very busy, library. I've been three times and am amazed at how many people are using it each time. I know the slow econonomy contributes to this, but it's nice to see people making use of this public asset. The use of brick speaks to the vernacular of Virginia, and the steep roofs allow natural light into the core of the building, making the interior a very pleasant spot to look for books or read. There is also a beautiful reading garden. I'll be writing more on this library soon, but I need to get back to that metered parking spot soon!


  1. I really like the rows of tall steep roofs, too, but I noticed that you did not mention how you felt about the portico.

  2. Good observation. I definitely think the portico detracts from the entrance. And it's somewhat unusable because the area it covers is fairly small. The benches in the front are out in the blazing sun (or were when I visited in July) so they are rendered unusable for most of the day and much of the year as well. The courtyard reading garden, accessed from the interior, is a much nicer spot.
    I should have mentioned (and I'll probably do a more lengthy write-up on this library) that I initially went to this library expecting to hate it. I'm not keen on a lot of Graves' work (there are some "milk bottle" columns on the UVA grounds that I just can't stand) but I was pleasantly surprised to like this building on the inside, and appreciate it for what it is on the outside. But yes, the portico seems like an afterthought, which is a shame since it is front and center.