Monthly Archives: February 2014

251 Birds

251 Birds: At Home on the Ferrisburgh Tundra

Larks and Buntings and Longspurs, Oh My!

Asher and Owen

A&O: Owen’s Birthday

Now up!

251 Birds

251 Birds: Grafton Village

No cheese, but Evening Grosbeaks!


Photography Preservation/Architecture

Inside the Moran Plant



251 Birds

251 Birds: Between the Vales

Intervale, Burlington.

Clouded Sulphur

251 Birds

Three New Posts at 251 Birds

Getting ahead of myself!

eBird Usage, 2012-2013

Bluets in Love

Other Flying Objects: Ebony Jewelwings

Ebony Jewelwing

251 Birds

Where the (e)Birders Are


2013 eBird Species by County

Asher and Owen

Fresh A&O: Midwinter

Over here:



Maarten Baas’ design studio outside Eindhoven is a pleasantly respectful conversion of a livestock barn.  It retains the basic elements that are often lost in barn adaptations- massing (that jerkinhead roof!), materials (brick and tile!), and–most critically–openings.  Most of the bad barn reuses that we encounter struggle to bring in light for the needs of humans without puncturing the walls and roof in insensitive ways.


Here they’ve kept the stable windows and entrances and maintained the hay door, which seems fundamental and simple but is frequently botched.  More creatively, though, they’ve solved the problem of lighting the hayloft by introducing a ribbon of skylights that spans nearly the length of the roof.  This simple choice has the dual effect of stressing the horizontality of the barn and maintaining a flat roof plane, impressions that are lost when dormers are used.  Most barn conversions are jarring because the existing form is defined by broad, flat surfaces.  When accommodations for new uses are made, the new elements can’t be hidden amongst a jumble of existing details.  A flush string of lights is an elegant design solution.  I’m not sure about the long-term maintenance though…

The whole article is short and worth a read.  Check out the grandfather/grandmother clocks!


Haven’t you always wanted to own a lighthouse?

Here’s a somewhat passive-aggressive press release from the Coast Guard about the Isle La Motte and Split Rock Tank-House Towers on Lake Champlain.  If you have thoughts on how these might be preserved or especially if you’re an NPO and interested in owning the Split Rock tower, there’s contact info at the bottom.

I’ve been to the Isle La Motte site.  It’s a quiet, winsome spot with incredible integrity of feeling.  If there’s a place to understand the history of navigation on Lake Champlain, this is it.  The tank-house tower is to the lighthouse behind it as a steel truss bridge is to a covered bridge- not as picturesque, maybe failing to capture the imagination of non-engineering nerds, but every bit as important to the story of transportation in Vermont.


Isle La Motte Tank-House Tower
Public Notice: Coast Guard Assessing
Plans for Lake Champlain Tank-House Towers
At Split Rock, NY, and Isle La Motte, VT

Boston – The Coast Guard is working with private property owners in Vermont
and New York to keep two Coast Guard-owned ‘tank-house’ aids to navigation
towers in place for historical preservation.

The towers, constructed of latticed angle-iron, are located at Split Rock, N.Y.,
and Isle La Motte, Vt., adjacent to privately-owned lighthouses.

In order to meet operational needs, Coast Guard operators are considering the
demolition or removal of these towers from federal property for the following
reasons: read more »