Posts Tagged ‘construction


old cabin…

an old cabin in the coastal woods of Oregon

old cabin-woods-SwittersB


Fan Palms & Renovation

Recently, I became more familiar with the use of the fronds from Mexican (Washingtonia robusta) fan palm trees. You may have seen thatched roofs (palapa’s) on Mexican beaches offering shade while you sip a bebida. This time, I came upon the renovation of an old house damaged in a flash flood where fan palm fronds were being used to install siding. I checked further and noted the nearby trimming of the fronds/petioles from the skirt around a tree. An admirable, yet arduous task it seemed.

fan palm siding Wentworth Canyon SwittersB

Nearby, I found the source for the fronds….

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The renovator has gone in under the skirt of the tree and trimmed away at the thick petioles that attach the frond to the trunk of the tree….

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Lumber must be scarce or the person has a penchant for immediately available, natural materials…

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A palapa/canopy near Andreas Creek a few miles from the renovation project.

A replica of an Agua Caliente Cahuilla structure using the same fan palm fronds & materials from the tree’s skirt….

Agua Caliente Cahuilla-shelter-fronds-Andreas Canyon-replica-SwittersB


At one with nature…..

rocky environment

homes at one with surroundings

rock solid vision

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Trains: Inside an old passenger, rail car

“All the coaches shall be scrap and rust and all the men and women laughing in the diners and sleepers shall pass to ashes.”    Carl Sandburg    Not so fast Carl….

Inside Old Rail Car-Passengers-roof-SwittersB-Photogragphy


Porch Railings

Sit upon them, prop your feet up on them, hop over them, climb up over them, peer through them, hide behind them, set a drink upon them, run your hand along the railing, paint them, talk through them. When is the last time you just sat on a porch with a railing. Been a very long time for me.

old railing, porch, vintage, photography, SwittersB


Vintage Floor & Wall…….50’s

My Uncle Felix built the wall, floor and built in drawers in this downstairs bedroom in 1952. The walls and floor and attention to detail carried over into the ‘party room’ and a second kitchen area. He hung pictures that showed the Sierras, Mountain lakes, Western themes…all things that were appealing to the Wisconsin boy transplanted to the West in the 1930’s. Classy then, when I was a young lad. Still classy and durable today.

wood floors-wood walls-1950-vintage-photography-SwittersB


Sagging in the Middle

Sagging in the middle, seems to be the inevitable in life. Here an old garage had the walls constructed with tongue and groove, a staple of siding. Only the middle gave out. No doubt a foundation issue. Isn’t it always the foundations, the core in life, that gives out?

Sagging beams, sunken foundations, acceptance of decline, turning away from seemingly insurmountable decay. Only certain people possess the skills to fix, rebuild, repair, envision change, fix the foundations, return to the original intent.

rustic-photography-tongue and groove-sagging-construction-renovation-lumber-SwittersB


Historic Columbia River Highway: Stone Mason’s Beauty

Beyond the Columbia River and the eye-catching majesty or the ‘Gorge’ rock formations, is the Historic Columbia River Highway. It parallels Interstate 84. It was hugely innovative in its day and one of my most enjoyable observations along that old highway is the stonework by Italian stone masons that is still quite evident today. 

stonework arch swittersbThe WyEast Blog provides a very informative review on the stone construction of the Scenic Highway entitled Stone Walls of the Columbia River Highway. One thing you don’t see as much is the vertical stacking of rocks in the construction.

vert stone fernsIf you have a historical bent for the history of road construction up the Gorge and how it influenced American road construction then you need to look at the site Historic Columbia River Highway for lots of history.


Photography: Spanning the Willamette River

I went down to the South end of town yesterday to take a look at the light rail bridge under construction. I took a few more photographs of the Marquam Bridge and Hawthorne Bridge. The Willamette River runs through the Portland, Oregon/Metro area. It is spanned by twelve bridges (Oregon City to North Portland.

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The Portland-Milwaukie (PMLR) Bridge under construction. Ross Island Br. in distance. (Nov. 2013)

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PMLR Bridge Signage

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The old Hawthorne Bridge with a center span lift capacity.

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Marquam Bridge…Double Decker span (SwittersB)

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Marquam Bridge (SwittersB)

The PMLR Bridge construction site is lit up at night. I want to explore walking out on to the Ross Island Bridge, at night, and see if I can capture a decent shot. I would try the Marquam Bridge, but there is no pedestrian passage so if you are on foot up there you are usually a jumper.


History & Images: Portland’s Union Station……

“Union Station is a train station near the west shore of the Willamette River in the Old Town Chinatown section of Portland, Oregon, United States.
The initial design for the station was created in 1882 by McKim, Mead, and White. Had the original plan been built, the station would have been the largest train station in the world.”

union station

“A smaller plan was introduced by architects Van Brunt & Howe, and accepted in 1885. Construction of the station began in 1890. It was built by Northern Pacific Terminal Company at a cost of $300,000, and opened on February 14, 1896. The signature piece of the structure is the 150 ft. tall Romanesque clock tower. The “Go By Train” neon sign was added to it after World War II.
The station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.” (Wiki)

Today, I was at Union Station picking up my wife, arriving back from Seattle. I took the camera in to take a few images. I usually don’t take random, everyday shots, but decided what the heck.

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