The web site for all professionals and consumers who've made or want to make water a part of their lives

0By Jim McCloskey

Back in February, I devoted a Travelogue to my efforts to help a designer acquaintance of mine decide how to spend a watershape-related vacation with her family – and the result, she reports, was a great deal of fun.

This made me feel good, of course. If you’ll recall, she had

Historic restorations are typically difficult work, but as Rick Randazzo discovered 40 feet below the streets of New York, sometimes it can be fascinating, irritating and gratifying as well.
Historic restorations are typically difficult work, but as Rick Randazzo discovered 40 feet below the streets of New York, sometimes it can be fascinating, irritating and gratifying as well.
By Rick Randazzo

In our usual run of business as installers of stone and tile in and around New York City, we can get involved in projects that take years to complete and involve us in applying tens of thousands of square feet of material within or onto a single high-rise building. In some of these projects, a pool or spa comes as part of the package, but they tend to be such small parts of the overall picture that it’s fairly tough to focus on them.

This was not the case, however, in our work on the renovation of the swimming pool and spa in the historic Woolworth Building in lower Manhattan. When it opened in 1913, this was the tallest skyscraper on the city’s skyline and held that distinction for 17 years. For a time, it was the

0By Jim McCloskey

Sad to say, I will not be able to see this exhibition for myself. But if you live within striking distance of the New York Botanical Garden or have any plans to be anywhere near New York City between now and September 29, please do not fail to visit NYBG while “Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx” is up and running.

This amazing event has

0By Jim McCloskey

As you’ve probably noticed by now, I’m a big fan of Lawrence Halprin’s work. I’ve probably covered a half-dozen of his projects in Travelogues through the past eight years, and I can easily see myself covering a half-dozen more in installments to come.

Halprin is perhaps best known for the muscular, rough-hewn stonework that highlights not only the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C., but also the Ira Keller Fountain in Portland, Ore. Yet his output also featured elegance and a sense of

0By Jim McCloskey

I was guided to this place on one of my numerous visits to Washington, D.C., in the early 1990s. I’d met a friend for lunch in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, and afterwards she recommended a walk over to nearby Meridian Hill Park to see some cool architecture and a nice waterfeature.

She was partly correct: The architecture was indeed cool, but the waterfeature

0By Jim McCloskey

When I was a kid, we’d take occasional family car trips to places all over southern California to see the sights. One of my dad’s favorite destinations was San Diego, and what I remember most about those drives was the fact that now-overbuilt Orange County was still mostly vast beanfields all along

0By Jim McCloskey

I must start by letting you know that I have yet to see this watershape personally. Even so, it is so extraordinarily odd and conceptually brilliant that I couldn’t resist writing it up and suggesting we all should add it to our lists of things we need to see while we still can.

Situated off an intersection in the heart of

By Jim McCloskey

I chatted a couple weeks back with a designer acquaintance who wanted my advice on the best U.S. city to visit if her goal was seeing a bunch of great watershapes. She was starting to plan a summer trip for her family, she said, and wanted to spend a day or two taking in some great fountains and waterfeatures while her spouse ran around amusement parks and other active attractions with their two young sons.

It was a tougher question than I figured it would be – a process that led me to compose this unusual

This amazing structure sits just off the route toward a more prominent tourist attraction, notes Victoria Lautman in the last of her series of articles on India's stepwells. But as is true of so many of these marvels, Peena Mann ka Kund is more than worth a detour off a well-beaten path.



By Jim McCloskey

While I was editor at Pool & Spa News in 1990 or 9’91, I was invited to Portland, Ore., to make a presentation to a regional meeting of what was then the National Spa & Pool Institute about what I’d experienced in becoming a pool owner.

I had been with the magazine since 1987, and what had intrigued a northwestern friend of mine on NSPI’s board was the fact that my family had moved houses in 1989 and had taken possession of a nice pool and spa in the process. (More important to me was the fact that we needed more space to accommodate our second

0India's ancient stepwells were about much more than providing their thirsty communities with water.  As Victoria Lautman discusses in the second of three articles on these structures, facilities including Rani ki Vav also served both men and women as multi-purpose gathering spots.



By Jim McCloskey

A pre-holiday visit with our grandchildren and their parents earlier this month gave me the opportunity to return to one of my favorite Seattle-area attractions: The Bellevue Botanical Garden. Covering 53 acres with long, easy trails and generous, well-tended plant displays, the facility also includes expressive watershapes in a variety of forms.

I took an immediate

India's stepwells are truly amazing, but relatively few people know anything about them.  Victoria Lautman wants to change all that, reporting on their long history in a book -- and in a series for WaterShapes on three of the country's most wondrous architectural and cultural treasures.



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