Exploring Possibilities
Generally speaking, the folks who visit botanical gardens fall into two categories. The first includes local residents who can best be described as garden enthusiasts - the sort who visit monthly, weekly or even daily to follow the lifecycles of favorite trees, shrubs and plants and can spend countless hours observing the diurnal operations of flowers or of the birds who come and go as a year progresses. The second group, generally larger and often much larger, includes local residents who stop by the gardens only when
2016/10.2, October 19 — Tile Detailing, Pond Themes, Storied Fountains and more
Artful Restoration
Back in 1949, a prominent couple living in Litchfield County, Conn., decided they wanted to build a contemporary-style home that would stand out among the classically styled residences that marked the area.  After conducting extensive research, they retained the renowned Bauhaus architect and Modernist artist Marcel Breuer. The home Breuer eventually designed for Leslie and Rufus Stillman pays testimony to the stark beauty of minimalism:  The daring, box-shaped, two-level structure featured an array of contemporary elements and appointments, not least of which is a large, rectilinear swimming pool accessed by a dramatic, cantilevered staircase from the home’s upper level.  (Things worked out so well here, by the way, that this was just the first of three Breuer homes commissioned by the Stillmans.) The couple avidly collected modern art, so the home became a showplace for a number of original pieces by several of the mid-century period’s greatest artists, including Alexander Calder.  Although perhaps best remembered today for inventing the mobile, Calder was asked in this case to paint an original mural on a large block wall set above the deep end of the pool.  The results were, in a word, spectacular. But let’s fast-forward 60 years:  By 2010, the Stillman House was in need of restoration, and even the vivid Calder mural had cracked and eroded from exposure to the elements.  Happily, this proved a turning point, as the property’s new owners announced their intention to