2019/9.2, September 18 — Fountain Maneuvers, Double-Duty Waterfeatures, Trip Planning and more
Renovation Time
By Jim McCloskey The weather has taken a turn toward heat in the time since I wrote my last blog:  It's been in the 90s several times recently, and it reminds me of an even hotter stretch early in May 1989, when we moved into our current house and settled in as a family with our first swimming pool. When we arrived with our
Another Look
Before I walk away from my little series of blogs on big transitions, I want to call attention to renovations, which I consider to be both a generational phenomenon as well as the greatest potential source of projects and market growth through the next
2015/3.1, March 4 — Hot Water Comforts, Digital Dynamics, Efficient Lighting and more
The Other Orlando Attraction
The first time I saw it, the water of the Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain had been turned off for servicing.  In that inert condition and with tiny figures creeping over its greenish surface, it looked to me as though a squat flying saucer had dropped in to slurp up water from Lake
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
Reclaiming Olympic Gold
It may have been in the heart of the depression, but 1932 was a good year for American swimmers:  The Olympic Games in Los Angeles saw Clarence "Buster" Crabbe win gold in the 400-meter freestyle in the then-world-record time of 4:48.2 and Helene Madison win gold medals in both the 100- and 400-meter freestyle events.  U.S. swimmers claimed nine medals in all, in many cases besting swimmers from the powerful and heavily favored Japanese team.   The competition was held in an eight lane, 50-meter pool positioned quite literally in the shadow of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  Just as the names and records of those swimmers have faded across 70-plus years, so too had the swimming pool and its companion recreation pool.  Although they had remained in near-continuous use for generations, the old vessels were supplanted when a modern swimming pool complex opened on the nearby campus of the University of Southern California in anticipation of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympiad. Early in 2003, we at Rowley International of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., were asked to renovate the old facility's two swimming pools.  The City of Los Angeles, along with support from the Amateur Athletic Federation (AAF), set a goal that didn't involve