Friday, March 25, 2011

This is a Post About a Brilliant Idea, a Designer, a Builder, an Artist, and an Elevator

Art comes in many forms: 


In the vibrant colors of a stained glass window by our friend Fran, 


and in the form of a well-made structure of a more practical nature. The tall structure in the center of the picture is an elevator, designed by Fran's husband, Bud, built by my  husband, and with Fran's art adding enchantment to the finished product.

As you can see there are many stairs leading up to Bud and Fran's front door. And as we get older our knees start to creak and it gets painful to negotiate stairs like these every day. So what is one to do? Well, Bud decided to build an elevator. It had to sit in the right spot, it had to fit in with the house, and of course, it needed gazillion approvals by the city. All this took a long time, but Bud was not to be deterred. Once all the paperwork and approvals were in place, the work could begin and Bud hired my husband's company to build the structure that would house the elevator.


This is a picture of the work in progress back in 2009.  A structure like this needs to be perfect in ways I can only vaguely comprehend and won't go into here. Obviously, all the mechanical parts to be installed by the elevator company and the elevator itself have to fit in there, be quiet, and so on. And there was a concrete deck at the top of the stairs to be drilled through and the placement of several doors to be considered. 


I believe it was a job where inches mattered. And, of course, the structure had to look as if it had been there as long as the house and it couldn't be disturbing to the neighbors.

In the end the idea, the design, the building, and the art all came together here. 


I rode the elevator for the first time last week when we were in Los Angeles. It was quiet and beautiful inside and when you reached the top, you stepped out into this lobby. 


Fran told me she made the stained glass window for their beach house and had it moved to this perfect place.  My husband built the rest of the entrance and installed the floor. Fran's gorgeous window was a finishing touch I bet my husband never got to his work before. What a pleasure it was to step out into this beautiful place. I can imagine it must make Fran and Bud  feel really good to be greeted by such beauty every time they come home. 


Upstairs Fran showed me her art and I took some pictures.


I was attracted to the bright colors of these paintings, but there was so much more to see. I guess I was a bit shy about wandering around taking photos the whole time, but I wish I had taken more. Fran had a whole series of small, delicate pen & ink drawings of Victorian houses that were just wonderful. I love things like that and now I can't share them, but they are a part of my memory.


 I always liked old people's hands and these were beautiful.


And why not end at the beginning with this beautiful window. A great visit with two wonderful people who have been so helpful and kind to us. It was a pleasure to see your work Fran. And the ride in your elevator, Bud, was the highlight of my day in Los Angeles. Thank you both.

32 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea! An elevator!!
    Art is so different every where you look. Glad it isn't all the same:)

    Looks like a beautiful home.

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  2. This was all very skillfully done start to finish and the stained glass is such a gorgeous and fitting element to add for light and beautiful at the end of the elevator ride.

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  3. The title of your post really intrigued me and once I got into it, it was quite obvious. The design is brilliant and what a perfect job your hubby did. I like her art work very much. I expecially like the hands of the old person. I liked old peple's portraits long before I WAS old. Wish you had taken the Victorian house pictures. My favorite house.
    A very appealing post.
    Manzi

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  4. The specs and precision of that project, the beauty of the work well done plus details of beauty... I am overwhelmed and speechless... well, almost.

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  5. The stained glass window really touched my heartstrings! I have always loved stained glass windows and doors! Well done on your hubby for that beautifully designed elevator!

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  6. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your lovely comments about our work!!! We are very grateful for having your wonderful husband in our lives--our house wouldn't be what it is without him. I am so glad you came up to visit with him. It was wonderful to see you again. I feel like I have a new "old friend".

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  7. Like the shadow formed by the stained glass, and like that one with the old hand and the stick.

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  8. Thanks for the tour of wonderful art works and the elevator should be considered another work of art. Must be a joy to have.

    Re your email to me:
    The elevation given on the internet for our town (3000+) must be lower than where we are located. I wish there was a way to find our true elevation. The amount of snow we got was more for an elevation of 4500 feet.

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  9. Fran is talented indeed - one only gets an idea of the size of the stained glass window in the photo taken from the outside ...

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  10. What a beautiful home! So many older couples will sell and move into something all on one level. The elevator is an intriguing solution! Thank you for posting the artwork. I love the window, and all of it!

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  11. Fantastic work, both by your friend and your husband! That floor is something, isn't it? And the stained glass window...wow!

    xoxo

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  12. From the outside, I would never have known that was an elevator. Fabulous idea! Fabulous work! And thank you for sharing Fran's art work. Your entire post was a treasure. Thank you, Inger! And have a great weekend!

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  13. So many talents coming together to form a perfect and useful structure. I'm sure you are very proud of your hubby. He did a great job -- and Fran's art was the finishing touch. :)

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  14. Wow. Very neat. Gorgeous window and artwork by your friend. And I envy you having such a handy and talented husband. :)

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  15. That is so cool and gorgeous! Takes a skilled architect to pull that off! I love the glass, and the other artwork was so over the top. I'm sure you loved your visit there!

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  16. WOW! That is beautiful and a great idea too!
    Have a nice weekend!
    xxoo
    Deborah

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  17. Hi, Inger!

    Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your husband that Gerry had also refused to get the pneumonia shot. He's extremely sorry now!

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  18. The elevator looks like part of the architecture. And the stained glass window is beautiful.

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  19. Beautiful stained glass - and artwork. Fran is indeed a talented lady.
    And great job by the guys on the elevator too!

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  20. what a lovely area to be welcomed to when those elevator doors open!

    does the window face the driveway? i'm not sure i'm visualizing where it would be looking at the front of the house.

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  21. It was fun to see the elevator I've heard so much about through the years. He did a wonderful job building the housing and Fran did a wonderful job decorating it. Thanks for sharing, so glad you finally got to see and ride in the finished product!

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  22. love the stain glass window...so pretty

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  23. Interesting to see this elevator and what a great idea. Love the artwork.

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  24. The artwork-beautiful! I love the elevator. What a great idea... So interesting.

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  25. Stunning stain glass. I love stained glass art & also love the hands. Thanks for sharing!
    Katie

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  26. Loved the stained glass, I have done some of that myself, and thanks for sharing the art with the hands.

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  27. What a marvelous thing! It fits in with the house so well that, when I started reading your entry, I was frantically searching for what you were talking about. The artwork is beautiful, but the elevator has a beauty too, in its usefulness.

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  28. As you all know by now my posts are all over the place. I was so inspired by this elevator, the stained glass window, and Fran's art that I decided to write about it. I heard so much about the elevator from my husband and saw it early on in the construction phase. I'm glad you liked the post and also that I finally got to ride in the elevator. Thanks for commenting!

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  29. I too, had to really look twice, in the beginning, to figure out where it was. What a great idea, and good that he didn't give up on it in spite of all the paperwork.

    The stained glass window is simply gorgeous.

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  30. Even though I may be a little biased, both the art of my mother and of Errol are beautiful. I feel very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful (and extended) family with the Fischer's and the Wiltz's!

    Blake

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  31. It turned out brilliantly. Kudos to everyone for their part in it. I think the elevator looks like it has always been part of the house. The artwork is fabulous and such a nice way to greet the eyes when one arrives or departs.

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  32. That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! Wonderful.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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