Andrew is an architect, so naturally, when we travel we tend to make a lot of pit stops at various places of architectural interest. A couple springs ago, we spent a long weekend in Asheville and spent a day at The Biltmore Estate. Last September, when we were driving back to Baltimore after spending a week in Vermont, Andrew made it his mission to make a pit stop at another Vanderbilt home. We ended up making it a two for one and stopped at FDR's house as well, but I thought I'd share a few photos from the Vanderbilt Mansion today.
Sometimes, it's sort of fun to think back to a time when these immense houses were built, imagine strolling through their gardens as if they were your own, and wondering what lavish and elaborate parties had been hosted there. It's an entirely different time and lifestyle that makes one think of The Great Gatsby. And while the mansion in Hyde Park is only a fraction in size and scale to that of The Biltmore, it's still sort of fun to transport yourself to that era.
Have you been to any of the Vanderbilt properties? I just imagined sitting in these gardens with a book or sketchbook all day.
This past weekend, we were able to take in a day long event called Doors Open Baltimore in which the public could explore many historic buildings throughout the city. This was the first year for the event, and seeing that Andrew is an architect, it was an obvious addition to our weekend happenings. While there were just too many buildings for us to take in, we picked a few throughout the city that we thought would be interesting.
My favorites were the Crown Industrial Park in Greektown and the Pearle Museum near City Hall. While Crown has been housing artist studios for about 40 years, they recently began to renovate one of their warehouses to bring it up to slightly more modern standards (read drywall, heat, and sprinkler systems). I had no clue that these studios existed until Saturday-- in fact, I thought the warehouses were abandoned. As you can imagine, I instantly had dreams of taking over one of these beautiful spaces for myself.
The image above is a look at one of their new studios in progress. I mean, seriously! Look at that beautiful potential!
The Peale Museum is rich in history, but no longer in use. It once housed a collection in the early 1800s, which now resides at the Maryland Historic Society. However, I've heard that there is a nonprofit architectural group that is hoping to restore it and use it for a museum once again. I enjoyed taking photographs here because it felt as though everything had stopped in time. Remnants of its use in the 90s as a conference center were still there-- fans, chairs, tables and all.
I hope that there is a similar event as Doors Open Baltimore next year. It would be fantastic to have an architectural tour of this kind on a yearly basis. It's incredible to learn about the history of your city through their buildings and understand a little bit more about Baltimore's past.
Does your city host an architectural tour? Have you ever been able to explore historic buildings in your city?
A few weekends ago, Andrew and I planned a four day weekend mini road trip to Asheville, North Carolina. Our basic plan for the trip was to enjoy the vast number of craft breweries in the area, eat amazing food, and take a day trip to the Biltmore Estate. Beer, food, and architecture tend to be our general itinerary for most places we travel to or explore, and Asheville didn't disappoint in any of those departments. In fact, there were so many places that we didn't get to try, beer and food-wise, that we hope to make another visit sometime in the future.
As an architect, Andrew always wants to take in the famous or historic buildings that are nearby, so the Biltmore was an obvious no-brainer. If you ever plan to visit, you will need at least a day to take in the gardens, go on the house tour, and enjoy the winery afterward. The estate is absolutely huge, which we knew going into it, but we still hadn't realized just how huge until we arrived.
While it ended up being a rather overcast and gray day, we still enjoyed our time strolling about the estate. The spring flowers were in bloom and were just gorgeous. Perhaps my favorite part about the entire estate were the many greenhouses that you could wander through. I could have spent hours amongst all of the lush plants and flowers had Andrew not nudged me along to the next thing.
Have you taken any quick road trips lately? Have you had the chance to visit the Biltmore?
After a couple weeks of adventure elsewhere in Australia, we made our way back to Sydney for one more day. Our last night there, we took a night walk after dinner to take a few spectacular night shots. Day and night, this structure is impressive and paired with the Harbour Bridge, the two are a true icon of the city.
While the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are those natural icons we often think of when the name Australia comes to conversation, there are also plenty of other amazing things happening in this city. I'll be sure to share a few more photos from our time in Sydney before I move on to the red desert.