Dr Renata Holod Lecture

Tonight I braved the cold (19 degrees) was able to attend a lecture by Dr. Renata Holod on “On Regimes of Lighting: Vision & Memory in the Great Mosque of Cordoba.” She was at the UMN for The 3rd Annual Carl Sheppard Memorial Lecture in Medieval Art History. It was a really interesting lecture on the Great Mosque and the use or lack there of light inside. I also ran into a few people that I have not seen in years, so it was really nice to see them. Here is the blurb on the event:

“Please join us on Thursday, November 13, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., 120 Andersen Library, for the 2014 Annual Carl Sheppard Memorial Lecture in Medieval Art History, this year presented by Renata Holod: “On Regimes of Lighting: vision & Memory in the Great Mosque of Cordoba”. Professor Holod is a professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania and the Near East Curator for PENN Museum.

Professor Holod will present her newest iteration in a series of studies on the interior of the Mosque of Cordoba. Utilizing digital tools for the recreation of lighting, she will suggest a fuller experience of the interior. She argues that further variation so lighting could be used to understand more fully the aesthetic impact intended by the designers of al-Hakam’s complex extension and addition of the mid-10th century CE. Only by recreating regimes of lighting in interiors can one begin to gauge aspects of historical and cultural experience in such spaces of memory.

This event is presented by the Center for Medieval Studies and co-sponsored by the James Ford Bell Library. It is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.”


Tour of Temple Israel

This evening I was very fortunate to be able to have a tour and attend services at Temple Israel in Minneapolis. My friend architectural historian Marilyn attends Temple Israel, so she invited me to visit and after the services were over she gave me a tour of the building. I have never been inside a synagogue before, so I was very excited to visit.

If you have never been there, Temple Israel is a beautiful building built in the 1920s. They recently renovated the building and it’s an incredible space filled with light and an openness you do not expect when looking at the building from the outside. One can easily see in the architecture the influences of many different cultures from the holy land. I was able to meet Rabbi Zimmerman (a woman who wears these incredible high heels) and a few other members of the congregation. Everyone was very nice and they let me take photos of the building after the services were over.

Trip to the Ramsey County Historical Society

Yesterday I went to the Ramsey County Historical Society in St. Paul, to try and finish up a little research I have been doing on Minnesota synagogues (yes, first mosques and now synagogues. Minnesota is a culturally diverse place!). The RCHS is located in the Landmark Center (a beautiful old building and its on the National Register of Historic Places) and “is a non-circulating collection documenting the history of Ramsey County and St. Paul. The library archives contain books, periodicals, city directories, maps, photographs, personal papers, business and organization records, architectural information and materials on clubs, schools, and churches” http://www.rchs.com/RCHSinfo.htm. I just saw a few items from their collection, but they are pretty cool and the people were really nice and helpful.

Christ Church Lutheran tour

Tonight MNSAH symposium participants and I went on a tour of the Christ Church Lutheran, which is located in Minneapolis. Its a beautiful building designed by Finnish-American architect Eliel Saarinen in 1949 and in 1962 his son Eero created the eduction wing (as well as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the TWA Terminal at the Kennedy Airport, Dulles Airport, etc.). The tour was arranged by Dr. Victoria Young (one of my instructors from St. Thomas and one of my MA paper committee members) and our tour was lead by the former MNSAH president Rolf Anderson, who also wrote the National Historic Landmark designation report. Rolf did a great job on the tour and knows so much about the church.

The tour started at 6pm, so all my photos are a bit dark, and Pastor Kristine Carlson even stopped by to welcome us. The Church is having a big celebration this weekend for its designation as a National Historic Landmark. The interesting thing about the Church is that both architects created everything for it, from the cross and candle sticks in the Church, to the 60s groovy furniture in the offices.

More photos can be found in my Flickr account (the photos to the right)

MN Chapter of the SAH Fourth Annual Student Symposium

The Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians Fourth Annual Student Symposium

September 26, 2009, 8:30a.m.-1:00p.m. Free and open to the public!

Location: Owens Science Hall (OWS) and O’Shaughnessy Science Hall (OSS), University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN (checkout the map if you are planning on attending, as these buildings are hard to find).

Parking available in adjacent lots.
For information on getting to campus and campus maps see:

A light breakfast will be served beginning at 8:30a.m. in the lobby of the

Session One (two concurrent sessions)
9:00a.m. – 11:00a.m.

New Readings of Modern Classics

The Double-Tongued Enchanter (Tyrone Guthrie and Ralph Rapson)
Martina Foss, Iowa State University

The Architecture of the “Ill-Tempered” Environment: Re-reading Banham for a Revised Theory of Environmental Control
Julia L. Sedlock, University of Illinois at Chicago

Fallingwater and Zen
Adam Childers, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Transforming Bankside: The Tate Gallery of Modern Art
Elizabeth Henderson, University of St. Thomas

Memorials and the City

Time, Space, and Memory: Chronotopic Views of Architectural Restoration in the Late Roman Empire
Andrew Ruff, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Bur Oaks, Bronze, and Boyhood: A Brief History of Cochran Park
Erin Lovell, University of Minnesota

Creating “A Work of Genius”: The Origins and Program of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Competition
Eva Quigley Timmons, University of St. Thomas

Session Two (two concurrent sessions)
11:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.

Fabrication and Consumption of Culture

Making History: Ethnicity, Locality and Business in an Italian Specialty Store
Caitlin T. Boyle, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The Invented Swiss Architecture of New Glarus, Wisconsin: A Case Study and Formal Analysis of the Glarnerladen Antique Store
Stefan Osdene, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Musée du Quai Branly: Adventures in Transparency
Kristine Elias, University of St. Thomas

Branding Our American Architectural Heritage: Weyerhaeuser’s Role in the 1920’s Housing Industry
Jillian DeCoursey, University of Minnesota

Architecture, Politics, and the City

Digging Deeper: Massimo Vignelli’s Subway Map and the Redesign of the New York Subway, 1968-1975
Emma Boast, University of Chicago

“All that Space”: Philip Johnson and the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
Alexander Kauffman, New York University

Masjid An-Nur: Building Meaning in a Minnesota Mosque
Melissa Aho, University of St. Thomas

Envisioning Detroit: Detroit’s Michigan Central Station and the Politics of Representation
Nate Millington, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Architectural Tour of the North Side

Today before work I went on an architectural walking tour of a few former synagogues on the North Side of Minneapolis. The tour was hosted by Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, the Minneapolis Department of Planning and Economic Development, and the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest. We looked at the Mikro Kodesh, Tifereth B’nai Jacob and Shaari Zedek synagogues and the former Jewish Sheltering Home. It was really interesting and it was a good day to walk around looking at architecture. I was a bit disappointed that we could not go inside any of the buildings, but the outsides of the synagogues were very interesting. The synagogues are currently being used as churches, as the older populations have moved into other neighborhoods.