R.I.P. SNOWFLAKE MOTEL ...
JANUARY 30, 2006 10:09 PM

With the news of so many businesses closing, specifically things that have had existed 'as long as I can remember,' I'm getting all nostalgic.

Emma, who knows my infatuation with the Snowflake Motel, snipped an article out of the Grand Rapids Press the other day. The article informed that the Snowflake Motel was to be destroyed after years of under-use.

The motel was located on the Red Arrow Highway, which was once a thriving corridor connecting W. Michigan with Chicago. As a kid, on trips to Indiana and Chicago, my dad would take this leg of ye olde Red Arrow Highway to catch a glimpse of the infamous, Wrightian building centered around a geodesic dome, as well as 'Papa Nose' used car dealership [more on this later].

The motel was build by William Wesley Peters who was married to Frank Lloyd Wright's step-daughter. Wright's step-daughter died young and Peters went on to marry the daughter of Josef Stalin.

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"JUDGE DOOM", JANE JACOBS, AND GRAND RAPIDS NOSTALGIA
JANUARY 24, 2006 8:26 PM

I have been learning the art of intalio print making. This includes, but is not limited to; drypoint, etching, aquatint.

One of the plates I have been working on is of Alfred P. Sloan Jr., quite possibly one of the persons most responsible for the United States being a nation of automobiles.


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Alfred P Sloan was the president of Genreal Motors (1923) and became chair of the board in 1937. Sloan was involved in the General Motors streetcar conspiracy, in which he along with Firestone and Standard Oil, were responsible for the derailing of virtually every streetcar system in the United States, and then forced cities/companies to buy/use busses to replace the trains.

Between the ages of about 7 and 11, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was my most watched movie. Little did I know that the content and inspiration for the movie would be associated with my interests today. Sloan was fictionalized in the character of "Judge Doom," and the movie was based on the General Motors streetcar conspiracy.

There cannot be a villain without a hero,right?

I have also been working on a drypoint of Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities.


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Jacobs strongly opposed Robert Moses and others, who sided with people such as Alfred P Sloan Jr. She has been an inspiration to many contemporary progressive urban planners, specifically planners interested in mending the destruction caused by the Urban Renewal movement of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

A classmate of mine, Joanna de Walle, has been working on a really great etching based on a postcard of the corner of Monroe Center and Division. She was nice enough to trade me one of my prints for this:


[click to enlarge]


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