Architecture

Arts & Culture
7:27 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Worth Preserving? 'Ugly' Concord Building At Center Of Debate Over Mid-Century Design

The former Department of Employment Security Building, located on South Main Street in Concord
Credit Courtesy photo

Located at 32-34 South Main Street, the former office of New Hampshire Employment Security has been called “the ugliest building in Concord.”

It is empty and blighted. It also melds two distinctly different styles; a 1927 home made of brick juts from the back of a 1958, Mad Men-era office building framed with turquoise panels of porcelain-enameled steel. 

Those turquoise panels, in particular, look dated to many people. Mid-20th century architecture is not in vogue in New Hampshire, although it is in many cities outside of New England.

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Word of Mouth
2:41 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

6.18.14: Elevators, Life Once Removed & Abolishing 'Happy Birthday'

Credit Michael Salerno via flickr Creative Commons

Going up? Today on Word of Mouth, we're lifting you to new cultural heights with a look into the history of two architectural advancements in history - the elevator and escalator. We'll hold the door for you when we stop on a story about a family of mannequins. Last stop, a discussion about why we should all stop singing that pervasive birthday song.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.

The full show

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Word of Mouth
11:25 am
Mon March 24, 2014

3.24.14: Democracy of Germs, Permafrost Virus, Darth Vader Courthouse & Josh Ritter

Credit Penn State, Kat Masback & Ricky Brigante via flickr Creative Commons and Josh Ritter

Today on Word of Mouth we're exploring the macro influences of the micro world. Then 99 Percent Invisible brings us a story about a menacing courthouse. (Perhaps a phantom menacing courthouse?) Finally, a conversation with Josh Ritter, whose album The Beast in its Tracks was recently released.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:12 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

3.6.14: Daylight Saving Time, Marissa Nadler, Revolving Doors, Wood & Animal Tracking

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth wishes you a happy Daylight Saving Time! (Can you believe it's this Sunday already?) But why exactly does the practice of changing our clocks even exist? We explore the ins and outs of Daylight Saving (without the extra "s") with a guest who wrote the book on it. Then Zach Nugent talks with Marissa Nadler whose most recent album was released in early February. We take an architectural turn with a look at the invention of revolving doors followed by a hot architectural commodity: wood. Finally, producers Logan Shannon and Sam Evans-Brown bring us a story about a wild winter activity. No, not skiing or boarding, but animal tracking.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.!

3.6.14: Daylight Saving Time, Marissa Nadler, Revolving Doors, Wood & Animal Tracking

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Arts & Culture
7:00 am
Sun October 27, 2013

The Challenges And Rewards Of Saving N.H.'s Old Grange Halls

Meriden Grange in Plainfield is one of two such halls highlighted on this year's "Seven to Save" list.
N.H. Preservation Alliance

When you hear the phrase "historic preservation," images of Victorian mansions, federalist homes, and gothic revival churches might come to mind.  And those styles are all important parts of the state's architectural landscape.  But in rural areas, a smaller, simpler type of building is just as important to preservation advocates: grange halls.  

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Word of Mouth
11:14 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Greenwashing The New York City Skyline

The Bank of America Tower in mid-town Manhattan.
Credit Wall Gobetz via flickr Creative Commons

Some big players turned out for the Bank of America tower ribbon cutting ceremony in 2010. Al Gore was there. His investment management company is a tenant of the 55-story building advertised as the most sustainable building in the country. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was there too. Along with developer Douglas Durst, whose company got almost $950,000 in incentives from a state agency for the structure’s innovative, energy saving design. The B.O.A. tower received a platinum LEED rating – the highest score for building energy and efficiency.

New York-based journalist Sam Roudman found data published last fall by the city showing that the B.O.A. tower uses more energy and produces more greenhouse gases than some of the city’s historic buildings. The discrepancy between green ideals and reality raises new questions for more than fifty-thousand LEED certified buildings in the U.S.. Sam’s article “Bank of America’s Toxic Tower” is in the New Republic.

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Arts & Culture
7:15 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Listening For The Elusive Sound Of Ice Chimes

Dartmouth students take a quick look a Ice Chimes on their way to class
Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

This year, the Dartmouth College campus has become temporary home for a mixed-media menagerie called Ice Chimes.  And the 20-foot tall pagoda-like structure outside the Life Sciences building gets a lot of curious stares from students.

Ice Chimes is supposed to be interactive.  But it isn’t exactly intuitive.

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Word of Mouth
9:17 am
Tue December 4, 2012

The End of the Alpine Lodge?

The lodge at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Credit Matthew B. Brown

In winter sports communities out west, ski lodges are shedding their antlers for a more contemporary decor. But does the cocoa taste as sweet? And will New England ever give up its slopeside a-frame aesthetic?

Will contemporary ski architecture snowball in New England?

Word of Mouth
11:34 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Designed for Recovery

Governor Patrick helps out at the ribbon cutting at the new Worcester Recovery Center
Deval Patrick's Photostream via Flickr

Treatment of the mentally ill has come a long way from the dark, locked wards of asylums now shuttered and crumbling in several New England towns. We now know much more about the brain, psychopharmacology and the importance of community for people suffering with profound mental conditions.

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Word of Mouth
10:15 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Architectural Forensics

Photo Credit J.Scaper, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Smartphones make it relatively easy to record and monitor suspected law-breaking in real time, but what about crimes in the pre-smartphone era? Word of mouth producer Rebecca Lavoie tagged along with an unusual gumshoe…one who scours old buildings for evidence of architectural crimes.   

 

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Word of Mouth
2:00 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Pyongyang: The Tourist's Guide You'll Never Use

Photo courtesy of Philipp Meuser of Dom Publishers

The well-publicized (albeit failed) launch of a satellite by North Korea last month sent a signal to the international community: Kim Jong-un is carrying on in the brinksman-like tradition of his father Kim Jong-il. Between them, they’ve built and maintained what is arguably the most isolated country on the planet – the Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea or DPNK. Most of us will never visit the country, or see the grand monuments or stadia of its capital, Pyongyang.

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Architecture
3:15 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Chinese Architect Wang Shu Wins The Pritzker Prize

Wang Shu's design for the Ningbo History Museum came to him at 3 in the morning. He realized his job was to show people what their city used to look like, and the design recalls an ancient Chinese fortress.
Lv Hengzhong

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:00 am

For the first time, the Pritzker Architecture Prize has been awarded to an architect based in China. Wang Shu, 49, is interested in preservation, working slowly and tradition — ideals that sometimes seem forgotten in today's booming China. Wang says in the 1990s he had to get away from China's architectural "system" of demolition, megastructures and get-rich-quick — so he spent the decade working with common craftspeople building simple constructions.

"I go out of system," Wang says, "Because, finally I think, this system is too strong."

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NH News
4:42 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

Uncovering the Stories Behind Manchester's Historic Buildings

herzogbr Flickr/Creative Commons

Yesterday we talked to the poet laureate of Rochester, who’s been preserving the voices of people who worked at city’s giant factory buildings.

Today we talk with a resident of Manchester who’s preserving the history of the buildings themselves.