Beale Street in Memphis

11 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Andreas Faessler/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Andreas Faessler/cc-by-sa-3.0

Beale Street is a street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street, a distance of approximately 1.8 miles (2.9 km). It is a significant location in the city’s history, as well as in the history of blues music. Today, the blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are major tourist attractions in Memphis. Festivals and outdoor concerts frequently bring large crowds to the street and its surrounding areas. Beale Street was created in 1841 by entrepreneur and developer Robertson Topp (1807–1876), who named it for a forgotten military hero. (The original name was Beale Avenue.) Its western end primarily housed shops of trade merchants, who traded goods with ships along the Mississippi River, while the eastern part developed as an affluent suburb. In the 1860s, many black traveling musicians began performing on Beale. The first of these to call Beale Street home were the Young Men’s Brass Band, who were formed by Sam Thomas in 1867.   read more…

Aloha Tower in Honolulu

2 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Gerald Watanabe/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Gerald Watanabe/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Aloha Tower is a retired lighthouse that is considered one of the landmarks of the state of Hawaii in the United States. Opened on September 11, 1926, at a then astronomical cost of $160,000, the Aloha Tower is located at Pier 9 of Honolulu Harbor. It has been, and continues to be, a guiding beacon welcoming vessels to the City and County of Honolulu (Oʻahu). Just as the Statue of Liberty greeted hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year to New York City, the Aloha Tower greeted hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Honolulu. At 10 stories and 184 feet (56 m) of height topped with 40 feet (12 m) of flag mast, for four decades the Aloha Tower was the tallest structure in Hawaii. It was built in the Hawaiian Gothic architectural style.   read more…

Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City

10 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

George Washington statue © flickr.com - Ken Lund/cc-by-sa-2.0

George Washington statue © flickr.com – Ken Lund/cc-by-sa-2.0

Federal Hall is a historic building at 26 Wall Street in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The name refers to two structures on the site: a Federal style building completed in 1703, and the current Greek Revival-style building completed in 1842. While only the first building was officially called “Federal Hall”, the current structure is operated by the National Park Service as a national memorial called the Federal Hall National Memorial. The current structure, one of the best surviving examples of Greek Revival architecture in New York City, was built as the U.S. Custom House for the Port of New York. Later it served as a sub-Treasury building. The current national memorial commemorates the historic events that occurred at the previous structure.   read more…

CBGB Bowery on the Bowery in Downtown Manhattan

18 November 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

CBGB club facade in 2005 © Adicarlo/cc-by-sa-3.0

CBGB club facade in 2005 © Adicarlo/cc-by-sa-3.0

CBGB was a New York City music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal in Manhattan‘s East Village. The club was previously a biker bar and before that was a dive bar. The letters CBGB were for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, Kristal’s original vision, yet CBGB soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and Talking Heads. From the early 1980s onward, CBGB was known for hardcore punk.   read more…

Mickey’s Diner in Saint Paul

9 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General

© Tenzin Dongag/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Tenzin Dongag/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mickey’s Diner is a classic diner in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. It has been in continuous operation at the same location since 1939. Designed to resemble a railroad dining car, the prefabricated building was constructed in 1937 by the Jerry O’Mahony Diner Company of Elizabeth, New Jersey, then shipped to Saint Paul by rail. Its unusual architecture made it a local landmark. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 for having local significance in the themes of architecture and commerce. It was nominated for being “a beloved, longstanding and unique social institution,” an unaltered example of railroad car-style diners, and one of the few surviving examples of its type in the American Midwest.   read more…

TWA Hotel at JFK Airport in Queens

1 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month, Hotels, New York City

Retired airliner is used as cocktail bar © Jag9889/cc-by-sa-4.0

Retired airliner is used as cocktail bar © Jag9889/cc-by-sa-4.0

TWA Hotel is a hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York City, that opened on May 15, 2019. It utilizes the headhouse of the TWA Flight Center airline terminal, designed in 1962 by the architect Eero Saarinen. The TWA Hotel project added two buildings on either side of the existing headhouse.   read more…

Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis

24 June 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© PaddyBriggs

© PaddyBriggs

Graceland is a mansion on a 13.8-acre (5.6 ha) estate in Memphis, Tennessee, once owned by the singer and actor Elvis Presley. His daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, has been the owner of Graceland since the passing of her father. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community, about 9 miles (14.5 km) from Downtown and less than four miles (6 km) north of the Mississippi border. It was opened to the public as a museum on June 7, 1982. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1991, and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006. Graceland is the second most-visited house in the U.S. after the White House, with over 650,000 visitors a year.   read more…

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

1 September 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month, Hotels

© flickr.com - Eli Duke/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Eli Duke/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Grand Hotel is a historic hotel and coastal resort on Mackinac Island in Michigan, a small island located at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac within Lake Huron between the state’s Upper and Lower peninsulas. Constructed in the late 19th century, the facility advertises itself as having the world’s largest veranda. The Grand Hotel is well known for a number of notable visitors, including five U.S. presidents Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, inventor Thomas Edison, and author Mark Twain. Grand Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 1957, the Grand Hotel was designated a State Historic Building. In 1972, the hotel was named to the National Register of Historic Places, and on June 29, 1989, the hotel was made a National Historic Landmark.   read more…

The RMS Queen Mary

1 July 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area, Hotels, Cruise Ships, Museums, Exhibitions, Yacht of the Month

© Jezzred/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Jezzred/cc-by-sa-3.0

RMS Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner that sailed primarily on the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line (known as Cunard-White Star Line when the vessel entered service). Built by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Queen Mary along with her sister ship, RMS Queen Elizabeth, were built as part of Cunard’s planned two-ship weekly express service between Southampton, Cherbourg and New York. The two ships were a British response to the superliners built by German and French companies in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Queen Mary was the flagship of the Cunard Line from May 1936 until October 1946 when she was replaced in that role by Queen Elizabeth.   read more…

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