Brutalism at IKEA

I’m a preservationist, but I live in a small condo, in a new building in Vermont. This sounds opposite of a what a preservationist would choose, right? Well, sort of. While the building was constructed in 2014, it was constructed on a parking lot in downtown Burlington. I can walk everywhere and choose to use the car as minimally as possible, embracing an urban lifestyle and shopping local when feasible. Because my condo is small, I have come to embrace IKEA design. It’s minimal, modern, streamlined, and perfect for small space living. I can spot an IKEA piece from across a room or from a glimpse at a photograph and know what is worth buying and what isn’t. Anyone with me?

Recently, I visited IKEA New Haven (CT). I’ve blogged about this IKEA before. It’s the one that sits next to the (now IKEA owned) former Pirelli Tire Building, a 1968 building designed by Marcel Breuer in the Brutalist style. IKEA demolished the two-story wing, but the main block remains. Not the best preservation story.

During my recent visit, I peaked in the windows of the building. It’s still empty. However, news reports say that IKEA is considering rehabilitating the building into a hotel. It’s just a rumor, it seems, but it sounds promising, and maybe would serve as (belated) mitigation for the adverse effects to the building. It would make IKEA a destination, for sure. Ha.

img_2957

View from the IKEA cafeteria. 

img_2955

Reflected in IKEA. 

img_2951

Exterior details. 

img_2952

Looking up.

img_2950

Peeking inside the bottom floor of the Pirelli Tire building.

img_2960

Sitting in the IKEA cafeteria, you can gaze upon the Brutalist architecture. 

What do you think? Do you appreciate Brutalism more as time goes on? Do you love IKEA or steer clear? And where do you live? Urban? Suburban? Rural? New? Historic?

Window shopping in Burlington at Common Deer, a local favorite. #presinpink #commondeer #shoplocal #churchstreetmarketplace #btv #seasonofgiving #thisisvt

Too grand a station for a mere iPhone 5s capture. Grand Central Station, NYC. #presinpink

Brookside Cemetery, Chester

‘Tis the season for cemeteries, foliage, and foggy days. Brookside Cemetery sits in the center of Chester, a picture perfect town in southern Vermont. It is a historic, intact, linear later 18th century to early 20th century Vermont village. The cemetery is located between the Chester Historical Society (the ca. 1881 brick schoolhouse) and the 1835 Baptist Church. Across the street is the town green and on the other side of the green is a beautiful, intact row of a historic buildings. Brookside Cemetery has been in use since the 18th century; the earliest headstone dates to 1770. In New England tradition, the burials face east and the stone lettering faces west. Even on a gloomy fall day, it’s peaceful. Take a look!

img_2771

Looking to the schoolhouse and the cemetery.

img_2779

View to the Chester Historical Society. 

img_2790

Headstones.

img_2785

img_2777

The main entrance to the cemetery; this fence dates to 1867.

img_2776

The 1850 Public Tomb was constructed of granite block cut in nearby Gassetts, VT and transported by train to Chester Depot.

img_2774

The 1830 Hearse House is a museum as of 2017.

img_2780

The main entrance road is lined with cedar trees. The road was laid down and the trees were planted in 1867, inspired by the Mount Auburn (MA) Cemetery and the rural garden cemetery movement.

 

Interested in learning more about Chester?

  • Read more about Chester’s Brookside Cemetery here.
  • Read the Chester Village Historic District National Register nomination here.

 

Preservation Pop Quiz: date these bridge railings! (Unless you follow my other account and already know the answer! 😉) #presinpink #savingplaces #thisplacematters #ludlowvt #transportation #bridgerailings #historicpreservation #onthejob

Happy Halloween from Chester, Vermont’s Public Tomb, Cemetery, Hearse House & canon. #presinpink