A One Man Fiasco

Posted: June 12, 2014 in Fridge Note, It's not the heat, it's the humanity, Shovels

I know I just posted that weird ode to ghey marriage in Cowtown, but I seem to be on a roll, so it’s time for some pimping of various kinds.  Remember the First Rule of Blogging:  It’s my blog and my rules and you’re not the boss of me!  And here are the Figgs doing the title song:

Yeah, I am at the manic point in the cycle, most likely because we saw Elvis Costello play solo at one of our gorgeous historic music venues last night, and after a full day of productive meetings, and with the aid of a couple of Kooba Zombres we are feeling fine.  Yeah, I wrote it up, but as a music post and mere WEEKS before the Big Gig, I posted it at my other crappy blog, so if you want to see what I thunk,  go over there now and read and comment.  DO IT!   I am pretty sure I’ve used that for a post title before, but let it go, let it go…

New Wussy video.  Great stuff, and I am looking forward to them swinging through Milwaukee so they can take my money.  I mean, more than the money I’ve already spent on their recordings.  Really good stuff:


Been a while since I’ve done a professional-ego-pimp, so first off, I received a Mayor’s Design Award for the King Drive project – I think I may have mentioned the award previously, but the award ceremony was a couple of weeks ago and the most impressive part was the level of work of our fellow recipients.  Fuck, there’s a lot of talented people in this town.  And it feels fucking awesome to be part of that group.  Maybe someday I will find a way to monetize recognition.

As most architects do, I am willing to take on projects that I am not especially thrilled about, as long as the check clears and I am currently working on a pretty standard suburban commercial strip development: But the client and I are still working within that environment and looking to raise the fucking bar from over-parked Dryvit boxes.

Hunnert plan-model

The city planner likes it, calling it ‘bold’.  He is more tentative about the way we’ve fucked with parking and drive-through traffic patterns (and a neighboring crappy dryvit box are being fucknozzles about how trucks maneuver, limiting our available site planning space.

Here’s a recent photo of that whacky episode where a developer and I decided to add four stories to an existing one story building:


Isn’t that fucking loony? This photo was taken shortly before the siding contractor deployed a boom truck rig to install balcony framing, and during a windy Friday afternoon had the boom truck blown over onto the street, crushing a car or two and fortunately, amazingly not hurt anyone.  As a side note, I took that picture from an adjacent gas station; I have started planning my refillings so I can do them here and look at the building as well as get pictures.  Crane tragedies notwithstanding, finishes are starting and occupancies should start in fall.

see where that ugly yellow  sign is on the right?  We are working on a crazy-ass building for that site also…

But lately, the most sgnificant progress has been made on a multi-partner development in a nearby high-income suburb of Milwaukee, where we are only one part of a multi-block redevelopment that is increasing the density and again, looking to raise the bar.  The team has engaged a professional illustrator, and this is what we are moving forward through the approval process:


After way too many years of struggling to find projects that might pay, I have a couple of clients who are doing some thrilling work, and I feel like I am responding with the best work of my life. I am still unsure about whether I want to bring on staff, or continue playing the solo auteur role; but at least I don’t have to scrounge couch change to keep the phones on anymore.  Mostly.

In some recent conversations with a member of the City Planning Department (with whom I shared some architectural classes), I remarked that I am starting to see a distinctive style start to emerge in the work I am doing, as diverse as it it.  After musing on this some time, I am starting to feel a bit concerned about this; I don’t want to resort to cliches and habit. On the other hand, I have enough of a track record to know what works.   I have always wanted to be responsive to the each project in ways that are specific to its site and program.  Am I becoming a hack?  It worries me.


  1. I like me some Wussy, but Corona? C’mon!

    Also, too: good jerb, as usual on all your real life grownup stuff. Who would’ve guessed that zombies would make such good architects?

  2. OBS says:

    In other not-at-all-related news: I fixed a toilet today. If my career as programmer or brewer don’t pan out, I guess I have that going for me.

    Alternately, shorter me: poop!

  3. fish says:

    Rothko had a distinctive style. WHAT A HACK!!!

  4. herr doktor bimler says:

    IIRC, “fiasco” is Italian for “a very small bottle”, which is the one thing I do not associate with the Zombie household.

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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