Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Bringing the Outside In

Let’s compare the photo above from the Conway Public Library’s Henney History Room collection with a modern photo of the same building below. 

Information about the historic photo can be found at this link. The building is now the home of the North Conway Music Center. The lower photo was taken earlier today from the entrance drive of the Fox Ridge Resort with its elegant lamps and granite supports.

The window and door patterns are basically the same. The dormers are gone and some gingerbread brackets have been added. The two chimneys of large fireplaces have been replaced with a single wood stove type chimney. This was a common practice when updating to new technology and is well explained in books we have in the history room.  

What is now Route 16 is seen as a dirt road in the first photo is now curbed with granite and paved with asphalt. Now let’s take a closer look at the historic photo.

If you look closely at the tree near the corner of the porch you will notice that the porch was actually built around the tree.  You can also see a man leaning against a "rustic" chair built from bent branches with the bark still on it. (click on the images to enlarge them).

A more modern rustic bench can be seen today along the path from the music center to the Sea Dog Brewing Company nearby.

The decorative faux "wishing well" has a sign reading "Bringing The Outdoors In."

The Henney History Room collection has many examples of this rustic aesthetic as seen in architecture, furniture and decorative arts. Over the years there have been a number of popular ways of "connecting with nature."

In fact this rustic taste actually dates back to ancient Roman times.

In future blogs we will explore more examples of bringing the outside in.

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