About Ross Cann

http://a4arch.com

Posts by Ross Cann:

On the Installation of Insulation: “Storm Windows and Insulation Save Money”

On the Installation of Insulation: “Storm Windows and Insulation Save Money”

As the nighttime temperatures begin to fall, it is useful to remember that there are few investments in your home that are less visible, but more valuable, than insulation.  There have been some tremendous advances in the technology of insulation in the last decade and these improved products can keep your home cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and save you money throughout the year.  Another addition that can be made quickly and affordably is the addition of storm windows to a home.  This can help prevent water penetration and serve to cut heat loss from the windows almost as much as installing expensive new double glazed windows. More

The 2012 Architectural Symposium: “Trumbauer is Subject of Symposium”

The 2012 Architectural Symposium: “Trumbauer is Subject of Symposium”

There are many great architects who worked in Newport over its long and illustrious history. Richard Morris Hunt, Stanford White and Peter Harrison are all names that have become familiar to those that read the “Archi-Text” column regularly. A somewhat less familiar name, but an architect of national prominence who worked in Newport at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the early twentieth century is Horace Trumbauer.  His work included three of the great houses along Bellevue Avenue (The Elms, Clarendon Court and Miramar) and a major addition and renovations to a fourth mansion (Rough Point).  He also transformed a relatively modest Victorian-era cottage, Seaweed, into a much grander and classically inspired house.  It is this architect who has been selected to be the topic for this year’s Architectural Symposium, scheduled for Saturday May 5th at the Newport Casino. More

A Second Gilded Age for Beechwood?

A Second Gilded Age for Beechwood?

As most Newporters are well aware, the great mansions along Bellevue Avenue were primarily built during the Gilded Age. This was the period from about 1880 until the first world war, when some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in America were drawn to the “City by the Sea” as a place of summer relaxation and pleasure. Perhaps Newport stands on the cusp of once again being in the spot light and drawing the attention of the wealthy and powerful.

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LEED Certification and Sustainable Design – “LEED Certification and Energy Efficiency”

LEED Certification and Sustainable Design – “LEED Certification and Energy Efficiency”

As energy prices continue to rise and concerns about “global warming” and “carbon footprints” become more widespread, the building industry is beginning to change to address these new concerns. We are currently at the leading edge of the “green building” phenomenon—buildings designed to minimize energy and material waste, maximize recyclability and efficiency and create healthy, sustainable environments. Beginning with schools and government buildings, this trend is now radiating out through commercial and even residential structures.

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“Maya Lin and the Challenge of Creating Public Art”

“Maya Lin and the Challenge of Creating Public Art”

In 1981 when the judges of the Vietnam Memorial competition opened the envelope on the back of the winning entry board, they found the name “Maya Lin” and the address of a Yale dormitory where the young woman lived as an undergraduate student. From among more than 1400 entries, many submitted by large, internationally recognized architectural firms, Maya Lin’s concept was chosen for its simplicity, elegance and poignancy.

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The Newport Arboretum: “Seeing – and Saving – Newport’s Great Trees”

The Newport Arboretum: “Seeing – and Saving – Newport’s Great Trees”

Newport is not only known for its concentration of great and important architecture.  It is also a centery for landscape design and treasure trove of rare and exotic trees.  this is not surprising as the city has lways been a port city connected to distant lands by lines of commerce and trading.  Plants were brought from the corners of the globe and planted here in Newport as early as the Colonial Period.  This tradition continued and even accelerated during the Gilded Age when the great mansions were being built in Newport as summer cottages from the American elite.  Surrounding these enourmous houses, great landscaping plans were implemented and beautiful and unusual specimen trees were planted to help decorate thse lavish properties.  The importance of trees to these gracious estates was often reflected in the names that they took: Beechwood, The Elms, Oakwood and Linden Gate are but a few of the many Newport houses that were names for the trees that populated the grounds on which they stood. More

“Symposium – Peabody & Stearns”: Resort Architects

“Symposium – Peabody & Stearns”: Resort Architects

Newport is fortunate to have had many of the most notable American architects of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries design buildings within the community. Peter Harrison, Richard Upjohn, Richard Morris Hunt, H.H. Richardson, Horace Trumbauer and Stanford White are just a few of the architects who were prominent on a national level to have designed buildings in the “City by the Sea.” But there is also a tremendous richness of work by those who were more noted on a regional level. One such architecture firm was Peabody & Stearns, which is the topic that has been selected for this year’s Newport Architectural Symposium to be hosted and organized by the Tennis Hall of Fame for Saturday May 7. Last year’s symposium on McKim, Mead and White sold out well in advance so, if you are interested in participating, please acquire your reservations soon. More

New Urbanism and Newport – “New Urbanism: Not New or Urban-Only”

New Urbanism and Newport – “New Urbanism: Not New or Urban-Only”

For the last twenty years there has been a growing planning movement called “New Urbanism.” This ideology advocates, according to NewUrbanism.org, the following principles: 1) Walkability, 2) Connectivity; 3) Diversity of uses; 4) Mixed (price) housing; 7) Quality Architecture; 6) Traditional Neighborhoods; 7) Density; 8) Green Transportation; 9) Sustainability and 10) Quality of Life. More

Newport’s Irish Masons – “Irish Stonemasons Helped Build City’s Iconic Landmark”

Newport’s Irish Masons – “Irish Stonemasons Helped Build City’s Iconic Landmark”

We are now going through the first prolong economic downturn marked by mass migration from parts of the world even more economically challenged. Since the city’s founding in 1639, Newport has seen numerous cycles of boom and bust and waves of migration that matched those cycles. It is important to remember that the Declaration of Independence read so boldly from the Colony House in 1776 took decades to become reality. In the War of 1812, more than thirty years after the War for Independence, the British marched on Washington and burned the original White House. The decades after the Revolutionary War were particular hard on Newport and it was not really until well after the War of 1812 that Newport began to recover. One reason was that the defenses of the US were reconsidered and it was determined that the Coastal fortifications needed to be greatly strengthened. This was particularly true for Newport, one of the most important harbors and trading ports on the east coast. More

Preserve Rhode Island Awards – “Casino Theatre Receives Restoration Award”

Preserve Rhode Island Awards – “Casino Theatre Receives Restoration Award”

On October 21st the second annual “Rhody” Awards were presented jointly by Preserve Rhode Island and The RI Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission and Newport County was featured prominently—both in what projects were awarded and where the awards were presented! More