Sunday, December 30, 2012


I see Michael R. Allen, author of the great blog Preservation Research Office, socially about once a year.  In 2011 he rode along to narrate the VW van/architecture tour /bar crawl trip we bought at a St. Margaret school auction.  I recently saw him at the Way Out club where some SMOS school parents were performing in a rock band.  One time he asked me when I would stop writing bad mansard.  The answer?  Never, or at least not until I have a bad mansard from every state.

I can now say I have Alaska!  A lakefront gem on Mirror Lake in Chugiak, Alaska.  But seriously, as homeowner Allison points out, if you're living on a beautiful lake who care what the roof looks like.  I imagine this lake ices over in the winter and you could ice skate all winter.  Sigh.  I wish any lake around here would freeze over to ice skate upon.

I am including a bonus picture of John and our friend Pete S. from the architecture tour.  Pete is one of those people we know in all sorts of ways.   The S. family grew up near John's family, John's dad went to grade school with Pete's dad, Pete and I went to law school together, our kids go to school together, Pete is John's company's attorney and Pete was in the SMOS rock band (and the law school rock band, if you're keeping track).

*I would like to point out that in this picture my wonderful husband is drinking bourbon from a Voltron coffee mug.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I read with interest (and disdain) this series from the Post Dispatch about DEATH ON THE RAILS!  Pretty much a story about how people cut across tracks on foot and get hit by a train.  The article suggests the railroad should fence of the tracks, throw the emergency brakes whenever there's a person spotted on the track, slow down in residential areas, etc. 
Disclaimer- one of Gus' classmate's dad is the photographer in the piece.  His work is beautiful. I just think the people in the article were stupid.
Folks- if you move to Webster or Kirkwood, you are moving to a working ranch.  The railroads were there before the houses.  Be careful.  Anytime you step foot near a track a train could come out of no where and kill you.  At least that's what I learned growing up in Webster and having a mother that grew up in Kirkwood.  Do NOT mess with trains.  At all.  Ever.  I remember in 7th grade walking to my friend Cheryl's house in North Webster.  A train was stalled at Glen Road (I think Union Pacific tracks).  One friend wanted to climb over/under/around the train.  I insisted we walk to Elm and go under the bridge.  I was in 7th grade but I remembered my mother's advice- do not mess with trains.
I think noawadays parents are so obsessed with our kids eating organic food and taking cello lessons and having self esteem and stranger danger and limiting screen time and being on select sports teams that we totally under emphasize the basics like STAY AWAY FROM TRAINS.
Anytime we talk about trains let's not forget Boxcars, one of my favorite REM songs.  It came out right about the time I was one of those junior high kids doing a lot of walking around Webster knowing I better stay away from trains. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I like doing the badmansard blog because I meet a lot of nice and interesting internet peoples all of whom like making fun of bad mansards.  And sometimes I realize I've probably already met some of them in real life.

Take Ruth, for instance.  She sent me this copper topped goddess in the Belle Meade part of Nashville.  Aside- how fast would this thing be torn apart by St. Louis copper thieves?

Ruth was friends with my friend Megan's older brothers Kevin and Wade.  She was on swim team with them at Brentwood Bath and Tennis, a pool where I spent a great deal of my summers as a kid as the guest of Megan and other Brentwood kids.  So I probably met Ruth already, but nice to meet her again especially when she sends me shiny bad mansards.  Thanks!

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Madrid

It's becoming a familiar story. At the last minute my boss asks me to make an outstate road trip, this time to New Madrid, Missouri.  Of course that meant I only had my iphone camera because I usually don't take my good camera to work with me.  And low and behold, just staring at me from behind the courthouse, is this bad mansard apartment building.  Hopefully you can still make out its fine detail- the wood work, piled stone masonry and plastic sheeting on the windows.

I also learned a new boot heel word.  An attorney told me his client was as dumb as a stump (she was!).  He also told me she was as simple as a creek minner.  Yes, minner.  This is a small fish that lives in creeks and describes unsophisticated people in the boot heel.  In case you don't live in our fine state, the boot heel describes the southeast corner of the state of Missouri which is shaped like a boot heel.  Just like Italy.  That sure would be an interesting coffee table book- comparing he boot heels of Missouri and Italy- people, architecture, culture and art.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


 Thanks to Richard S. who sent me one of the strangest bad mansards I've every seen.  This place is called Studio Inferno.  The google says it's a exercise place. It's located in Weatherford, OK.

Here we have yet another triple threat. There's a stone facade, a shingled roof on the lower part, a dark window and metal siding mansard on the taller elevation.  Click here for the original triple threat.

I hope this first Sunday of Advent finds you well.  I am energized. Cleaned my house and mind readying for Advent and later Christmas.  I did a little decorating (Advent wreath, outdoor lights, door wreath, etc) but no tree yet.  I'm ready to wait.