Thursday, July 31, 2014

Carnival Kindness-Thin Man & Fat Lady- My Cousin John Battersby and Hannah

DEATH OF A MUSEUM FREAK-Philadelphia, March 27
Zanie Zanobia, known all over the country as the cannibal fan child, died this afternoon of cancer of the stomach at the residence of John Battersby, in Frankford. Zanie, though born in Africa, was a light mulatto. Her fortune consisted of her fingers, which were about seven inches long and webbed. From this deformity she got her name of fan child. When she was only a little child she became a protégé of Hannah Battersby, who is said to be the biggest professional "fat woman" in America. Hannah is the wife of John Battersby, who was once a "living skeleton," but who unaccountably gained flesh and muscle and was ruined as a "freak," and he is now a wealthy wagon builder. Zanie, who was 19 years old, was at her death the wife of a showman known as "Canada Jack," a white man. She had been ill at the residence of her friends, Mr. and Mrs. Battersby, for several months. Her last public appearance was at Forepaugh's Museum, in this city. (The New York Times, March 28 1885)


Undertaker in the Family - W.H.Battersby 1858-1921 Philadelphia

3748 Germantown avenue.
3538 North Seventeenth street, Tioga.

BATTERSBY - At Hampton Roads Aerial Base, Oct. 17, ROBERT S., son of Emma F. and 
late William H. Battersby, aged 22.  Funeral services, Wed., 2 p. m., mother's 
residence,   508 W. Springer st., Germantown.  Int. West Laurel Hill Cem. 

The complete new funeral parlor and apartments : an institution of the last rite opened March Fifteenth, Nineteen Hundred Twenty-Nine : built and equipped to better serve our community and to meet the ever more exacting demands : William H. Battersby Sons ... Philadelphia.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Alameda Architectural Preservation Society presents Woody Walk Gold Coast Glimmers Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Alameda Architectural Preservation Society presents
Woody Walk
Gold Coast Glimmers

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Join historian Woody Minor on a tour showcasing the architecture of Alameda’s premier historic neighborhood.
Meet at Franklin Park, Morton Street and  San Antonio Avenue, Alameda, CA
Free for AAPS members; $5 for non-members
A rich repository of houses dating back to the 1870s, the Gold Coast is Alameda’s most impressive neighborhood—an architectural icon of the era of commuter trains and ferries. The oak groves along the southern shore became the setting for dozens, then hundreds, of fine homes and gardens arrayed along tree-lined streets. This year’s Woody Walk will take in a century’s worth of styles, from Italianate, Stick, and Queen Anne, through Colonial Revival and Craftsman, to Spanish, Ranch, and Modernism.
For more information about AAPS events visit or call 510-479-6489.

Built in 1909-10 for San Francisco food exporter Joseph Durney, the shingled mansion at 1325 Dayton Avenue displays elegant Arts and Crafts styling with neo-medieval details. It was the work of Hamilton Murdock, an Alameda architect who designed over a dozen houses in the Gold Coast. Photo; Woody Minor.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Breakfast with Burr

Post Duel Breakfast

July 11, 1804


“Have you any eggs?” said I. “Yes, plenty,” replied she.… “Well,” said I, “just boil an egg, and let me have it, with a little bread and tea, and that will save you and I a great deal of trouble.” She seemed quite embarrassed, and said she never could set down a breakfast to me like that.… She detained me about half an hour, and at last placed upon the table a profusion of ham, eggs, fritters, bread, butter and some excellent tea. (Melish, John, Travels in the United States of America [1811]



80 West Bridge Street
New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania  18938
(215) 862-2343
Aaron Burr House Web Site


Aaron Burr House Bed and Breakfast Lodging is located near the intersection of Chestnut and West Bridge Street.


Aaron Burr House Bed and Breakfast Lodging room rates range from $95 to $295 per night, double occupancy. There is a private pool & tennis club, and health club privileges are also available for registered guests.

This current lovely structure, described as a "Painted Lady", that now sits on this property, is an 1873, two story home that is currently a bed and breakfast, since 1990, called Aaron Burr House Bed and Breakfast Lodging. It is located just steps from central New Hope. It was built upon the foundation of an older, pre-Revolutionary War era home, that perhaps was long in the tooth, and needed to be torn down. Or perhaps, it was destroyed by a fire, and needed to be rebuilt.

Aaron Burr House Bed and Breakfast Lodging offers 6 beautifully antique decored, hand painted and stenciled rooms and a third floor suite, all with private baths. The feeling throughout is very much Victorian, with nice touches everywhere the guest looks! Modern amenities, like internet access, and gracious hospitality make the stay very pleasant indeed! According to their website, there is a guest pantry - stocked with teas and coffees, sink, refrigerator, and instant hot water tap. Guests are welcomed with refreshments and home baked goodies upon arrival. Guests can enjoy afternoon tea with their Innkeeper as well. There is also private, off-street parking, a huge plus in a busy place like New Hope!

Physical Features: The first floor has oak throughout, while the second and third floor, wood-pegged, black walnut is prevalent. Tall, arched windows in the bedrooms and common areas make the interior bright! There is a large, screened-in flagstone patio used for a variety of activities. The second-floor has its own parlor, dining room, and kitchen. There is a room for meetings of 20 people.


The curious may ask, "Why is this bed and breakfast named after Vice President Aaron Burr?" The original per-Revolutionary War era home that sat on this property was the abode of some of Vice-President Aaron Burr's dear friends in the town of New Hope, whom he probably visited. His most famous stay with these friends happened after Aaron shot and killed his slanderous political foe, Alexander Hamilton, in a very legal duel, done by the book.
Aaron Burr, throughout his life, was no stranger to very hard, stressful situations. Aaron started out his life as an orphan, when his father, Rev. Aaron Burr Sr., and his mother, Esther Edwards Burr, both died of sickness just a year apart. From 2 years old, Aaron and his sister Sally, lived with their strict, Puritan Uncle Timothy and Aunt. Aaron was a precocious, active boy who was quite a handful. Needless to say, Aaron got plenty of whippings from his exasperated uncle, who was trying his best to raise this non-compliant nephew. Aaron ran away several times, but ultimately stayed and endured his living situation when his Aunt's younger brother, Matthias Ogden, came to live with them, who was exactly Aaron's age. From an early age, Aaron learned to focus on the positive, and endure the negative, going forward in courage and fortitude, staying true to himself.
Probably realizing how smart Aaron was, Uncle Timothy hired the best tutor he could afford, Tapping Reeve, for both young Aaron and Matthias. Aaron bloomed in academics. At age 11, Aaron applied to Princeton, but was turned down because of his age. Not discouraged, Aaron applied again at age 13, and was accepted as a sophomore. After graduating at 16, Aaron began studying for the ministry, as was the family tradition. While he embraced the Calvin doctrine of Predestination, he couldn't accept some of the legalistic teachings of Calvinism. Aaron believed that everyone who believed in Jesus was welcome in heaven. So Aaron quit the ministry and entered law school, run by his former Tutor, Tapping Reeve, who had married Aaron's sister Sally by this time.
Another hard adventure of endurance and courage under stress was Aaron's service in the Revolutionary War. Despite his family's concerns, Aaron joined the militia, in 1775. In the Battle of Quebec he distinguished himself, and was promoted to Captain. As he was gifted in tactical warfare, most willing to courageously with fortitude implement plans, and could effectively lead and inspire soldiers, he reached the promotion of Colonel when he was only 21! After enduring the harsh conditions at Valley Forge, and suffering a heat stroke during a major battle, his health took a downward turn, and he had to retire. After recovering, Aaron finished Law School, passed the bar, married his beloved Theodosia Prevost, a widow of a British Officer, who was gossiped about by the town tongue waggers that she was a Loyalist. Aaron moved his law practice to Albany, New York, passing through New York City, just in time to see the British leave the harbor, all by age 26!
Aaron and Theodosia had a daughter, named Theodosia, after her mother. Aaron and his wife had a wonderful marriage for 12 years, despite the fact that Theodosia was an invalid for the last few years of her life. Aaron and his daughter, Theodosia, enjoyed a long, close relationship, throughout the ups and downs of Aaron's life. Aaron believed that girls should also be educated, and made sure his daughter had a good tutor, etc. He was proud of all her accomplishments, embraced her marriage to a fine gentleman, and especially adored his grandson.
Aaron got the nudge to go into politics. Aaron was elected to the New York State Assembly, and voted against slavery. He rose in his profession, through sheer ability and knowledge of the law. He became one of the leaders of the New York bar. Aaron's brilliance was noticed and rewarded with an appointment by the governor to be Attorney General.
Alexander Hamilton was no choir boy, and had a venomous hatred of Aaron Burr, though it wasn't so at the beginning of their relationship. Hamilton first met Aaron Burr, when Aaron had moved his very successful law practice to New York. Politically, Barr and Hamilton were on opposite sides of the political field, but were friendly adversaries until Aaron Burr ran for the Senate, and defeated Alexander's uncle. Uh oh! From that moment on, Alexander vowed to remove Aaron from politics by any means possible, a goal in which he finally achieved.
Hamilton started by causing trouble in the Republican Party, by turning Thomas Jefferson against Aaron Burr; telling half-truths and lies about him, painting Aaron in a bad light. During the third American Presidential election of 1800, Jefferson and Burr tied with 73 electoral votes each, and the election was turned over to the House of Representatives. Hamilton did everything he could to slander Burr with falsehoods, hiring others to try to dig up dirt on Aaron, slinging as much mud as he could. He lobbied other members of Congress with more negative slime. Finally, after thirty-six votes, Jefferson came in first, becoming President, and Burr was second, becoming Vice-President. Jefferson ignored Burr throughout his presidency, and made life unpleasant for him. While a war from both sides damaged Aaron Burr's reputation considerably from untruths and innuendos, Aaron reported and performed brilliantly in the Senate, as overseer of proceedings, and the rest of the Senate really appreciated his efforts. He focused on his duties as Vice President and endured the abuse.
During the next presidential election of 1804, Aaron Burr was ignored by his own party, and wasn't picked to run with Jefferson. He instead ran for New York governor. Alexander Hamilton wasn't satisfied yet, and did more mischief to submarine Aaron's bid for governor. When Aaron was defeated, he realized that his political career was in the toilet, despite his outstanding performance as a politician. Aaron did some digging himself, and discovered that it was Alexander Hamilton behind the lies and untruths that had turned people against him as a leader, a skill of his that was long recognized throughout his life so far.
Aaron Burr was not one to run from trouble, and boldly asked Alexander to retract the lies and untruths, but Alexander refused. Aaron did what an honorable man would do, from a military background: He challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel, which was still legal. The duel was done legally by the book, and Hamilton was mortally wounded. After Hamilton died, a huge uproar against Aaron erupted, and Aaron was charged with murder in both New Jersey and New York.
So, Aaron temporarily retreated to New Hope, and stayed with dear friends in their home. He needed the support of friends who knew him, and needed time to rethink his situation, and perhaps come up with a plan in what to do next. The outrage against him from a public that already had a poor view of him, due to the dirty political slander that was unleashed against him for years, orchestrated by Hamilton, had tainted any jury he may have had to face.
Though the charges against Aaron Burr were dropped, the rest of his life wasn't easy. He tried to go back to being a military leader, and recruited a group together to free Texas and Mexico from the tyrannical Spain, and set up the Western United States, an independent country from the eastern states, as he had a poor view of Jefferson's government. He went to trial to face the treason charge, spearheaded by Jefferson. Aaron had the "dream team" of lawyers to defend him, and he was acquitted, but still was disgraced. He left for Europe, and tried to come home via a French ship in 1811, but was caught by the British and held, until May of 1812.
He finally left for New York, and his daughter, Theodosia went by boat to meet him there, but perished at sea, which broke his heart. He restarted his law practice, and still made a good living, though he never re-entered public life. He did get some satisfaction to hear of the Texas revolution against Spain, knowing he was on the right track, but just years ahead in his thinking. Perhaps trying to find another love, he foolishly married the narcissist widow of Stephen Jumel, Madam Eliza Jumel, three years before he died. She didn't kill Aaron like she did her first husband, but simply divorced him, because she thought he was investing too much of her money in land deals. Aaron died on the day the divorce was final, and hopefully was reunited with his beloved first wife and daughter.


People who enjoyed being in a structure, feeling safe and protected, a respite from the hardships of this world, will continue to visit after they pass into the spirit world, even if the original structure was renovated, or torn down, and a new structure was built on the same foundation, or even just on the same land. Some entities are not able to let go of the negative consequences that befell them, still looking for peace in places that comforted them while alive.
( Joshua Ward House * Bishop Huntington Porter Mansion * Glebe House * Hartford Twain House * Loveland Castle )
Aaron Burr sought refuge with some close friends, receive some emotional support, and felt safe; able to recollect his thoughts in the home that once stood on this foundation. He must be tickled pink to have this fine bed and breakfast, named after himself!! Aaron's apparition has also been seen at Jumel Mansion, a place he must have loved living at, with his second wife, Eliza, before he found out what kind of person she was in reality. Aaron must have felt safe here as well.
Aaron Burr isn't remembered today for any of his achievements on the battle field, his very successful career as a lawyer or his victories and accomplishments in politics. He suffered years of attacks on his character, the victim of vicious political mud. He is most remembered for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. His plan to liberate Texas and Mexico, and establish a western version of the United States was stymied by a General who he thought was an Allie, and Aaron found himself in legal trouble, charged with a serious crime, and went on trial. His daughter died before he did, and is second marriage ended in divorce. His law practice did keep him going though.


Entity of Aaron Burr - at Aaron Burr Bed and Breakfast Lodging.
Loves the second floor staircase and the second floor, and likes to visit this structure. He must be pleased that the building was named after him.
His presence has been strongly felt. People can feel the sensation of an unseen entity staring hard at them. Perhaps Aaron Burr feels protective of the establishment and is studying possible trouble makers!
His apparition has been seen walking up the staircase, and perusing the second floor.
Sometimes Aaron Burr will tug on clothes to try to prevent guests from leaving, if he likes them. Guests are advised to say gently, according to Dan Asfar, author of Ghost Stories of Pennsylvania, "Mr. Burr, please let me leave."


Guests, owners, staff and probably repairmen have had many personal experiences with this entity who visits regularly, as he approves of the current bed and breakfast in the new and much improved structure.

I can't find any paranormal investigations that were shared publicly online.


Probably so!! The entity of Aaron Burr has made his presence known through physical contact, appearing visibly in front of the living, clearly enough to be recognized, and has made himself apparent to the living's senses.

He is a spirit, and comes and goes as he pleases, visiting probably all of his favorite spots in this world, remembering all the good he experienced there, trying to overcome the restlessness that continues to pull him into this world as he works to let go completely of his frustration gotten from his not-so-positive experiences.


Ghost Stories of Pennsylvania
by Dan Asfar
Lone Pine Publishing
September 18, 2002 * * * * * * *

Backyard Cottages

The Next Big Thing In Urban Planning? Backyard Cottages

Hear us out.
As the days of suburban sprawl give way to those of urban density in U.S. metros--"smart growth," most call it--providing sufficient housing remains a challenge. Decades of planning regulations and highway patterns support single-family homes built far outside a city center. Even in areas where big residential towers make sense, developing them takes a long time and costs a lot of money. Manhattan wasn't built in a day.

Planning scholar Jake Wegmann, who's in the process of moving from Berkeley to the University of Texas at Austin, believes there's another way: backyard cottages. Hear him out. Individual micro-units on single-family properties don't require much time or money to build. They don't need much space to sit on. They're affordable almost by definition and are well-suited to the modern family--from the recent college grad living at home to the grandparent who wants to age in place.
In other words, backyard cottages may not scream Manhattanization or even necessarily smart growth, but implemented over a wide swatch of a metro area they might achieve a similar end. Their potential seems even greater in places trying to reduce their reliance on cars and promote access to shops by walking or public transit. At the very least, Wegmann believes, cottages should be part of the broader conversation about the changing shape of American cities.
"The premise that single-family house neighborhoods are, or should be, frozen in amber is increasingly being questioned," he tells Co.Design.
One place ripe for such development in Wegmman's mind is the East Bay, an area just across the water from San Francisco that includes parts of Berkeley, Oakland, and El Cerrito. Housing demand is enormous in the Bay Area, but the city itself has become largely unaffordable. Still, the East Bay has strong transit access and clear walkable districts and enough density--at 11,700 people per square mile--to facilitate a more urbanized growth pattern.
Recently, Wegmann and Berkeley colleague Karen Chapple evaluated what life in the East Bay might look like in two different growth scenarios. The first, based on a conventional infill strategy of buildings with five or more units located around transit hubs, had the potential to add roughly 7,900 housing units to the area. They estimate that, given the recent pace of area development, building that much housing would take anywhere from 18 to 43 years.
Next they looked at backyard cottages. Assuming a slight relaxation of zoning regulations from the present--a shift in keeping with California's broader sustainability goals--the East Bay could accommodate nearly 8,700 cottages, Wegmann and Chapple report in the Journal of Urbanism. That's not only more than the conventional infill estimate but roughly 60% of the area's total housing goal by 2040.
The concept goes well beyond the theoretical realm of academia. East Bay-based New Avenue specializes in helping single-family homeowners develop backyard cottages or "accessory dwellings." (The company--billing itself as Uber for contractors--connects clients with architects and developers in an online forum while vetting project costs and timelines.) Founder Kevin Casey says zoning laws that once prevented this type of development are quickly changing to encourage it.

"Anywhere there's a growing economy and expensive housing, it makes sense," Casey tells Co.Design. "The Bay Area is the most expensive real estate in the market, so it's by default the most logical place to do this." (Wegmann and Casey knew one another at Berkeley and remain acquainted, but Wegmann claims no financial interest in the company.)
Casey says a backyard cottage takes about six months to build after permitting (which can take anywhere from no time to a year). The costs vary but generally fall within a range of $80,000 to $250,000. Casey estimates that 82% of his clients have family members in mind for the dwelling; some see the cottages as a good starter home for when their children move back to the area, or a good retirement home for themselves down the line, or maybe both.
The view of backyard cottages as a family safety net raises the question of whether they'll truly inspire homeowners to drop the isolated mindset that challenges urban density in the first place. Zoning and local politics might prove bigger hurdles. Smart growth has vehement opponents, and NIMBYs who see cottages as a threat to single-family neighborhoods might do their best to block new regulations, too. Financing problems also linger, especially since cottages don't receive mortgage advantages given to income-based developments.

Wegmann remains hopeful that backyard cottages can at least augment, though certainly not replace, the conventional infill strategy of big apartment buildings.
"My prediction is that we will continue to have structures that we today call 'single-family houses' for centuries to come, but that increasing numbers of them won't be occupied by single families, and eventually the law will evolve to reflect changing attitudes," he says. "Some of them will sprout cottages in their backyards. Of course, these changes won't happen overnight."

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Shifting Sands ~ Pauletta Chanco Art Show July 19- Aug 21

Shifting Sands ~ Pauletta Chanco Art Show
July 19- Aug 21, 2014
The reception will be on Saturday, July 19 from 3-5 pm
SFMOMA Artists' Gallery in Fort Mason
Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Boulevard, Building A
San Francisco, CA 94123
Hours:Tuesday - Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday - Monday and the following days: Fourth of July, Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas week, and New Year's Day.
Artists Gallery Contact: 415.441.4777

Shifting Sands

Living with a terminal diagnosis has taught me that I can never
make plans with any certitude. Chemo treatments interrupt and
interfere with life and when these stop, death will come, seeking
me out with his firm agenda in hand.

All I can do is live in the moment, appreciating each one as it arises.
I choose to spend moments creating beauty and breathing life into what
was never there before. The poignancy of these creative moments is the
most amazing gift of all.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Julia Morgan

How Julia Morgan finally won U.S. architecture's highest honor

Updated 8:03 am, Saturday, June 28, 2014

Nobody in the Bay Area who cares about architecture needs to be convinced of Julia Morgan's lasting worth. Her early 20th century buildings - public and private, large and small - enrich the texture of communities across the region.
But when it came time to make the case that a self-sufficient woman who died in 1957 deserved the most prestigious award in American architecture, her boosters left nothing to chance - which is why Morgan's grandniece on Saturday will receive the annual Gold Medal presented by the American Institute of Architects.
"They turned in the most complete and scholarly and persuasive nomination package I've ever seen," said Robert Ivy, the AIA's executive director. "Her lifetime's impact on the profession of architecture has been huge."
Morgan is only the eighth posthumous recipient of the Gold Medal, a distinction that puts her in the company of Thomas Jefferson. More startling, she is the first female architect selected for an honor first awarded in 1907.
Those elements combined to focus attention on the award when it was announced in December. Not all of the attention was favorable; skeptics raised the specter of tokenism, a way to break the males-only barrier with a woman whose best-known building, Hearst Castle, began construction in 1919.
Morgan's supporters from the start of their campaign saw something else - a uniquely well-rounded architect with a degree in engineering who designed more than 700 buildings, 21 of which are either National Historic Landmarks or are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The catalyst was Julia Donoho, an architect and attorney who is a regional director of the institute's California Council. She's also on the AIA board, and had been searching for the right woman to nominate for the Gold Medal since the boys' club nature of the award was the subject of a talk she attended several years ago.

Ideal candidate

In early 2013, she found the ideal candidate: Morgan, trained at UC Berkeley as an engineer before becoming the first woman to graduate from Paris' famed L'Ecole de Beaux Arts in 1901. Three years later she was the first woman to receive a California architectural license.
What counts 110 years later, Donoho said this week, is the quality of the work.
"Julia did so much of value, in so many different areas," Donoho said, referring to neighborhood churches and women's social buildings as well as private homes of lavish scale. "She has a compelling story."
The first meeting was held in March 2013 in the Berkeley office of Sandhya Sood, an architect who has studied Morgan as a pioneer of sustainable design and presented a paper on the topic at a 2012 statewide festival celebrating the architect. Different scholars volunteered to write about different aspects of Morgan's work, while Donoho and the other two regional directors of the AIA state council concentrated on lining up letters of support that might help sway the national board.
One of the five letters allowed came from Sen. Dianne Feinstein - who proclaimed Morgan to be "a true California gem" - and another came from Maria Shriver. The others were from an illustrious and deliberately varied trio of architects.

Revere history, new era

Michael Graves, who brought classically infused postmodernism to mainstream America in the 1980s, extolled Morgan for "showing us how to revere history and design for a new era." Frank Gehry, whose swirling titanium Guggenheim Bilbao in 1997 made postmodernism seem quaint, described Morgan as "expressing structure in new ways." Both are Gold Medal winners.
The fifth letter came from Denise Scott Brown, a hero to activists who feel that women haven't gotten a fair shake from the profession. She's the longtime professional partner of Robert Venturi, her husband, but when Venturi received the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1991, it went to him and him alone. Last year, 19,000 people signed a petition to extend the honor to Scott Brown as well.
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