Monday, June 10, 2013

Interview: Terry Kearns, Architecture Tourist

Terry Kearns, author of Architecture Tourist, was the first blogger friend I made after starting wanderlust ATLANTA. I later learned that there are more than 8,000 bloggers in Atlanta—or at least that many who have tried blogging—and little did I realize at the time that Terry is one of the most connected and most respected bloggers in Atlanta. 

I'd made a good friend.


Terry Kearns, Architecture Tourist
Terry Kearns, Architecture Tourist
He discovered wanderlust ATLANTA (at the time called tour ATLANTA) not too long after I started blogging, and was a fan from the beginning. Terry started following me not so much for all the touristy stuff that I write about, but because I interject architecture posts from time to time.

I've explained before that my reason for doing so is that when "I" am a tourist in another city, there are invariably buildings that I wonder about..."What's its history?", "Who is in it now?", "Residential, retail, business?"

Terry immediately realized what I was doing—writing a blog about Atlanta and all her wonderful assets—and added me to his blog roll. His doing that has sent me a significant amount of traffic, so I wanted to do something to return the favor, beyond including him on my blog roll. 

Thus this interview. I think Terry's enthusiasm for Atlanta architecture is unmatched. He makes no clams to be working toward a Pulitzer Prize-winning blog and doesn't claim to be a National Geographic-esque photographer, BUT...if more people had Terry's enthusiasm for even one thing in life, it'd be a much friendlier and interesting planet!

So, with that...an interview! My appreciation to Terry for making time to visit with me and to answer a few questions. We took a stroll up St. Charles Drive near Piedmont Park while chatting about architecture. So....here we go:


Terry Kearns interview, Grady High School
Terry Kearns interview
wanderlust ATLANTA: Why Architecture Tourist? How did you get started and what keeps you blogging?








Terry Kearns interview, Grady High School
Terry Kearns interview, Grady High School
TerryI was doing websites for vacation rentals. A new client called out of the blue who was hoping to rent his Frank Lloyd Wright house to "architecture tourists."

So, I decided to blog about architecture tourism to boost my chances of getting the job. Neither the rental nor the website worked out and I was left with a blog about architecture...one of my favorite subjects. This was a good thing. 

I have a permanent case of writers and "thinkers block." Forcing myself to write is good discipline. And blogging makes me pay attention and look carefully. But the very best thing about blogging is meeting people, sometimes even in person.





Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
wanderlust ATLANTAWhat’s your favorite aspect of the architecture discipline and why?













Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
TerryI want more places that delight us. And I want more smallish Greek revial houses.























Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
wanderlust ATLANTAIf you could create a city block of existing Atlanta buildings, what would that block include?








Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
TerryTravis, that is just too hard. But I'll tell you some residential streets I enjoy, streets I visit for pleasure, sometimes just a block. 

This isn't in order: Drexel, Emerson Furgusson, Colquit, Degress, Peachtree Way, Degress, Josephene, Roanoke, Highland View, Delmar, Redland, Grant, Howard, Dixie, McPherson, Murphy (really?), Peoples, and many more.














Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
wanderlust ATLANTAAs a preservationist, what call-to-action do you feel is most important in saving Atlanta’s architectural history?







Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
TerryI'm not the best preservationist. I do hope our best buildings can find a way to survive, to be productive and efficient, to be flexible enough to meet changing needs. But buildings wear out; they weren't built to last 100 years. Some are horribly expensive to maintain.

I'm more concerned about public buildings than private houses, but both can become white elephants. I'm most concerned about our in-town churches, which I think constitute our best collection of buildings and they have deep connections to Atlanta families and Atlanta history.











Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
wanderlust ATLANTAYou created a “Stained Glass Bucket List” for the 10th Anniversary of the Atlanta Preservation Center’s “Phoenix Flies” tours. Details?







Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
Terry: Because I've blogged a little about stained glass, folks suggested I start a group for fans and enthusiasts. This winter I started Atlanta Glass Project. It's a Facebook page. I hope to attract some interest and a few contributors. Stained Glass is our biggest genres of public art...and specific windows have deep personal and historical connections to Atlantans.

I made the Phoenix Flies Stained Glass Bucket List to kick it off.

Blogging has connected me with several Atlanta stained glass experts / historians enthusiasts: Bobby Mays, Bill Lyons, and Mary-Elizabeth Ellard









Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
wanderlust ATLANTAAs a passionate architecture enthusiast, what insight(s) would you like to share with aspiring architects?












Terry Kearns interview
Terry Kearns interview
Terry: I believe in the value of professional design, that for the same money, you can have something great. I've seen so many places where I've thought: "If an architect has seen this, s/he could have fixed it in five minutes, a glance would tell her/him it wouldn't work." I hope the profession can find ways to deliver its services in smaller packages, so that more places can be great.















So, Terry and I visited some of his favorite places on a single street, which was very eye-opening for me...who knew that there was so much architectural eclecticism on one street?! There were so very many varying architectural styles in only a few blocks...I was amazed! Especially given that years ago I lived on Charles Allen Drive!

Sometimes you just don't see something until someone else points it out. And I'll share more about my friend Terry Kearns—the Architecture Tourist—in future posts. I think you'll also think he's a great guy! And, as passionate as he is about architecture, he's someone who always puts his family first, which I greatly admire and respect.

Please check out Architecture Tourist and the Atlanta Glass Project...I've enjoyed it for years and if you have any interest in architecture, I think you'll also enjoy what Terry has to share...especially if you're an architecture tourist.

3 comments:

Terry said...

Thanks Travis and that was fun exploring Charles Allen on foot.

Lori Buff said...

Great interview and I'm so glad to have been directed to this blog of interesting things to do in our city.

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