Huntsville is home to many hidden architectural treasures that make this town a special place. On the last heART of Huntsville, we decided to pay a visit to three of these many gems. We started off the night at one of the local homes built by Dan Phillips: The Boot Home.
The Boot Home has been the subject of much conversation, due to its location on busy 11th street (aka, HWY 30) and its obvious resemblance to the Texas boot.
To introduce Mr. Phillips told us about his construction company, Phoenix Commotion. As founder of the company, Mr. Phillips focuses on eliminating construct waste and building environmentally-friendly homes for low-income individuals. Apart from doing his best to help those in need, he also explores his own artistic abilities.
He told us how there are two kinds of people, those of Apollonian and Dionysian thought. Whereas the Apollonians want everything to be perfect where perfection may not be possible, the Dionysians don’t care for perfection and are more organic. Mr. Phillips told us how he sees the world in this non-perfectionist view, where you can make things in different shapes, sizes, and forms using unconventional methods to create a one-of-a-kind Dionysian home. Every one of his homes has his own signature quirk; a tree house with a glass floor, a home made out of bones, a story-book home, a beer home, the list goes on with unimaginable creativity.
After we heard about the inspiration behind the homes, we were ready to go inside this wonderful piece of art. The Boot was not big enough for our whole group to go into at once; therefore, we had to take turns. Inside the Boot there are two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a study (or small bedroom), and a living room (just enough for a small family). As you travel up the stairs (located within the boot)…
…you are brought to a beautiful deck overlooking the neighborhood. It is a very creative use of the extra space. Everyone enjoyed taking photos of the Boot,
…and, of course, conversing with its creator, Dan Phillips, , as we began to venture onto our next stop: The Kellogg-Pritchett Home.
Mary Laura Gibbs bought the home in 2006 and renovated it while maintaining its original Folk Victorian architecture. The home has beautiful architecture on the inside and outside, reminiscent of Huntsville’s early days. One of these features were the rolling doors between the two main parlors whose great, wooden grain was used to divide the rooms during special events. She also set out a painting that dated back to the 50’s, which showed us how the home and property originally looked like in the early 19th century.
As we walked through the home, Ms. Gibbs told us how the kitchen was originally detached from the home, how there was a farm area for the family, and how the home housed the first tennis court in the city of Huntsville. We then moved on to the beautiful dinning room, made even greater with a mural painted by Lee Jamison.
It was painted to look like a gazebo and it included lots of little creatures that are home to Texas and even a few that were created by the artist. He had us try to find the U.S.A snake and Texas painted butterfly.
It was a beautiful room with lots of detail. Everyone was in awe of his work and the beauty he was able to create. We then moved on to the kitchen that was painted red and yellow (popular kitchen colors in Europe). She also showed us her beloved water pump. Everyone was impressed by how it is still fully functioning today!
With the night coming to an end, we concluded our tour of the lovely Kellogg-Pritchett Home by sharing our appreciation and love for the home.
And, while most of us moved on eagerly to the Wynne Home, the Peases enjoyed a peaceful moment on the porch swing…
We then moved on to our last location of the night (and heART of Huntsville) the always beautiful Wynne Home.
At the Wynne Home, we were welcomed with the smell of wonderful food and great company provided by the Friends of the Wynne. We were welcomed to tour the home as Ms. Gaertner and Ms. Maloney finished preparing our Thanksgiving-like feast. Former interns, Beatriz Martinez and Jessica Northam, along with current intern Karen Tinajero, helped give tours to the group and tell the rich history of the home. The guests were delighted to hear of the home’s 1883 inception, the family history, and how it was donated to the city and is now Huntsville’s own Cultural Center. After roaming around the Wynne Home, everyone settled down to enjoy their delicious meal and take their final quiz, which would demonstrate what they had learned the past four weeks.
After the food, those interested purchased a Jamison Austin College print autographed by the artist.
As the ambassadors stayed to help finish cleaning up after the meal…
…the rest of our guests expressed how impressed they had been with the program and promised to come back next year for more art-filled adventures! We are immensity grateful to the Friends of Wynne’s exceptional dinner and to our amazing program participants who made the experience so amazing.