Monday, November 11, 2013

The World of the Belvedere

Belvedere, Autumn 2013
"Welcome to the world of the Belvedere," is the opening line as my impromptu tour group eyes the building twenty feet in front of them.

Their gaze darts from the intricately carved flower pots to the tera cotta tiled roof, and then back to the rod iron door. Above it, a freshly-restored placard reads 'BELVEDERE.'

According to the State Historical Society of Missouri, the apartment building was constructed in 1927 by Nelle E. Peters. Peters was one of the pioneering women in architecture during this time, having designed more than 1000 structures for both firms and private owners.

This August, I was awarded the privilege of living in one of the 24 rooms at the Belvedere. Each of the three floors contain eight apartments, and I nestled my way into southeast corner on the top level. With seven windows, hardwood floors and midcentury fixtures, my home is filled with pre-Atomic Age appeal.

Without further adieu, let's continue the tour —
Walking in the front door, you'll notice the Spanish Eclectic moldings and brass mailboxes. Check out the ironwork on the hand railings.

Shades of Steve Zissou. 
The couch and love seat came with the place, so I had no choice but to add my own pillows and blankets. Somebody must have set them off kilter moments before this photo was taken. Luckily, the flag was salvaged from a 'Free' pile at a top notch mid-century estate sale in Novi, Mi. (more on that one later). The mod mirrors were picked at an estate sale for pennies, and the American Southwest theme is carried out with some original photography on the righthand side. There is no central air conditioning at the Belvedere, and all heat is via steam radiators.
Along the eastern windowsill you'll find Zebulon the Michigan Cactus (labeled), the middle one (unnamed) and Zachariah (left). I like to think of them as a little art collective from the desert, but I suppose that's a story for another day...
Here is my workspace, created out of crates and plywood. It's very sturdy and very functional. Craftsman style stools were found at an estate sale, as was the 1950s Telechron clock of which I am the proud second owner. I purchased the General Electric less than a week prior to moving in. The artwork reflects my area of interest — rods and customs.
My bedroom wall features a screen print of Wild Willy's AA/FA, as well as a relic from the now defunct Wixom Assembly plant. If it's on this wall, it has some significance. Hey, check out that drawing of my CL350 one from the left. Pretty neat stuff.
Thanks for checking out the Belvedere. I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Atomic Age Alchemy 

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