A Few of Thomas Rosell’s Favorite Things

This Christmas week, the MissPres authors are pulling out some of their favorite posts and re-packaging them with our comments about why they’re our favorites.

One of my all time favorite posts is the series regarding the book How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand. The series has a lot to like, both good subject matter and thoughtful content. But the best thing about it is it features a cool video from a television series based on the book. The book features a lot of photos accompanying timelines so you can see how buildings “learn” (i.e. change and adapt to their environment and use). It also has a lot of before and after photos. The two photos on the cover of the book are the same buildings taken 136 years apart (click here to see what they look like today). Check out the Book Quotes series on How Buildings Learn.


Two more favorite posts of mine from this year are the Vicksburg series on concrete blocks, part 1 & part 2. Since it features two articles from the Vicksburg Evening Post in both 1905 and 1906, it’s got a great period explanation about building construction from that time but also a description of manufacturing concrete blocks. Its got lots of photos to accompany the great content. Check these posts out!


While I enjoy all the posts I get to write for MissPres the Oxford Film Festival & Pruitt Igoe post was one of my favorites from this year. I like the post for several reasons. Because it had a cool video preview of the film The Pruitt-Igoe Myth in it, it’s fun to say Pruitt Igoe
(come on say it to yourself again), and it also reminds me of the iconic haunting score entitled “Pruitt Igoe” Philip Glass wrote for the film Koyaanaisqati. I will admit the post only has a little to do with Mississippi, primarily the fact that the world premier of the film was held at the 2011 Oxford Film Festival, but how often can we feature a movie poster in a blog post for a movie not about someone who is in, is going to be in, is trying to get out of, or should be in Jail in Mississippi?

Listen to Philip Glass’s Pruitt-Igoe score while checking out this post.


I hope these posts become some of your favorite things. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Categories: Architectural Research, Books, Historic Preservation

5 replies

  1. I saw the Pruitt Igoe film at the Crossroads Film Festival this year – and I understand Glass’s haunting piece of the same name more now because of it.


    • I am jealous that you got to attend that festival and see the film. I have yet to see it, and probably won’t have a chance until it comes out on Home DVD. The Educational DVD price of $295.00 is out of my price range(but hey the shipping is free).

      Its one thing to be able to listen to a score but to see it set to images that it was written for/about takes it to a whole other level.


  2. Enjoyed the article on How Buildings Learn! I ordered the book.


  3. You made me smile here on a cold, dismal, and windy west Texas day in the cyber desert!


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