Daily Pics

Retro Solar Panels

This funky array might look more like elaborate hair curlers than solar panels, but in the 1970s it was the latest in solar design. Created for the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL, these “solar concentrators” were designed to generate electricity for heating and cooling systems at the lab. Solar technology and green building techniques have come a long way since then, but it’s hard to deny how groovy this looks.

Midwest In Miniature

Minneapolis artist Christy Johnson is on a mission to capture every state’s icons in miniature. Her prints are only just over 3 inches square, but they capture all the big hits: Wisconsin’s Babe the Blue Ox sculpture, Minnesota’s Guthrie Theater, Missouri’s Gateway Arch, Iowa’s Des Moines Art Center and more. The miniatures make it easy to own a little slice of home.

Death In The Afternoon Goes Rustic

Death in the Afternoon, the most buzzed-about lunch spot in St. Louis, recently brought in some new decor: wooden chandeliers from Rustic Grain. The artisans at Rustic Grain salvage wood from turn-of-the-century Midwest barns and turn the boards into handcrafted furniture and home goods. Their finished works proudly show off the knots, dents, and nail holes from the boards’ past lives.

Shake, Shake, Shake

The cocktail masters of Eat Street Social stepped out from behind the bar, but they just couldn’t leave their shakers. The eatery shared this candid shot of their bartenders mixing things up in the backyard. We want to know what they’re making…and whether we can have one.

Mercury Rising

Dorothy Thorpe’s signature sterling-band glass design has racked up plenty of screen time on Mad Men with all of Don’s cocktails. Mid-century design enthusiasts go mad for the iconic barware. Hugh, a men’s accessories and home goods shop in Detroit, recently posted a picture of their Thorpe-inspired stock. Cheers!

Hi There

The owners of this home embraced modern design with plenty of cement and natural finishes. The sleek design is complemented by playful décor, including this floor-to-ceiling sign. Hello to you too!

Detroit Gets In The Game

Downtown Detroit took yesterday afternoon off—the World Cup was on! With a giant jumbotron set up in Campus Martius Park, hundreds gathered to watch the US team face off against Germany. We love a city that stops for a soccer match.

Credenza Envy

Woodsport’s breaking our heart. The Twin Cities woodcraft studio posted this picture of a brand new credenza, but it was already sold and bound for Brooklyn. Woodsport’s work is in high demand these days, with impeccable pieces handcrafted from American hardwoods.


Art Under Construction

More art comes to Millenium Park! The Cloud Gate sculpture (or as more people know it: “The Bean”) is getting a new neighbor: the 39-foot sculpture “Look Into My Dreams, Awilda.” The new sculpture by Jaume Plensa is now on display, but this picture captures the construction process in action.


A Mariachi Serenade

Travail is always cooking up something new, but we’re not sure when mariachi landed on the menu!  The raved-about Robbinsdale restaurant keeps things lively with a little impromptu dinner concert complete with accordion. To catch more of Travail’s creativity (culinary and otherwise), head to their Prevailed Party this Sunday.

Dining Alfresco At Ada Street

Time to dine outside! Chicago Magazine profiled 10 hidden outdoor dining hotspots in the city and we’re glad to see Ada Street’s patio on the list. Complete with green grass (okay, it’s turf) and a fire pit, Ada Street serves up the perfect summer evening with a playful menu of classic fare and tasty twists.

Union Terminal Makes The Endangered List

Cincinnati’s Union Terminal landed on this year’s list of most endangered historical buildings. The Art Deco terminal went up in 1933 and features the second largest half dome in the world, with a 106-foot tall rotunda and expansive glass mosaic murals. While still in use today as a museum and cultural center, the building is in dire need of extensive repair.

A Makeover For The Twins, By Twins

Twins, meet twins. Danny and Kenny King, the twin designers behind King Brothers Clothiers, recently outfitted two Minnesota Twins players in new dress clothes for travel days. Kevin Correia and Brian Dozier cut dashing figures on the ballfield in their new bespoke suits—just look out for grass stains, guys.

The Art Of Books

Silver Buckle Press is a working letterpress museum dedicated to preserving the traditional craft of printing. The press played host to Book Arts students from UW – Whitewater yesterday, and the students left their mark, using type made by the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. Keeping the craft alive!

Lumichron Clocks In At Chicago

Grand Rapids clockmakers Ian and Karen Macartney are taking their show on the road. They’ll be showcasing their iconic clocks at the American Institute of Architects Expo in Chicago this week. Their clock shop, Lumichron, incorporates some Swiss-made components, but the clocks are assembled in Western Michigan and the Macartneys are proud to represent the manufacturing scene there. Visitors to Grand Rapids can see their clocks on display at the Amtrak station and the Fulton Street Farmers Market.

Summer Veggie Season

Does a box of fresh veggies show up at your front door? CSA season is in full swing. Alison Allen, who blogs at Deuce City Henhouse, showed off her greens from Driftless Organics, a farm in southwest Wisconsin. For those stumped on what to do with summer veggies, Allen wrote up her recipe for this radish and turnip salad.

What’s Next For This Mid-Century Modern Classic?

This 1961 mid-century modern building in St. Louis was originally constructed as a public library, but has been home to the Record Exchange since 1999. Now that the record store owner is in search of new digs, the building is up for sale. What’s next for the life of this classic?

Ponyride Opens Co-Working Space

Ponyride began at the height of the foreclosure crisis in Detroit—the organization purchased a 30,000 square-foot warehouse and now rents the space out to socially-conscious artists and entrepreneurs. They are opening their first co-working space this summer, and shared this snapshot of the new digs on Facebook. We’re wondering if the telephone booth still works…


Races To The Finishes

The recent Michigan Modern conference included a guided tour of the Herman Miller factory. Architecture of Columbus, Indiana snapped some pictures of the production process, including this sample rack of all the different Eames chair finishes. We like them all!

On The Fringe In St. Louis

The St. Lou Fringe Theater Festival kicked off with a bang with their annual party featuring music, theater, art, puppet shows and a party with comedian Eddie Izzard in attendance. The festival, now in its third year, is in full swing through June 22.

Inside The J.W. Hulme Factory

J.W. Hulme’s leather goods have been handcrafted in Saint Paul for over a century using leather from small craft tanneries around Minnesota. The company shared a quick snapshot on Facebook of the talented folks behind the meticulous work and stylish bags.

The Art Of Antiquing

The curator of The Artful Dodger has an eye for one-of-a-kind pieces and antique treasures. They posted this glimpse of their treasures at The Green Shag Market in St. Louis. The vintage Mobil Pegasus is at the top of our wish list.

Girl And The Goat

Chicago chef Stephanie Izard takes inspiration from her last name—it’s a type of goat. Hence her raved-about Chicago restaurant: Girl and the Goat. She sat down with Serious Eats to share her favorite kitchen tools, and she revealed the secret behind these stunning oysters: a wood-fired grill. Since getting the grill, she finds herself grilling just about everything, including the bacon that adds a smoky flavor to these fresh oysters.

Oh, Those Summer Nights

Looking for the best place to watch your favorite movie? The Indianapolis Museum of Art opens up their spectacular outdoor amphitheater every summer for their Summer Nights Film Series, showing classic films (depending on your definition of classic). This summer has everything from The Godfather to Mean Girls, but tickets have been selling out, so time is ticking, Indianapolis!


Americana Opens At The Soap Factory

Years ago, The Soap Factory did actually churn out soap. Now, the non-profit gallery that’s taken over the space will be presenting works from nine emerging artists from around the country in their new show, Americana. The artists take on questions of the American experience through drawings, sculptures, video and installation work. The exhibit explores the notion of Americana in a very apt space—the building itself, with its industrial past and decayed architecture, recalls a different age in American history.