HOUSE AND HOME

MY HOUSE IN OREGON  FORECLOSED ON APRIL 15TH 2010.  MY POLITICAL CLIENT IN NICARAGUA DIED  IN 2005 OF A QUESTIONABLE  DEATH, AND I SUDDENLY WAS NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT TO BUILD THERE.  MY WORK IN ABU DHABI STOPPED IN SPRING OF 2008.  ANOTHER STORY TO BE TOLD.  I HAD NO WORK TO SUSTAIN MY MORTGAGE AND LIVING EXPENSES.  I RECEIVED GENEROUS FINANCIAL HELP FROM FRIENDS, BUT IT WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO MEET THE BILLS. I STOPPED PAYMENTS AND EVENTUALLY THE BANK OF AMERICA TOOK THE HOUSE. NOW IT’S BACK ON THE MARKET, LISTED BY COLDWELL BANKER FOR UNDER $300,000. A REAL STEAL IN A BEAUTIFUL AREA, HALF A BLOCK FROM THE BEACH.

ALL THE LIP SERVICE TO HELP HOME OWNERS ENDS UP TO BE 5% THAT QUALIFY.  THE REST GO UNDER. I AM NOT SURE OF THE PERCENTAGE OF BANK FORECLOSURES, BUT I AM SURE IT WAS NOT 95% OF TROUBLED BANKS GOING UNDER , LIKE THE HOUSE FORECLOSURES.  THE TRICKLE DOWN THEORY DID NOT WORK FOR ME.  I WANT A TRICKLE UP THEORY.  HISTORY HAS SHOWN THAT HARDLY EVER HAPPENS, AND WHEN IT DOES THE LEADERS BECOME CORRUPT AND THE CYCLES STARTS ALL OVER AGAIN.

GONE

BANKRUPTCY SETTLED JULY 1, 2010  IN OAKLAND CALIFORNIA,  IN THE HEARING THE FEDERAL JUDGE DISCOVERED AND ADJUSTED THE FEE I WAS BEING  CHARGED BY MY LAWYER.   WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STARTS FEELING SORRY FOR YOU, YOU KNOW YOU ARE AT THE BOTTOM.

LIVING IN A DINGBAT ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT WITH MY WIFE IN ALAMEDA CALIFORNIA ON  THE BAY.   AFTER LIVING IN HOMES FOR THE LAST FIFTY YEARS AND AN ARCHITECTURAL MONUMENT FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS, IT WAS A PLEASANT SURPRISE TO REDUCE THE TRAPPINGS OF THINGS TO MINIMUM SPACE.  WHAT A RELIEF.  NOW IT COMES DOWN TO PAYING THE RENT. GOING TO BORDERS BOOK STORE, A HALF BLOCK AWAY, FOR THE INTERNET.  THE  FIFTY DOLLAR DIGITAL TV I BOUGHT AT A GARAGE SALE  PICKS UP ABOUT 30 LOCAL CHANNELS ON THE INTERNET.  I WAS BAPTIZED IN ARCHITECTURE IN LOS ANGELES DOING DING BAT APARTMENTS WITH A. T. WILKES FIFTY YEARS AGO.  HE TRIED HARDER THAN MOST ARCHITECTS, AND WITH ME INTRODUCED TWO STORY SPACES AND SPLIT LEVELS.  THE MINIMUM SPACE LIKE I LIVE IN NOW, WAS THE ENEMY. BUT I AM  TOLERANT NOW AND HAPPY TO HAVE A DECK, VIEW OF THE POOL AND ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE BAY.  ALAMEDA IS AN ISLAND OFF OAKLAND IN THE BAY.  IT HAS MORE VICTORIAN HOUSES THAN ANY OTHER CITY IN CALIFORNIA.  A BUNCH OF CANALS GOING EVERYWHERE AND A REAL DOWNTOWN WITH A FANTASTIC ART DECO THEATER.  WE CHOOSE ALAMEDA FOR THE WEATHER, COST, AND SECURITY.  MY STUDENTS ARE IN LOVE WITH SAN FRANCISCO, BUT THE COST, WEATHER , SECURITY,NOISE  AND FILTH OF SAN FRANCISCO BUGS ME, LIKE MOST CITES DO.  MORE LATER ON THIS SUBJECT.  SAN FRANCISCO  IS FOR THE AFFLUENT.  WE WERE FORTUNATE TO QUALIFY FOR THE APARTMENT IN ALAMEDA,  WE WERE TURNED DOWN AT OTHER APARTMENTS FOR LACK OF INCOME AND BANKRUPTCY STATUS.

DINGBAT HOME

LOOKING FOR CONSULTING JOBS TO FINANCIALLY  GET THROUGH THE SUMMER.  AS A YOUNG MAN I ALWAYS ENJOYED LOOKING FOR  A JOB, BECAUSE MY PORTFOLIO BROUGHT ATTENTION EVEN THOUGH MY OFFICE TOOLS OF DOING CONTRACT DRAWINGS WERE LIMITED.  THERE WERE DISCUSSIONS WITH THE OWNERS.  ONE TOLD ME I WAS USELESS, BECAUSE I WOULD BE TROUBLE.  PATRICK CLAY TURNED UP HIS NOSE, BECAUSE I WAS NOT A CORBU MAN.  ANCHEN, OF ANCHEN AND ALLEN HIRED ME IMMEDIATELY.  I COULD GO ON AND ON.  BUT USUALLY I LASTED 3 MONTHS AND MOVED ON FOR VARIOUS REASONS, OFTEN BEING FIRED.   I WAS VERY PROUD AND LIMITED.  ONE ARCHITECT NEEDED A SLOPE ROOF HOUSE SCHEME.  I ONLY DID FLAT ROOFS.  ANOTHER WANTED A SIMPLE SQUARE FOREST RANGER HOUSE.  I DESIGNED A SPIRAL HOUSE .  LOOKING BACK IT WAS COMICAL, BUT IT WAS SERIOUS STUFF AT THE TIME.

THIS TIME AROUND I KNOW TOO MUCH , OVERQUALIFIED AND LOOK LIKE EVERYBODY’S GRAND DAD.   I PROCESS INFORMATION RAPIDLY AND  BANG OUT  DESIGN CONCEPTS INSTANTLY.      IT IS HARD TO BE IDEALISTIC WHEN  BROKE.  WHEN I WAS TEACHING AT SCI-ARC WITH A SUSTAINABLE INCOME AND ASSURANCE I WOULD NOT BE FIRED.  I COULD AFFORD TO BE THE IDEALIST.  NOW WITH NO DEBT (OTHER THAN FRIENDS) AND AN AFFORTDABLE  OVERHEAD, I AM BACK.

WISHING YOU THE BEST.  NEXT BLOG  ” TIME WITH JOHN LAUTNER”

GLEN

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  • http://www.jarthurliu.com arthur

    Glen,

    i am so sorry to hear this. It seems that for a profession known to ‘eat its young’, it is beginning to turn its back on its most knowledgeable too.

    Looking forward to reading more about your new adventure.

  • http://enoch@enochsears.com Enoch

    Mr. Small,

    Fascinating stuff. Keep up the posts please. I as one of the younger generation of architects look forward to your “unplugged” version of writing + the insights I can glean from your very full life and experiences.

  • http://www.metamechanics.com chris teeter

    Sounds like you are on your way, from the stories I have been told bankruptcy is a sign of a dedicated architect. Flirting with the limit is fun and stressful, you take on work you would never do otherwise and you get good at stuff no has the effort to do.

    I am just breaking into the 30’s so pulling all nighters hopped up on red bull Is still feasible. But I often hear people at your age don’t need sleep.

    Obviosuly I am reading back so this is an easy statement to make, but its only going to get better. From a blackberry on a bus…

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