The Sunday porch: rustic pavilion

Rustic building, Philadelphia, Library Company of PhiladelphiaThis whimsical shelter was located on a ridge in Philadelphia overlooking the Schuylkill River.  It was “one of the thatch-roof rustic pavilions installed at the [Fairmount Water Works] between 1864-1866 as a decorative improvement,” according to the website Philadelphia Architects and Buildings.

The photo, via Library Company of Philadelphia Commons on flickr, is dated ca. 1870.

In the lower left corner of the picture, you can just see one of the water work’s Classical Revival buildings at the river’s edge below. They housed and disguised the pumping equipment of the city’s water supply system from 1815 until 1911.

I love the birdhouses near the top of the pavilion’s roof.

The little buildings seem to have been replaced during the 20th century by white gazebos more closely matching the style of the other water works buildings, which now house a restaurant and interpretive center.

Vintage landscape: Smiley Heights

Smiley Heights, via LoCRoadside view from Smiley Heights, Redlands, California, between 1898 and 1905, a photochrom by Detroit Photographic Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Alfred and Albert Smiley — twin brothers — were wealthy New York hotel owners who came to California in their sixties:

In 1889, while in California, the brothers became so impressed with the beautiful scenery and surroundings of Redlands that they purchased for a winter home 200 acres of the heights south of the town, through which tract they caused to be constructed a beautiful series of roads, both for driving and walking, and on the summit and along the northern declivities started a thousand or more species of rare plants and flowers of such varieties as flourish in this semi-tropical climate. Each of the brothers erected a beautiful and substantial residence on the crest of the hill. This property called the Canon Crest Park, commonly known as Smiley Heights, was thrown open to the public and the park has become famous throughout the land, being visited by thousands of Eastern tourists annually.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (1922) by John Brown, Jr., and James Boyd

The Smiley estate is now “covered by McMansions,”  according to this article about Redlands in The Atlantic.

Below the garden the hills fold away.
Deep in the valley, a mist fine as spray,
Ready to shatter into spinning light,
Conceals the city at the edge of night.

Yvor Winters, from “On a View of Pasadena from the Hills

Glencar, Ireland

Tea House in Leitrim, Ireland via Nat'l. Library of Ireland, flickr Commons“[H]aving scones, butter and jam at the Glencar Tea House, Co. Leitrim (despite the fact that it says Sligo on the glass negative),” c. 1900, photographer not noted, via National Library of Ireland Commons on flickr.

A commenter on the flickr page pointed out that, from their looks, the two women might be mother and daughter, and, therefore, this could have been a publicity shot for the family’s tea house.

The women in the picture below may have been actual customers.

Glencar Tea House, c. 1890, Nat'l. Library of Ireland Commons on flickr“Tea House, Glencar, Co. Leitrim, circa 1890,” by Robert French, chief photographer of William Lawrence Photographic Studios of Dublin.

From the clothes and the way the vines are growing on the house, this photo appears to have been taken at almost the same time as the one above.  The mother from the top picture seems to be carrying the plate of scones here.

I wonder if the group being served was a ladies walking club who had been to see the Glencar waterfall, a local attraction?

c. 1990 site of Glencar Tea House, via Nat'l. Library of Ireland Commons on flickr“Tea House, Glencar, Co. Leitrim, 1990,” by Mary Guckian for the Lawrence Photographic Project 1990/1991.

For the Project, volunteer photographers documented the sites of 1,000 100-year old photographs in the Lawrence Collection of the National Library of Ireland, “thereby creating a record of the changing face of the selected locations all over Ireland.”

For this picture, Guckian noted that a house on the site was “in  use until 1970s — Family Siberry not interested in re-opening at present, despite suggestions from local councillor that cottage be re-built in former style.”

You can read more about the Lawrence Photographic Project here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

There’s an Isle, a green Isle, set in the sea,
Here’s to the Saint that blessed it!
And here’s to the billows wild and free
That for centuries have caressed it!

— Jean Blewett, from “St. Patrick’s Day

*All three photos here via National Library of Ireland Commons on flickr.