Thursday, May 28, 2015

Florida Hospital Orlando - Ginsburg Tower

Clouds - Florida Hospital Orlando - Ginsburg Tower

May 20, 2015. Clouds - Florida Hospital Orlando - Ginsburg Tower.

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to architecture in Orlando, particularly hospital architecture.

There are few places so deeply tied to life - and death - in our minds, yet so few hospitals in the world designed with a sense of place and dignity befitting coming into and going out of the world. The city of Orlando has incredible hospital architecture, including one of my favorites, Orlando Health's Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, designed by Jonathan Bailey Associates.

Florida Hospital's 15-story Ginsburg Tower, designed by Hunton Brady and completed in 2008, is less striking from the outside than the orbs and cylinders of Winnie Palmer. Most photographs that you will see of Ginsburg do not do it justice. They are from the distance, but the building was designed to be viewed from below and within.  The angle shown above, taken from the banks of Lake Estelle in the College Park community, shows its beautiful, embracing curves.

The real beauty of this tower is in its patient rooms, though, which are elegant, dignified, and spacious. Windows that reflect clouds from the outside let in a gorgeous view of Lake Estelle from the patient rooms on the inside. The rooms have dedicated family areas so that patients, loved ones, and clinical staff all have the room that they need.

This past year marked the passing of designer and architect Michael Graves, known in Orlando for his Swan and Dolphin hotels at Walt Disney World. Confined to a wheelchair later in life, Graves switched his attention to patient-centric healthcare design. How fitting that the hospital facilities in the Orlando area are among the standard-setters in thoughtful design.

iPhone 6 Plus. 4.15mm.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Skate Augustine

Skate Augustine
November 16, 2014. Skate Augustine. Saint Augustine, Florida.

Historic but touristy Saint Augustine provides a scenic background to layers of human stories.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/15. f/2.8. ISO 1600. LR 4.1

Sunday, July 8, 2012



July 6, 2012. "Sheltered." Ormond-By-The-Sea, Florida.

But for one mother with her baby, beachgoers seem unaffected as fronts colide on Florida's coast, creating a thunderstorm directly overhead.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/250. f/16. ISO 100. LR 4.1.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

jardin de lumière

jardin de lumière

June 4, 2012. jardin de lumière. EPCOT. Walt Disney World. Near Orlando, FL.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 4 seconds. f/8. ISO 100. LR 2.

Monday, July 2, 2012



June 2, 2012. Unflinching.

A banister stares straight ahead at Disney's EPCOT Italy Pavilion near Orlando, Florida.

My first entry into the Google+ #bokehtuesday hashtag.

 Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/125. f/2.8. ISO 100. LR 2.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green

It's Not Easy Being Green 

June 2, 2012. "It's Not Easy Being Green." Giant Kermit the Frog statue at Disney's Hollywood Studios near Orlando, Florida.

A Monday reminder in some difficult times of Kermit's greatest words of wisdom, as sung by the incomparable Sophie Milman:

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/2000. f/2.8. ISO 100. LR 2.

Friday, June 29, 2012



June 22, 2012. "Orb." Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, Orlando, Florida.

It always surprises me when discussions of "great" Florida architecture fail to include the Winnie Palmer Hospital, instead cataloging out a list of inferior, uninspired, sentimental inclusions because tourists may know their names.

Then there's relatively unrecognized Winnie Palmer Hospital. The fact is, when you go to a hospital, you're stressed. The Winnie Palmer building centers around the patient and the anxious family in a very literal, circular way, making them feel protected and drawn together. Patient rooms in the towers feed out like spokes on a wheel and feel more like nice hotel rooms than institutional cubes for an endless night of beeping and needle sticking.

The orb in the front is a huge waiting room, bringing in showers of tranquil natural light and eliminating that "trapped" feeling that sets in after an hour or ten.

When visiting photographers express a desire to take unusual photos of the Orlando not seen, I always include Winnie Palmer building. A few weeks later, I enjoy seeing their overly processed pictures of Disney as if they were uniquely blessed that year among Orlando's 51 million annual tourists to catch that prefabricated moment in the Magic Kingdom. Orlando area photographers tend to feed into the perception that there's nothing worth shooting in Orlando outside the theme parks, and it is a shame.

Years ago, guidebook author and PBS nerd extraordinaire Rick Steeves was asked, "What is the one place that you would never go back to?" His answer, "I was recently in Orlando and couldn’t stop thinking how miserable I’d be if I had to write a guidebook chapter on that city."

Rick Steeves writes the best tour books on European cities for budget travelers. His books are about exploring the non-touristy side of cities while still taking in the popular sites, and I wouldn't get on a plane crossing the Atlantic without his current version.

Mr. Steeves, like most Orlando tourists and convention delegates, forgets this as soon as tires touch down at Orlando International Airport.

Every place has its beauty. Go find it where you live, in your own backyard.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/30. f/2.8. ISO 1600. LR 2.