You’ll Be Glad to Know that Timmy is Alive and Out of the Well!

I received a text from Sarah on my way to work this morning that said – and I quote – “There is something here that’s going to make your day. Hurry up and get here.”

What could it be? I immediately started making a wish list in my head:

  1. Brad Pitt
  2. A new puppy (for Sarah, not me)
  3. A million dollar donation
  4. A national award for best blogger

Since I was almost already at work, I didn’t have much time to keep adding to the list, but you get the gist. However, what was here was better than all of those things (except maybe #3) and will warm the hearts of baby boomers everywhere.

Lassie and Timmy for Sarah
My sister and I watched Lassie religiously and would fight over who got to shake her paw during the closing credits.
Lassie and Timmy for Leslie
Suddenly I wanted to be eating a TV dinner off of a plastic TV Tray in the basement family room of my mother’s house.

Amazing, right? By now, you’re probably wondering how in the world Timmy (aka Jon Provost) had ever even heard of Sarah and me, not to mention the Menokin Glass House Project he references in his autographs to us.

Believe it or not, Jon’s nephew, Alexander Jacobson, was one of the Harvard Graduate Students who interned for Machado and Silvetti Associates this summer, and was one of the co-producers of the architectural model of The Menokin Project. During his visit here in July with Carmine D’Alessandro to deliver the model to us, we learned that Alex was from California, near Hollywood. During our interrogation into whether or not he knows anyone famous, Alex revealed to us that his uncle, Jon Provost, played Timmy in the television series Lassie.

Jon-Provost-noteWho would have ever thought that this innocent conversation would lead to the thrill of receiving these beautiful autographed photos?

Lassie has come home to Menokin, and she and Timmy are now honorary members of The Menokin Canine Corps. A happy ending indeed.

Virginia’s Favorite Architecture

It is November, after all. So I don’t feel so bad begging for your votes again for Menokin.

Click on the image to vote for Menokin as  your favorite.
Click on the image to vote for Menokin as your favorite.

Architecture is a very public art form, but is also highly personal. We use the built world to describe and anchor some of the most important events in our lives. It shapes our lives and reveals our history.

The structures featured in this survey were nominated by architects throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia on the occasion of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects’ (VSAIA) 100th anniversary. The 250 works of architecture — buildings, bridges, monuments, and memorials — in this survey represent some of the best of Virginia’s rich architectural heritage. We encourage you to select your favorites based on design, symbols of innovation, spirit of your community and Virginia. More importantly, select structures that hold a special place in your heart and mind.

Once the votes are tallied, the Virginia Center for Architecture will release the top 100 structures — Virginia’s Favorite Architecture. These favorites will then be featured in an exhibition at the Center. In addition, through the compilation and timely release of a year-long series of top ten lists, we’ll use structures to tell the story of the Commonwealth and the citizens that built it and inhabit it today.


Menokin Featured in Past Preservers Photography Competition

Leslie Staiko Rennolds, Assistant Director of The Menokin Foundation, has entered this photograph in a contest, and she needs your votes! Mainly she is trying to gain exposure for Menokin, but a blue ribbon or large trophy would be nice, too.

Actually, the top twelve images will be selected for the 2014 Past Preservers Calendar, and number one will be used on their Christmas Card. (Who wants to dust a trophy anyway?)

Thanks for helping. And please share!

Balancing Act - The precarious condition of Menokin, the collapsed ruin of an 18th century Tidewater Virginia house.  (c) 2013, Leslie S. Rennolds
Balancing Act – The precarious condition of Menokin, the collapsed ruin of an 18th century Tidewater Virginia house.
(c) 2013, Leslie S. Rennolds
Click here (on “Post”) to vote on Facebook. >>>> Post by Past Preservers.

Jones’n for the Joneses

Ever meet someone (or more than one someone, like a family of someones) who you instantly connect with, like a lot and wish you could spend more time with?

That happened here at Menokin yesterday, when the front door opened and in walked the Joneses. Actually, they streamed in, in random dribs and drabs, until they were finally all assembled — Granddad, Mom, Dad and five kids.

The first thing I asked (when a family with five kids visit on a school day) was “Is your school closed for Veteran’s Day?”

“No,” they replied. “We’re home schooled.” Turns out they are from St. George, Utah and are on a road trip.

JonesIt only took me a moment to realize that they were all wearing T-shirts sporting the same logo. Dad designed the logo for the shirts. It took me (embarrassingly enough) a lot longer to figure out that Jones was their last name. But they didn’t hold it against me.

We’re the Jones…Nice to meet you. All 7 of us are going out to find the great things in America; Great People, Great Places, and Finding Great Service Projects. Its has been a blast so far, and we have found more than we planned.

(From the family blog.)

Turns out that Granddad lives in Reedville. But they had heard about Menokin and considered it worthy to be included in their list of Great Places.

Part of their goal is to participate in and provide community service wherever possible. They cheerfully went to work picking up and restacking  brick pavers that have been spread out around the property of the years. Along the way they asked about Menokin and the Lees and Tayloes, and learned about what we’re doing here.

The-Joneses_webI tried to convince them to stay just a little while longer in the Northern Neck, but the road was calling. (I did get an invite from the youngest, asking if I would like to come along.)

I hope that we made as big an impression on them as they did on us. I must say that today, I’m Jones’n for the Jones. Safe travels!




The Menokin Glass House: A Revolutionary Project

Once the home of Declaration of Independence signer Francis Lightfoot Lee, now the evocative crumbling ruins of an 18th century mansion in Virginia’s Northern Neck, Menokin aspires to a future like no other among American Revolutionary sites and conservation efforts.

Menokin is a multi-faceted place, rich in heritage and stories. The site spans 500 acres of land in close proximity to Washington, DC and other major cities and historic sites. At its center is the revolutionary rehabilitation of the Menokin house.

Remaining historical elements and some extracted structural materials from the house will be reinstalled, along with the beautiful woodwork that was removed before the house collapsed in the 1960s. The missing exterior walls, roof, and floors will be recreated in glass and steel to protect the remaining historic fabric, to restore volume and space, and to provide exhibit areas.

Architect Jorge Silvetti and his internationally known firm of Machado and Silvetti Associates leads an interdisciplinary team that has developed our plan. The Glass Project serves as the ultimate case-study in architectural innovation and moves beyond just breaking the mold of the traditional historic house museum. The real potential of Menokin lies in the opportunity to approach its preservation and interpretation in a truly innovative and revolutionary way, embodying the spirit of the place and Francis Lightfoot Lee himself.