Friday, January 29, 2010

Top Places to See Great Architecture

Whether you are planning to have a "Stay-Cation" in your own neck of the woods or maybe you are a more adventurous person that wants to tour distant lands, I found a web site that lists some really great spots to see.

Use this list to plan your next time off and enjoy the "Experience" of being in the midst of great architecture.

Here is the link:,0,6364853.photogallery

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Monday, January 25, 2010

How Haiti Earthquakes Destroyed Buildings

Check out the video above to see the reason why the earthquakes in Haiti caused so much devistation. You can also view this video at my new vlog at

Listen to the podcast at to hear more reasons why this tragedy happened and how we can help prevent it from happening again in the future - anywhere!

I also share a story about how a man in the USA made a special trip to Haiti to personally save the life of one Haitian man that once saved this American only 5 years earlier.

See you there at

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How is NYC Overcoming the Recession?

Mike Bloomberg gave his State of the City (NYC) Address today. He is doing a good job at bringing the City into the new technologically savvy world. In his address, he covered four very key points. They were:

1. How can we help those who’ve been hit hardest by these tough times?
o To help those about to lose their homes to foreclosure, his administration is implementing some things that no other city in the nation has done. He is creating credit unions for home owners to get more favorable loans, creating checking accounts that have no minimum balance penalties or hidden fees, and giving grants to home owners so they can qualify to refinance their mortgages.
o The City will also be giving out bracelets with GPS devices to families with disabled family members. This is to protect them from getting lost and hurt.

2. How can we make it easier to open and grow small businesses?
o To help open and grow small businesses, his administration is making it easier for businesses to start up with less red tape. This can save entrepreneurs three months of waiting, allow hiring to begin 3 months earlier, and put 3 extra months of income into their businesses.

3. How can we connect Black and Hispanic young people to the opportunities and support that can lead them to success?
o To help minorities, they are supporting youth risk centers that help young teens learn new trades and learn how to be better parents of their newborns.

4. How do we find new ways to stretch every dollar to the limit?
o To stretch every dollar to the limit, he already has put into place a 311 call center where New Yorkers can call in to find out information about where they can receive certain services. Now, he is expanding this by creating on point of contact where people can register, fill out, and file certain forms that would normally require people to go to many different locations and stand in many different lines to get the same things accomplished. It would be really great if he could allow architects to file on-line their drawings and filing documents instead of needing to hire expediters to stand in lines at the New York City Department of Buildings to meet with plan examiners and other municipal officials.

Mayor Bloomberg referred the citizens of NYC as customers of the City. He said that in this global high tech world, it is getting more challenging for cities to keep their citizens “customers” from moving out. He wants to improve customer services so people will not want to leave NYC.

In a nut shell, here is a concluding quote from his address:
"The spirit of innovation and enterprise that fuels the Big Apps competition is encoded in the very DNA of this City. And it's that spirit that gives me confidence we can meet all the challenges we face, including those highlighted by our four questions: helping struggling New Yorkers find jobs and financial security, helping small business owners open their doors, helping our most troubled, at-risk young people build their futures, and the future of our City. And helping City government provide better service - at lower costs.”

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Why Did Scott Brown Win the Mass Senate Race?

Scott Brown was born in a family whose parents divorced when he was only one year old. He spent some time living with his aunt during the unsteady times of this mom and dad’s well being. In fact, for a period of time, his mom had to resort to welfare to just make ends meet.

At a young age, Scott was arrested for shop lifting record albums in a local store. The judge asked him what he thought that his siblings would think of him if they had to see him play basketball while in prison. This question and the 1500 word essay that the judge required him to write about his bad choice of stealing was his penalty and his sobering remedy to be more concerned about others around him.
Scott joined the Lion’s Club and later joined the National Guard.
Scott became the “regular guy.”

So what made Scott Brown the winning candidate for the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate? Even more important, what helped Scott Brown win the election for the U.S. Senate seat that was taken by the long standing democrat Senator Ted Kennedy of 30 years plus?

It appears that Scott won the election last night because the community was turned off by being represented by a Democrat fill-in person that took for granted that her position would be protected since the Commonwealth of Mass. Was seemly always democrat. It seemed that the people of that state resented that they were to be represented by someone that represented a social medical agenda that the state endorsed under a republican governor Mitt Romney and found that their decision was too costly and too inefficient. They seemed to want no more of this on a federal level.

What can we learn from this on an architectural level?

My take is that we need not take for granted that stock plans, designers, and builders can provide a sufficient end product for our spacial needs at our church designs, office layouts, or our home renovations. It might be cheaper to hire a builder to construct one of these without well thought out designs by an architect, but in the long run, we cannot take for granite that they will be able to provide the design services that will truly reflect our spacial needs.

Don’t waste your money or time. Hire an architect. It doesn’t have to be my firm, Lane Architecture + Design. Find an architect that has been published and has an extensive testimonial list that recommends their services. If they can provide a design that will help your organization experience the type of business and lifestyle you desire – hire them immediately. It will be the best thing you could do for yourself or your company.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Do you live in a house that was built before 1978?

Above is a video of me introducing an expert about lead paint. He shares how contractors can be fined over $30,000 per day per incident after April 22, 2010 if they do not follow the guidelines that the EPA has put into law.

Tune into the podcast at

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Do You Want to Avoid Suprises During Home Renovations?

Getting to that extraordinary place has often required homeowners to endure an endless number of challenges. We all have heard of have lived through horror stories during a home renovation.

* Difficulties obtaining permits
* The contractor disappears in the middle of tearing out everything.
* Neighbors complain about dust and noise coming from your home
* Cost over-runs
* Construction Delays

All of these issues (and many more) stack upon each other until you feel that there is no painless way out.

This journal is designed to help you navigate through the design and construction process by using a simple seven step method. I believe that there is immense value in each of the seven sections in this journal.

Download a free copy of this journal by clicking on the book cover icon on the right side of this blog page.

You and your family will be glad that you did.
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