I love how life brings you full circle some times and how on any given day something you never could imagine just falls into place and happens.
Back in 2003/04 we were working on a home in Arcadia with Nance Construction and looking for inspiration on what could be the next new look for Exeter and Arcadia. In the midst of our research, Nancy Brunkhorst brought this book the New Classicists - Ken Tate Architect ! I loved it! The book - if you can still find it...is a true coffee table book and features a dozen or so of his homes in beautiful detail including detailed drawings all printed on a black background!
We poured through the book and was struck by a home he had done with lime washed reclaimed brick walls. Nance wanted to do it - the client and I loved it, and off we went! Our house turned out amazing and the limed washed brick became a hit in Arcadia and a real look and feel that still goes today.
That's what great artists and architects do.... Their work gets copied - it becomes part of the fabric and culture of a place.
So his book, and a second book that followed it, has been used in my office for years. I had just been in Denver a couple weeks ago and one of the builders we were interviewing took me through a Ken Tate house I mentioned that I was going to New Orleans in a few days. The builder said, "Why don't you look Ken Tate up and see what he thinks of us." So that's what we did!
What a Southern gentlemen and the epitome of Southern hospitality! He not only welcomed us he set up lunch for us in New Orleans and then toured us through one of his homes currently under construction in New Orleans.
We enjoyed our two martini lunch at Lilette's on Magazine Street. We compared notes and shared experiences and we both had to laugh at the similarities of our careers, work, staff, etc. we even discussed collaborating on some projects together! He took us to the Guthrie Contemporary Gallery to see some of his recent paintings and then off to see his project.
Spending the time with Ken was wonderful and brought a whole added richness to our first trip to New Orleans. It's how I love to travel - not just see the tourist sites and eat at the marquis restaurants, but also get out and dine at someone's home, meet the people who truly create and move the culture of a place. Ken Tate is one of those people here in the South!