I got up early this morning so that I could get things going only to see that it was gray and gloomy outside – bummer. Trying to practice with my new camera and overcast isn’t going to give me very many options (at least not at my skill level). The haze burned off around 2:00pm but I had already hit my first three destinations so let me apologize now for the photos.
The first place I went was the Wedington Liquor Store (insert easy joke of your choice here). Actually it was to see a project Marlon Blackwell had completed recently in 2009. This was an unusual project because from the outside it looked like any other beverage center in anywhere strip mall, but on the inside, the owners decided to let Marlon have some fun and divide the space up with this entry piece that essentially partitioned off the store into two sides – wine one on and beer/ liquor on the other. The fact that the owners allowed this entry feature to be fabricated is telling to either their personality or Marlon’s salesmanship abilities in convincing them they needed this feature. Since I am not going to see Marlon until Wednesday, I suppose the truth will have to wait…..or will it?
Next door to this store was a tobacco and cigar store that Marlon did and by chance, it is owned by the same people who own the liquor store. So I go over and once again, introduce myself, tell them I am an architect and that I came to look at their project and how great it is, etc. The woman I am speaking to is super nice and she introduces herself as Angel Srygley, the owner. We are talking for a few minutes and she asks me if I had been to 1845 Shelby lane? No, I don’t know where that is but that I was planning on going to the Srygley office building next…….what?! Yes, 2+2 is easy for some people but I apparently I need a little more time. It dawns on me that the owner’s name is the same as the building I am about to go visit and she confirms that yes indeed, that office is also theirs and that it is on Shelby lane. Nice.
Turns out Marlon has done at least three projects for the Srygley’s and that they were the three I was going to be looking at today. So the answer to our question re: is Marlon a good salesman or do these folks have an interest in design and architecture that goes beyond functional problem solving? – the answer is yes to both.
Tomorrow I will post some pictures and we’ll take a look at the Srygley Office Building. I also made a trip through the University of Arkansas School of Architecture, spent a few minutes with Dean Jeff Shannon and learned that there are big things planned.
Thanks for reading – Bob