Acropolis 2,500 Years
Architectural Inspiration

Page 26
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2,500 Years of Architectural Inspiration
August 20th, 2007
Warm, sunny and dry August weather allows us to move quickly on the remaining porticos. Chuck and Kevin create wooden forms for the west portico steps and then move on to building the north portico and balcony. In classical terminology a columned and covered walkway at or near the entrance to a building is called a portico. The columns are what differentiate a portico from a porch while the overhead covering separates it from a deck.
Meanwhile Rich and Hank finish hooking up the new well and cover the trench. The house is connected to the new well while the 1,750 gallon cistern and old well are used for irrigation.
West Portico Forms for the west portico steps.
North Portico
The north portico and balcony will form the main entrance for the new house.
Trench Filled
The new well and covered trench winds in back of the garage.
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Steve Goodpaster Steve Goodpaster of Bozeman Solid Surface Fabrications standing next to the new kitchen counter.
Give Steve Goodpaster a call at (406)586-5508 or e-mail him at Be sure to tell him that we sent you. He will take good care of you.
August 21st, 2007
My best friend in Connecticut, Bill Wallace, helped design the kitchen and dining room. I researched stainless steel, wood, marble, granite and solid surface for the countertops. I wanted something that was exceptionally durable, low maintenance and fit in with the classically designed interior. Rich suggested that I look at Silestone and introduced me to his friend, Steve Goodpaster. Steve explained that Silestone started life out as quartz and then was manufactured into hard, durable and easy to care for countertops. It is difficult to scratch Silestone, it will not melt like plastic, burn like wood, chip like soapstone, scratch like stainless steel or stain like marble or even granite. Silestone is non-porous and thus extra hygienic as well. Steve, Rich and I found a light grey granite type texture and color that worked beautifully with the rest of the kitchen. Steve, who is a certified Silestone installer, created gorgeous counters for the kitchen, basement laundry sink and workshop sink.

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Kitchen Sink
A Silestone quartz kitchen counter and back splash skillfully installed by Steve Goodpaster of Bozeman Solid Surface Fabrications.
Silestone Counter
A Silestone quartz counter adorns the basement workshop sink. The faucet head pulls off and turns into a sprayer so cleaning is a breeze.
Every surface in a classical house is a potential canvas. This could lead to artistic chaos but with discipline and thought it can also lead to a unified design and even tell a story. Andrea Palladio, a 16th century architect in Venice, is part of the story our house. In 1564 Andrea designed and built a beautiful marble floor for the San Giorgio Maggiore cathedral in Venice. Inspired, we used Palladio's ideas for our foyer floor and elements of that for the laundry room folding table and bathroom sink back splashes. In the same manner Neil artfully crafted hardwood diamonds into the living and dining room floor, library entrance, workshop bench, stairs and breakfast bar counter.
The architectural story of our house starts with the beginnings of western civilization in the ancient Greek city-state of Athens in the 5th century B.C. The columns, pediments, dentil trim and tiered steps were all used in ancient Greece. Half circle arches, keystones, Corinthian column capitals and hemispherical domes were widely employed in ancient Rome from the third century B.C. on.
In the 15th century Andrea Palladio rediscovered Greek and Roman architecture by studying ancient ruins. He detailed his findings in The Four Books of Architecture which initiated the rebirth of Classical building design. The Classical tradition, which covers more than 2,500 years of human history, continues today with our house.
Laundry Folding Table
An Andrea Palladio creation inspired the three dimensional tile design for our laundry room, folding table.
Tool Panel Kim created fir borders and keystones for the workshop, Slatwall tool panels. Bench Top A close up view of a hardwood diamond in the workshop bench.
Sidewalk Forms are set for a wide sidewalk around the south portico steps.

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While the high mountain weather was still frost free Rich and his crew started to lay forms for the sidewalks around the south portico. We used a beige cream hardener with a platinum grey release agent for adding color to the raw concrete. Then we laid four foot square rubber mats with a raised limestone pattern on top of the wet concrete. We pressed the impression into the concrete and then gently pulled the mats off. The result was a well worn and eroded limestone look to brand new sidewalks. Although they looked great we discovered much later and after clear coating them, that the walks were exceptionally slippery when fresh snow covered them. Although perfect as is, for summertime use, we will put rubber mats on these sidewalks during the winter.
North Portico Steps The north portico steps descend gracefully from a wide landing to the driveway. Limestone Pattern We pressed a "well worn limestone" pattern into the fresh concrete sidewalk around the south portico steps.
August 25th, 2007
I looked twice as I drove past the Mammoth Hot Springs post office. "Is that a wreath hanging around one of the stone bear's neck" I wondered aloud? Yes, for today was August 25th and the second celebration of Christmas, in Yellowstone National Park. The tradition started many decades ago when folks were snowed in at the Old Faithful Inn on August 25th. Employees now hold Christmas parties and sing Christmas carols. Presents are given and received. Handel's Messiah is even performed in the Mammoth Hot Springs church.

I searched in vain for a Christmas CD as my Jeep and I headed south towards Mount Holmes and the Solfatara Creek North trail head. The day was warm, sunny and breezy. Just a wisp of smokey haze from the Idaho Salmon River forest fires hung high above the Gallitan mountains.
Christmas in Yellowstone
Christmas is celebrated on August 25th
in Yellowstone National Park.
Solfatara Creek Solfatara Creek lazily winds next to the trail. Note the small hot spring in the foreground. Obsidian Chunks of razor sharp obsidian, black volcanic glass, pave portions of the trail.
Sulfur deposits are common in Yellowstone's volcanic environment. When water is heated by magma, just below the earth's surface, it percolates upward, dissolves sulfur deposits and forms sulfuric acid. Solfatara refers to earth that is eaten away by by the caustic brew. A battery acid lake and hellish, seemingly lifeless landscape, surrounded me a few miles down the trail. The air was thick with the smell of rotten eggs and hot steam belched from water filled craters in the muddy swamp. Were this landscape made by man as a result of mining or smelting it would be considered a toxic waste site. But made by nature it is pristine and and even beautiful? North Solfatara Trail
Solfatara trail climbs to about 7,800 feet alongside wooden utility poles.
Acid Lake Hot springs mixed with sulfur to form this small lake of battery acid. Surprisingly some algae thrives in the caustic brew. Paint Pots Boiling water and sulfuric acid dissolve rocks and clay forming bubbling cauldrons of mud that are often called "paint pots".
Palladian Back Splash
Kim created a Palladian back splash for the basement bathroom sink.
September 7th, 2007
Kim created a Palladian back splash for the bathroom sinks to match the laundry room folding table and foyer floor. On page 20 we showed you The Birth of Venus tile picture first created by Sandro Botticelli in 15th century Renaissance Florence. Venus was born from the sea and Botticelli has her standing in a shell. That inspired us to use a shell design for several of our bathroom sinks.
The artistic, Roman arch faucets by Moen, are a perfect blend of old world craftsmanship and modern technology. The brass and chrome finish is permanently coated so they will never need polishing while a sophisticated flow control valve carefully regulates water pressure.
Roman Arch Faucet A Moen, Roman arch style faucet, adorns the bathroom and kitchen sinks.
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Birth of Venus The Birth of Venus tile mural from a painting by Sandro Botticelli around 1463.

Visit the Aristophanes Tile Mural web site at to see many other beautiful tile murals at exceptionally reasonable prices.
Double Rainbow A rare, double rainbow, arches across Paradise Valley with Emigrant Peak in the background.
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Page 25
Steps to Knowledge

Tim's Life
Main Table of Contents

Branford Bike
Fire Story
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Page 27
Race Against the Weather