In this second edition of the book, The Fire Escape, A Visual Survey, shows the physical urbanity and human condition of the forms of the cities and its fire escapes from twenty five cities/urban areas in all four corners of America. Specifically, it is a survey of an architectural component which was mostly an afterthought.
The Fire Escape shows the art that was created as a result urban leaders placing more value on their own profit in the creation of buildings, than the lives of the many workers or occupants inside their capitalist machines, leaving legislators to come to the rescue with an external solution. This iconic form is glorified with scenes in movies, but their everyday existence is to hang there as lonely as the wealthy industrialist’s that initially omitted them. They speak of being our savior in an impending doom, and do so in shadows of light and mirrored reflections seen in complex overlapping Cartesian coordinates.
This book shows the beauty of a dying and unique American architecture. The images highlight the fire escape as eerily frozen in time, like they are from a cold war East Berlin, waiting for their removal by a follow on urban renewal that may never come. Their increasing protection due to evolving civic affection for their role in our lives gives them cultural importance. And yet very few architectural forms exhibit this much soliloquy of repetition and rhythm that is so involved with the hieratic form of a life safety function. Function followed form here as expected, but they are ironic and speak of the human condition waiting for us to go down to our eventual end. They hang there like a hovering death eater or a cemetery we pass on the way to work reminding us of the frailty of human life and the inevitable last journey to a final destination that we all must face.
About the author:
Peter Lagomarsino a Senior Architect that has practiced Architecture for over twenty four years. He’s the author of “Confessions in a Crown Vic” a critique of the American “Dream” and the story of what really happened in development this last century. He is an avid photographer of architecture with over thirty six years been behind the camera. He also paints acrylic on canvas for art sales and commissioned work. He has Bachelors of Arts in Architecture from the University of New Mexico, a Masters of Architecture from Clemson University and is LEED Accredited. Part of his Masters, was at the Charles E. Daniels Center for Urban Design at Clemson’s Villa in Genoa Italy where he traveled extensively in Europe, Greece, and the Middle East capturing over six thousand images on slide medium.$2.99–$34.99
“Confessions in a Crown Vic”
is the story of professional displacement during the Great Recession, an Architect as Cab driver, while seeking Architecture work. It interviews Paolo Soleri the visionary urban designer, the traffic engineer, Louis Lagomarsino, for Phoenix’s highway designs, and the cab passengers’ short stories of marginalization for their lack of a car. It’s a journey through an Architect’s life, beginning with schooling, travels, design, internship, and practices in the private to public projects for the USPS, USAF, USACOE, NAVFAC and manufacturing semiconductor facilities. It takes us through different urban configurations. But most of all it takes us through history’s cycles of political change, the semantics of their origins, the delivery of designs, and the affects of expansion and colonialist attitude’s in America. It’s a critique of Urban Sprawl, and the irrationality of relying on housing starts to determine a healthy economy. It examines Keynesian versus Classical economics, comparing them with the events of the last “American” century. He illuminates the American Dream’s unsustainable promise to even its poorest citizens, considering whether we can still re-materialize that dream out of its current mythological existence. Is this dream for everyone? Can we grow a culture based on the automobile and a limited fossil fuel economy? It challenges this dream’s configuration, while placing a heavy burden of responsibility for our economic demise on its mythical component, the greed that drove it, and the Sprawl that has burdened it.
About the author:
PETER J. LAGOMARSINO RA | NCARB | AIA | LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE
Peter Lagomarsino, a Senior Architect, lives in Melbourne Florida and has practiced Architecture for over twenty four years. He has Bachelors of Arts in Architecture from the University of New Mexico, and a Masters of Architecture from Clemson University and is LEED Accredited. Part of his Masters, was at the Charles E. Daniels Center for Urban Design at Clemson’s Campus in Genoa Italy. While there he traveled extensively in Europe, Greece, Egypt and the Middle East and worked with the Israel Antiquities Authority for their Surveys and Excavations at the end of his travels, to produce measured drawings for their Banias Area ‘B’ site literature. Mr. Lagomarsino has an extensive range of experience in many different fields of his trade. His skills balance the artistic and technical approach to presentation and comprehension which involve (A)rchitecture, (P)hotography, (P)ainting and (A)uthoring – A |P | P| A .
He’s worked with federal and private clientele in many U.S cities for the U.S.A.F, the U.S. Army and Army National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NAVFAC, The U.S. Postal Service, as well as many high tech Industrial semiconductor manufacturing plants in the US, and a Pharmaceutical facility in Dublin Ireland. His travels to many cities around the U.S. and the world give him a unique perspective and exposure to urban environments and how they may best benefit from different approaches and policies that service their inhabitants.$28.99