As I have walked the streets of Berkeley, I have been impressed by chimneys. They very well may not fit the parameters of my mission, for they are architectural features designed and built before, in almost every case, the time of the current homeowner. Still, they add a certain something to what we see in our city. There is considerable lore associated with chimneys, suggesting something more than just design. But just design is enough. So – I invite you to think about chimneys for two minutes. That’s all. Not much to ask.
We are going to start with brick chimneys. From the brick chimney collection, first up are the chimneys that evoke fairy tales – fanciful and whimsical.
I found a couple with whimsical brick construction – windows in chimneys and now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t:
Mid-century modern does not enjoy a strong presence in Berkeley, but it is not absent. Here are a few mid-centuries with mid-century brick:
And the stately brick chimneys, very evocative of the East Coast:
In addition to brick, we have stone chimneys. Some massive, some delicate.
Neither brick nor stone (nor stucco) – there are a few enclosed chimneys, such as this shingle-enclosing one:
So there it was – a few minutes about chimneys. If you pay attention, they are there, adding to to the sum of the quirky parts.
When I showed these photos to my friend, I could see that he was in the mood for a talk. I made tea and put not the most obvious record and we talked.
We talked about stone houses. We share a deep affection for Robinson Jeffers’ Tor House in Carmel.
We talked briefly about Jeffers and the house and then my friend said, “I dig bricks. I think I will do a whole website about bricks in Berkeley. I will call it “Brickly Berkeley.” I pointed out that Tater had suggested that very idea months ago. My friend feigned not remembering. Whatever.
We talked about the expression “built like a brick shit house.” It is not an expression that has much to say for itself these days.
And next we talked about the absolute lack of logic and consistency in the English language. These words rhyme:
jerk, clerk, perk, twerk
quirk, Dirk, Kirk, shirk
Four different vowels . Same sound. Exactly the same sound What’s up with that?
And then I got going on bricks in my youth, building with American Plastic Bricks. Boy they were fun.
We finished our tea. The album side was over. Thank you Commodores. I put the tea cups on a tray and asked about the chimney photos: