Dennis Q’s ‘sawtooth’

The N&R has done some fine architectural reporting in the last two days.

Yesterday it was Jim Schlosser pointing out some of our finest surviving examples of local public school buildings.  Jim reports that upon its completion, Greensboro school officials boasted about how much Grimsley’s original campus cost; it was the state’s first $1 million secondary school.  About such bragging rights of days gone by, Schlosser asks this sadly rhetorical question: “Could anyone imagine the school board now bragging about a school’s high cost?”

My children are fortunate to be able to attend two of the article’s mentioned schools: Aycock and Grimsley.  What those two structures lack in modern-day functionality they more than make up for in a quality that few people consider to be important anymore: pride-instilling monumental asthetics.

Today it was Jeri Rowe telling us about the prominent roof-top solar panel installation of the new Proximity Hotel on Wendover Ave.  Built with the architectural feel of an old fabric mill, Jeri’s fine article tells us of how much money Dennis Quaintance and Co’s building design will save in hot water bills and how cool Dennis is in real life.

What Dennis knows full-well, but isn’t mentioned in the article, is that those solar panels will also add to the historical design of the project.  New solar panel installations such as Proximity’s replicate the presence of “sawtooth” design features that were quite popular in early 20th century mill design.sawtooth_center.jpg

Using passive solar energy was a common feature of many an old mill as shown in this photo of Sawtooth Arts Center in Winston Salem.

Although I don’t have a picture of it, my company is working to restore a similar original and functioning ‘sawtooth’ as a part of our window restoration efforts with the adaptive re-use of the 1918 vintage Lillian Mill in Albemarle.

Everything old is new again.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted December 12, 2006 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Great post, David. I hadn’t noticed he “sawthooth” similarity.

    Do you think it’s interesting that a prominent supporter of Greensboro’s historic and architectural heritage should be an out-of-towner like Dennis Q.?

  2. Posted December 12, 2006 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I think it quite interesting… and somewhat sad, too.

    So many of our community leaders (I excuse Dennis from the lot) take a ‘ho-hum… its just old’ approach to our architectural history. I grow as weary as you in fighting what are seemingly never ending battles to celebrate what we’ve had and keep what little of our past we still have.

    Through new buildings, Dennis and Co. pay homage to where Greensboro has been while leading to where we should go. The man is well grounded in local history even though he is a transplant and his approach is refreshing.

    People could learn a lot from him on many fronts. Needless to say… I am a great fan.

  3. Posted December 13, 2006 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Dennis is also a big supporter of Slow Food and local North Carolina farmers.

  4. Posted June 4, 2007 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jim. Photos i received. Thanks

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