Bryan with a “Why”

Canstruction 2010!

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Are cans of food the next great building material?  Probably not, but they just might be next medium for artist. 


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Train Transit

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Saturday, December 19th, 2009

As I mentioned previously, I enjoy trains and everything associated with them!  As a part of economic recovery instated by the Obama administration there is a push to invest, and in some cases, re-invest in passenger train routes all over the country.  If we can remove political aspect of the situation and just focus on the financial impact to all Hoosiers over the next 20 years, might it be a good thing?

First imagine that Indianapolis’ Union Station becomes, once again, a hub for regional train travel.  The IndyGo, and potential regional bus service connect once again at their rightful place downtown.  With the SuperBowl coming in 2012, and other events of that magnitude coming to downtown Indianapolis imagine the statement it would make to have of out-of-town visitors arrive to downtown via steel rail transportation.

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Saturday, December 19th, 2009 Bryan with a "Why" No Comments

Lost Wages: Off the Strip

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

I thought the driving skills of my Hoosier counterparts were suspect – but I was wrong! Las Vegas drivers take the cake. 

Driving away the composite area that encompasses downtown, the Strip and University of Nevada Las Vegas one word sums it up: SPRAWL!  The advantage is lots of  In-n-Out Burger which are mighty tasty – but more Strip malls then I care to count. 

The city is on an orthogonal grid only to be intercepted by I-15, the Union Pacific Railroad and a couple of state roads that climb out of the Valley. 

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Wednesday, December 16th, 2009 Bryan with a "Why" 1 Comment

Lost Wages: Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip)

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Saturday, December 12th, 2009

How do you celebrate your 29th Birthday?  By going to Las Vegas of course!  I’ll be honest and state I am not a big gambler but find the Las Vegas Valley an interesting dynamic of American culture and what it states about the collective society.   Last year, I visited the valley (and my good friends) before there were any signs that the market was crashing and burning.  There was so much construction occurring at the time, that my head was spinning.  I don’t think the growth would be comparable to any suburb in Indianapolis.

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Saturday, December 12th, 2009 Bryan with a "Why" 1 Comment


Bryan Ziolkowski :: Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Do you know what the numbers (SP) 4449, (PM) 1225, (NKP) 765 and (MILW) 261 mean?  If you answer a very strange architectural ratio you would be incorrect.   If you answered a steam locomotive of mid-20th Century vintage you would be correct.   You see, I am train enthusiast.   If I were to pick a point in time, Post World War II to the late 1960’s would be my favorite.  It was a point in transition in how people and materials were moved across the country. 

The ‘habit’ started when I was young … Mom and Dad’s homestead is about ¾ of a mile North from the Canadian National Railway South Bend Subdivision (Grand Trunk Western Railroad) and five miles South of the Norfolk Southern’s Water Level Route (Conrail, nee Penn Central, nee New York Central).  For good measure the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend, The South Shore, parallels the Water Level Route until New Carlisle, IN as it moves towards Chicagoland. Operations of the South Shore are now under the authority of NICTD (Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District)  – more on that in the future.  I took my first train ride on the South Shore with my Grandfather – even got to sound the horn with conductor observing.  A great memory but I digress from my numbers …

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Thursday, August 27th, 2009 Bryan with a "Why" 1 Comment

Architecture: South Bend (a)

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Well it has been 10 years since I walked across the stage at South Bend Washington High School which means High School Reunion time!  I spent a beautiful July weekend revisiting old memories and getting reacquainted with my hometown.

Just a little background on the City of South Bend:  The city’s economic engine was due to companies like Oliver (plows), Studebaker (wagon, cars and Avanti) and Bendix (brake systems) setting up shop on the West and South sides of the city in the late 19th Century.  In turn a robust downtown was established with stores like Robertson’s, Gilbert’s, G.L. Perry and Dainty Maid.  Sadly all have disappeared in their entirety over the last 30 years, with the exception of Dainty Maid, due mainly to economic reasons.  That said, the city continues to move forward.

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Sunday, August 9th, 2009 Bryan with a "Why" 1 Comment

ARE 4.0: Part 1

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

(Postscript: It appears that I didn’t hit the ‘any’ key when I orginally posted)

As my Blog Biography indicates, I am pursuing my licensure in architecture. 


I completed Test #3: Construction Documents and Services on May 4th.  I walked out of the test feeling quite unsure about the 100 multiple choice question and 90% confident on the graphic portion of a building section.   I am still awaiting the test results – probably due to the cheating scandal NCARB made all testing candidates fully aware of via e-mail and snail mail.  The RATIO bloghood will know as soon as I do.

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ARE 4.0: Part 2

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

I unfortunately will need to retake test #3 which has me a little frustrated.  I know where my weakness was but in fear of the “NCARB police” I can’t say what it was.  I would also like to commend NCARB for raising testing fees at the most inopportune time within the profession to address the cheating scandal that was announced two months.


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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 Bryan with a "Why" No Comments

This Old House (Part II)

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Friday, June 19th, 2009

In the routine of outdoor chores this past week I discovered new guest within my homestead – a family of bunnies and a nesting duck.  I can understand the bunnies living under the shed but can’t seem to understand why the ducks are so far away from the retention pond.  I don’t mind the guest, but the mother duck is making it difficult to mow the lawn in front of the flower bed.

Let me back-up a step and admit that This Old House was one small part of what guided me to the profession of architecture.  When I was younger Dad and I (and eventually my two brothers) would schedule our Saturday around the broadcast time.  I now watch it on WFYI, Indianapolis, Channel 20, either Thursday night or late Saturday morning.

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Friday, June 19th, 2009 Bryan with a "Why" No Comments

Cubs on the Brain!

Bryan Ziolkowski :: Saturday, June 13th, 2009

It is sad, but true, I am a Cubs fan. What would you expect from a kid who grew up 90 minutes from the center of Chicago?

Game One: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs, Memorial Day night at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

With friends piled into the car, we drove North on I-65 encountering North of Rensselaer, IN one the largest, if not the largest, wind generating farms under construction in the Midwest. We just saw the delivery area and that in itself was quite impressive. As we made it into the ‘The Region’, the Chicago Skyway offered the quickest route into downtown. We made an ‘architectural pit stop’ at Millennium Park to see Renzo Piano’s recently completed Modern Wing to the Chicago Art Institute. A well detailed structure that compliments the existing complex of buildings. The most impressive portion is the pedestrian bridge that connects the Modern Wing to the great lawn of Millennium Park. This also avoids a personal game of ‘Frogger’ across Monroe Street.

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Saturday, June 13th, 2009 Bryan with a "Why" 1 Comment