Monday, October 31, 2011


North Main Street, West Hartford


Walbridge Road, West Hartford

St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
(So, guess where I was two weeks ago!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mary M. Hooker School

There is that Hooker name again!  It is common here. The Mary M. Hooker Environmental Sciences Magnet School was renovated and expanded two years ago and converted into a pre-K - 8 magnet school.  One month ago it was honored with Platinum LEED certification.  It is one of only 11 public schools in the country to achieve that highest level of energy efficiency and environmental awareness.  Click here to read a story about the school . . . trust me, it is worth your time.

Other LEED-certified school projects in Connecticut are at places like Yale and Choate Rosemary Hall, prominent (and wealthy) private schools.  Mary Hooker is an inner city public school.   I stopped at the school a few days ago to take some pictures.  The principal gave me a tour.
A marine biologist and an entomologist teach here (at an elementary school!).  There are dozens of terraria and fish tanks, including the one with koi staring down the principal.  Butterflies have their own room to emerge from cocoons.  Wood used in the millwork was rescued from an abandoned Hartford factory.  Bricks were recycled from the 1950s predecessor building.  Food waste is mulched, and the mulch is used to grow plants.  The lawn offers big fields of wildflowers.  The roof carries solar panels and the rest of the rook is painted white to reflect light.  The building has the usual heavy insulation, efficient lighting, etc.  Natural daylight streams in through big, carefully sited windows, and masonry columns act as heat sinks.  Etc  Etc.

All in all, Hartford should be proud of this school.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Out of the Jurisdiction: DTW

Detroit's airport is a gateway between Hartford and the Midwest or West.  I passed through DTW twice this week.  The tunnel between terminals has cool music and constantly changing colored lights from the walls bouncing off all surfaces.

Please visit Weekend Reflections to see more pictures with reflections.