Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


Leave a comment

Exploring the Urban Landscape of Vicksburg, Mississippi

City Hall, Vicksburg, MississippiAround this time of year 155 years ago, the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, was under siege in a pivotal Civil War moment. A Union victory here, the last major Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, spelled the beginning of the end for the South. The city survived, however, growing into a major trading center that relied on steamboat traffic and erecting impressive structures that reflected its boom and that still survive today. Read more about the top five buildings in Vicksburg, Mississippi >

Advertisements


Leave a comment

The Deceptive Beauty of Oslo’s City Hall

City Hall, Oslo, NorwayEvery now and then, you will find a reason to visit a city hall other than to, say, pick up a marriage license or attend a meeting about your local school system. On such occasions, you may very well be delightfully surprised by what’s in store. The City Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for instance, is a gorgeous building where I had the good fortune to meet the city’s mayor during my visit; Stockholm’s City Hall boasts gorgeous golden mosaics and an unbeatable view of the city from atop its tower. And while the austere exterior of the city hall in Oslo, Norway, may not attract you at first, this city hall is particularly chock full of history, stories, art, and superlatives, which became increasingly apparent to me the closer I got to it. Read more >


1 Comment

Savannah’s Best Buildings in America’s Best Historic District

Savannah Cotton Exchange, Savannah, GeorgiaWith hundreds of buildings in Savannah’s five historic districts, it’s virtually impossible to select some favorites, particularly in the Savannah Historic District, one of the largest such districts in the United States. Within its confines, I came across the birthplace of the founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, one of the South’s first public museums, the oldest African American Baptist congregation in the United States, the house that launched the city’s preservation movement, and the third-oldest synagogue and the oldest standing pre–Civil War rail facility in America. Impressive as they are, even these beauties didn’t emerge as my favorites. Read more about the top five buildings in Savannah, Georgia >


Leave a comment

Delft in a Day

City Hall, Delft, NetherlandsOnly about an hour’s train ride from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the positively lovely city of Delft presents itself as a smaller, saner, less frenetic version of the Dutch capital. You can see all the highlights in a day, but this inviting city of right around 100,000 people may very well seduce you into staying longer to admire its charms and partake in its culture. Read more about the top five things to see and do in Delft >


Leave a comment

Coursing Through the Heart of Belfast: Donegall Square

Scottish Provident Building, Belfast, IrelandWith “the Troubles” apparently — and hopefully — relegated to the history books, a day trip to Belfast now seemed necessary during my three-week jaunt around Ireland. Just a two-hour train ride north from Dublin, the capital of Northern Ireland has settled into a peaceful, bustling center of activity. The heart of the city beats in and around Donegall Square, a concentration of fantastic buildings, monuments, and green space, and a wonderful place to wander around when the clouds part. Read more >


Leave a comment

Treasures Among the Towers: Finding the Best Buildings in Toronto, Ontario

Old City Hall, Toronto, OntarioAs Canada’s largest city, Toronto has been a hub of finance, politics, culture, trade, industry, and education for a couple of centuries, all of which lends its urban landscape an impressive variety of structures. Although seemingly drowning in a sea of characterless skyscrapers right now, it still boasts plenty of unique buildings scattered around town that will enrich your visit to the “Queen City.” Read more about my top five buildings in Toronto >


Leave a comment

Appreciating Milwaukee’s Best Without the Buzz

City Hall, Milwaukee, WisconsinMilwaukee’s sudsy past — when breweries such as Miller, Pabst, and Schlitz were filling up millions of barrels of beer every year, and the titular characters in Laverne & Shirley worked as bottlecappers in a brewery — has given way to a less foamy present (although it remains one of the best places to grab a cold one). The city’s Major League Baseball team’s name still conjures up those days of countless brewers, but the old “Beer Capital of the World” offers visitors so much more than a refreshing pint. From a museum of Harley-Davidson motorcycles to countless ethnic street fairs to one of the world’s largest music festivals, Milwaukee proved to be one pleasant surprise after another. These are my top five things to see and do in Wisconsin’s largest city >