A warm, inviting entrance to a grand hotel. The pavers and the covered entrance to the Wentworth By the Sea make guests feel stately and at home as they arrive to check in. The scene takes on a different feel in the evening, more cozy than the clean and stately white lines of the architecture during the day, though it’s elegant in all settings.
I’ve always enjoyed trying to capture the beauty of a piece of architecture. This hotel, the Sheraton Harborside, was originally built in the 1980s as part of the rejuvenation of Portsmouth’s Northern Tier. It’s built on top of the hillside, and it’s a huge building that looks cool from across the river and less exciting from the street level on Market Street. At just the right angle, however, it becomes more of a massive structure perched on the landscape. The miniscule crescent moon is an added bonus.
If you have visited The Daily Portsmouth before today, it’s no secret that I love HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. There’s something about the process that reminds me of the days I spent learning how to develop black & white film in the darkroom in my days at UNH. It’s a very intimate process where you’re selecting where you want certain portions of the image to be overexposed, saturated with color, masked, etc. It’s the process of creating the image you’ve envisioned while out on site and admiring a view of a landscape, a building, or in this case – a porch. Obviously – you don’t have to use HDR processing to reach this vision, but there’s something about it that excites me as I wait for the image to present itself after blending my exposures (brackets) before I get to do my final tweaking…similar to waiting for the image to take hold while the paper sits in the developer.
As I was editing this photo (and admittedly going through the motions), I realized that the ceiling of this porch was actually painted a baby blue color and not the pure white that I had always assumed it had been. It’s probably because my eyes always quickly darted through the scene while I was standing there, and I never thought to take stock of what was above me, as I was struck by the pure New England feel of the setting…so when I realized the colors were that much more varied and subtle…my appreciation for the process of editing and the modern day “developing” my digital film grew that much more. I hope you’re out exploring scenes both familiar and unfamiliar, and appreciating what surrounds you.
The Residence Inn at Portwalk Place is officially open for business. Word went out today in the Portsmouth Herald – and I happened to drive by this morning due to my usual route being unavailable thanks to some ongoing infrastructure work and sidewalk improvements on Market Street, so I snapped a couple shots.
The building doesn’t boast the most earth shattering architectural features, but to me it marks an improvement over the languishing Parade Mall project (and it doesn’t stop me from trying to make it look interesting), and I’m always a sucker for new construction. I think once the entire project is complete with the future office/retail component, it will continue to bring a new feel to the North End. Change is constant downtown, and I’m happy to see another construction project buttoned up for the time being. Soon the lifts should be gone and hopefully the surface parking next door will be open for business.
I had the opportunity to work with the great folks over at The Ale House Inn recently on putting some shots together for their 10-room boutique inn. In addition to being very cool guys, they also happen to run a hip New England boutique inn. (Be sure to head over to the website to check out the rest of my shots & let them know if you like how they came out!)
If you’ve never been, it’s worth a visit…cool & comfy furniture, clean rooms, recently renovated bathrooms…and now – iPads! Each of the Deluxe rooms now comes equipped with one of the new gadgets, which you can surf on with the inn’s complimentary wi-fi. I’m definitely looking forward to my next stay – I would recommend it if you have family/friends coming in to town – the building is centrally located on Bow Street within easy walking distance to Prescott Park, The Decks, Market Street, etc….and a nice walking distance to work off that dessert from Annabelle’s or Popovers. The Inn is actually in the 3rd floor of the building that also houses the Seacoast Rep…which I’d previously featured here.
Here’s some history on the building from the website: “The Portsmouth Brewing Company was first established in 1871 as the Harris & Mathes Company. By 1873, the brewery was operated by Arthur harris, and by 1876, it was renamed for the final time as the Portsmouth Brewing Company. The building which houses the Ale House Inn was used as a warehouse for the brewery. Thousands of kegs once rested here as they underwent fermentation. You will notice the foot thick brick walls that were built to keep the beer at the same temperature 365 days a year. While little is known about this brewery, and despite being dwarfed in publicity by its two larger rivals (The Frank Jones & Eldredge Breweries) it still managed to brew a fine product. Small, but feisty, the company advertised a wide variety of products including “India, Pale, Stock and Cream Ales, Hop Beer and Old Brown Stout” plus the uniquely named Portsburger Lager. Like many breweries, the company ceased operations in 1917 with the ratification of Prohibition.”
The Wentworth By The Sea is a beautiful architectural gem of the seacoast, located in New Castle, NH. The structure, originally built in 1874, and later bought by the brewing magnate Frank Jones and expanded in 1879. Above is one of the gorgeous trees on the property in bloom this spring, while below you can see the structure sitting prominently on the top of the hill.
The Ale House Inn is a 10-room inn located on Bow Street downtown. I’ve shared a few cool shots of the place in the past, and plan to post more in the future. I love the feel of the place, very cozy and respectful of the building’s history as a grain storage warehouse for a brewery, yet modern and sleek with great furniture and amenities…and the lobby is just awesome. The brick walls are welcoming and so is the long hallway…all in all, very New England and well worth a visit.