Modern Architecture Tour of Toledo & Class Field Trip Fun

Yesterday was actually way more fun than I had anticipated it would be. We had a class field trip for my “Modern Architecture Since 1900” class. We caravaned around Toledo stopping at the Toledo Public Library, My teacher’s personal home  that she designed (she’s an architect), the Glass Pavilion of the Toledo Museum of Art and the Frank Gehry building across the street from the Glass Pavilion—AKA the Art building for the students at the University of Toledo.

At her house we had a DELICIOUS meal of Carribean cuisine and I enjoyed a chicken kabob, the best hummus I’ve ever had and my first taste of baklava. I cannot reitterate enough how delicious it all was. In fact, I wish I had taken photos of the food just so you could drool over it as well. Instead I’ll show off a drool-worthy photo of her bathroom among others from the trip!

I apologize in advance: Sorry if some of these aren’t great quality—I had to take all of them on my iphone since my camera batteries (despite charging them) died about 10 minutes after we started. Also please don’t mind the heads of my classmates!

Toledo Public Library

Lucas County Public Library, Glass addition added in the 1980s, Colored Glass “Vitrolite” PWA art installation and the Rooftop Garden!

Toledo Public Library

Children’s Library: the first of its kind to be on the “piano nobile” or “noble floor” AKA main floor. Children’s libraries were in the basements for seperating the children and keeping them safe–it was an adult free zone unlike today. The area has a Rainbow Fish themed fishtank, many themed areas, child-height doors and fun carpeting!

Toledo Public Library

Since the original building was Art Deco, there were some amazing lighting fixtures: The large pendant over the entrance (left) and the space-age looking pendants that were through the entire main area (right top). The bottom right shows the old lighting fixtures that during the 1980’s addition & renovation were installed under glass as coffee tables!

Modern Architecture Toledo

This is my teacher’s house in Toledo, the front has a large fence closing off the road from the ivy garden. Inside the entire back is a glass window looking out into the woods. Her bathroom has the BEST view!

Toledo Museum of Art: Glass Pavilion

The Glass Pavilion really is glass–from floor to ceiling. They had to install the glass in grooves in the concrete floor and ceiling. Since the ceiling was there from the previous building they built a false exterior of plywood and installed the glass walls from the inside out. The far left shows the first piece installed in the building, a chandelier by Dale Chihuly. The bottom right shows one of the classrooms where glass artists can learn and work.

Frank Gehry Building Toledo

The University of Toledo Art building was designed by Frank Gehry. The inside has very sharp angles and doesn’t really feel like an art school (no art on the walls!) and the outside looks like a modern castle. Our teacher said the majority of people really don’t like this building–and I would have to agree with that group, it was definitely my least favorite of the trip.


Overall we had a fun day, luckily I had my friend Kim in the car with me so it wasn’t just me and two architecture students that I didn’t know. Lunch was amazing and all of us in my car had some good laughs about the things our teacher’s husband told us about their house (eg. we commented on how great the bathroom view was and he said “Yeah, we like to spend a lot of time in there”).