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General Interest

White walls? The trick is choosing the right white from 150 shades

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Written by BETH J. HARPAZ, Associated Press   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:37

The trick to choosing the right white is making sure the undertone is compatible with contrasting walls and the accessories in the room. In this room, Benjamin Moore's color Paper Mache (AF-25) is the perfect choice to complement the vibrantly hued wall painted with Royal Flush (2076-20). Image courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

NEW YORK (AP) - So you want to paint a room white. Sounds easy, until you go to the store to buy paint and discover there are dozens of whites to choose from.

Many have familiar yet poetic names that conjure up ever-so-slightly different hues: cream, pearl, vanilla, snow, chalk, ivory, jasmine, bone. But the closer you look, the more confusing the choices are. You want a plain, basic white, but the purest white on the color chart looks a little harsh next to all those soft shades with just a hint of something else -- beige, gray, peach, rose, yellow or the palest-ever blue or green.

Often people default to white because they don't want strong colors in their home. But as it turns out, "it's harder to choose white than any other color,'' said Sharon Grech, a color design expert at Benjamin Moore Paints.

She says Benjamin Moore alone offers more than 150 whites, and "when people are choosing white, I see more people unhappy or making a mistake or being shocked at the color than when they choose other colors.''

And watch out if you go with a pure white untinted by any other hue. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, which maintains color standards, says "the purity and cleanliness'' of the purest whites "can also make them feel very sterile and cold. And you can literally get eyestrain from too much dazzling white. So you've got to be cautious. Most people don't want to live with hospital white.''

More so than with other colors, whites are also more influenced by colors around them, so Grech says it's crucial to try a sample to see how it looks in the room. Buy a pint and paint a 3-by-3-foot board that you can move around your home. "Sometimes the sun hits it one way or another at different times of day, or it looks different against the rug, or you realize it's got a lot of pink in it or green in it,'' she said. "It might look totally different in the morning than at night.''

The paint sheen makes a difference too, whether matte -- a flat paint -- or a shiny high-gloss. One recommended mix is a semi-gloss trim with matte on the walls.

And don't forget the ceiling. "More people are thinking of the ceiling as a fifth wall,'' Grech said. "Think about it in terms of all the rooms that white is going to be flowing through on the ceiling.''

Most people want flat paint on the ceiling, but if you want to bring focus to the ceiling, a semi-gloss or high gloss can look "spectacular'' in the right space, she said.

James Martin is an architectural color consultant whose company, the Color People, designs colors for buildings. He says "if you're going to have white, you want to use a warm white -- yellow white, peachy white, rosy white. Anything you live with, you want it to be warm.'' It's especially important in an old house: "If you use a warm white, you'll see all the wonderful details in the surrounding woodwork much better,'' he said.

He adds that "white kills art. When you put a piece of art against a white wall, it isolates the painting so it becomes like a postage stamp -- a thing in a box. If you put the same painting against a colored wall, it eliminates those boundaries, pulls the colors out of the painting, and brings the painting to life.''

Martin doesn't like white walls, though he'll use off-white in a ceiling. He cautions that bright white trim and a bright white ceiling will make other colors look brighter than they would if you were using an off-white. What can work, he says, "if you really like white,'' is to choose a warm white for walls in a flat sheen, then high-gloss trim the same color. "It's a very sexy, subtle thing to do,'' he said.

Don't pick colors online, advises Martin, because they can be distorted. But there is an art to studying the paper fan deck of paint colors in the store. Bring a white piece of paper with a square cut out so you can focus on the color you're considering without being influenced by the hues around it.

And if you're color-challenged and unsure whether the white you're eyeing is more on the rosy side or the orange side, follow it in the fan deck from its palest iteration to its deepest, to see its true undertone. Warm tints include red, orange, yellow, and offshoots like peach and apricot, but if you want to cool a room off, go for colors like blue and purple. In between are the neutrals -- taupe, gray, beige.

And don't get overwrought about the choices. "I think most people have more judgment than they think they do,'' Eiseman said. "You look at something, you have a doubt about it because your eye is telling you something is off here. Or you look at it and it pleases you. In the end, it's your eye and your comfort level.''

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Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

The trick to choosing the right white is making sure the undertone is compatible with contrasting walls and the accessories in the room. In this room, Benjamin Moore's color Paper Mache (AF-25) is the perfect choice to complement the vibrantly hued wall painted with Royal Flush (2076-20). Image courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 10:00
 

Historic Iowa building to be converted to loft housing

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 28 March 2014 15:48

Davenport architect Frederick G. Clausen designed the Romanesque Revival front of Hibernian Hall at 421 Brady St.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – A historic building in downtown Davenport will be converted into loft housing thanks to the interest of a couple with other renovation projects in the area.

Developers Manoj and Manisha Baheti bought Hibernian Hall on Tuesday, the Quad-City Times reported. The purchase includes several adjacent buildings and a house.

Hibernian Hall, built in 1889, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the former meeting place for the Davenport chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal society.

The building was owned by Ron Bellomy, whose longtime business, Riverbend Antiques, currently occupies the space but will soon close. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The redevelopment will include 17 lofts and two storefronts. The storefronts exist but will be renovated. Construct Services, a construction company, has been hired to help renovate the 25,000 square feet of space, not including the house, into lofts.

This is going to be the first block in downtown to be completely renovated, said Joe Erenberger, who is acting as a consultant for the Bahetis on the project. There is other nearby spaces owned by other developers.

The purchase marks the Bahetis' third major historic redevelopment in the downtown area. They have turned another property into loft housing, and they're in the process of creating 45 units in another space.

Manoj Baheti said the project will likely be completed within a year. Manisha Baheti added that such projects “are more interesting when you're talking about historic buildings.”

___

Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-27-14 1838GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Davenport architect Frederick G. Clausen designed the Romanesque Revival front of Hibernian Hall at 421 Brady St. 

Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 16:10
 

Chicago's Drake hotel offers amnesty to petty thieves

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 28 March 2014 08:31
Chicago's Drake Hotel, pictured on a 1920s postcard, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CHICAGO (AP) – If you ever stole anything from Chicago's Drake Hotel, you can give it back with no questions asked.

Officials at the Drake say countless items have been stolen since the hotel opened in 1920, and not just towels. They have launched an amnesty program they call, “Go Back in Time, Give Back the Crime.”

Hotel officials say the items can be returned by mail or in person, “without guilt or suspicion.”

Since its opening The Drake has hosted many royals, including Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Ronald Reagan also stayed there.

The hotel says the stolen items, memorabilia and stories about its famous guests will be part of a history tour of the hotel this spring.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-27-14 0821GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Chicago's Drake Hotel, pictured on a 1920s postcard, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 09:22
 

Highest NY court to hear Dead Sea Scrolls case

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Written by MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 08:33

The oldest and best preserved parchment manuscript of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Photo provided by Cincinnati Museum Center.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York's highest court on Tuesday will consider whether to overturn convictions in the Internet impersonation case of a man who argues that mocking scholars in an academic debate about the Dead Sea Scrolls was free speech protected by the Constitution.

Raphael Golb, an attorney and writer, was convicted of identity theft and other charges for disguising his identity in email messages and blog posts from 2006 to 2009 to discredit detractors of his father, a University of Chicago professor, in a dispute over the scrolls' origins. The more than 2,000-year-old documents, found in the 1940s in what is now Israel, contain the earliest known versions of portions of the Hebrew Bible.

Many scholars, including New York University Judaic studies chairman Lawrence Schiffman, say the texts were assembled by a sect known as the Essenes. Others – including Norman Golb, a University of Chicago historian and Golb's father – believe the writings were the work of a range of Jewish groups and communities, gathered from libraries in Jerusalem and hidden in caves near Qumran to protect them during a Roman invasion in about A.D. 70.

Golb's lawyer, Ronald Kuby, argues that the trial judge's jury instructions failed to protect his client's rights to free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution, and it led to his convictions “precisely because his online impersonations called attention to, condemned and mocked alleged wrongdoing on the part of the Scroll monopolists and exhibitors.”

“It's like the world's oldest controversy playing out in the world's newest medium,” Kuby told The Associated Press, adding that online satire, criticism and blogging either anonymously or behind pseudonyms are widespread. “The underlying issue is: Can you criminalize these Internet impersonations as fraud when there's no financial benefit or tangible property associated with it?”

A midlevel court threw out one conviction but affirmed 29 others, concluding the intended harm to scholars fell within the definition of injury and wasn't protected free speech. Golb was sentenced to six months in jail and five years' probation, but has remained free on bail during appeals. Other convictions included criminal impersonation, aggravated harassment, forgery and unauthorized use of a computer.

In their brief to the Court of Appeals, Manhattan prosecutors cited Golb's “relentless impersonation and harassment,” sending emails under aliases to museum administrators, academics and reporters, and eventually impersonating his father's critics online. He used a New York University computer to create an email account in Schiffman's name to send alleged confessions by Schiffman of plagiarizing Professor Norman Golb's work years earlier.

Golb, a literature scholar and real estate lawyer with a Harvard Ph.D. and an NYU law degree, acknowledged during his trial that he wrote the messages. But, he said he never intended for anyone to believe Schiffman actually sent them, calling them “satire, irony, parody.”

Assistant District Attorney Vincent Rivellese wrote that the trial judge communicated the law properly while ensuring it didn't infringe on his constitutional rights. “The court was careful to ensure that the jury would not convict the defendant for parody, satire, or academic debate, but rather for engaging in fraudulent misrepresentations regarding his identity,” he wrote.

A Court of Appeals ruling is expected next month.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-24-14 2122GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

The oldest and best preserved parchment manuscript of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Photo provided by Cincinnati Museum Center.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 08:45
 

British officers march on 70th anniversary of Great Escape

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 08:16
Poster for the 1963 movie 'The Great Escape.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Ewbank's. WARSAW, Poland (AP) – A group of 50 British Air Force officers are marching from the site of a Nazi prisoner camp to a war cemetery in western Poland to mark 70 years since the Great Escape of Allied airmen and to honor 50 of them who were caught and executed.

Marek Lazarz, director of the Stalag Luft III Museum, said Tuesday the group started in rain from the place where 76 prisoners of war emerged, one by one, from a tunnel on March 24 and 25, 1944. The 77th man was spotted by guards, who gave chase. The 1963 Hollywood movie The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, tells the story.

Only three airmen made it home. Fifty others were executed when caught, and 23 were sent to other camps but survived the war.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-25-14 1108GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Poster for the 1963 movie 'The Great Escape.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Ewbank's.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 08:27
 
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