Three Views of the Val. Blatz Brewing Bottle House (MSOE Campus Center)

Light changes the appearance of things, as shown in these photos I took yesterday. What initially caught my eye was the gleam that obliterated detail as sunlight hit the stone tiles above the windows.

Val Blatz Bottle House / MSOE Campus Center detail

(Update: I noticed a few days later, when it was overcast, that what had looked like tiles in bright sunlight was actually squares of glass block.) I walked a little farther up the hill and decided to take a longer shot to remind myself of the bigger picture.

Val Blatz Bottle House / MSOE Campus Center

Then I noticed that just this slight resulting change in angle was enough to remove the glare while highlighting the design details more than usual.

Val Blatz Bottle House / MSOE Campus Center window detail

As a side comment, one of the people killed this week in San Bernardino was my second cousin. Taking photos of little things like this that strike me during the day and maybe posting them on my blog feels really trivial until something happens to force reflection on the point of being alive.

You breathe in, you breathe out. You love. You work. You go about your daily routine. Nothing of earth-shattering importance much of the time. You try to treat others well and honor the Creator and all of creation in everything you do. Large and small. Significant and inconsequential.

Rinse, repeat. So mundane. So profound.


About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
This entry was posted in architecture, Life, Milwaukee, News, Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Three Views of the Val. Blatz Brewing Bottle House (MSOE Campus Center)

  1. So very sorry to hear about your personal connection to the San Bernardino, Katie.


  2. Sally Cissna says:

    Katie, so sorry about the death of your cousin. When I was reading their stories yesterday, I once again reflected on the fragility of our existence and how but for the grace of the Universe (or God if you prefer), there go we. I’ve been working on the idea of awareness of late, and thinking about the beautiful details of our brief stay on this earth becomes even more important, I think, in the face of our increased chances of having our lives cut short. Blessings on you and your family.


    • Thank you, Sally. What you say about awareness and fragility is beautifully worded. I’d love to read more of your thoughts about this subject on your blog at some point 😄

      And on a happier topic: Congratulations and blessings to you, as well!


  3. Your beautiful pictures remind us that behind the mundane is the sublime. So sorry to hear about your loss.


  4. Pingback: Blue Skies over the MSOE Campus Center / Blatz Brewery Bottle House | Katherine Wikoff

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