Crusader Bible

Photograph courtesy Morgan Library & Museum, New York, New York
Photograph courtesy Morgan Library & Museum, New York, New York
Saul Slaying Nahash and the Ammonites; Samuel Anoints Saul and Sacrifices to the Lord.Old Testament miniatures with Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian inscriptions,France, Paris, Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr.,1916
Architects for Change Disability and Elderly Issues

Published today in Scotland: Detroit trendy city, covering Renzo Piano’s opening of the new Whitney in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan, pain relief through radio waves, not outlandish walking again for the first time in 25 years through NYC technology

No fair. You can not read the entire article here because Isabelle Lomholt and Adrian Welch just published Joel’s Column in Scotland to an audience of nearly one million hits a day from architects and the building community.

Go to Scotland. Read Detroit Trendy City in Scotland where it was meant to be read first exclusively for

DetroitFutureCityExcerpt 1:

“In 10 years Detroit will be the trendy city and compared to San Francisco and Warsaw
“A 350 page master plan is guiding the new Detroit. The shape? Unclear but promising

“Today’s Detroit column begins in New York City with Detroit on my mind—always on my mind. I have a friend who had the opportunity to purchase a house in the Meatpacking District of New York City.

“The Meatpacking District, despite the off-putting sound of the now-anachronistic name, is the hottest neighborhood in Manhattan. This is the view of Brian Regan, Deputy Director of the Morgan Museum and Library, who was instrumental in obtaining the services of Renzo Piano to design the new Morgan. Regan believes Piano’s new Whitney may become the most popular museum in New York with more visitors than the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Because of fate (ill-health), I will be covering the May first opening of the Whitney for e-architect. I will also be attending the August 23rd press preview. As I write, the Whitney media page is giving me a countdown. “The New Whitney, Opens May 1, 2015, 19 days, 0 hours, 23 minutes, 15 seconds.’”

Excerpt 2:


“One remote but not outlandish treatment hope is that at Sloan Kettering, I can have inserted a Bioness Corporation device which beams shock waves to patients like me who have foot drop. Some patients walk again. Thus, twice implanted, I may be able to leave New York City walking for the first time in 25 years and pain-free.

All is contingent on securing funds. Forbes Magazine recommended a crowdfunding service that could be valuable to architects starting small projects. The service is called: Indiegogo.

“Architects might want to subscribe for free to the newsletter at [email protected] Here is a recent newsletter for one of many businesses requesting venture capital and using Indiegogo to get it.
“My campaign entitled Help restore my productivity from cancer and pain uses a venture capital approach equivalent to investing in me. See if you think it works:


Thank you. Or rather Best Wishes. I have been using the Edward R. Murrow signoff Goodnight and Good Luck.



Architects for Change

Saint George Slays a Dragon

My You Tube “sound” video on the Morgan Library for e-architect U.K.

Readers are aware that I have an obsession with Renzo Piano’s Morgan Museum and Library in New York. Consider, for example, the percentage of my published e-architect articles on the subject.

This is how Adrian Welch, my editor at e-architect UK, described this You Tube, which I produced for him:

Giorgio Bianchi, one of the most experienced architects from the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, in discussion with Joel Solkoff, a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State, USA, campaigner for good access for disabled and elderly in buildings and regular e-architect guest editor.

“Giorgio Bianchi is interviewed about his role in executing Renzo Piano’s J.P. Morgan Library and Museum Building, New York City, USA – his Creative Vision of the Vault ; how he went about the job of executing Renzo Piano’s vision ; his perspective on the role of the executive architect namely Bender Beyer Belle in clearing away the incredible regulatory hurdles ; his views on Building Information Modeling and the use of Revit to create BIM-compliant virtual reality models.”

Here is Giorgio Bianchi, in an interview conducted exclusively for e-architect discussing his role as Renzo Piano’s Partner In Charge of the Morgan. It is impossible not to hear outside Giorgio’s Paris cubicle as architects with fashionable heels dash back and forth urgently engaged in improving the world’s built environment.


Tangential note on silent movies: When my grandmother was 16, she attended a silent movie (there were no talkies at the time). A live orchestra provided the musical score for the film. My grandmother fell in love with the clarinet player and two years later my mother was born. This note explains why producing a talking picture (even one as minimal as a You Tube) is a comfort to me–avoiding my daughters having to explain if they have grandchildren, how my genetic propensity for silent movies led to….




Today I am 66 years old


I am 66 years old today.

I was listening to a George Strait song at midnight Troubadour.

Troubadour is a song in which an older and wiser George Strait sings:

“I still feel 25 most of the time./ I still raise a little cain with the boys./ Honky Tonks and pretty women, But Lord I’m still right there with ’em / Singing above the crowd and the noise…”


Many friends do not understand that my musical passions consist both of Mozart and country music.

As if Glenn Gould playing Mozart piano sonatas and George Strait singing Troubadour does not present enough cause to question my focus…As if…


Speaking of loss of focus: I am translating Psalm 2 from the Hebrew. “Why do the nations gather?” the apocryphal David begins.

Why indeed? This is not a happy poem despite the fact that the Hebrew sounds are so beautiful.


A week ago today, I gave away my elder daughter Joanna Marie Solkoff to marry Jade Kosmos Phillips. Above is a photo of me giving her away—a photo that looks as though she is giving me away.

Joanna and Jade are on a two-week honeymoon to South Africa.

My younger daughter Amelia, maid of honor, is now back in rural Spain—having called me on Wednesday from the Chicago airport before boarding a non-stop to Madrid.


It is odd in a way I cannot explain having grown children.

Now I am back from Mebane, North Carolina, named for an American Revolution General whom I expect helped General Green become defeated at Greensboro and hence, defeated, have the city in which he lost named after him.


This photograph from right to left shows my sister Sarah Schmerler, her son Asher Simonson, and her husband and Asher’s father Robert Simonson.

In the background and foreground is a display of the sense of elegance the wedding brought in North Carolina’s Alamance County a 45 minute ride from the Raleigh/Durham airport.


The air trip of nearly 1,000 miles from small State College Airport to Delta’s hub at Detroit, to Raleigh/Durham was difficult.

I do not want to dwell on the difficulties involved in a paraplegic traveling by air from the small regional airport University Park Airport.

The reality is that through the diligent efforts of the splendid personnel at the airport under the effective leadership of James Meyer the airport made it possible for me to attend my daughter Joanna’s wedding and give her away.

I recognize the planes must be small, that the aisle chair is a necessity, and that I cannot bring with me heavy durable medical equipment, but the Amigo Travel Scooter is light enough to fly with me.

The security issues require people with disabilities such as I to present ourselves an hour earlier than everyone else because the security for disabled people in wheelchairs is significantly tighter than for able individuals.

Sadly, security issues are a federal matter. Indeed, Rep. Issa is currently looking into this.


There are many ways in which all of us can help improve University Park Airport. The term “improvement” is not meant to criticize.

James Meyer and his excellent staff are running a very user-friendly airport.

The individuals who work for the airlines went out of their way for me. I flew Delta and I could not be happier about the quality of service to me as someone who is wheel chair bound.

Our airport is excellent. We need to spend more time at the airport and learn to understand it and appreciate it. Without our airport we could not obtain many of the items State College residents so clearly want and go to restaurants etc. to obtain. There is even an Irving’s at the airport.


I am currently way behind in my work producing two academic papers. Academic writing is difficult to sustain for long periods of time and so I digress by….

Fortunately, tomorrow, Sunday Sonali and I will talk about the Bowers Project Paper and soon we will deliver it. Praise, the Lord.


My health is of less and less of concern. I am appreciative of the fact that I survived the jaws of death. There are times I think twice about my ability to recover from major surgery. I go through periods of considerable pain. Dr. Russo’s nurse and my physician both agree I am doing fine and instruct me to have patience that the recovery will arrive, but slowly.


–Joel Solkoff, State College, PA, USA

Copyright 2013 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.



I still feel 25 most of the time.
I still raise a little cain with the boys.
Honky Tonks and pretty women,
But Lord I’m still right there with ’em
Singing above the crowd and the noise…

Sometimes I feel like Jesse James
Still tryin’ to make a name.
Knowing nothing’s gonna change what I am.
I was a young troubador
When I wrote in on a song.
And I’ll be an old troubador when I’m gone…

Well the truth about a mirror…
Is that a damn old mirror…
Don’t really tell the whole truth.
It don’t show what’s deep inside.
Or read between the lines.
And it’s really no reflextion of my youth…

Sometimes I feel like Jesse James
Still tryin’ to make a name.
Knowing nothing’s gonna change what I am.
I was a young troubador
When I wrote in on a song.
I’ll be an old troubador when I’m gone…

I was a young troubador
When I wrote in on a song.
And I’ll be an old troubador when I’m gone…
I’ll be an old troubador when I’m gone…


My first YouTube on architecture two days before my operation

From the YouTube about section:

Published on Aug 29, 2013

Here is Joel Solkoff’s video in which he visited the Gagosian Gallery.

The Gallery’s Sarah Duzyk kindly arranged for him to visit the Renzo Piano exhibit after it had closed and indeed during de-installation.

Each desk represents a different Piano site.

The extensive array of desks displays Piano’s life’s work. Each desk has a summary of the creative approach beautifully illustrated. There are several volumes at each desk of published books about Piano.

Giorgio G. Bianchi, partner at Renzo Piano Workshop and lead architect on the Morgan, provided a fascinating lecture during the Gagosian Exhibition.

An article about the Morgan Library Museum Disability Architecture written by Joel can be found at:…

Video by Kathy Forer.

  • Category

  • License

    Standard YouTube License

Driving to surgery

THE GOAL. Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital where I probably will be cured of kidney cancer on Thursday, August 8th first thing in the morning.

The Hospital is located at 125 York Avenue, New York, New York 10065.








[Readers: Start at the bottom and work your way up to here as I shall riding (not driving this trip to the Big Apple) in a car carrying one rear wheel drive scooter, one travel scooter thin enough to get to the bathroom in the hospital, one 12 pound wheel chair (just in case I want to go on my own power), knee pads (same reason), clothes, books and this and that for nearly 3 weeks while I go to New York to prepare for major surgery, have the surgery, recover and return to State College without a cancerous tumor. Meanwhile, of course, I will be seeing my daughters Joanna and Amelia and writing about the Morgan Museum and Library and Renzo Piano–for diversion with a purpose.]


Waiting room for extensive imagry, Me orial Sloan Cancer Center, NYC








Bathroom I shared with my hospital room mate. My first room mate died in the bed next to me.
The route concludes: While taking exit 2 for Harlem River Dr toward FDR Dr/Manhattan…
 Keep left at the fork, follow signs for FDR Drive/Harlem River Drive and merge onto Harlem River Dr
 3.5 mi
Continue onto FDR Drive
 3.1 mi
Take exit 12 for E 63 St toward Roosevelt Island/New York/Queensboro Bridge
 0.1 mi

Turn right onto York Ave

 Destination on the left 


THE ROUTE :Starts from A,  The Corner Room Restaurant, State College, PA  to B Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City.

Continuation from directions below: From the entrance to I-91 in PA:

Merge onto I-99 N
 10.1 mi
Continue onto PA-26 N/US-220 N
 0.4 mi

Turn left to merge onto I-80 E/US-220 N toward Williamsport

 Continue to follow I-80 E
 Entering New Jersey
 213 mi
Keep left to continue on Interstate 80 Express E
 6.0 mi
Merge onto Interstate 95 Express N
 2.6 mi

Continue onto Interstate 95 Upper Level N

 Partial toll road
 Entering New York
 2.4 mi
Take exit 2 for Harlem River Dr toward FDR Dr/Manhattan
 0.1 mi
For concluding directions see above.



STARTING POINT. The heart of DOWNTOWN State College, at the corner of College and Allen Avenues. Yes, I know an August drive does not involve snow (yet). The car leaves from the Corner Room Restaurant directly ahead in this photograph.

100 W College Ave
State College, PA 16801


The drive is 246 miles;  3 hours,  54 minutes. [Thank you Google Maps.]

Head southwest on W College Ave toward S Fraser St
 0.2 mi
Turn right onto N Atherton St
 0.5 mi
Turn right onto W Park Ave
 2.3 mi

Continue onto Park Ave/Park Ave Exd

 Continue to follow Park Ave
 0.8 mi
Take the ramp onto I-99 N [continued above].


Joel Solkoff

Copyright © 2013 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.


Contribution opportunity to help defray the costs of going to New York, recovering there, and returning home:


The surgery will be performed by an expert in the field of kidney surgery which my physician here in State College) advises me cannot be reliably perfumed in the greater region where I live. My State College urologist referred me to Sloan Kettering in New York where Dr. Paul Russo will perform the surgery.

Art as cancer therapy

I guess this all starts at the Morgan Museum and Library, Renzo Piano‘s 2006 major expansion, his first commissioned work in New York City.


This is a good time to refer you to: published daily from Scotland by Adrian Welch and Isabelle Lomholt (who is a beauty). The site receives 960,000 hits a day–a lot more hits a day than I receive here at

The future of architecture as the “baby boom” generation retires was my first publication for the site on February 22nd. See

I am currently a regular guest editor at e-architect specializing primarily in disability-related issues that should be of concern to today’s architects.


This story begins in April of this year, one week after I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It was then that I discovered the intensely therapeutic effect of art to one undergoing cancer treatment.

My description of this discovery Adrian Welch published this May. See link:


Since then my obsession continues with the dazzlingly new Renzo Piano extension of the Morgan incorporating the McKim Meade and White Beaux Art  library/palace completed in 1906–one hundred years after Piano’s extension completion.

My astonishingly long appreciation of Piano’s Morgan appeared this month on e-architect at the following link:


The article concludes:

Personal note: I will be returning to New York on August 8 for an operation at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I have good feelings about the outcome. My skilled surgeon will remove the tumor surrounding my right kidney while saving the kidney. The outcome is likely to be that kidney cancer will not kill me.

“I live in State College, PA. Since I am a paraplegic, it is especially difficult for me to travel the 250 miles to New York City, but very easy for me to get around the City. After the operation, I will remain in New York for two weeks to recover. While in New York, I will be posting for e-architect from the Atrium of Piano’s Morgan.

“August will be my third trip to New York since I was diagnosed with cancer in April. During this time, I have visited the Morgan four times. Each time, I felt the Morgan was a refuge and a blessing including the blessing of being contained in an environment designed by Renzo Piano.”


The obsession with the Morgan and Renzo Piano continues.



Joel Solkoff

Copyright © 2013 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.