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Architect’s cabin provides convenient indoor-outdoor living

Architect’s cabin provides convenient indoor-outdoor living


As you can see in the featured photo,  the Three Canine Musketeers are still freaked out from the four hour storm last night.  They have not eaten a drop of food and are still trying to figure out why it rained inside their clubhouse.


The scenic mountain cabin near Amicalola Falls, which became the setting three blockbuster TV documentaries on the Southeast’s ancient history is now making architectural history.  It now has a removable sun roof that brings the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain outdoors . . . indoors.   One of the most innovative features that the architect placed in the cozy get-away was an open air bathroom.  So when the National Weather Service tells you to take shelter in the nearest bathroom, there is a tornado on the ground, you will know when it is near.  By not having the nuisance of a ceiling or roof, you can clearly hear the increasing decibels of the tornado, which sounds like a 787 flying over the treetops.   Then at the dramatic moment of climax, you can look up with a smile and say, “Oh geez,  I am looking up inside of a tornado!

Speaking of tornadoes . . . these are magnificent assets for ambitious farmsteaders and do-it-yourself types.   So when the tornado blows your living room windows to smitherines, all you have to do is go out into your yard and grab pieces of plywood that yesterday were part of the chicken house up the road or the house on Wesley Chapel  Road.   They make convenient temporary windows, which allow lots of fresh air into the living room.

Today’s smart young professionals are environmentally conscious.  They do not want to waste water.  This is perhaps one of the most clever features of this architect’s cabin.  Sitting in a house for hours as the landscape is bombarded by lightning strikes can make a guy sweaty and nervous.  He knows that a special lady from Suches, Jawja is going to come floating down out of the sky at any moment, because the storm hit there first.   This cabin enables the occupants to take a quick shower without even stepping into the tub.  And it’s a shower with all the healthful benefits of rainwater!

Yes,  with Spring 2017 Tornado Season starting with a bang,  trendy Millennials throughout North America will be following the lead of this young-hearted Baby Boomer by adding sun-roofs to their homes.  It is an idea, whose time has come.


I guess you could call it . . . trench humor!   And now for some Baby Boomer entertainment!  You millennials can’t dance or sing!






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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Good grief, Richard! Glad the 4 of you weren’t sucked up into that storm and you lived to tell about it with your usual sense of humor. Hang tough, friend!


    Sorry for all the damage and for your canine children being so shaken. They are precious.


    Hey Richard,
    Why just leave it to an Arkeytech from the Georgia hills to take what a friend from the tornado area of west Texas called “Home improvement….TEXAS style!!!!!!” and turn it into a new trend in home building. It shows what a higher education can do fer ya!
    Glad you and the crew made it OK, remember you have a lot of folks pulling for you.
    Let all of us here know how we can help.



    So sorry for your loss! You are in our thoughts and prayers.


    Prayers & smoke from me & my four footed moocher, so very glad you & your crew are safe. Tornado season seems a bit early this year. Hugs too.
    Marcie & Shadow


    Richard, OH! A little tin will fix that right up for you and it will be as Good as ever. Might be time for a root cellar as Nature seems to have more storms every year now. Glad you made it.

  7. I think there were two skinny tornadoes, rotating around each other. I drove over to look at the damage done when they first hit the ground. That would explain why the front of the house was decimated, while the back is not scratched. You see the twisters came from the direction of the side of the house. Normally, that would have been the most damaged section, but it is unscathed. What you see would only be possible if one of the tornadoes struck the front of the house with a glancing blow, while moving in a circular path.

    Thank you for all your kind remarks. I am tired from the ordeal last night, but both the pups and I are physically fine. We were just scared out of our wits by the storm, not physically harmed.


    I grew up in Kansas. All my nightmares are about tornadoes. Glad you and the pups are okay.

    • Would you believe Karla that this was the third tornado that I have been in? By far the worst one was at age 22. A tornado or waterspout hit our camp on Cumberland Island at night, back when the island was uninhabited. We were knocked out for about 6-8 hours and found ourselves about 100 yards from the campsite . . . all wrapped up with our tents and sleeping bags.


        Richard, you obviously have a very busy angel looking out for you! I spent all my tornadoes in my Kansas days in the cellar. My grandma and I outran one once, but we made it to the cellar in time. We were both terrified. Even though I live in Indiana now, I can smell a tornado coming and tell by the light when one is likely. Also by the sound of the birds. In other words, they get eerily quiet. Tornadoes are NOT FUN. And I’m very thankful your angels are more powerful than the storm!

        • Hey Karla

          This is my third tornado that I have been INSIDE of . . . but this one was very different. For two hours, we had the most violent electrical storm, I have ever seen. It was like being bombed by B-52’s. Then we started getting golf ball size hail and all of a sudden there was the sound of a Boeing 747 crashing – a screaming sound like jet engines make when a plane is crashing. Everybody heard and everybody thought that a large passenger jet had been struck by lightning … then it felt like a giant hammer had hit the cabin and then half my roof was lifted up into the air. Don’t try this experiment at home alone! LOL


    Richard, we, your readers are so very thankful you didn’t take a ride on that monster tornado. Hope you had no damage to your person.
    Your little cabin can be repaired I hope but those memories will always be with you for sure. Take care of yourself dear and stay safe. Maybe
    an underground house should be what you need for safety. Blessings and prayers

    • It was a tiny tornado . . . that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t be typing to you today otherwise. Don’t try this experiment at home. LOL


        A tiny tornado is like a snake as far as I am concerned Richard. A snake is a snake is a snake and such is a tornado big one or tiny. It still
        does damage and is dangerous. It was very nice of CAM to offer help. Would be nice if you took him/her up on it. Help is always appreciated
        in times like this. As I live in Southwest Alabama and am old as dirt now I can not offer much help, but would be happy of offer material things
        if you need them. Make a list for us, I am sure your readers would love to help as I would. If there is anything you need, please let us know.


    Wow! sorry to hear this.

    Are all the metal sheets still there & usable? Do you need donations & physical help?

    Dont hesitate to ask. We appreciate all you do & share, let us know!


    I to have been in three but not to the degree you experienced! Glad all is well!


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