On my last visit to Kansas City (Missouri), I carved out some time to check out Lawrence (Kansas), less than an hour drive away. I had read about Lawrence being the epicenter of Google Earth and was curious. After doing some research online, I found three things to see on this quick side trip.
1. The Center of the (Google Earth).
Brian McClendon, Founder of Google Earth, was raised in Lawrence, and decided to make the location of his bedroom from his childhood home the default location for Google Earth. He lived there from the age of four to 18. Thanks to prior sleuthing by Chris and Elyse, I ventured out in my Zipcar and was able to find the Earth's center point (38°57’33.82″N 95°15’55.74″W) according to Brian.
2. William Burroughs' Home.
In early July of 2005, a friend and I sought out Café Hafa, the tea house on the outskirts of Tangiers where the Beat Generation writers would go to write, take in views of the harbor, and drink mint tea. Twelve years later, I was searching for that same connection to inspired places as I drove down Learnard Avenue to catch a glimpse of the last residence of William Burroughs.
My two last stops were Art related: quick visits to the Spencer Art Museum and Lawrence Arts Center. The Spencer is celebrating their centennial (#spencerart100) this year, and in 2015 architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners led the museum's renovation. [Side note, architect I. M. Pei is also celebrating HIS centennial this year! HBD I. M. Pei!] The space is stunning and for whatever reason, the exterior reminded me of how I felt walking into the gorgeous Nasher in Dallas (designed by another favorite architect).
### BONUS ###
On my way to find the center of Google Earth, I pulled into the parking lot of the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, because "WHAT IS THAT?!" I thought. I walked the exterior of the gorgeously brutal building admiring Dale Eldred's Cor-ten piece sitting the lawn outside. On the inside, I found a white circular staircase, that, unlike the one in Vancouver (courtesy of Gregory Henriquez), I am sure led somewhere.