Thursday Doors – Farmington, CT

Lathrop dormitory

Lathrop dormitory – built in 1841

Near the end of August, I spent some time taking care of my daughter’s cats while she was on vacation. It’s an easy task. The cats are both male and we get some serious slug time in, lounging in front of the TV and eating. On the way to and from her condo, I have a short drive through a very scenic section of Farmington, Connecticut. Unfortunately, it isn’t well suited to photography, for a few reasons:

Minimal Parking.

Congestion due to the fact that taking this road allows you to avoid a much more heavily congested road that is also under construction.

My seeking to avoid awkward questions from law enforcement.

The first two reasons are self-explanatory. The third reason, well remember, Norm has yet to establish a fund for bail.

Some of the photos in the gallery are beautiful old New England homes. Private homes, and I am always sensitive to the fact that those people probably don’t want someone leaning over their fence, poking through their hedges or turning around in their driveway.

Other photos include an almost perfect fire station. It’s almost perfect because the beautiful arched doors are modern construction, but actually arched. Most of what appears to be arched overhead (garage) doors are rectangular doors, set into an arched opening. If the doors were red, black, or perhaps blue, the fire station could apply for perfect status. The cream color goes well with the building, but I can’t get excited about it. I passed by the fire station on three occasions when the light was perfect, but a Farmington Police cruiser was in the parking lot.

About half of the doors are on buildings that are part of Miss Porter’s School. If you’re not familiar with Miss Porter’s, it’s a rather prestigious preparatory school for girls in grades 9-12. As you can imagine, walking around during the early morning or in the evening, pointing a camera at a building where they are housing, feeding or educating young girls, isn’t a good idea. I still haven’t received my official “Thursday Door Photographer” ID, so I’d be frantically trying to explain the phenomenon that is Thursday Doors.

You see, officer. Each week, people make their way to Norm Frampton’s blog site. They look at Norm’s Doors, and then they press the blue button near the bottom and they are taken to a page where they can add photos of their favorite doors, or look at the doors added by others. It’s a thing, officer, really. Lots of people do it…”

In the early 1980s, I actually passed through some of Miss Porter’s doors. The school, not the lady. There was a real Miss Porter. Miss Sarah Porter founded the school in 1843, but she died in 1900. In any case, when I worked for Peat Marwick Mitchell, Miss Porter’s School was an audit client of our office and we held our summer outings on the grounds of the school. I sat and ate seafood, burgers, and corn on the cob and drank beer at the same tables as Gloria Vanderbilt, Edith Hamilton (“Mythology” author. I mentioned her in my post about poetry), Dorothy Walker Bush (mother and grandmother of Presidents Bush and Bush) and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Although, it’s hard for me to imagine any of those women slogging down a beer, well, maybe grandma Bush.

So, today’s gallery is chock-a-block full of drive-by photos which have been straightened, cropped and otherwise enhanced in Adobe Lightroom. I left out photos that I have of a very beautiful stone church, because I have high hopes of featuring it one Thursday. I think I can walk around and take photos of a church without drawing too much attention.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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68 Responses to Thursday Doors – Farmington, CT

  1. YAY. I’m first (I think) I loved the story up front, Dan. I could see you explaining what you were doing skulking around with a camera. (Dressed in black with a ski mask) Big Laugh. Beautiful photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. reocochran says:

    I admire how you post a collection for us to feast our doors hungry eyes on, Dan!
    The main door of the Lathrop Dorm is gorgeous! I like night photos of doors, the warmth of shining light makes this a winner!
    The firehouse doors modern in construction but old fashioned in their design with arches was a real treat!
    Hope you had more than a few delicious meals at Miss Porter’s school. This had me salivating (thank goodness, I am at home and not out and about! ha ha) Enjoy your upcoming weekend, Dan. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Robin. I think I was at three summer outings there. I didn’t see any of the famous students, but the food was good. I do like night photos of buildings. I have so many that didn’t turn out well, but I got a few nice ones.

      Like

  3. GP Cox says:

    Who would have thought I’d learn to be interested in doors!! I found myself taking a detour in Home Depot yesterday just to check out what doors they had for sale!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I want the garage, and I just won’t open that door. :-) Timely post. You’ll notice I don’t have a door for today. Funny story tester as I’m snapping away on the sidewalk and the homeowner comes out to ask me what I am doing. She thought I was a real estate person and was quite concerned. Needless to say I spent my time chatting and assuring her I meant no harm and got going as quickly as possible. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So you have to pass through the hooker house to attend?😂 I read a book about such a school set in the early 1900s, but I can’t remember if it was Boston Girl. Anyway, I love this post because it made my mind wander in many directions. I have thought about hoping the officer would be willing to look at my blog if I was ever caught taking pictures of bridges and such things.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. loisajay says:

    This was such a fun post, Dan. Those are your headlights shining on the house at the stop light? I get what you say about snapping photos of private residences…especially when the dogs start barking and the owner peeks out the window. Pedal to the metal, honey!!! Yeah, Norm needs to step up his game about bail money if he wants more ‘door’ participants…..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Lois. That house that my headlights are shining on is interesting. It’s only about 6 feet from the street and that is a very busy intersection. I’m curious as to whether they’ve ever had a car in the wall.

      Like

  7. Paul says:

    Another nice collection, Dan. I especially like the firehouse and its arched doorways. One of these days, I can see buildings posting signs that read: “As featured on Dan Antion’s Thursday Doors”.

    Good job evading the authorities — and all for us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Paul. If I ever get hung up with the authorities, I might be giving you a call as a character witness. I just wish they could have figured out how to paint those firehouse doors red. I wonder if Miss Porter’s likes the attention, you know, maybe applications are down…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. joey says:

    Fantastic drive-bys :)

    I love the first dorm photo, that’s so pretty!
    That sliding door has me puzzled, too, but I agree, it’s a handsome barn.
    I also see your point on the firehouse. It’s attractive architecturally, but there’s a bit of blah, isn’t there? How interesting. I wouldn’t have noticed that had you not mentioned it.
    Anyway, great doors, lovely buildings :)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, I have the same concerns when walking around Naperville and photographing doors of homes. I always wonder how I would feel if I saw someone outside our house taking photos of it. Of course, as it’s a rental, it wouldn’t be quite the same, but still… Nice gallery anyway. :-) Glad we didn’t have to start a bail fund!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Woah! A great selection of doors, Dan. I love this Ms. Porter’s School. By the way one of my daughters has adopted two female cats, still kittens.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Joanne Sisco says:

    You described perfectly how awkward I feel sometimes contemplating how – or if – to take a photo. I imagine it’s even worse being a man!
    I love the garage best – a great selection of doors, including that mystery sliding door.

    You mentioned working in audit at Peat Marwick. Are you a CPA?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Joanne – I think, at least in this case, taking photos of dormitories at a girls’ school, being male was a disadvantage. I don’t think school was in session yet, but still. I am not a CPA. I worked for Peat Marwick and later for Coopers, in their consulting practices.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so happy that we aren’t crowd-funding your bail this morning! The neighborhood and school are lovely. It was worth the risk.
    I carry calling cards with my email and blog info on me everyday. On more than one occasion while photographing a door I’ve given out my calling card while explaining Thursday Doors. I’m reasonably sure that little card goes a long way in keeping me from having a conversation with the Police like you wrote. :)

    I love those stately colonial homes, and the school dorms are fantastic. I agree with you about the color of the firehouse doors; the cream is rather blah. Red would be perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bikerchick57 says:

    Norm better come up with a bail fund and an ID for you pretty soon. Or, I guess you will have to stay away from dormitories with young girls and only photograph doors during the day. Nice set of photos, Dan. I love the architecture in your area, the homes and buildings have such wonderful character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Mary. I’m sure Norm would let you guys vote on uses of the fund. I’m not sure “he was apprehended photographing dormitories at a girls’ school” would get mush sympathy. I don’t think school was in session yet (they were just putting up the welcome signs) and I only took photos from the street – no trespassing involved.

      Like

  14. I enjoy your Doors posts, and often Pin them. Sorry I haven’t visited often, but now that my writing deadline is done, I hope to stop by regularly. I also hope I get to visit your neighborhood some day–so gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. marianallen says:

    I love the parsonage! Storybook Style rules! :)

    Like

  16. Nice collection, Dan. Your explanation of Thursday Doors to the officer made me laugh. I hope I never find myself having to use it, :)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Bee Halton says:

    Reblogged this on Just Fooling Around With Bee or The Bee Writes… and commented:
    I think a “Thursday Doors” ID and bailout fund is a brilliant idea. We should ponder that one more closely ;-)!

    Please head over to Dan’s “No Facilities” and enjoy and entertaining post about doors and other schools ;-)!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. slfinnell says:

    So there are not any currently any ‘privacy policies’ on taking door photos ;) I take my retired law enforcement hubby along anyway though when I actually ‘step out of the car’. (He is not amused when I use his lines. lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Norm 2.0 says:

    Nice collection Dan. The firehouse doors are my faves.
    A middle aged man standing around and taking pictures where there are children/ Well that would be a tough one to explain ;-)
    This reminds me that I need to get to work on the badge I was going to make for Thursday Doors. And a semi-official I.D. is a neat idea too! Sorry though, the bail money is a no-go.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Well since Norm has disapproved the bail idea how about testimonials from all Thursday Doors readers. You can submit that. LOL. I loved the residences more than the dorm. How much do they cost here? I mean guesstimately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I can show them previous posts and hope they understand. Those houses are probably in the $350,000 – $500,000 USD range. Miss Porter’s is $55,000/year for a boarding student.

      Like

      • I won’t say they are expensive, but yeah, when converting from USD to INR the numbers go up. I really love the houses there when I see it movies, videos and images. However, I think I might not fit in because of my lifestyle. Almost every single person in my friend circle has stayed abroad and returned and they keep telling me how good their experience was and that they want to try again, but for some odd reason, I really don’t know why, but I never get this urge to fly, go abroad, although I am passionate about travel. Weird, isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

  21. jan says:

    Drinking beer on Miss Porter’s lawn! Oh my! What would she say? I think you deserve a badge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I’m reasonably sure she wouldn’t be happy. Then again, I’m sure the school picked up some easy money, so maybe she’d be OK with a few beers. I think Norm needs to invent a transporter so I can say “beam me up Norm”

      Liked by 1 person

  22. dweezer19 says:

    Nice! Maybe you should carry your Bible when you go back to the church for more photos. It’s like Kryptonite for skulking…😉

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Farmington is a pretty town and there are some mighty fine houses there. I lived across from Miss Porter’s for a couple years and enjoyed the community. Thanks for the memories :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I laughed at the third reason and the badge part. It is true and I would feel a bit paranoid taking photos of buildings and private property too. You still managed to get some nice pictures. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Dan, you are beginning to come across as this super cool under cover guy who snaps pictures fast on the sneak so no one is the wiser. One of the reasons why I don’t do doors is because I feel so nervous about pointing my camera at someone’s house. Last Christmas when I went around a local neighborhood taking pics of lights, I had a few people question me, and one threaten me. Whew, seriously? Your sense of humor shines all the way through and your thoughts about what you would say IF a police officer caught you is hysterical. LOVED this post, friend!! Please don’t get caught though! :) <3

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Great collection to share; the fire department’s doors are cool! If I get caught photographing doors and Deborah is not with me I’m referring the cops to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Pingback: Thursday Doors – Save the Ville | No Facilities

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