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Bette Hammel talks about and signs Wild about Architecture

She’s Wild About Architecture
Big Picture Press Releases Architecture Writer Bette Hammel’s Retrospective


(Wayzata, Minn.) – When most people drive past a building they’ve seen
many times before in their travels, they probably don’t even think twice. Bette
Hammel, however, always finds herself doing a double take.

“I find myself thinking about the architect who designed the space, how the building relates to its environment, and the history of the site,” she said. The now 90-year-old resident of Wayzata, Minn., has made a name for herself over the years writing about architecture in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Her latest work is the new book, Wild About Architecture (Big Picture Press, Oct. 2015, $20), which is a retrospective of her 30-year adventure in the world of architecture. The first story in the book is “Four Cabins,” originally written in 1970 about the cabins four young modernist architects had built next to each other on land in northern Wisconsin.

There are also stories about some of Hammel’s other favorite buildings in the Twin Cities, which include many of the skyscrapers of downtown Minneapolis, The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, The Winton-Nelson house in Orono and Colonial Church of Edina. She also writes about her favorite famous buildings abroad.

Hammel says she used a combination of resources for the stories included in Wild About Architecture. Most of the content was inspired by previously published stories she wrote for various publications. The others are stories based on journal entries kept while traveling to such places as Santa Fe, New York, Istanbul, London, Vancouver, Egypt and the great city of Petra in Jordan.

About Bette Hammel
Bette Hammel began her architectural writing career more than two decades ago after the death of her husband, Dick Hammel, founder of HGA, Minnesota’s largest architecture firm. However, she can trace her interest in writing back to her childhood. “My father worked for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch. “Back then I was able to meet the editors and linotype operators. I remember the reporters clicking away in the newsroom. It all just fascinated me. I decided I wanted to be a journalist,” said Hammel.

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