Then Mark used his campy Henry Higgins voice to read from one of his art books, Robert Hughes' "American Visions, the Epic History of Art in America," quoting Mr Church:
"A feudal castle which I am building under the modest name of dwelling house, absorbs all my time and attention. I am obliged to watch it so closely, for having undertaken to get my architecture from Persia where I have never been, nor any of my friends either, I am obliged to imagine Persian architecture, then embody it on paper and explain it to a lot of mechanics whose ideal of architecture is wrapped up in felicitous recollections of a successful brick schoolhouse or meeting house or jail."
And I knew that I had found, if not a past life, then at least a soul-mate. Mark added that Mr. Church was "poisoned by the heavy-metal colors he preferred, cadmiums and arsenic-based greens."
I did a quick internet search and came up with an elevation sketch of Olana. "Hey!" I said, "That's the castle on Rigel VII from the Star Trek pilot!"
Then I saw one of the rooms, the Court Hall: bronze cranes with curving necks standing on turtle-dragons, peacocks, elaborate tile mosaics, sumptuous curtains. "We must go there," I said, speaking as if from the depths of a prophetic dream.
"And that's just a staircase," Mark said.