Sunday, June 15, 2008
Logo of the Illuminated Port of Freemen
While doing a bit of exploring about SL for a new airship, I happened upon the Illuminated Port of Freemen, an aesthetically appealing edifice housing a good number of said vessels. After window shopping for a new ship, I was drawn to investigate more of the establishment.
Exterior photo of the Port, including a display of their largest airship
After taking my fill of the grounds, I decided to contact the owner of the store, Mr. Allexander Corvale, to enquire a bit more about the Illuminated Port of Freemen. Fortunately, he graciously agreed to answer a few questions about his business.
I have seen a great many chairs in my time, but none were ever this comfortable appearing, not did they offer a refreshment (lol)!
The Heliograph: What was the inspiration behind the "Illuminated Port of Freemen"?
Mr. Allexander Corvale: I have recently been interested in steampunk and steampunk ideas since I’ve entered Second Life, about two years ago. With an opportunity to start a business, we wanted to take advantage of steampunk ideas and contribute some of them to this virtual world. We wanted to make a place where everyone can feel free to speak their mind without social or religious restrictions (assuming the follow SL terms of service), a place to gather and talk about real life or second life steampunk ideas and enjoy an atmosphere of quality with steampunk airships, clothes, and gadgets.
A view of the top floor of the Port
H: What are the specialties of the Port?
AC: We specialize in Airships at Port Freemen. I’ve designed them to fit many themes and events. These airships have a Victorian, fantasy, and Steampunk feel to them. They are used in various ways, such as for a business, residence, or small airships used for flying and a unique form or relaxation. We have something up our sleeve (a new line of items) that we are still working on, but we will be keeping this particular information to ourselves until the moment of release.
A view of down the center of the Port (displaying all of the floors), during daylight hours
H: Your building is quite unique – what is/are its inspiration(s)?
AC: In deciding how to create this new building, I reviewed books, movies, articles, photos, and animations, trying to grasp the feeling and proper methods to employ in its design. We believe steampunk is in its beginning stages and is a fresh and exciting way to look at life in a new way. The world must change as time goes on, but Steampunk offers us all a way to carry on traditional aspects of society we love, while merging them with new societal changes we must adapt to. Our building has some inspiration from the original Bradbury building located in Los Angeles (such as the stairs, elevators, and the roof to make sure whatever we did later would definitely still have that Victorian steam and gear feeling. Since the creation of this building, we have added many building designs of our own into it and soon will be offering people the opportunity to sell their Victorian steampunk items here with our items.
A small stand for refreshments or to simply relax (not as comfortable as the chairs at the entrance)!
H: What plans do you have for the future of the Port?
AC: In the future, we plan to make many more Victorian Steampunk airships, and other items, and welcome other steampunk ideas of all eras to the building. In the meantime, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, considering scripting, textures, and providing vendors to the public with the best steampunk items available from some of the most unique and skilled steampunk enthusiasts in Second Life. W have met many great Steampunk individuals so far, such as the owners of Steam Forge, Mechatiki Research, Antiquity Gas Balloons, and Caledon, who have been a great help, and hope to meet many more people of their quality in the future.
Hmmm... Babbage is five hours ahead, I think, but Caledon is four back...
H: Any parting comments?
AC: ~May the gears of Second Life continue to turn while the steam takes us to new places of excitement, we salute the workers and player that make it all happen, hoping the talent and the beauty of Steampunk captures the interest of many, many more to come, and we at Illuminated Port of Free men hope in some small way to contribute to this wonderful style.
Looking out towards the front of the building, into the sunrise
To visit the Illuminated Port of Freemen, please visit:
The Airship schedule to the Illuminated Port of Freemen... from anywhere in SL
For a bit more information about the Bradbury building, please visit:
A view inside the RL Bradbury Building
(and yes, you are correct... it was the edifice used in Blade Runner...)