Paleo Retiree writes:
A spectacularly cushiony and lacy column capital from the 1899 Bayard-Condict Building, the only project that the legendary Chicago School architect Louis Sullivan ever built in New York City:
Could that mofo draw or what? Intense training in drawing used to play a major role in the education of architecture students. No longer.
By the way, I have no idea if this particular column capital is an original or a reproduction. In 2000, when renovation work was begun on the building, it was found that only one of the original column capitals had survived, so the others were modeled on it.
One of the more demented assertions that was peddled in the Modernism-besotted architecture history classes I attended back in the ’70s was the notion that the Bayard-Condict Building (as well as other Louis Sullivan works) were great because they were proto-Modernist. I remember thinking that one over really hard. Impossible to dispute that Sullivan’s buildings were…
View original post 207 more words
I also like Buffalo’s General Electric Tower, which I got to see last summer on a trip there.
They knew how to make beautiful buildings back then…
Paleo Retiree writes:
The midsection of the General Electric Building, a 50-story Deco/Gothic skyscraper built in 1931 and designed by the Beaux Arts-educated John W. Cross. It’s in Manhattan, at Lexington Ave. and 51st St.
Gotta love all them old former Canadian Pacific Railway Hotels, like the similarly gorgeous other ones – the Banff Springs Hotel (also designed by Price) and the Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, the Royal York in Toronto… Oh, they are glorious, but indeed, the Chateau Frontenac is truly the grandest of them all, in its design.
When I lived in the Capitol District (Albany, NY and the surrounding area), there were Shaker references everywhere; apparently there had been Shakers in the region, back in the day. And I learned about Shaker furniture, gained an appreciation for its beauty, and simplicity. I like Toddy Cat’s theory, in his comment. 😉 Hey, it’s as reasonable an explanation as any other! 🙂
Blowhard, Esq. writes:
The basic standards that defined both the buildings and their interiors were simplicity and utility. The Shakers frowned on any kind of decoration, and they favored pure, clean forms that were highly functional and economic to make. The house interiors were bright and airy, well-heated and clean, uncluttered and serene.
…As the Shaker movement developed, they began to systematize the layouts of their communities…What enabled the Shaker style to grow and develop was the fact that all unknown artisans involved were able to innovate, providing they held to the group’s essential tenets. “This freedom to experiment in the interest of betterment,” says [design writer Richard] Shepherd, “saved Shaker architecture from the blight of institutionalism or stereotype.”