August 14, 2005

Grand Central Eagle

The eagle who sits over the entrance to Grand Central on 42nd and Vanderbilt. I'm not sure how I feel about him, but he does have a certain presense.


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May 03, 2005

The Arcades

One wonderful thing about London is the many arcades. The shopping arcade is, as you might guess from the name, a series of arches, roofed, with shops in the spaces between the arches. In many ways, they were the first shopping malls, providing covered spaces for upscale merchants to appeal to the monied classes. Here are some of my favorites. They are glorious looking spaces. We'll start with the more obscure Albermarle Arcade:



Another arcade, off Piccadilly:


And, finally, the Burlington Arcade front facade:


And a close up:


These were the height of fashion when they were built. The first shopping malls in London!

Posted by Random Penseur at 11:06 AM | Comments (4)

May 01, 2005

Georgian Lights

Today's architectural element picture from London are these beautiful Georgian lights. Note the cones hanging off of them, they were used to extinguish the torches needed to light the lamps.


Let's also throw in a Georgian fan light window to go along with it:


Posted by Random Penseur at 12:05 PM | Comments (2)

April 30, 2005

Lord Nelson (err, Duke of York)

Lord NelsonThe Duke of York*, from behind, in the morning fog:


I don't know why, precisely, but I think that there really is something about this picture. Maybe the contrast between the very red bus and the the very grey day.

Thanks to Jinn&Tonic for the correction! My bad!

Posted by Random Penseur at 07:11 AM | Comments (6)

April 29, 2005

Today's Architectural Photograph

Another picture from London, since I will be delayed at home this morning waiting for a moving company to come tell me how much it will cost to break all my china. This is my picture of the inside of the new dome at the British Museum:


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April 28, 2005

Guarding the Palace

I'm off to the doctor this morning, so, while I'm gone, I leave you this picture I took in London (I'm finally going to get around to posting some of these):


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March 08, 2005

My lions

These are my lions. My grandfather gave them to me when he moved. They were among the only things I wanted from his house because of the big sentimental value. I spent many happy hours playing on them when I was a child. They looked quite nice with their little snow caps on and I snapped their picture. It seemed like a long time since I put anything new up in the Architectural Elements category. The lions are Persian and quite, quite old.




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January 07, 2005

Antigua Guatemala -- More Architectural Fragments

As you may recall from the previous post, Antigua Guatemala was a very wealthy city which was destroyed, in large part, by a combination of eathquake, flood, and volcanic eruption. The catastrophe devestated the buildings and the city in general. Some of the churches still remain unrestored. Here are some pictures I took of the volcanos, as seen from the city, and a couple of ruins and the beautiful, detailed, architectural elements. Can you imagine the wealth required to support the teaching and work for these craftsmen? I think that there is something very haunting and poignant about a ruin.

Here are the volcanos:



And here is the facade of the ruined cathedral in the main square (there is really nothing behind this facade, by the way):


Here is another church:


Here are two pictures of the rich detail I had talked about above on yet a third and different church:




Posted by Random Penseur at 09:40 AM | Comments (7)

January 05, 2005

Doorways of Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala was the administrative capital of Spanish colonial Central America. It was a city of stunning wealth, dazzling architecture and art, and great sophistication. Guatemala was an important post for Spain and ranked just below Mexico in terms of desirability for fortune seeking sons of the Spanish nobility and other scoundrels. It was pretty much destroyed in an earthquake and flood in 1773 and the Spanish ordered it pulled down as they moved the capital to what is now Guatemala City. The people of Antigua, known as Panzas Verdes, or Green Bellies because of all the avocados they eat, refused to pull it down. And they attempted to rebuild. Today, Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an exceptionally charming and beautiful place. I've been there now about 4 or 5 times and I love it.

It is also a good excuse to post some architectural element photographs and innaugurate a new category of the same name. This category will include pictures of pieces of buildings, architectural sculpture or ornament or just something on a building that catches my eye. It happens to me all the time and I've decided to start bringing my camera along with me more often.

I hope you enjoy the following shots of doorways and door knockers (with one excellent wall mounted wrought iron light to kick things off and light the way)!










Posted by Random Penseur at 04:02 PM | Comments (7)