Appreciating Architecture in an Old City
People used to care more. Maybe they just used to care less about how much manual labor and finials cost. I recently took a long winter’s walk around Portland (Maine) with my camera with the sole purpose of documenting these (manual) labors of love.
It’s in a fancy schmancy slideshow format for your viewing pleasure, but you can also click on the individual images after the jump for a longer gaze. Notice the work in the carved wooden brackets beneath the windows and how they’re painted different colors. Look at how a simple arc at the top of a window can make a dramatic effect on an otherwise simple building. Isn’t it interesting that building proprietors used to set their names or the name of their business in stone right in the building as if it would never need to be changed? That is the crux of this post – old things look like they were built to last, made to survive anything. These days, the focus is so much more on budget and the ease of upkeep. Bo-ring.
It’s easy to gush over styled photo shoots of beautiful homes in design magazines, but you might be missing some inspiration right next door. Next time you’re out in your neighborhood, take a closer look at the buildings around you. Look for the big, heavy doors with big brass knobs, worn from decades of turning. Keep an eye out for interesting architectural flair and the shapes of windows. Remember to look up at the tops of the buildings and see what extra work might have gone into making it unique.
What are some of your favorite buildings in your town or city? Anyone seen any fantastic cupolas lately?