Masonry

Simultaneous Developments

That picture shows the condition of a terra-cotta cornice on a steel-framed apartment house that I was examining some 23 years ago. You can’t see the cornice proper, which is above the frame of the picture; the big curved piece of terra cotta that occupies most of the shot is a decorative bracket below the …

Simultaneous Developments Read More »

Like They Used To

The phrase “they don’t build them like they used to” is always good for some laughs. There are certainly differences between past and current practice, but there is no consistency in terms of quality. Some things in the past are better than their current-day counterparts (the quality of ornamental brickwork, for example) and some are …

Like They Used To Read More »

Frivolity

I don’t know Providence well enough to talk about the character of the city. Like a lot of small cities in the northeast, it’s had to move from manufacturing to a service economy, a transition that has probably been eased by the presence of several large educational institutions. A good percentage of the buildings downtown …

Frivolity Read More »

Mass Production and Beauty

There are long treatises on the topic of the aesthetics of the machine age, starting in the nineteenth century and working their way up to the present. That topic includes everything from the precisionists to steampunk. Great stuff, but not what I want to talk about. The machine-made mass production of architectural elements in the …

Mass Production and Beauty Read More »

Scroll to Top