Don Friedman

Changing Symbolism

That’s a picture of a cast-iron fence post on a 1910 apartment house in Manhattan. The form inside the outer cage is a lictor’s symbolic weapon. Lictors were low-level civil servants in the Roman Republic and acted as bodyguards to high-ranking officials. The symbolic weapon was an axe with bunch of sticks bundled around it, …

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A Mix Of Eras, Revisited

Two years ago, I looked at a picture of the Murray Hill Hotel taken at a time of great change in midtown Manhattan. Here’s another view of the area from a little bit earlier, in 1908. The title of the photo is “Belmont and Murray Hill Hotels, New York, N.Y.” and that is what we’ve …

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Photo-Bombing Circa 1904

This a nice picture of Morningside Park from the Detroit Publishing collection. Given the notable lack of drone technology in 1904, it was probably taken from an apartment house at the south end of the park, on 110th Street. The park has a reputation of being built on a cliff between Morningside Heights (to the …

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A New Order

Classical architecture has traditionally been taught through the “orders,” set combinations of column base, column, column capital, and entablatures. The Greeks used the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian Orders; the Romans added the Tuscan and Composite Orders; and ever since the Renaissance architects have dabbled in creating new orders for new times. The problem with creating …

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