Thursday, September 9, 2010


I just started reading Devil In the White City by Eric Larson for the second time (one of my all time favorite books- please read) and just cannot stop thinking about all the great architectural detailing by Louis Sullivan and the like in late 19th century Chicago (not to mention all the weirdo exhibits at the world's fair).

I happened to take some photos of said detailing that has been preserved at the Met in New York, and thought I would share. Louis Sullivan was one heck of an architect, however, from all reports he was kind of a jerk. But hey, I guess many architectural geniuses are. I believe Frank Lloyd Wright might be among that crowd as well, along with Bruneschelli, Le Corbusier, anyone associated with the Bauhaus..... well you get the point. The architect in general truly believes his is some kind of god, creating and destroying buildings, even whole cities, in the blink of an eye. Of course those listed above were in fact geniuses, but come on, you can be a bit polite to your poor, overworked draftsmen, and not to mention your, ahem, interior designers. But I digress. Back to the architecture.

Here is some of the stunning metalwork on view at the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum. Could you ever imagine such craftsman ship and such intricacy in our day and age?

And the most amazing thing is that much of this detailing was placed high above eye level, almost more for the enjoyment of the birds, superman, or perhaps your skyscraper neighbors.  I just cannot resist that geometric foliage he creates.  So much stronger and modern than traditional decorative work of the Victorian era, so totally appealing.

This brick and terracotta work is just as impressive:

I want some on my building please!

Here are some other shots of his work (not in the Met, obviously!):

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