Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Faces on the Hotel Wall

This post is something I've been wanting to do for a long time. In big terms, the subject is the Hotel St. Michael. More specifically, it's the question of those faces in the decorative circles just below the roof line. They take the place of the usual gargoyles, though there are also a wolf head and a ram's head. Speculation has it that the individual who created the faces depicted prominent local men of the time -- none too flatteringly, either. Revenge, it is said. Or something like that. I've never come across any definitive statement. However, using the telephoto lens on my new camera let me come in close. Introducing the faces on the hotel wall; anyone you recognize?

The last two images do not look like caricatures of prominent businessmen, politicos or gamblers. Token gargoyles?

21 comments:

Catalyst said...

My first thought was the Seven Dwarves. But there are 12 of them. The Disciples?

Steve G said...

It would be interesting to find the story behind them.

OmegaMom said...

What grand faces! Some are *very* recognizable (e.g., those are "real" people, not that I know them!).

quilteddogs said...

I had heard/read the same thing about the faces. But I thought it was more than just speculation and was actual fact.

sheoflittlebrain said...

I thought of the seven deadly sins with accompanying deamons, but can't really see that either....
I hope they never escape as most of them look as if they're yearning to flee that prison. And they just don't look........nice.

Granny J said...

Cat-A -- days of Christmas, perhaps?

Steve -- probably buried 100 years ago!

Dotter-- I'd recognize them -- and make a lot of room for them on the sidewalk!

QD -- I tried a couple of searches, including Sharlot Hall & got nowhere.

Brain -- Not a comely lot, those fellows!

coyoteradiotheater said...

I had heard most of them were chiding depictions of local personalities at the time they were put up.

Granny J said...

Coyote-- I e-mailed the head historian at Sharlot Hall Museum, who said that no research had ever been done on the question, at least at the museum.

Avus said...

These are fascinating and look older than their surroundings. Make a name for yourself and do some background research for the museum!

Granny J said...

Mr. Avus -- you know, I found myself saying "those look sort of European, peasant-like". It's a couple of the hats that are anachronisms. As for doing a research, I've no idea where one would begin.

meggie said...

I thought they all have a sort of similarity, & I could almost see what the original sculptor would have looked like. Very interesting indeed.

Granny J said...

Meggie-- 1st off, welcome to my blog! As for the faces, I too wonder about them. For one thing, they do not look "western". The hats are quite wrong. Only one moustache. Strange.

Lucy said...

Whoever they are, they are quite fascinating - as you and Avus said, they look really old and European.
A great series, get them printed and sell'em as postcards!

Granny J said...

Lucy-- the postcard idea isn't at all half-bad. I'll sleep on it.

Avus said...

If you are really interested in researching them, what about starting with city planning and building records, and/or a local newspaper's records?

Granny J said...

I suspect you're right. Perhaps also some of the hotel's old documents.

Evelyn said...

Are you sure those last two aren't real people? :) That is fascinating though. If you find out their secret, do let us know! I guess that means I need to subscribe to your feed! ;)

Granny J said...

My latest speculation, Evelyn, is that the faces were bought whole from a catalog out of Chicago (the Big City as versus The Frontier.) Or perhaps shipped from Europe. Who knows?

Andy said...

Granny, you might enjoy the following web site with beautiful pictures of Prescott and a comment about "the gargoyles":

http://prescottareadailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/12/gargoyles.html

Andy

Two O said...

I have lived in Prescott 5 years and never noticed those faces before, omg.
I love your blog. I also have a blog mostly about the local art scene here in Prescott. I would love you to visit it and follow me if you would. I think it is great if all us Prescott people support each others efforts. I will follow you.
Nice to find you.

Granny J said...

twoo -- welcome! Aren't those faces the greatest?

 
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