Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dormers & roof details

At one time, I was bedazzled by the moderns -- Mies, le Corbosier, et al. I suspect it's a phase of growing up, because I'm long since over it. Turns out that Mies' apartment towers in Chicago had leaky windows and Corbosier's sleek apartment complexes today comprise some of those bleak and dangerous immigrant slums ringing Paris. Besides, to top it off, that's one thing the 20th century moderns did not do -- finish the tops of their buildings. Their buildings simply stopped. Not so, architects from earlier times. They paid meticulous attention to roof lines and roof details. Quite picture-worthy, as well.

The historic Bashford House on the Sharlot Hall Museum grounds offers a sampling of Victorian embellishment -- everything from stained glass windows and a beautiful sun room to several neat dormer windows. No towers, however. Besides, I'm saving my towers for another post.

Another approach to the dormer, at Park Avenue and Gurley. I especially admire the circular shingles above the window. This picture is somewhat accidental -- I was aiming for the raven at the peak of the roof.

A later version of the dormer decorating a brick bungalow on Grove Street. Isn't the window glass nicely mullioned? Nobody offers such detailing anymore, at least to middle-class home-owners. Too expensive, no doubt, as well as a bitch to keep clean.

Yet another style of dormer, this one somewhat roomier -- but marred by that air conditioner (which is probably quite necessary in our hot June/July.)

Finally, a not-quite dormer over on Park Avenue.

Linkages: Have you read about the cat cafes in Tokyo? Count on the Japanese to come up with this strange type of innovation. Wonder if such tea houses would pass muster with our health departments? Also: hie yourself immediately to Touch the Wind, with two wonderful posts of ephemera in Tucson.


Lucy said...

I do like a nice dormer or gable end myself!

Apparently Le Corb's wife couldn't stand living with all that glass and light either, and flat roofed modernism never really stood up to wet northern climes.

Granny J said...

lucy -- as a child, I longed for a staircase landing with a bench for reading. Later, it was a room of my own with a dormer window. Now it's a BIG tower room, with windows all around it; unlike Mme. LeCorb, I like all that light, tho cleaning the glass does present a problem.

Anonymous said...

Great post of photos of architectural details that most people never see. When walking older commercial sections of cities, I am frequently amazed at the decoration that exists at over 50 feet from the sidewalk. By contrast, today's construction is built with a financial balance sheet. No decoration or frill -- just walls and a roof.

Thanks for the post.

Granny J said...

wanderer -- unlike many people, I'm not in a hurry -- Getting There is one of my chief entertainments! BTW, have you ever looked at the top of the Board of Trade building in Chicago?

Ronni said...

Doesn't Prescott have THE best buildings?

Granny J said...

Welcome to chez GrannyJ, ronni. I agree about the buildings -- we have some great ones & I've got a lot more pictures to take!

Jan said...

granny j..this is interesting, because this past week, we were away, buying a home built in 1890..but I don't think there is a single dormer, that I can remember!

The craftsmanship of that era was remarkable, I think!

Granny J said...

jan -- way back then, talented people didn't have computers & stuff for careers, so some of them became wood craftsmen ... just as, today, the really talented women have all sorts of opportunities & so they don't go into teaching.

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