Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Photostudy: Architectural Details: Over the Rhine

Since I'm an architecture nut, I never go out without a camera. Of late Ive been all over town doing some photography for my new book on Cincinnati Second Empire Architecture and I have been shooting 'interesting stuff' all over town, not just Second Empire Architecture but a little bit of everything. From time to time I will share some of these on the blog. Today some details and buildings, and my thoughts, from OTR:
This illustrates the contrasting view (intrusion?) of green technology of the Findlay Market solar panels with the "architectural purity" of the building in the background. Thanks to thoughtful retrofitting you have to be at 'just the right angle' to see this and frankly that's the way it should be.
One of the few "later infill' buildings in OTR. An interesting contrast of the simpler architecture of 1910-20 on the left vs the Victorian Italianate on the right. The fact that these buildings sit unused is astounding to preservationists I know who live anywhere else in the country.
"Ah the Empire". Much is made of Cincinnati's Italianate Architecture but Cincinnati also has perhaps the most intact collection of Second Empire structures in the world. This building could just as easily be in Montreal as Cincinnati. Second Empire architecture is perhaps the most coveted architecture of the Victorian era. We still have thousands, most cities wished they had a few.
The flower boxes at Findlay Market really add that old world feel and bring a bit of greenery to an otherwise hard urban landscape.

Over the Rhine, and for that matter, all of Cincinnati, is all about the details and sometimes you have to "slow down" and take a moment to really look at the beauty that stares back at you. The fine detailing on this column is a work of art, and its the type of workmanship that cannot be easily duplicated today and once its gone its gone. We have to save our Architectural masterpieces from misguided city officials with a bulldoze mentality. Cincinnati's rebirth and future resides in its Architecture.

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