Ascend, Cast your Mind Higher-Photo Challenge

In 2012, I went to Washington, DC for the first time.  One of our first stops on our walking tour of the city was the Library of Congress.  I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the inside of the main Library building, and it felt like I took an hour just taking pictures of all the beautiful architecture and decoration.  You can see that the builders had in mind that visitors would be “transported” to a higher plane than just the mundane, so they did their best to help us to see how important the Library, and learning, are to our shared American Culture.  They took quotations from ancient and modern philosophers, and illustrated them.  I was awed, and I think I was meant to be.

Wall decoration, Library of Congress

Knowledge, Library of Congress

Ignorance, Library of Congress

Ascend, indeed.  All these plaques carry basically the same message, that people are meant to learn, and use their knowledge for good, and pass that knowledge to their progeny.  Just think of all the work that went into those plaques!  You’ve heard the phrase “Onward and Upward with the Arts”.  Embodied here.

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Peek at some architecture-Photo Challenge

Castle Rising, detail
Castle Rising wall. Note the overlapping barrel arches-they make a pointed arch.

This piece of building, obviously in ruins now, was the beginning of a breakthrough that formed the beginnings of Gothic architecture.  Want to see the rest of this very old building?

Castle Rising
Castle Rising

Here it is.  You can see the tracery wall in the middle front of the medieval castle.  A peek into history.

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Ruffles and Flourishes-Architectural Detail in Downtown Seattle

This week’s Photo Challenge topic of Detail was perfect!  I had been planning to do a post on this topic for a while, and everything came together nicely.  This one also goes with last week’s Look Up theme.  So I packed up my camera and notebook, got in my car, and drove the 20 miles from my home to downtown Seattle.  This is what I found, by looking Up at the many older buildings downtown (and one new one).

Decatur Window detailDecaturBldg

These are the Decatur Building on Sixth Avenue.

These next pictures are the old Eagles Auditorium on Union Street.  Yes, the rock group The Eagles did play there in the 1970s.  It is now the home of the ACT Theater, and I’m really glad they kept the beautiful details of the outside of the building.

EaglesAudColumnEaglesAudWindowOldEaglesAud

The Cobb Building is one of the most famous Seattle landmarks.  When I was growing up, it was filled with medical and dental offices.  It now contains condominiums.

CobbBldgTopCobbBldgIndiansCobbBldg

Also famous as one of the best Art Deco buildings in Seattle is the old Northern Life Tower, now called the Seattle Tower.  It has many beautiful details.

SeatowerDetailSeaTowerDoor

OldNorthernLifeTower

Even the underside of the door canopy is decorated!  Inside, the elevator doors are also in the same motif.  Very beautiful.

The Exchange Building is from the same period as the Northern Life Tower, and has some of the same kind of exterior detail.

ExchangeWindowExchangeBldg

On First Avenue and Marion Street is the old Federal Building, and the original Seattle Post Office.  This complex dates from 1931, and is an excellent example of Art Deco.

OldFedOldFedBldgOldFedOfcBldg

IMG_0764

And One New Flourish.  1201 Fourth Avenue.

NewRuffles

Next time you are downtown in your city, look up.  You might notice things that are very beautiful.

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