Friday, December 31, 2010
In the photo on the right you can see terrazzo floor of the arcade with the Block Court name incorporated into the the flooring. Notice also the windows of the shops in the arcade and the vent below each window.
The photo above shows the lettering above the entrance to the arcade and the ornate ceiling beyond. You can also catch a glimpse of the style of the building above street level.
Originally it was build at the Athenaeum Club in 1890, then in 1930 it was remodelled from designs by Harry Norris. The building was renamed Block Court and the shopping arcade was added at street level.
Block Court, National Trust Database
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I seem to have captured the Cinema One in Stewart St, Devonport, Tasmania in its death throes in April 2006. The Cinema One signage is still there but the glass in the doors has been papered over and there is no sign of any film promotions or marquee.
There is not much else I can tell you about this cinema. It doesn't seem to be listed on cinematreasures.org and while it is listed in the Tasmanian section of Cinema History Around the World, all its says is that the capacity was 288 and it is closed.
Thomas Ryan wrote about this building on his Art Deco & Modernism Architecture Tasmania blog posting a photo from 2008 with the former cinema sporting a new paint job and operating as a furniture and giftware store.
Surely someone from the Apple Isle can fill me in on the history of this significant Devonport building!
Cinema History Around the World
former Cinema, Devonport, Art Deco & Modernism Architecture Tasmania
Monday, December 27, 2010
I snapped Shelly's Restaurant at 104 W57th Street in June 2005 with no inkling that before the end of the following year it would be demolished to make way for a residential tower.
The building was originally constructed as a Horn & Hardart Automat in 1938 and an on-line petition directed to the NY Landmarks Preservation Commission and Manhatten Councilmembers failed to save the Automat.
This condo evicts another cherished landmark, by Jim in Time Square on Flickr.com
Save the Former 1938 NYC Automat From Demolition!!!, www.petitiononline.com
Sunday, December 26, 2010
The Astor Theatre in the Perth suburb of Mt Lawley started life in 1919 as The Lyceum. At the time, architect, builder and owner, Simon Bremner, claimed it was the coolest building in Western Australia due to the ventilation installed in the theatre. The current operators claim it is still one of the coolest buildings in WA in a less physical meaning of the word.
By 1930, the venus had become the State Theatre and State Summer Gardens with extensive renovations coking later in the 1930s. The gardens survived until 1970 but the State lost it's name in 1941 due to a State Givernment decree that private enterprises couldn't use that name. The Astor was born.
Over time the building has been split in two showing Adult films and Italian language films, hosted bingo and karate lessons before being Heritage Listed in 1988 when threatened with demolition.
The theatre was refurnbished in 1991 and currently is used for both films and live concerts.
Astor Theatre website
Saturday, December 25, 2010
I had a plan when I set out on my walk this morning, Christmas morning, with Oscar, our Briard. The plan was to walk into the City Square and take a picture of him with his Christmas bow in front of the Christmas tree with the Manchester Unity building in the background.
Despite the many admiring glances (at Oscar) we easily made it to the City Square so I pulled my Canon IXUS 60 out of my back pocket to frame up the shot.
Now, the Canon IXUS 60 does not have a battery life indicator and knowing this I switched it on before I left home and the last picture I had taken flashed onto the display.
However, this morning, Christmas morning, in the City Square when I switched it to 'capture' mode, I was confronted with the dreaded black screen and the message 'Change the battery pack'. You see, there was enough charge left in the battery to view a picture but not enough to take one. Obviously it is my fault for not making sure the battery was charged but it would be nice if the Canon IXUS range had an on screen battery life indicator because, in just about all other aspects, it is a great little camera.
So instead here is a picture of the Manchester Unity building that I took earlier and Oscar in front of our Christmas tree at home with his Christmas bow.
Friday, December 24, 2010
These flats at 67 Bromby St, South Yarra, were built in 1937. The Sands and McDougall directory of 1938 lists them under the name Yarrum Flats but the building doesn't appear to have a name anymore.
The flats are dominated by the glassed stairwell and I really like that the profile of the stairs is visble through the windows.
They are a striking block of flats in an inner suburban street.
South Yarra Walk Booklet, Art Deco & Modernist Society
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
This is an interesting apartment block of indeterminate age in Massawa.
I find it unusual that the upper floors overhang the ground floor providing shade and shelter for the footpath. The columns on the open balconies are the same as the columns between the windows. The windows are shuttered so they may, in fact, not have any glass.
Decoration takes the form of a row of diamonds above the second storey windows and a more complex combination of repeating geometric shapes above the top floor windows. There is also the squares on the balcony walls and the 'union jack' panel in the centre of each balcony.
Monday, December 20, 2010
The houses in Peterleigh Grove, Essendon were mostly built between 1939 and 1943.
This is number 5.
I don't think there is much to distinguish the house from many Australian suburban houses but the low brick wall and metal gates are a fantastic.
Art Deco in the Western Suburbs tour booklet, Art Deco and Modernism Society
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Earlier this month, Thomas Ryan posted a glorious b+w photo of Hobart's Ocean Child Hotel on his Art Deco & Modernism Architecture Tasmania blog.
Unlike my photo (right), Thomas has concentrated on the signage remarking on how the lettering played a major part of Modernist design.
It also looks like the hotel has been repainted (assuming Thomas has posted a recent photo) allowing the three-dimensional nature of the signage to provide the contrast with the body of the building. Too often we see the signage and other decorative features highlighted in contrasting colours where originally the design was intended to be more subtle. The shadows cast by the changing angle of the sunlight striking the facade at different times of the day providing the visual highlghting of the decoration.
Go back and have a look at Thomas' photo again and I think you'll see what I mean.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Clearly, from the name above the door, this is the Catholic Center. It is at 785-795 Main Street, Buffalo but the decoration indicates a previous life.
The building was constructed in 1930 from designs by architects Monk & Johnson, with H D A Ganteaume. It was the home of the Courier-Express newspaper.
Above each band of windows there are terracotta panels which designs that I have seen described as Celtic. I suppose it is wrong to describe them as 'fishbone' in style.
Above the first floor windows there is a series of friezes invoking the words of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
'Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press'
Standing in their niches set in a band of 'celtic fishbones' are the representation of four historical figures from the world of printing.
Here we see William Caxton who introduced the printing press to 15th Century England.
The other figures are Johannes Gutenberg, the first European to use movable type printing and inventor of the printing press; Christophe Plantin who worked as a printer and publisher in 16th Century Holland; and Benjamin Franklin, a printer, newspaper editor and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Buffalo as an Architectural Museum
Wikipedia entries for William Caxton, Johannes Gutenberg, Christophe Plantin and Benjamin Franklin
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I find it interesting that they used rough finished bricks for most of the facade then finished the decorative elements with smooth bricks.
I wonder if the portholes on either side of the parapret were ever windows?
Monday, December 13, 2010
I don't know whether they are oldish or newish but I do know they are in the Primrose Hill area of London.
I hope they are old. The picture was taken around 2000 and it looks like the second flat in from the left hand end has just had some repair work done around the doorway and window.
I thought they looked quite modernist with the use of glass brick, flat roof and white paint job.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
There were already buildings here when The Royal Exchange Assurance Company set up their chambers here in 1924. Then in 1936 the architectural firm of Philip Claridge were commissioned to refurbish the premises with the most visible change being the facade that we still see today.
I especially like the decoration above the entrance which painted silver works well against the dark colouring of the rest of the building.
Notes, Inaugural Walking Tour of Art Deco and Modern architectural highlights of the Adelaide CBD, Sat 26 Apr 2008, Adelaide Chapter, Art Deco and Modernism Society
Saturday, December 11, 2010
The interior was designed by Toussait-Xénophon Renaud and some of the elements such as the flooring and the wall lights could be just as appropriate in a cinema. On the other hand the pews, seating on the main alter, the confessional boxes and the stained glass windows by Guido Nincheri do not belong anywhere but a church.
The pews at the front of the church are enclosed by these decorated Art Deco wooden panels.
Each of the panels and the door are stepped at the top. I can see floral or sunburst forms in the decoration and, of course, a cross on the door providing access to the seating. You can also see that elements of the seating are also decorated with similar Art Deco patterns.
Similar patterns have been used in the backs of these chairs and I think it looks more like a sunburst here.
Again we have a a representation of a cross on the large central chair which seems to employee more stepped forms than a chair can bear. Besides the stepped wooden slats below the seat, the armrest and the back supports are also stepped.
Suspended from the cross is a large round light fitting. Definitely could be found in a cinema or theatre foyer.
Rosemont Tour Booklet, Tenth World Congress on Art Deco, Montreal, 2009
Friday, December 10, 2010
I haven't seen many churches in Canada I can well beleive that this is the most Art Deco of them.
But wait there's more. Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of the interior.
Rosemont Tour Booklet, Tenth World Congress on Art Deco, Montreal, 2009
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I don't know a lot about Elizabeth House in Adelaide but I suspect it dates from the 1950s and is more Modernist than Art Deco but then I have always maintained that I subscribe to the broadest possible definition of Art Deco that lets me include all manner of 20th Century buildings in this blog that more scholarly types would exclude.
I just love the windows.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Beresford Avenue is in an area of East Twickenham that in the 18th Century was part of the Twickenham Park Estate. The sub-division of the the park from around the middle of the 19th Century saw a series of housing developments until finally Beresford Avenue was constructed in 1935.
The Beresford Avenue Conservation Area Study published by the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames in July 2000, states that the avenue was designated as a Conservation Area in 1990 because it 'is a cul-de-sac development of twenty six semi-detached two storey houses with garages built in the mid 1930s to a largely unified design'.
The houses have these wonderful bulging window bays from the ground to the pitched roof with curved metal windows.
In general low walls or fences have been maintained and in some cases the houses still have the original sunburst design gates.
Beresford Avenue Conservation Area Study, London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, July 2000
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Marina is a San Francisco suburb briming with Art Deco apartments and 1600 Beach is a typical example.
Decoration is typically limited to the roofline above the window bays and around the main entrance. Sometimes there is decoaration below each window but not in this case.
The decoration at the roofline of 1600 Beach is a great example of an Art Deco 'frozen fountain' which always reminds me of stylished tree ferns.