Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

...on my way to the Forum*

In my last post I mused about Greek Revival architectural style and how North America adopted it so readily for civic buildings. It was just what communities needed to enhance their image, affirm their their progress from log and frame settlements to successful villages, towns and cities, and create a dignified home for their institutions of peace and good government.
These photos illustrate the civic pride and aspirations of three communities of different size - with different resources. Upper left: Kingston City Hall (1833-34), Lower left: Napanee Town Hall (c. 1855), Right: Bath Town Hall (1861). Can't you just hear the public debate, the enthusiasm in the newspaper, the approval from the pulpit, the arguments in the tavern, the comments of the sidewalk superintendents?

Can you say, "dignified"?

* Point taken - forum was a Roman idea, but we were on our way there when we stopped for the flowering of Greek culture, right? I liked the quote...from the Stephen Sondheim musical I seem to recall.

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