Tag Archives: Classical

Greek-out

Somewhere along the way this typical, circa 1810 three-story brick vernacular rowhouse became a pocket postmodern-ish Parthenon, transformed by a shorthand or CliffsNotes version of Classical motifs. With a tongue-in-cheek playfulness, the elements adorning the building are architecturally and culturally familiar ones – the Aegean blue and white motif that recalls not just Greece but Greek restaurants and takeout coffee cups, the octagonal transom window, the entablature’s cornice supported by a chorus line of miniature Doric columns, the referential touches of faux pediments above the second-story windows. Meanwhile, there’s something vaguely nautical about the place, and fittingly so, it being close to the river; it even resembles somebody’s idea of what the stateside office of a Greek shipping line would have looked like maybe a century ago. It is cleverly composed with symbolism from a Mediterranean culture that gave us our western architectural style.

Whatever, it’s a Greek Revival style of a very unusual sort, and a unique and welcome vision of someone’s imaginative and yearning mind. New owners have since broken the spell by whitewashing out its color-scheme. But as captured here, it is a Trojan Horse of a different color.

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