Friday, January 25, 2013

Going Up?

In the past, architectural ornamentation was commonplace.  Each and every building used architectural details crafted from metal, stone, wood and glass to beautify spaces, both exteriors and interiors.  The greater the detailing, the more larvish (perhaps expensive) the structure.  Yet, even the post WW I apartment buildings in NYC used architectural detail (moldings, grill-work, tile), which created interest.  Humble Lower East Side shops used elaborate signage and the department stores, regardless of merchandise pricepoint, outdid each other to attract/visually delight/inspire shoppers with marvelously crafted design both inside and outside the stores.
I saw some module designs for NYC apartments online today: not an architectural detail in sight.  They looked nice, utilitarian.  They surely lacked the detailing that characterized the past building/ housing industry.  However, some builders are still adding detail.  It costs more and takes more time, but in the end I think the details matter.  They create a unique beauty and interest to the spaces and places we live and visit.

NYC Department Store Elevator

Art genre: Sepia architectural detail/art photograph with color

Photography tip: Carefully add highlights to metal.  Be sure that the highlights from the initial shot are not blown out by not using a flash when shooting metal.
Location: NYC, NY


  1. Ellen, I love the detail on this. What department store is it?

  2. Lord & Taylor: 5th Ave & 38th Street. L&T has such incredible Christmas windows. Every year the puppets have a different theme to celebrate the season. People line up around the block! But any time of year, Lord & Taylor has beautiful displays and marvelous architectural details inside & out. All the "older" department stores in NYC have such fabulous architecture. Macy's still has some wooden escalators! Some newer stores, like Ralph Lauren's amazing flagship store, are full of magnificent woodwork, moldings, chandeliers. Makes shopping a grand experience!