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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Campanile - Springfield, Mass.

This is the Campanile in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. This neoclassical clock tower stands between the Greek Revival Symphony Hall (formerly Springfield Auditorium - where the Trapp Family performed, see this previous post) and City Hall. The 275-foot tall structure, built from 1911-1913, was the tallest building in Springfield until 1973, when it was surpassed by a modern glass and steel office building, followed by others in the next decade.

Interesting how in the early years of the last century architecture reflected on a classic past even in that era of a self-professed progressive future. Our modern architecture seems less inspiring today, at least the examples of it that seem to deny we even have a past.


Tony said...

Good post. Back in the day European architecture was more esthetically pleasing to a primarily European population. Springfield and the whole valley is much more diverse now, ethnically and politically, and architectual preferences more muddied. So we have faceless buildings that don't offend nor favor anyone. Everyone loses.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

An excellent point you make, Tony, about what was esthetically pleasing to a predominantly European population at the time, and a more culturally, and politically, diverse population now. I was prepared to regard the phenomenon as purely a matter of Modern Art-inspired economics, but you've given me a lot more to think about.

Ira Goldman said...

The municipal group - City Hall, Symphony Hall, and Campanile - are not Greek Revival. The only "Greek Revival" element to the group is the pediment on the upper-facade of City Hall and Symphony Hall. The group is Italianate, from the portico at the entrances of the Halls beyond the massive fluted columns and finial-like balustrade conjoining all buildings to the decorative fenestrations and scrolled encorbelments up to the attic-story windows topped with an elaborate cornice, and, in the case of City Hall, even an atrium typical of Italian Renaissance architecture, all complemented by the stately Italianate clock-tower, even called "Campanile."

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thank you for your input and corrections, Mr. Goldman. I appreciate it.

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