Monday, April 19, 2010

Where did it all go so horribly wrong...

Any of you who know me very well at all know that bile forms in the back of my throat when I have to drive through suburbia.   Just the horrible rows of poorly-constructed, siding-laden homes with their boring beige paint coupled with the influx of chain resturants killing the craft-of-the-chef and homogenizing our landscape makes me very sad.

This weekend while touring a handful of Denver's Mansions, I started  wondering  when did our building practices in this country lose its authenticity and artistry?    I will add disclaimer here: if you have any problem with looking at a dozen pictures of ceilings and light fixtures... then you can just stop here.  

I love looking at the amazing details that were put into these homes...  the plaster cast details, the light fixtures and the hand painted and carved details just don't exist anymore.

PS yes my photos are terrible today... don't know what happened. 

The coving is a relief fresco hand-pressed then carved  (Zang Mansion - ladies sitting area)

hand-painted wall detail (Zang Mansion - ladies sitting area)

Trojan warrior-heads set the military and masculine theme of the painted ceiling (Zang Mansion - Men's Smoking Room)

The genuine gold-leaf ceiling is background for the oil painting of fall leaves and grapes. The built-in buffets, wainscoating, table and chairs are of English brown oak (note the table under this chandelier was set for afternoon tea using Teddy Roosevelt's White House China) (Zang Mansion - Dining Room)

Merchant of Venice stain glass (Zang Mansion - Stair Landing) (There was also Romeo and Juliet stained glass window in the Men's Smoking Room, wonder if Alfred Zang had a thing for Shakespeare?)

  Hand-painted wall with hand-molded plaster trim (see first picture for a close up of the coving relief fresco) (Zang Mansion - Ladies Sitting Room)

Chandelier (Grant Humphreys Mansion)

Gold Chandelier (Zang Mansion - Ladies Sitting Room)

Plaster trim (Grant-Grant Humphreys Mansion)

Plaster ceiling trim (Boettcher Mansion - The Govenor's Residence)

Plaster ceiling trim and Waterford chandelier  (Boettcher Mansion - The Govenor's Residence - Drawing Room)  (Note that chandelier was given to Colorado by the Ulysses S. Grant administration the year CO became a state).

Plaster ceiling trim (Boettcher Mansion - The Govenor's Residence - Dining Room)

Plaster-Cast Ceiling Detail (Boettcher Mansion - The Govenor's Residence - Bar)

Plaster-Cast Ceiling Detail (Boettcher Mansion - The Govenor's Residence - Bar)

Chandelier (Boettcher Mansion - The Govenor's Residence - Entry way)

Oddly all of these houses are in the Neoclassical Style - Georgian Revival and Beaux Arts.

1 comment:

  1. Your chandelier pictures came out a lot better than mine! We'll have to do that again next year, it was fun. :)