More Reflections of St. Paul’s

Cross reflected

The Software Engineering Institute gives us an unending parade of reflections of the landmarks around it. The curved wall at the main entrance is particularly productive of interesting effects. Below, for example, what appears to be a reflection of the twin spires of St. Paul’s is actually, on closer examination, the same spire reflected twice.

Spire reflected

World’s Largest Monolithic Columns (Again)

Columns of the Mellon Institute

The Mellon Institute, designed by the prolific Benno Janssen, claims the largest monolithic columns in the world. Columns like these are usually made as a series of joined cylinders, but each column here is a single piece of stone. When the client wants to send the message “I spent money on this,” nothing is more effective than giving him the world’s largest something-or-other.

Note how, unlike most other monumental buildings in Oakland, the Mellon Institute has retained the sooty evidence of decades of heavy industry.

Holland Mansion, Oakland

Music Building, University of Pittsburgh

Now the Music Building of the University of Pittsburgh, this house (built in 1884) was a gift from his wife to the pastor of the Bellefield Presbyterian Church across the street. It is thus one of the few buildings in Oakland that predate Oakland (along with the tower of the church, which still stands beside a modern office building). It is also a lesson for clergy: if your particular sect permits marriage, it is a good idea to marry an heiress. You can see the advantages. Most pastors’ wives do not give their husbands a mansion designed by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow, and that is because most pastors do not sensibly marry heiresses as they ought to do.

Transept Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral

Transept tower

A large Gothic church can be prickly with towers. In addition to the great front towers whose spires can be seen for miles, St. Paul’s has a pair of smaller towers on each transept front.

St. Simon the Zealot

St. Simon the Zealot

A statue of St. Simon the Zealot on the east transept façade of St. Paul’s Cathedral. He is identified by the instrument of his martyrdom, the saw, which (according to one common tradition) was also how the prophet Isaiah was killed.