Tag: Columns

  • The Colonnade, Oakland

    The Colonnade

    This small apartment building on Centre Avenue is named for its most obvious and distinctive feature: a two-storey Doric colonnade that has just been freshly painted.

    Addendum: According to the city architectural inventory (PDF), the Colonnade was built in 1907.

    Corner view
  • Mellon Institute at Twilight

    Mellon Institute at twilight

    The colossal columns of the Mellon Institute illuminated from within.

  • Porch of the Mellon Institute

    Porch of the Mellon Institute

    Behind the world’s largest monolithic columns on the porch of the Mellon Institute.

  • Donahoe Building

    Donahoe Building, now CVS Pharmacy

    This splendid terra-cotta façade on Forbes Avenue used to belong to Donahoe’s Market and Cafeteria (note the D above every second-floor window). Father Pitt enjoys the challenge of getting a complete picture of a large façade on a narrow street. Here the stitching has succeeded admirably; except for a little distortion at the ends of the building, this is probably just how the architect drew the upper floors. Old Pa Pitt doubts whether an architect had anything to do with the current incarnation of the ground floor; it looks like the work of a contractor who had a brother-in-law in the corrugated-steel trade.

    Addendum: According to the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, the original architect of the Donahoe Building was William E. Snaman.

  • 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.

    Addendum: Note the comment below with the rival claim of the South Carolina State House, whose monolithic columns claim to be taller by a foot. As in all such questions, of course, we can make pedantic distinctions one way or another: it depends on how we define “large.” Columns of the Corinthian order are more slender in proportion to their height; we have to say what we mean by “largest” before we can settle the question. The only thing that matters, though, is that the columns in Columbia are beautiful in themselves and add considerably to the beauty of one of our distinguished Greek Revival buildings. It is not necessary to take down one of the South Carolinian columns and weigh it to say that they are magnificent achievements.