Tag: Skyscrapers

  • Telamones and Other Ornaments on the Park Building

    Telamon on the Park Building

    A “telamon” is a male human figure used as an architectural support. Most architectural references regard the term as interchangeable with “atlas” (of which the plural is “atlantes”), but some working architects seem to have distinguished the two, “telamones” being youthful, beardless figures, and “atlantes” being older bearded figures with pronounced or exaggerated musculature, like the atlantes on the Kaufmann’s clock. At any rate, the 1896 Park Building, which is our oldest standing skyscraper (if we don’t count the seven-storey Consetoga Building as a skyscraper), has thirty of these figures supporting the elaborate cornice. The sculptor seems not to be known, which is a pity, because these are exceptionally fine work. The architect was George B. Post, who also designed the New York Stock Exchange and the Wisconsin state capitol, among many other notable buildings.


    One of these fellows has lost his head, which you might do, too, if you had to hold up a cornice like that for 126 years.

    Garlanded window
    Park Building

    At some point in the middle twentieth century it seemed like a good idea to someone to fill in the shaft of the building with modernistic columns of windows. It was not a good idea.

  • BNY Mellon Center

    Our second-tallest building opened in 1983 as One Mellon Center. It was actually meant to be the Dravo Building, but Dravo disappeared before the building was finished. There were plans to surround it with matching smaller buildings, but the 1980s boom went bust, and those buildings never happened.

    The architects were Welton Becket and Associates—clearly the Associates in this case, since Mr. Becket himself died in 1969. (He is, however, credited with this and nearly three dozen other posthumous buildings in his Wikipedia article.)

  • Fifth Avenue Place Reflected in PPG Place

  • U. S. Steel Tower

  • Cathedral of Learning

  • Fifth Avenue Place Reflected in Four Gateway Center

  • Cathedral of Learning

    Camera: Olympus E-20n

    We have seen this view more than once before, but it is one of the best views of the building, and it is worth seeing in different lights. Here the patterns of light and shade from the drifting clouds made an especially pleasing picture.

  • Litchfield Towers, Oakland

    Litchfield Towers

    These skyscraper dormitories were built in 1963 to designs by Dahlen Richey of Deeter & Richey. They were poetically named A, B, and C, but students immediately renamed them Ajax, Bab-O, and Comet.

    The restored entrance looks like a scene from the modernist paradise that existed mostly in architects’ imaginations. But the original architect certainly did not specify the weirdly incongruous faux-antique lanterns.

    Entrance with stairs
  • Century Building

    The Century Building on Seventh Street was built in 1907; the architects, according to its National Register of Historic Places data, were Rutan & Russell and Shenk, Henry Co.. This is a composite of several pictures, which is the only way to get a whole view of the façade from across the narrow street.


  • Three Gateway Center

    Three Gateway Center

    Seen in 1999 from Equitable Plaza, which was in much better shape in those days.