Artesia, New Mexico is an oil and gas town. That history, as well as the old west cattle grazing is celebrated throughout town in bronze statues. Also featured are some of the cultural leaders, including the librarian.
Pittsburgh – October 2018 – Doors Open Part 2
Doors Open Pittsburgh continues…
Koppers Building – When it was completed in 1929 this 35 floor building was topped out at 475 feet high, making it Pittsburgh’s tallest for a time (passed a short time later by the Gulf Tower).
Constructed of polished granite and Indiana limestone, it is an excellent example of Art Deco.
Lets head inside.
As we entered we were greeted by a couple of the more than 200 volunteers. Events like this rely on volunteers, and all weekend we met welcoming, enthusiastic people who made the visits more worthwhile. A big thank you to all of the volunteers, but on to the visit….
The three story lobby has a variety of marble finishes.
There is significant use of bronze throughout the lobby including another great mailbox.
Do you ever wonder where the elevator is? Not in this building!
The cool clock collection continues…
Even the handrail is stylish.
First Lutheran Church – One stop that was not originally on our itinerary was the First Lutheran Church, but a hard rain shower had come along so we ducked inside.
They are proud of the fact that this church was the first English speaking Lutheran church west of the Alleghenies, having been founded in 1837.
The ceiling is amazing.
As is the pipe organ.
As with most churches, this one has some very ornate stained glass windows.
Union Trust Building – Another building built by Henry Clay Frick, the Union Trust Building was completed in 1916 in a Flemish Gothic structure.
It is believed that the roof is modeled after the Woolworth Building in New York, with the terra cotta dormers and mechanical towers that look like chapels.
Even with this stunning roof, the most amazing feature of this building is the lobby, and its massive atrium leading up to the skylight.
A closeup of the skylight.
What a great building.
The clock tour continues in the Union Trust Building.
As does the mailbox tour.
City/County Building – As we continued our day it became obvious that Pittsburgh experienced a massive building boom in the 1910s. Another example of this boom is the City/County Building, which was completed in 1916.
The entire build emphasized local resources, from the architects to the materials and construction workers, it was directed that all the resources should come from Allegheny County.
The lobby features a bust of William Pitt.
As well as sculpted columns.
Our visit included a stop at the Mayor’s office.
Pittsburgh is noteworthy for their unique dialect, differing from the rest of the country with the accents and use of words. The most common of these is ‘Yinz’, which is Pennsylvanian for Y’all. Another is the way that downtown is pronounced (Dahntahn), and is celebrated with this sign in the Mayor’s office.
Also open were the Council Chambers, located directly next to the Mayor’s Office.
Oliver Building – The Henry Oliver Building is located directly across Smithfield Street from Mellon Square. Completed in 1910, the 25 story building now contains offices and an Embassy Suites hotel.
The building was designed by Daniel Burnham. Interestingly other than Chicago, Pittsburgh has the most Burnham buildings still standing (7), and when first built they were actually taller than those in Chicago. It is thought by some that this is as a result of the steel barons, whose steel was required for the skyscrapers, for this ego boosting building boom.
The building features another great safe.
Art Deco is used throughout.
The mailbox collection continues….
The highlight however was being permitted to go check out the 25th floor lobby of the Embassy Suites, and the views from the windows throughout the floor.
Columbus – March 2018 – The Bronze Age Comes To An End
The American Bronzing Company was located in a Southeast Columbus industrial area, enjoying an 80 year run of providing America a needed service – bronzing baby shoes (and I found out today many other things). Amazingly this company had bronzed 14 million baby shoes in their history.
This traditional now however has essentially disappeared so the business recently shut down. Today they were auctioning off the entire factory; office equipment, machinery and any remaining inventory.
We paid a visit not to participate in the auction, but to check out the factory – it was well worth it for a unique piece of American cultural history.
Up first – a bronze hat, and not to be outdone – a silver one.
An ice skate!
Some of the aforementioned 14 million baby shoes.
A taco shell???
Meanwhile back in the idled factory you got a sense of how dirty the job must have been.
A discarded sprayer.
The shelves are now empty.
With a number of baby shoes that went without the honor of being encased in bronze.
But mine had been bronzed (many years ago).