Details, Details. This architectural detail in Montpelier, Vermont, shows an imbricated design of acanthus leaves. I don’t know how many people stop to appreciate the mastery of carving on display here, but as a carver, it stopped me in my tracks. This was only one of several designs that graced the building.
We love to hurry along, looking either at our feet or dead ahead. As a result, we miss what’s just above eye level. Unless you are seriously into architectural detail, you are missing some of the most exciting parts of our landscape. From signs to carved flourishes, there is an entire world above. I’ve chosen several for this post in my neck of the woods; New England. I challenge you to look more closely in your area for similar items. The ones I’ve selected range from being carved by amateurs to professional art. All are interesting. I became interested in these details as a youth in New York City. Many of the older neighborhoods are replete with terracotta, marble, and granite carvings of every sort. The City benefitted from generations of European carvers who came as immigrants and left their art in every reach of the City. While I was working in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a fun pursuit promoted by the local historical society where a series of architectural trivia tours. Photos of architectural detail got compiled into tours for individual neighborhoods. The objective was to hunt down and score high by finding as many you could. If this hasn’t been done where you live, you could try to create one.