Monday, May 30, 2011

Commonwealth Bank, Leeton

Commonwealth Bank, Leeton

In New South Wales, during the Depression, the Government Savings Bank was amalgamated with the Commonwealth Bank.

For Leeton, in rural NSW, this meant that their 1921 Government Savings Bank by Sydney architects Ross & Rowe became a branch of the Commonwealth Bank. That was in December 1931 and by the end of the decade the new owners had made some alterations in Art Deco style. There have been more changes since then it remains a very stylish building.

Commonwealth Bank, Leeton

Leeton ~ Yanco ~ Whitton - Heritage Trails booklet, Leeton Shire Council, 2011
(Available for free download from

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Service Station, Yenda

Service Station, YendaWhat do we think of this little servo in the rural NSW town of Yenda?

I really like it.

I like the stepped roof line at the side of the building and I like the curved ends of the faded CALTEX signs.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

255 & 265 10th Street, San Francisco

255 & 265 10th St, San FranciscoThis is a pair of deco buildings dating from 1932 in San Francisco's Tenth Street.

The nearer, number 255, has been painted to bring out the Art Deco details and while I have to admit it was the colours that confirmed that this was the next stop on my walk, I think I prefer Number 265, the unpainted twin next door.

Deco by the Bay: Art Deco Architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area ~ Michael F Crowe

Friday, May 27, 2011

Apartments, Euclid Avenue, Miami

Euclid Avenue, Miami South BeachWe are so used to seeing pastel colours in Miami South Beach that it is nice to see some a primary colour. On this apartment building in Euclid Avenue it is a red roofline, framing around the windows and the entrance.

I think the red colour fits very well with this particular building because it is different in style to many Miami buildings. Simplier and modernist in style with a large expanse of raw brick.

And next door for comparison we have a more typical Miami apartment block painted in typical Miami shades.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Education Building, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bartlesville

Education Building, Redeemer Lutheran Church, BartlesvilleIt is interesting sometimes the buildings that get included on tours during an Art Deco World Congress.

The trip to Bartlesville during the Tulsa World Congress in 2001 included a quick stop at the Redeemer Lutheran Church to see the Education Building dating from 1959 and designed by Bruce Goff.

I wouldn't call it deco but I did find the combination of chunks of glass interspersed with the irregular blocks of stone forming the rest of the wall.

Even the windows are set in the wall as diamonds as if to further enhance the crystaline feeling to the building.

Education Building, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bartlesville

At the corners of the building the glass takes over from the stone creating these point. I can't decide if they are futuristic or prehistoric. It is certainly very organic.

Education Building, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bartlesville

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rose Court, Sea Point

Rose Court, Sea PointI really enjoyed dipping into Sea Point yesterday so I decided to stay in Cape Town for today's building, in fact I stayed in Sea Point, ust a few doors up from Bordeaux Court.

This is Rose Court in Avenue St Denis. Again it has squared-off open balconies atthe corners of the building with deep concrete eyebrows to provide lots of shade.

The entrance is marked by two vertical fins. They rise above the name of the building spelt out in metal letters above the door either side of a series of small square windows providing light for the stairwell.

Rose Court, Sea Point

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bordeaux Court, Sea Point

Bordeaux Court, Sea PointI love the contrast between the dark of the trees and the light of the building lit by the South African sun in this photo of Bordeaux Court in Sea Point, Cape Town.

From memory (and the other photos I have), Bordeaux Court is symetrical with squared-off stepped back sections either side of this central cureved area. The balconies at the corner of the building are open with those on the top shaded by deep concrete eyebrows.

Bordeaux Court, Sea PointThis view from the another angle shows the open balconies and the dramatic setting Bordeaux Court provides for its residents in the shadows of the hills around Cape Town overlooking the ocean.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

A House in Hamilton

House, HamiltonThis is a house in Hamilton in Victoria's Western District. It looks quite plain but there are a couple of features that I really like such as the bars across the main windows on the front room. I can't tell if they are metal or wooden frames but the style does resemble metal windows often found on flats and commercial buildings.

The other feature that I really like is on the curved section of the house. The brickwork at the roof line is castellated incorporating small sections railings in the gaps. It is an unusual feature and I imagine purely decorative since the parapet is not high enough for a roof terrace. Interesting!

House, Hamilton

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ebrahim Court, Durban

Ebrahim Court, DurbanThis great little deco building, Ebrahim Court, is in the Indian quarter of Durban.

I really like the strong horizontal feel emanating from the banding at the roof line. Four and a half shops wide and only two tall helps as well.

And while the Art Deco decorative piece breaking the horizontal is good but the star-shaped element above the door is wonderful.

Ebrahim Court, Durban

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Entrance, Graybar Building, NYC

Graybar Building, NYC

This is the third and final of my posts on the entrances to the Graybar Building along Lexington Avenue. This entrance is in the centre of the building and, I suppose, as the main entrance to the building it is different to the other two entrances.

Firstly there is a flagpole sitting on an extrodinary black, gold and red support with a stylised eagle at the base of the flagstaff. The whole thing really stands out against the gray background of the building.

This entrance is also flanked by two figures but while the figures on the other entrances look like gods or kings, these figures appear to represent the ordinary man. Again, like the other figures, they are richly detailled and each is holding an object but in this case we see modern objects.

Graybar Building, NYC

One man is holding a telephone.

Graybar Building, NYC

The other, a truck.

It is also interesting to note that each figure is holding something in their other hand which could be a lantern and these in turn are used to disguise the anchor points for chains that connect to the actual lights either side of the door. A nice way to hide some structural aspects of the decoration.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Equinox Entrance, Graybar Building, NYC

Graybar Building, NYC

This is the second of the three entrances to the Graybar Building in Lexington Avenue, NYC. You'll notice it is very similar to the Grand Central Terminal entrance with the two Ayssrianlike figures. Again each of the figures is holding something. The figure on the left is holding a bird and the one on the right is holding fire.

Graybar Building, NYC

Graybar Building, NYC

On Friday I'll post photos of the Graybar's third entrance.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Grand Central Terminal Entrance, Graybar Building, NYC

Graybar Building, NYC

Quite some time ago I posted a photo of the Art Deco rats on the Graybar Building, NYC.

This is what the whole entrance looks like. You can see the rats crawling up the supports of the canopy over the doors. But also have a look at the heads of various creatures holding the rods for the rest of the canopy and then much higher up two figures, one on each side of the entrance.

Those figures are wonderfully detailled and look a bit Assyrian to me. The one on the left is clutching a globe.

Graybar Building, NYC

The other one is holding a sea creature.

Graybar Building, NYC

This entrance, leading to Grand Central Terminal, is one of three along this facade of the Graybar Building. I'll show you the other two over the rest of the week.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Chalet, Hamilton

The Chalet, HamiltonThe Chalet, in Hamilton, was built around 1947 in the effort to eradicate tuberculosis in post Second World War Australia. It was designed by the Public Works Department of Victoria using the principles of similar establishments in Europe. The large bank of north-facing windows allowing maximum exposure to the winter sun bring to mind the sun-deck of Alvar Aalto's 1929 Paimio Sanitorium in Finland.

The Chalet, Hamilton

The Chalet, Hamilton

Hamilton - Art Deco & Modernism, Diane Luhrs & Linley Bramall, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

RSL, Seymour

RSL, SeymourI spotted this little hall, the Seymour RSL, in the early post-dawn light during a quick stop on the way to Leeton.

At first I thought it was a typical modernist arrangement of rectangular blocks but, as is usually the case, closer inspection reveals a more complex story. There is the use of different coloured bricks creating a dark base for the small entrance foyer and that section of the hall that leads directly off it. A horizontal band runs from the top of that base around the rest of the building. A second band then runs around the whole building at a height just above the door.

Then, strangely perhaps, there is a pure Art Deco feature on the skyline. I don't understand why there is a gap in the element. Perhaps there was something in that gap that has since been removed.

RSL, Seymour

Friday, May 6, 2011

Salvation Army Family Store, Leeton

Salvos Family Store, LeetonWednesday's post on the wonderfully named Leeton local newspaper, the Murrumbidgee Irrigator, drew some interest from Jason at Leeton Tourism so, since I'm on a roll, I decided to feature another building from this surprising NSW Riverina town.

This is 33 Pine Avenue. It was designed by George W A Welch, who seems to have designed a lot of the Art Deco buildings in Leeton. It was built 1935-36.

Obviously the main feature is the stepped roofline and the fin in the centre of the building but the stepping of the verandah at the entrance is unusual. I haven't seen it anywhere else.

Salvos Family Store, Leeton

Here is Robin Grow from the Art Deco & Modernist Society making that exact point. You can make out the people on the Art Deco walk reflected in the windows. At least I think that is what he was telling them. I was in the middle of the road taking photos.

Salvos Family Store, Leeton

Art Deco Walking Tour Booklet, Leeton Art Deco Festival, April 1-3 2011, Prepared by Robin Grow, President, Art Deco and Modernism Society

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Murrumbidgee Irrigator, Leeton

Leadlight Window, Leeton

A series of leadlight window just like this one are tucked in under the verandah 103-107 Pine Avenue, Leeton.

Leeton was first developed as part of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area or the MIA in the early part of the 20th Century so many of the buildings date from that period and many have Art Deco features.

103-107 Pine Avenue was built in 1928 for the local newspaper and it still occupies No 107.

And I think it has one of the best names for a newspaper that I have ever heard ... The Murrumbidgee Irrigator.

The Irrigator, Leeton

Art Deco Walking Tour Booklet, Leeton Art Deco Festival, April 1-3 2011, Prepared by Robin Grow, President, Art Deco and Modernism Society

Monday, May 2, 2011

A House in Hamilton

A House in Hamilton

A weatherboard house in Hamilton, Victoria with great deco porch and a lovely, mature, garden. Number 17, I believe.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Danger - High Tension - Melbourne

Danger - High Tension

Just to prove that I do take photos of things other than buildings I present thi old sign on a telegraph pole warning of the danger of high tension wires.

When I first saw the sign I thought it was a futuristic 'S' shape but closer inspection revealed it was an impression created by sections of the red enamel having been chipped away over time.

In a way, I think that make it more interesting.