Thursday, September 15, 2011

Charles Parrott Building

I love downtown athens, for obvious reasons (who doesn't need to unwind at the end of the week). And then there's the not so obvious reasons, the hidden gems that are well worth uncovering. The Charles Parrott building, for example. I did a little "google-ing" and found that... it really isn't that interesting of a building, in terms of history and fun stories. But, the architecture is never the less extraordinary. Case-in-point, this is about the only literature that I can find on the building, online:

"This three-story commercial building bears a Richardsonian Romanesque style front facade. A large round-arched entrance frames the deeply recessed doorway, which features the deeply recessed doorway, which features rough hewn stone, a flat lintel, a radiating voussoir segmental arch, and flanking windows. Two string courses divide the second and third stories. Three Italinate stone-arch windows form the bays separated by Doric brickwork pilasters. A double-triangulated, pediment dormer caps the four stone brackets of the projecting cornice. Pyramidal turrets accent the mansard roof. The original interior floor plan, still intactm has two rooms with a side wall stairwell..."

Following this was a short history of how the plot of land changed hands over time. There really wasn't enough worth-while information divulged for my taste. And the description doesn't really do much for me either, I don't speak architecture. Besides, when I think of this building, I don't think about the "pyramidal turrets" or "doric brickwork pilasters". I think about the ad on the side.
I was a graphic design student before I was an ad kid. That intro class made be obsessed with text and layouts. So this ad practically gives me goosebumps! I don't claim to be a master of font identification like my professor but, I do recognize the Victorian fonts. In fact, I wish I knew what they were because I absolutely love them! And I love that this ad is a testament for the enduring nature of advertising, history, graphic design, and art. For this is a lost art. A little piece of history, sitting quietly on the skyline of Athens. Lovely. Simply lovely. 

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