Archive for the architecture Category

Fouquet & Mucha, an inspired collaboration.

Posted in 19th cent., Alphonse Mucha, architecture, Art Nouveau, Paris International 1900 on December 1, 2010 by babylonbaroque

The Art Nouveau found particularly beautiful expression in the collaborative work of the jeweler Georges Fouquet (1862-1957) and the designer/artist Alphonse Mucha ( 1860-1939). For a brief glorious moment, extravagant beauty reigned supreme.

Brooch

ca. 1900

Manufacturer- Georges Fouquet

Designer- Alphonse Mucha

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Georges acquired his skill and taste early on through the acclaim and talents of his father Alphonse Fouquet ( 1828-1911). A pioneer in jewelry design, Alphonse  re-introduced the female nude figure into his designs , a radical departure from Victorian mores. When his work was exhibited in 1878 at the Universal Exposition in Paris, Alphonse was awarded a gold prize for his exceptional skill, craft, and taste.

Alphonse Fouquet

b. 1828

d. 1911

Although considered to have made an even greater impact concerning the  of art jewelry  then his father, I was unable to locate an image of Georges. His legacy will have to suffice.

Georges teamed up with his father in 1891. Alphonse had set up shop at 35 avenue de’l Opera, clearly Georges had grander plans.

Upon his father’s retirement in 1895 Georges rejected the Classicism of papa and allowed himself to be fully embraced by the seductive charms of the Art Nouveau. Who better to secure the union then the maestro Alphonse Mucha.

more concerning Alphonse Mucha, previous post

The collaborative efforts with Mucha created quite a buzz. Although Georges had a stable of esteemed artist on staff, the work with Mucha resulted in particular acclaim. Georges enjoyed the fruits of this fame at the Paris International Exhibition of 1900.

Flush with recent triumphs Georges opened a new shop in  1901, 6 rue Royal. A jaw-dropping masterpiece, entirely designed by that master of sublime beauty, Mucha.

source

As spectacular as the exterior was, the interior engulfed visitors in a heady  harem atmosphere redolent of kohl eyed , ambergris scented lusciousness.

I was tickled beyond belief when I first encountered this image.

Mucha oversaw every detail, such as the exquisite peacock preening over the main jewelry case. Woe to the hapless fellow, when his lady love crossed this threshold.

source

I really love the voluptuous “fabric” rendered in a hard material, I am assuming glazed terra cotta.

 

source

I enclose a few un-documented images, but they do bear the distinct mark of a Fouquet -Mucha collaboration.

If they happen to not be authenticated, they do illustrate the influence of this dynamic duo.

Brooch

ca. 1900

source

Brooch

ca. 1900

Sadly all greatness ends, the passion for the excesses of Art Nouveau passed, 6 rue Royal was looking dated.

In 1936 the shop was redecorated. Georges’ son Jean joined the family business in 1919, and like his own father, he had a new artistic vision, the streamlined Art Deco.

I must confess I have never appreciated the chill of Art Deco glamour, I have often found it a dowdy period, 1936 particularly so.

Thankfully the Fouquets had the integrity to donate Mucha’s architectural masterwork to the Museum of the City of Paris, the Musee Carnavalet

I will focus on the glory days of Fouquet in closing with this little clip from the 1900 Exposition Universelle, Paris would not be Paris without Gustave  Eiffel’s wonder and the glories of Fouquet and Mucha.

Respectfully submitted,

Babylon Baroque

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Downtown Neo Gothic, LA’s Medieval Fashion District

Posted in 20th century, architecture, Florence C.Casler, Gothic Revival, William Douglas Lee on November 29, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Amidst the hub-bub of downtown LA , most particularly the Fashion District, a mock gothic fantasy looms overhead. Easy to miss with the purveyors of cheap fabrics, suspicious fashion, and peculiar craft items. Frankly, the architectural marvels maintain my sanity.

One such marvel has just undergone a major overhaul, what had been one of many light industrial Temples to Efficiency will soon be the new home for the Downtown Women’s Center, 442 South San Pedro Street.

Downtown Women’s Center

née W.Douglas Lee building

1926

442 South San Pedro Street

architect- William Douglas Lee

builder-Florence C. Casler

This medieval fantasy is one of many collaborations between the female builder Florence Casler (1869-1954) and the architect Wm. Douglas Lee (1894-1965). It is of course fitting that a pioneering female builder would ultimately (if unintentionally ) house her more unfortunate sisters.

We have the opportunity to check out the transformation first hand December 8th, 2010, a designer showcase that evening making that possible.

showcase link

The following image gives a sense of the extent of rehabilitation that the building has undergone. although I must confess I love the gaudy colors, so robust.

image source

Although I hesitate to promote events, this is most worthy. Plus it is quite a lovely building. I look forward to attending.

As I mentioned Florence C. Casler was a busy gal, in collaboration with her business partner Jesse K. Lloyd, they have bejewelled downtown LA with some true gems.

Florence C. Casler

ca. 1931

b.1869

d. 1954


Lloyd and Casler Inc. were responsible for the tremendous Textile Center. This building has added much joy to my downtown jog, I always slow down to soak in the details.

Textile Center

1926

315 E. 8th Street

LA

source

Textile Building

source

I have had less luck unearthing info concerning the architect William Douglas Lee, although quite prolific I was unable to find a photo of the fellow. Quite busy from the 20’s through 1961, he ultimately teamed up with his son Douglas Everett Lee, the following link provides a list of accomplishments.

The following images, just a small sampling.

Garment Capitol Building

ca. 1926

217 E. 8th Street @ Santee

image source

I particularly love the Bendix Building, all ghostly chill, wide open floors, glorious light. Plus Bendix is just a super name.

Bendix Aviation Co. Building

ca. 1929

Maple and 12th

image source

I do hope you consider joining me in  attending this worthy event.

Until then,

Babylon Baroque


 

 


Feeling Blue in the White House; the Blue Room and it’s various incarnations.

Posted in 18th century, 19th cent., 20th century, Aesthetic Movement, architecture, bergere, President Chester Arthur, Tiffany & Comp., White House on September 8, 2010 by babylonbaroque

I have read that blue is the color favored by most folks, men in particular. After having been critical of President Obama’s timid attempts at redecoration , I thought it fair to show examples of color.

Beginning with the beautiful Blue Room seemed appropriate.

An early depiction, ca. President Pierce , in office 1853-1857

Old Abe didn’t do much with the place, perhaps the fancy bed Mary bought had created enough outrage.

Lincoln reception in the Blue Room.

Lincoln presidency

March 1861- April 15th 1865

Recquiscat in Pace President Lincoln

As I am now engaged in study concerning Reconstruction, President Andrew Johnson is of interest to me.

Apparently a stubborn , willful man, and a racist to boot. His decorating, left to the hand of his daughter,seems a bit rigid for my taste.

Blue Room during the Johnson administration, 1865-1869

President Andrew Johnson

Note: Andrew Johnson was the first U.S. President to be impeached.

Good old  Ulysses does a bit of redecorating. He was responsible for the new carpet, the sconces , and the impressive gasolier.

Blue Room, ca. 1874

Ulysses S. Grant administration 1869-1877

Swell guy.

My favorite Dandy President, “Elegant Arthur”, made the greatest impact. In a future post I will explore his tastes more thoroughly, but for now I will focus on the Blue Room. “Chet”, a man of fashion and style wisely chose the forward thinking Louis Comfort Tiffany to redecorate his new digs.

Blue Room refurbished by Tiffany for President Arthur, administration 1881-1885

Note the Aesthetic paper, the wild Starburst sconces.

Perfection.

Official White House portrait

President Chester (Chet) Arthur

We mustn’t forget to thank the always fabulous Louis Comfort.

Louis Comfort Tiffany

ca. 1880’s

1848-1933

Note: for years I dated a madly wonderful fellow, direct descendent of  L.C. Tiffany; the physical resemblance striking.

The collaboration truly dazzled as this coloured reconstruction demonstrates.

via Nest magazine

Recquiscat in Pace Nest magazine.

The following, another coloured depiction , ca. 1887, shows that President Cleveland made few if any changes.

Blue Room during President Grover Cleveland’s administration, 1885-1889

President Benjamin Harrison seems to have made a few patriotic changes. Do I detect a Federal crest on the ceiling?

Out with that pansy Aesthetic stuff.

What will they think, that we’re England!!

Blue Room , ca. Harrison administration 1889-1893

Another coloured view , ca. 1898, William Mc Kinley’s administration.

Blue Room, Mc Kinley administration 1897-1901

I love Teddy Roosevelt, our only self admitted Imperialist President. I love how he brashly swept away the  fusty Victoriana, bringing in his own bold ,taxidermic splendour.

The following is what he inherited.

ca. 1901

And the following to suit his own distinct taste. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my…

Blue Room Splendor

Theodore Roosevelt Administration 1901-1909

I love the Imperial lambrequin.

The room seems to undergo few interesting changes ,

at least according to my own humble opinion.

Truman tarts it up a bit in ’52.

Blue Room

Administration of Harry S. Truman

1945-1953

Re-using Teddy’s window treatment.

It isn’t until Her Majesty Jackie ascends the throne that the magic returns.

We haven’t seen such beauty since the Tiffany/Arthur collaboration.

Drawing inspiration from the James Madison administration ( 1709-1717), a stunning room is revealed.

Blue Room

Kennedy Administration

1961-1963

Thank you Mrs. Kennedy

Perfection

I find it of interest that President Nixon felt it necessary to redecorate such a perfect room.

I do admire the chutzpah of the Napoleonic candelabra, a room should reflect it’s occupant.

Blue Room

ca. administration of President Richard Nixon

1969-1974

(As in the Nixon Oval Office, I admire the grandeur and color of the window dressings.)

Apparently the room needed further freshening up.

Here we have  Hillary acting as Decorator-in Charge.

I don’t know why I find this so amusing. She doesn’t look terribly comfortable in the role.

In closing , a detail of a Blue Room bergère, upholstered in Scalamandre silk.

Blue Room bergére

ca. 1815

Pierre-Antoine Bellange

L’Shanah Tovah my friends!

A Fresh Coat of Bland, the Oval Office Redecoration.

Posted in architecture, Oval Office, White House on September 1, 2010 by babylonbaroque

As I was reading this morning’s New York Times I was greeted with the news that our President had redecorated the  nation’s Seat of Power, the Oval Office.

I was left deeply unimpressed, how did we become so Beige!

The rooms flaxen decor reminds me of any expensive hotel eager to cocoon you in it’s monochromatic safety. The room gave me no indication of Mr. Obama’s real interests, although the new oval carpet included several quotes he is said to treasure. But aside from that personal detail the room is yet again another example of his decorator Michael Smith’s rarefied yet sterile aesthetic (I assume Smith was in charge).

It is a celebration of blandness with a chorus of wheat, oatmeal, and putty. No wonder Mr. Obama’s detractors criticize his apparent lack of emotion. No- Drama- Obama has gone  way too far in his pursuit of understatement.

Obama Redecoration of the Oval Office.

Subtle or boring as hell?

sourced from NYTimes

Apparently the decoration of the Oval Office has not been a pressing priority for most of the presidents. Eisenhower and Carter didn’t even bother, but most have at least switched out the rugs and window furnishings.

The Oval Office is a relatively new room. Our Decorator In Chief, the house mad Jefferson complained about the presidential palace being too cramped for domesticity and national function. In 1885 what is now the West Wing was a series of glass conservatories in which the White House’s floral needs were met. As you can see by this post card, they needed a heck of a lot of flowers.

ca. 1885

It seems Big Stick Teddy decided to take matters into his own hands and tore down those sissy flower cradles. Wisely hiring McKim, Mead, & White to handle the extensive project. This image of the entrance hall is an example of their skill and taste.

ca. 1902

Of course Teddy’s bravado was not immune to criticism , this 1902 cartoon lambasts Roosevelt’s manly excesses. I wish I could find a actual image of the room, I would probably love it.

I particularly like the human trophies in the ceiling dome, nice little touch.

Although the renovation was extensive, the Oval Office still did not exist. Roosevelt used what is now the Roosevelt Room as his West Wing Office.

ca. 1904

Charming in it’s modesty, yet still personal.

President Taft as part of the expansion of the West Wing, created the Oval Office.

William Howard Taft’s Oval Office

ca. 1909

I like the choice of olive green,masculine, powerful, dignified.

Refreshingly not red-white-0r-blue.

ca. 1909

Detail of valance decoration, they were used through F.D. Roosevelt’s presidency. A wise move, easily the most handsome window furnishings we will see, window treatments became increasingly more pretentious.

Truman ultimately retires them, an unfortunate decision.

Oval Office ca. 1923

The black crepe is in honor of President Harding,having suffered a fatal heart attack that year.

His vice president Calvin Coolidge now occupied the Oval Office.

ca. 1925

I have a ridiculous fondness for early electrical fixtures, this clunky Neo-Georgian with ungainly bulbs is particularly charming.

In 1929, on Christmas Eve, a fire destroyed what is now known as the Original Oval Office.

Fire damage ca. 1929

The room is rebuilt by  Herbert Hoover according to the original plans. It is unclear to me but apparently F.D.R. , after further expansion and remodeling moves the Oval Office to the southeast corner of the West Wing.

F.D. Roosevelt’s office, ca. 1945

Note the hint of  the still handsome valance, soon doomed  for retirement under Truman.

I really like this room , rich in WASPy clutter.

Truman’s newly “improved” office

ca. 1947

Eisenhower’s take on the Oval Office

ca. 1956

Did Mamie choose the little soldiers on the mantle piece?

Under Her Majesty Jackie and her Franco decorator ,Stéphane Boudin, the White House underwent many improvements.

But for some time the Kennedy Oval Office was a rag tag collection of Truman and Eisenhower leftovers and frankly kitsch.

ca. 1961

PLEASE explain the illuminated globe/spinning wheel thingie.

JFK seems comfy.

Perhaps the most tragic example of redecoration  is the Kennedy Oval Office, as Kennedy was being assassinated the decorations were being installed.

Recquiscat in Pace President Kennedy.

The ill fated Kennedy Oval Office

ca. 1963

Dismantled soon after the assassination.

For a time L.B. Johnson uses the red carpet and window furnishings.

ca. 1964

Note the ever popular “Resolute ” desk is not in use. Perhaps the happy memories of John-John playing in his father’s office was too recent for dignity.

I leave tragedy behind and jump forward to more recent incarnations, some surprisingly colorful.

President Ford

ca. 1974

re-using Nixon’s imperial yellow decor.

Ronald Reagan’s last day in office

ca. 1989

George H. W. Bush

ca. 1991

Handsome window furnishings.

Clinton

ca. 1996

George W. Bush

source New York Times

In closing I show a detail of the carpet chosen by Mr. Obama, I’m happy that it continues the tradition of repeating the ceiling ornament.

In memory of JFK, I include this always delightful clip of Jackie’s tour, we have all heard it of course, but her patrician lisp is always a delight.

God love her.

Good Night

Afton Villa, a Southern Gothic Tragedy

Posted in Afton Villa, American South, architecture, Belter, George Greig, Gothic Revival with tags on August 23, 2010 by babylonbaroque

This blogging is a curious business, the following , is a suggestion from a reader. In my opinion, a reader of great merit, not only an avid history buff and preservationist, she happens to be the great, great, great niece of the artist George Miller Grieg. Mr. Grieg was the painter commissioned by Queen Victoria, to paint the interiors of Holyrood. I posted about Holyrood and it’s interiors in June. I suggest you take a peek , marvelous stuff.

Through this happy meeting I have been introduced to the fantastic, now lost, antebellum estate, Afton Villa.

Afton Villa

St. Francisville Parish, Louisiana

Gothic Revival plantation

ca. 1840

destroyed by fire 1963

The following images taken by the WPA ( now available through the Louisiana Historical  Photographic Collection) testify to the magnificence of this lost treasure. Always fond of American Gothic Revival, this 40 room plantation house , was a stunning example.

B&W photo, circa 1940’s

charming image

Afton Villa, front entrance

detail of porch

detail of entrance gallery

Definitely my favorite image in the series, the lack of interior shots curious. Perhaps the then unfashionable interiors were not deemed  a worthy subject for documentation.

a particularly romantic image

A striking image showing the stair tower.

Just look at that thing!

Incredible.

Avenue of live oaks.

Southern enough for you??

We all need a gatehouse.

Another romantic view of this great beauty.

Rear view?

I love this shot, slightly ungainly,  a charming quirkiness.

As a contrast to these tasteful images, I present a few of those really garishly colored 60’s postcards I so love.

Rather forlorn image

The reverse describes Afton Villa as “a famous French Chateau (????), now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Percy’, it goes on to describe “it’s hand carved Rosewood suite”, one assumes Belter or some knockoff.

another image, same room, same “Rosewood suite”.

I love how stiffly formal interiors appeared in the 60’s.

The following is of a bedroom, presumably Master.

The reverse describes the “original Rosewood bedroom suite by Mallard.

Love the crucifix.

I sincerely thank the great, great , great ,niece of the talented Mr. Grieg. I will close with an image of Mr. Grieg from her family photo album, a treasure.

George Miller Grieg

 

 

Good Night.

 

 

Exoticism @ the Centennial Exhibition, part II

Posted in 19th cent., architecture, Centennial Exhibition, Egyptomania, Japonism, Philadelphia, Sculpture on August 5, 2010 by babylonbaroque

As we were determined to celebrate our Centennial on a grand scale and   establish our national legitimacy, the Centennial Exhibition offered Americans the opportunity to ogle exotic markets and peoples.

I am always a sucker for Continental allegory, it  enchants me.

The Exotic clearly enchanted our 19th century forefathers.

Each participating nation was granted an opportunity to participate and show off it’s national glory.

And show off they did.

One can never have enough Egypto-mania, the Egyptian Hall was of course a smash.

magic awaits

fabulous goods

what more do you need?

difficult to see, but that’s a stuffed crocodile between tusks, exotic enough for you?

Cleopatra

by Enrico Braga

from the Masterpieces of the Centennial International Exhibition Illustrated, Vol. I

1876-88

edited by Edward Strahan

The entrance to Agricultural Hall was a Moorish fantasy come to life.

a promenade worthy of a Sultaness.

Of course nothing speaks of the Exotic like Japonism, the Japanese were happy to oblige.

from the Gems of the Centennial Exhibition, my own pitiful scan, please pardon.

Mammoth Japanese Bronze Vase

What every Robber Baron needs for the Entrance Hall.

Let us not forget Exoticism in our own land. The freed slaves obviously provided picturesque artistic inspiration.

Freed Slave by Francesco Pezzicar

shown in the Art Gallery, better known today as Memorial Hall.

Perhaps women were considered equally exotic as they merited their own hall, the Women’s Building.

Never pass up the chance to oogle naked lady bits is what I say.

Although much of the Art  appears to have been  exhibited in the Memorial Hall.

Memorial Hall

architect H.J. Schwarzman

H.J. Schwarzman

Chief Planner of the Exhibition

This was no easy task,held in 1876, from May through November; close to ten million visitors passed through it’s gates. 30,000 exhibitors from 51 countries, enticed, enlightened and befuddled the throngs.

Main Exhibition Building

Over 50 acres of exhibition space, the Great Exhibition of 1851 was a little over 20 acres.

Once again we felt the need to over compensate.

Horticultural Hall

Interior of Agricultural Hall

same as Horticultural Hall???

Our individual States erected pavilions.

Was this before California became it’s own State?, I cannot remember.

My own home state had a much more magnificent building in which to boast.

From my reading of the “Gems”, New Jersey was the first to sign on to the Exhibition, some southern states soon followed. Perhaps Carpet Baggers eager to please the North.

How charming, how so NOT Jersey Shore.


I have never been to Memorial Hall, I only know it as a floating Xanadu above Fairmont Park.

My sister assures me things have changed, lets just hope they haven’t scrubbed away the romance.

A bit of ephemera.

Recquiscat in Pace Sts. Peters and Paul, Trenton Churches

Posted in 19th cent., architecture, Blessed Virgin Mary, Gothic Revival, Sacred Architecture, Trenton on August 3, 2010 by babylonbaroque

Saints Peter & Paul

The Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry

The Cloisters

My intention had been to finish the second installment of my Gems of the Centennial Exhibition.

In my research I stumbled upon some sad news. Sad on a personal, perhaps spiritual level.

My beloved little church in my hometown of Trenton, Sts. Peter and Paul, was on the auction block.

Peter and Paul’s as the natives referred to it as, was the home base for my paternal grandmother, a Slovak woman, born and raised in this industrial part of South Trenton. One of many little ethnic neighborhoods making a claim to the American Dream; establishing families, communities, and churches, wondrous churches. My ancestors poured , what seems from my perspective, ridiculous sums of money as donations to establish churches that would represent their particular ethnic interests. This was happening all over the East coast, Trenton has it’s share of really lovely churches, Italian, Slovak, and Pole. So many folks built so many impressive churches, sacrificing effort, time, and hard earned cash.

Unfortunately neighborhoods change, the factory worker’s children become middle class, leaving behind charming neighborhoods, shops, and sadly these really lovely churches and the communities built around them.

Peter and Paul’s was one such church.

Sts. Peter and Paul

395 -403 Second Street

Trenton, N.J.

Although possessing a modest exterior, a dour grey stone, softened only by our Blessed Mother gazing down upon her faithful, I quickly grew to love  this church.

When I was nineteen my first partner Douglas and I purchased a charming little rowhouse around the corner from the church, in the late 80’s, we paid $5000.00, cash.

The neighborhood had fallen terribly, gangs, welfare folks, illegals. I didn’t notice the squalor, it was a delightful little house to claim as my own, with a teeny patch of land in which to plant radishes. When we told my Grandmother where we had moved she was delighted and startled. I hadn’t known my new neighborhood had been  where she was raised; she regaled me with neighborhood tales, but her spirit was dampened by her fear for my personal safety. She took comfort in that we were “two boys”.

I discovered Peters and Paul’s through her stories. I was looking for a church, looking for something, I’m still looking. Peters and Paul’s seemed like an opportunity.

It was. They had an early Mass, 5:30 am, I would stumble out of bed, slip through the alley between my street and the Church, and enter the rear side door, past the altar to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I quickly secured my own pew and my own position in this odd ball little congregation. The last few Slovaks left, loyal to the neighborhood, it’s traditions, and this church.

Or they were just broke.

I was enchanted time and again. In May, the month devoted to our Blessed Mother, homemade bouquets, often sweet blue hydrangeas from their gardens, were gathered by the Altar Guild. They were adorable in their coffee cans decorated by tin foil and ribbons. So much more wonderful then the costly spiritless arrangements made by the local florists. These tender bouquets, modest and sweet against the faded grandeur of this really magnificent neo-Romanesque interior really touched my personally, spiritually, and aesthetically.

If the exterior was essentially un-inspired, the interior compensated for the modesty. Romanesque influences abounded, a magnificent painted ceiling complete with strangely large Archangels. A very impressive High Altar ,resplendent in it’s polychromed marbles, intricate carvings, ignoring  Romanesque archetypes but delighting this particular peasant’s eye. Early electrical fixtures, elaborately fashioned Seraphs from which one bare little electric bulb offered illumination.

Amidst this splendor, were water stains, broken pipes, and neglect due to lack of funds.

But certain traditions were not to be ignored, finances be damned.

The front doors, which in the sad photo show as an unfortunate dingy white, were initially finished in a vernacular form of  faux bois. A curious finish which included adding beer to the paint, the result, an almost alarming orange-ish “oak”. I spoke to the artisan, he lived in the neighborhood, had been taught his craft as an apprentice, finishes such as this were mandatory if you were to be a reputable painter. He bemoaned the fact that cheap latex paints and a desire for economy had all but eliminated the use of his talents. He donated his services to the church. God love him.

Secular maintenance, though important, was not as valued as sacred tradition. The Sacristan’s duties were stringently enforced, Vatican II be damned.

Statuary was draped in purple during Holy Week, the Blessed Sacrament interred in a mock Sepulcher, the ceremonial procession making theatric use of the thurible (censor) and patent sprinkler. Our Lord protected under the umbraculum, a strange handheld umrella, ornamental in it’s swags, tassels, and embroidery. Charming, emotionally touching, and doomed. I knew, as a very young man, that these traditions were coming to an end. No more would our Virgin receive her purple shroud to signify Her, and our heart’s mourning for the dead Lord. The “ombrellino” would go into storage as an artifact of a primitive faith.

#1-holy water pot

#2 patent sprinkler

#3 thurible

#5 baldacchina

#6 umbraculum, “ombrellino”

And so it happened.

As I was moving away to brighter happier places, Peter and Paul’s was in the process of  it’s own changes. To accomadate the evergrowing Hispanic flock, Spanish masses were added. Initially there was some Slovak grumbling, but the transition went surprisingly well. The new members were dutiful, sincere, and frankly young, with children, energy ,and joy. The mutual love both communities shared for the Holy Mother smoothed the way.

I had hoped that would ensure the  future of Sts. Peter and Paul.

I guess not. The auction  sheet states that the sacred elements will be removed prior to closing.

But what about the devotional window of St. Anne, donated through sacrifice by some long dead parishioner. What about the crumbling fresco of St. John in the Baptistry? Will he be primed out and given a fresh coat of Contactor’s white?

My heart breaks at these changes.

I treasure my being able to witness the last moments of this one little sweet church.

I close with a few of the churches that seem to still thrive in the Capital City of Trenton.

Basillica Church of the Sacred Heart

founded 1819

Final construction, 3rd, as shown, 1899

another view of Sacred Heart

St. Hedwigs

A thriving church, popular with the Polish community

Interior of St. Hedwigs

This particular type of splendor, is frankly quite typical of so many Trenton churches. The desire to outshine Rome apparent.

Again, the strangely large painted Archangels.

Detail of St. Hedwig’s interior.

The light Rococo coloring, lovely and fresh.

Church coloring has always influenced my own work. The altar angels are wonderful, I covet them.

A procession at St. Hedwig’s making happy use of the Baldacchina.

The Umbraculum apparently wouldn’t have been sufficient to protect our Lord from the noonday sun.

Immaculate Conception

built 1888

This church, built and loved by Trenton’s  Italian community, was my father’s church. As a boy I looked up with  wonder at  the Neo Gothic architecture, it’s rich carvings, and it’s paintings, endless painting.

Immaculate  Conception inspired me to be an artist. I will never forget this church.

To indulge our Protestant brothers I include a few beauties.

St. Michaels Episcopal

established 1703

Last major alteration 1870, in the Fantasy Gothic style, after Lambeth Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I close with this country church, outside of urban Trenton. This Methodist church is in Groveville, where I was raised. Groveville is an early little town, rural in nature, mid-19th century  architecture, as far away from the Sopranos, Jersey Shore, and Real Housewives as you can get. It is my particular understanding of  what being from “Jersey” is all about.

Groveville Methodist Church

established 1837

built 1887 in the vernacular Methodist “plan-book” style.

Sts. Peter and Paul

chromolithograph 19th cent.

Have a great day.