The Calming Balance

In a nation going collectively insane, building elaborations of the Neoclassical style are comforting.  There is a beautiful balance, a stylish symmetry, and a sense of purpose to them.


This is the side door of the Davenport Memorial in Bath, Maine.  Built in 1929 with funds donated by George Patten Davenport, it was designed by Charles Greely Loring.

Loring, a graduate of both Harvard and MIT, worked for noted Boston architect Guy Lowell.  Loring also studied at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris; in partnership with Joseph Leland, he designed the Waltham Public Library.

According to Virginia & Lee McAlester’s book A Field Guide to American Houses, interest in classical models “dates from the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893.  The exposition’s planners mandated a classical theme, and many of the best-known architects of the day designed dramatic colonnaded buildings arranged around a central court.  The exposition was widely photographed, reported, and attended…and inspired countless public and commercial buildings in the following decades.”

There it is…the enduring and balancing calm of good architecture.   Shall it solidly remain in the current rush to madness.

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