Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

This week’s word a week challenge – ornate – presents an opportunity to show off a bit of Wisconsin, my home state. That bit will be a few of the photos I have taken of the Wisconsin Capitol.

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Capitol is a spectacular building and if you are ever traveling through the area it is worth visiting. It is very large. The U.S. Capitol is just three feet higher and if measured by volume the dome of the Wisconsin Capitol is the largest in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. It is the largest granite dome in the world. The Capitol features numerous significant pieces of artwork that are either part of the building or are on display inside or just outside of the building. One of the major pieces of art is a  mural by Edwin Howland-Blashfield. The mural, “Resources of Wisconsin,” is 34 feet in diameter and is 200 feet above the Capitol’s ground floor The first photo below is a view of the interior of the ornate interior of dome. Of course the problem with photographing structures, particularly the interior of the structure of things such as domes is that the camera flattens the 3D object into two dimensions so you may not get a great feeling of what the dome is like. I tried some experiments to see if I could get a photo that would provide an alternative view of the dome and came up with the second view of the dome that you see below. It is a rather whimsical depiction of the dome in which the elaborate Blashfield mural is duplicated within itself and then the upper part of the dome is digitally inverted to point down. This is intended to give the viewer of the second photo a reference point to use to get a better idea of the actual steepness of the dome in the first photo. I hope it accomplishes its purpose in an entertaining way.

Wisconsin Capitol Interior- 1 - December 27, 2011  Wisconsin Capitol Interior- 1a - December 27, 2011-Edit

But enough of my experimentation, if you want ornate the Wisconsin Capitol will give it to you in spades.

The next photo contains most of one of four mosaics created by Kenyon Cox for the Capitol Rotunda. (The mosaics are “Legislation,” “Government,” Justice,” and “Liberty.”) Each mosaic is 12 feet high and 24 feet wide and contains approximately 100,000 pieces of glass tile.  Also note the ornate plaster work framing the mosaic. Please excuse the awkwardness of the image. It is a detail taken from a much larger photo of the Capitol Rotunda.

Wisconsin Capitol Interior- 3 - December 27, 2011-Edit (Legislation Mosaic)

Finally, the Wisconsin Capitol is designed like cross with a circle in the middle. The circle contains what is called the Rotunda, where you see art such as Kenyon’s mosaic. The cross forms four wings, each of which is also called a “Gallery.”

Here is a view of the East Gallery, which houses the Wisconsin Supreme Court and part of the Governor’s offices.

Wisconsin Capitol Interior- 6 - December 27, 2011

(Incidentally, the Wisconsin Capitol was the subject of a major renovation project between 1988 – 2002. Also, contrary to some stories, the building was not materially harmed by the huge demonstrations that occurred in 2011 and free tours of the Capitol regularly operate.

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0016_7_8

The setting alone is worth making The Vista House located in the Columbia River Gorge a masterpiece.

Home as Castle2

First, this has nothing at all to do with the Castle Doctrine or anything at all political. Just enjoy the photo.

I think this is one of the more attractive homes on Lake Mendota. It is located in the Village of Maple Bluff, where I reside (not inside of this home or anything near its size, however). If a person’s home can be seen to be the person’s castle then a castle must this be. It is rather large, but nowhere near as large as the gargantuan facilities (I don’t know how anything over 20,000 square feet can really be called a home – but call me if you want to give me a tour, I am willing to learn:) now not uncommon in certain parts of the U.S. and elsewhere. In my humble opinion, such large facilities may be castles whether or not they are homes. I’m sure they have extravagant security features – not to mention indoor plumbing and hot water (which would seal the deal for me) – that would put many a monarch of years’ past and their actual castles to shame. This is not the most imposing “castle” you will see in this week’s challenge and but for the U.S.’s strong “home is your castle” sentiments, it probably wouldn’t really be a castle. I have plenty of photos of “castles” (in the U.S. sense) that are far more humble and most likely more “homey.” They too are every bit as “U.S.-sense castley” as this home, I find this home and castle enjoyable.

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Some of my favorite pattern photos. I am sort of a pattern junkie.

A ceiling light at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin is the circle for Day 12 of the 14 Days of Photos With Circles.