Richardsonian Romanesque

From Academic Kids

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RRomanesqueDetroit.jpg
Richardsonian Romanesque has both French and Spanish Romanesque characteristics, like the First Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Michigan by architechs George D. Mason and Zachariah Rice in 1891

Richardsonian Romanesque is a style of American architecture named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson, whose masterpiece is Trinity Church, Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts.

This very free revival style incorporates 11th century southern French and Spanish Romanesque characteristics. It emphasizes clear strong picturesque massing, round-headed "Romanesque" arches, often springing from clusters of short squat columns, recessed entrances, richly varied rustication, boldly blank stretches of walling contrasting with bands of windows, and cylindrical towers with conical caps embedded in the walling.

The style epitomizes work by the generation of architects practicising in the 1880s— before the influx of Beaux-Arts styles— such as J. Cleaveland Cady of Cady, Bird and See in New York City, whose American Museum of Natural History's original 77th Street range epitomizes "Richardsonian Romanesque." The style influenced the Chicago school of architecture and architects Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. In Finland, Eliel Saarinen was influenced by Richardson.

Research is currently ongoing to try and document the westward movement of the artisans and craftsmen, mostly immigrant Italians and Irish, who built in the Richardsonian Romanesque tradition. The style began in the East, in and around Boston and while it was losing favor there it was gaining popularity further west. Thus the stone carvers and masons appear to have surfed the style west until it died out in the early years of the 20th century.

For pictures of H.H. Richardsonís own designs and some of the details, see Henry Hobson Richardson.

Images

References

  • Kelsey, Mavis P. and Donald H. Dyal, The Courthouses of Texas: A Guide, Texas A&M University Press, College Station Texas 1993 ISBN 93007022
  • Kvaran, Einar Einarsson, Architectural Sculpture in America unpublished manuscript
  • Kvaran, Einar Einarsson, Starkweather Memorial Chapel, Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti, Michigan, Unpublished thesis 1983
  • Larson, Paul C., Editor, with Susan Brown, The Spirit of H.H. Richardson on the Midwest Prairies, University Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneopolis and Iowa State University Press, Ames 1988
  • Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, H.H.Richardson: Complete Architectural Works, MIT Press, Cambridge MA 1984 ISBN 82006603
  • Van Rensselaer, Mariana Griswold, Henry Hobson Richardson and His Works, Dover Publications, Inc. NY 1959 (Reprint of 1888 edition) ISBN 68012915

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