Archive for the Art Deco Category

Architectural Details on Mitchell Gold Building

Posted in Art Deco, Commercial, Shaw with tags , on July 22, 2009 by Kent

Architectural details on 1520 14th StreetI’ve commented on the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams building before, located at 1520 14th Street. But I wanted to point out some details that I really like.

The first is the Egyptian inspired decoration on the exterior, which I find interesting for a former automobile dealership. This would definitely date the building to sometime after 1922 when the discovery by Howard Carter of Tutankhamun’s tomb received worldwide press coverage and sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt.
Architectural details on 1520 14th Street

The other detail I really like is the poured concrete ceiling on the interior.
Architectural details on 1520 14th Street

There is a lot of nice detail there … so next time you’re in the area or happen to go in you might want to enjoy the building as well as the furniture.l


Lost Washington: the Trans-Lux Theater

Posted in Art Deco, Downtown, Lost Washington, Theaters with tags , , , on July 9, 2009 by Kent

Trans-Lux theaterThe Trans-Lux was once located on the west side of 14th Street, NW, between New York Avenue and H Street. The Trans-Lux was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb in 1936.  The theater opened on March 13, 1937.

One of Washington’s most elegant art deco buildings, the streamlined theater was designed to show exclusively the latest newsreels from all corners of the globe together with an assortment of shorts, comedies, and travelogs.

The theater had many features unique for its day in Washington — well-spaced seats, indirect lighting, rear screen projection, wall-to-wall carpeting, sound-absorbent walls, and one of the first air-conditioning systems in a public building in the city.

Efforts were made to save the Trans-Lux but they proved futile. In the end, Washington preservationists lost as the parking-lot firm PMI razed it in 1975.Trans-Lux demolition 1Trans-Lux demolition 2

Acacia Griffins

Posted in Art Deco, Sculpture with tags , , on May 29, 2009 by Kent

The Griffins in front of the old Acacia Life Insurance building, now home to Jones Day, includes two griffins created by Edmond R. Amateis in 1936. The two mythological creatures consisting of the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. These two sculptures flank the steps that lead up to the entrance of the building. The griffin on the left is a female and the griffin on the right is a male. Each holds a nest of eggs between its paws which symbolizes the defense of their home. The image below is of the male griffin.Acacia Griffin

Police Memorial

Posted in Art Deco, Monuments and Memorials with tags on May 28, 2009 by Kent

Police MemorialThe Police Memorial outside of the Municipal Center on Indiana Ave. appears to date to the time of the building. The plan for a much larger complex of buildings was approved in 1934, but construction on a single building, called the Municipal Center, did not begin until 1939.

While incorporated into and eclipsed by the larger Washington Area Law Enforcement Memorial, the older Police Memorial has some very nice, yet subtle, details.
Police memorial detail
Police memorial detail

Agriculture by Concetta Scaravaglione

Posted in Art Deco, Sculpture with tags , , on May 20, 2009 by Kent

This is the last of the four bas reliefs on the Federal Trade Commission Building to be posted. This one honors agriculture. You can find the other four here>>Agriculture by Concetta Scaravaglione

In Search of Good Lighting

Posted in Art Deco, Judiciary Square on May 19, 2009 by Kent

I have a real thing for good lighting, whether it be an attractive light fixture or a nice warm glow that it emits. I really liked this Art Deco fixture outside of the Municipal Center at Judiciary Square.Art Deco Torchiere

Federal Trade Commission Reliefs Continued

Posted in Art Deco, Federal Triangle, Government Buildings, Sculpture on May 15, 2009 by Kent

Here is a bas relief by Robert Laurent titled Shipping.  This is one of several reliefs that adorn the Federal Trade Commission building. Shipping by Robert Laurent