Philadelphians are proud of their history and heritage, and one way to show it is by signing up as volunteer guides. Go to any site of historical or cultural interest and you can be sure to find a tour lead by a ranger or a knowledgeable docent.
Like the City Hall Interior tour we took, which includes a visit to the Tower for a panoramic view of the city. Actually, the tour starts outside, across from the Wanamaker Building, where John Wanamaker’s bronze statue commemorates him simply as ”Citizen”; then on to the inner courtyard before entering the vast City Hall – the largest municipal building in the world – and its seemingly endless corridors and offices.
See that small feature on top of the tower? This is a 27-ton, 37ft bronze statue of the city’s founder, William Penn. Created by Alexander Milne Calder, it is the tallest statue atop any building in the world.
Biggest, oldest, tallest… superlatives seem to characterize Philadelphia – and very suitably so, I might add.
February 22nd, 2017
At the New York Life Insurance Company Building.
Every now and then I get the urge to step inside an interesting looking lobby. I am amazed by the splendour every time.
Bronze, marble and elaborate coffered ceilings on view, at 51 Madison Avenue.
September 28th, 2016
Attending a briefing at the UN Trusteeship Council Chamber is a remarkable event but same could be said about the chamber itself, dressed floor-to-ceiling in carefully restored elements true to the original designs of Danish architect and designer Finn Juhl.
I think I would be forgiven for getting under the spell of these colourful, beautiful yet practical, retro-futuristic ceiling fixtures for a moment, before going back to work?
September 6th, 2016
How is it to work here every weekday? Can staff still pose in admiration at the elegant art deco murals, marquetry and brass details? Surely there comes a time when the excitement of the first encounter fades, wielding to a seen-it-all-before blasé spirit. When the eye looks but forgets to see. I’m glad I don’t work in the Chrysler Building. Wish I will never have enough of this magnificent lobby.
August 30th, 2016
PS: Surprisingly little information can be found on the internet about the artist of the mural that covers the entire ceiling and upper parts of some walls – quite dissapointing given that, when created in 1930, it was considered the largest in the world.
After some research, this is all I could find:
Edward Trumbull, American (1884 – 1968)
Edward Trumbull was born in Michigan and raised in Connecticut. He attended the Art Students’ League of New York and studied in London under the noted muralist, Frank Brangwyn. Trumbull’s style as a muralist was traditional, and he was best known for his ease of bright and varied colors. A long time resident of Pittsburgh, Trumbull painted panels for the Heinz Administration Building in Pittsburgh and used “The Three Rivers” that converge at the city as the theme for the ceiling of the lobby of the Chrysler Building in New York. Two of his murals, located in the South Office building of the Pennsylvania Capitol Complex, are smaller versions of the murals he painted for buildings in Pittsburgh.