Joel W. Solomon Federal Building, Chattanooga, Tennessee
by Wendy Darling
I zoomed in on a repeated motif around the entrance window bay. I thought it might be some sort of serpent but it’s abstract.
The Joel W. Solomon Federal Building and U.S. Court-house stands in the central business district of Chattanooga. Facing Georgia Avenue and across from Miller park, it occupies half a city block. The building is a notable example of the Art Moderne style as employed for government buildings in the 1930s. The form and details recall the classicism of earlier government architecture but take a stylized form here seen in sleek lines, a vertical emphasis, and plant, animal, and geometric decorative motifs. Several of the motifs, such as eagles and stars, evoke patriotic associations that are particularly appropriate for a federal building. The five-story building has a steel structure clad in white marble. Two penthouses are set on projecting towers at the northwest and southwest corners.[