Art Deco Architecture

The Old Modern - Then and Now

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14 notes &

Queen Mary: Liner that helped launch monster cruise ships

Write-up of the Queen Mary, which launched 80 years ago and was built with a super luxurious Art Deco (Modern) interior.

From the article:

Cunard, the ship’s operator, had been synonymous with discreet comfort, says John Graves, curator of ship history at the National Maritime Museum in London. “But with the Queen Mary there was a nod to modernity, particularly to art deco.” The first class dining room had a chart of the North Atlantic, tracking its position and that of its sister ship the Queen Elizabeth - their meeting in the mid Atlantic was highly anticipated. Ladies’ furs were stored in a cold room. The Verandah Grill had a sundeck where one could dance the night away. And first class cabins were equipped with a telephone that could call anywhere in the world.

Filed under queen mary ocean liner cruise ship vintage cruise history cunard 1930s

24 notes &

Theodore J. Levin U.S. Courthouse, Detroit, MichiganHistoric 1934 photo from Detroit News Archives
A great Art Deco/Moderne cube of distinguished federal architecture.
From the listing on HistoricDestroit.org:

The Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse is an Art Deco-Art Moderne rectangular building that stands between Fort Street and Lafayette Boulevard and Shelby Street and Washington Boulevard. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places with the rest of the city’s Financial District in December 2009…
…On April 22, 1930, the federal budget bureau recommended that Detroit get a new federal building and customs house at a price of nearly $5 million (about $63.9 million today). Robert O. Derrick (best known for designing the Henry Ford Museum) and Bronson V. Gander were selected as the architects of the new building…
…The price tag wound up being about $3.25 million. It was scheduled to open in November 1933, but labor troubles, changes in plans from those designated in the blueprints and delays in shipments of materials pushed back the opening until April 23, 1934. When it opened it was known as the Detroit Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse, though the Postal Service and Customs House eventually moved out…
As a federal building, few expenses were spared in constructing the 24-courtroom courthouse. On the first floor, a gorgeous, original barreled ceiling looms overhead. Its hallways are filled with marble floors, and its elevators feature an Art Deco flavor. The exterior of the building is decidedly more modest, but it does feature several bas reliefs by prominent Detroit sculptor Corrado Joseph Parducci depicting various federal government agencies and justice. The center of the building is open, allowing for the maximum amount of natural sunlight to fill its hallways…
…Today, the building serves as the U.S. District Court. Among the most recent high-profile cases tried within its walls was that of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian man accused of blowing up an airliner over Detroit on Dec. 25, 2009. 

Theodore J. Levin U.S. Courthouse, Detroit, Michigan
Historic 1934 photo from Detroit News Archives

A great Art Deco/Moderne cube of distinguished federal architecture.

From the listing on HistoricDestroit.org:

The Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse is an Art Deco-Art Moderne rectangular building that stands between Fort Street and Lafayette Boulevard and Shelby Street and Washington Boulevard. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places with the rest of the city’s Financial District in December 2009…

…On April 22, 1930, the federal budget bureau recommended that Detroit get a new federal building and customs house at a price of nearly $5 million (about $63.9 million today). Robert O. Derrick (best known for designing the Henry Ford Museum) and Bronson V. Gander were selected as the architects of the new building…

…The price tag wound up being about $3.25 million. It was scheduled to open in November 1933, but labor troubles, changes in plans from those designated in the blueprints and delays in shipments of materials pushed back the opening until April 23, 1934. When it opened it was known as the Detroit Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse, though the Postal Service and Customs House eventually moved out…

As a federal building, few expenses were spared in constructing the 24-courtroom courthouse. On the first floor, a gorgeous, original barreled ceiling looms overhead. Its hallways are filled with marble floors, and its elevators feature an Art Deco flavor. The exterior of the building is decidedly more modest, but it does feature several bas reliefs by prominent Detroit sculptor Corrado Joseph Parducci depicting various federal government agencies and justice. The center of the building is open, allowing for the maximum amount of natural sunlight to fill its hallways…

…Today, the building serves as the U.S. District Court. Among the most recent high-profile cases tried within its walls was that of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian man accused of blowing up an airliner over Detroit on Dec. 25, 2009. 

Filed under art deco art moderne courthouse detroit michigan 1930s government building federal building national register of historic places detroit history detroit financial district history robert derrick bronson gander

34 notes &

On this day in 1935, Franklin Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration, the New Deal’s largest and most ambitious agency. During its run, which ended in 1943 and cost about $11 billion, the WPA employed 8.5 million out-of-work people on 1.4 million individual projects; it built 651,000 miles of roads, streets, and highways; constructed or repaired 124,000 bridges, 125,000 public buildings, more than 8,000 parks, and nearly 900 airport runways. The projects had to provide a real and lasting contribution, and could not take business away from private companies.
It wasn’t always the most efficient operation, however, and its critics gave it nicknames like “We Poke Along,” “We Play Around,” “We Piddle Around,” and “Working Piss Ants.” WPA employees were derided as “shovel-leaners,” an accusation John Steinbeck addressed in his essay “A Primer on the ’30s”: “It was the fixation of businessmen that the WPA did nothing but lean on shovels. I had an uncle who was particularly irritated at shovel-leaning. When he pooh-poohed my contention that shovel-leaning was necessary, I bet him five dollars, which I didn’t have, that he couldn’t shovel sand for fifteen timed minutes without stopping. He said a man should give a good day’s work and grabbed a shovel. At the end of three minutes his face was red, at six he was staggering and before eight minutes were up his wife stopped him to save him from apoplexy. And he never mentioned shovel-leaning again.”
http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/05/06 (via tumblngphilopoet)

Filed under wpa works progress administration 1930s new deal fdr history

35 notes &

B… Bangkok
Democracy Monument, Bangkok, Thailandby Aiden McRae Thompson
Deco mixed in with traditional Thai design elements.
From Flickr:

The Democracy Monument was erected in 1939 to commemorate the Siamise coup d’etat that ushered in initial military rule along with the present constitutional system of monarchy. There are thus references to the military in the four wing like structures surrounding the centrepiece and the relief sculptures at their bases.
The monument is an attractive late flowering of the Art Deco style and was a symbol of the country’s desire for modernisation. The very much 20th century forms are however combined with traditional Thai elements, particularly the sculptural elements such as the gilt bronze reliefs in the central structure and Garuda and Naga sculptures at the outer corners of the monument.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Monument

B… Bangkok

Democracy Monument, Bangkok, Thailand
by Aiden McRae Thompson

Deco mixed in with traditional Thai design elements.

From Flickr:

The Democracy Monument was erected in 1939 to commemorate the Siamise coup d’etat that ushered in initial military rule along with the present constitutional system of monarchy. There are thus references to the military in the four wing like structures surrounding the centrepiece and the relief sculptures at their bases.

The monument is an attractive late flowering of the Art Deco style and was a symbol of the country’s desire for modernisation. The very much 20th century forms are however combined with traditional Thai elements, particularly the sculptural elements such as the gilt bronze reliefs in the central structure and Garuda and Naga sculptures at the outer corners of the monument.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Monument

Filed under bangkok thailand southeast asia art deco architecture monument 1930s asian history thai history history