Wall (Unoriginal) Street

Image result for new york stock exchange

As we saw on our joint class trip to Manhattan there seems to have been a great need to turn New York into a new Greece or a new Rome. They hoped that this would live on in there stead and transform the impressions that people pre received notions when looking upon such recognized architectural styles.

Of course the structure copies the most common parts of Greek and Roman architecture only to use them as adornments instead of structural with the the large Corinthian columns and the eye catching  pediment with the central figure of Integrity.

The people who helped establish New York as a great economical hub wanted to show themselves as the inheritors of Greek wisdom in order to cultivate an image of supremacy over all that would do business under their supervision. However just because you copy a civilizations iconic works in a modern semi modern fashion does not actually give you the same knowledge and experience which the creature and owners of such structures have lacked.

-Bedirhan Gonul, Team 3/ Aphrodite


Another Unit, Another Synagogue


This synagogue can be found along Ocean Avenue, between Avenues K and L. It caught my eye because it really encapsulates a lot of formal elements we’ve covered in class. You can see the arcade of arches at the top of the stairs, with emphasized keystones, as well as arched windows framed by column/pilaster motifs with Corinthian capitals. The center of the building has a row of large Corinthian columns beneath a frieze that goes across the entire façade. Above that on either side are structures that appear similar to miniature temples, with a row of Tuscan columns supporting another arcade. On the roof, visible from the ground when standing across the street like I was, is a pair of giant green domes.

Certain details also reminded me of particular examples of Baroque architecture. For example, the Tuscan colonnade at the top was reminiscent of the piazza of St. Peter’s, although admittedly a lot smaller.

It’s not necessarily clear what the building here is made of, but it could be marble, like the works of old. The motifs mentioned could have been chosen in order to embellish the face of the building with architectural forms that are established as distinguished. Everything about this picture shows the grandeur of the place. The picture is not perfect because there was a car in front of me when I took the picture, so the base level is a little cut off, but you can see a set of doors next to the tree that give you a sense of the scale of this building. That’s what seems Baroque about this architecture: the size and flair. It’s elaborate and decorative, and very BIG – all very Baroque traits. The Baroque period is marked by drama, and this synagogue certainly has that. The building has a presence that demands attention; it’s impossible to walk past it without giving it a second look.

-Chaya, team Venus


Slavery was not only in Central America!

“Slavery.” Britannica Online Academic Edition, 2017, pp. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc

In this publication the primary audience would be people who are interested in history, or people that are interested in extra details that happened during slavery. This article sweetened up the history of slaves and gave a historical background on how slaves came about in Greece and Italy. This article also explained how so many other countries owned slaves. For me this article was a bit troubling because its not giving the truth raw. It sugar coated how slaves were treated in Central America. For example ” Slavery was usually, but not always, involuntary.” Maybe in other countries where slaves weren’t as mistreated as central america, slaves would not mind working off their debt. However being a slave in Central America people would get lynched for no reason, and beaten, African Americans would not voluntarily want to be slaves. This is one of the sentences that stood out to me because it just shows how much certain things are glazed over. But furthermore it explains how other countries had slaves such as, China, India, Malabar, Thailand, Japan, Philippines, and so forth. Lastly the article gets into the different protests that occurred in some of the countries that had slavery. One of the famous rebellions we know today is when Haiti gained their independence from the French in 1804, and the famous man who led them who was Toussaint-Louverture. In this article the author does not really connect the key terms, instead it is a lot if historical background on slavery on where it started and how it ended. While sugar coating things but overall capturing the main part of slavery. One connection I can say between these terms was just how slavery was in Rome, and in Sicily.


Triumphal Synagogue


This is a picture of the front of a synagogue located on Ave K at the corner of East 29th Street. As you can see, the double doors are framed by arches and there is a column motif between and around them. This reminded me of the Arch of Constantine, with its multiple arches. Constantine’s arch was erected to celebrate victory in battle, and it had three arches for aesthetic reasons (ie., to look impressive and thereby be a better monument representing glory and power). These arches are also decorative, but it’s likely that the multiple doors are because of the separate seating inside. It’s interesting to note that in ancient architecture the arches were always open, while nowadays we fill them with doors for practicality. Certain elements have a similar purpose to the ancient work it resembles, but overall the design is intended for an entirely different function.

It’s difficult to see in the picture, but at the top of the arches (between the doorframe and the arch’s curve) there are also painted friezes like those we studied in art and architecture from the early Christian/late Roman period. Their presence brightens the décor by adding color and filling the space that would otherwise be a blank gap, like the paintings in antiquity were meant to do in the temples, churches, or mosques we looked at. Both these paintings and their ancient counterparts add interest to the architecture, although the modern paintings are much more durable and less likely to fade or chip, because of technological advances (new kinds of paint, etc.) since the ancient paintings were created.

-Chaya Ovits, team Venus

The Municipal Building


A brief walk around city hall will lead to being surrounded by beautiful architecture. This building above is 1 Centre Street, it was built in the early 1900’s and unlike the trademark marble of Ancient Greece, it is made mostly out of a sturdier limestone. Similar to many of the buildings in the area, the columns are designed to emulate the Corinthian Order. It combines those columns with arches that are styled akin to the ones from Ancient Rome, it also features Roman numerals on top. Unlike the historical versions that usually have one triangular shaped frieze, there are two separate rectangular friezes at the entrance of the building. Instead of Gods they depict a female that symbolizes New York City. In the center archway there is a frieze surrounding the arch, similar again to the Romans, are two carvings. One is a winged female and the other is a winged male, the female is supposed to be guidance, and the male is Executive power. When I looked up I had no idea what they meant, also it was very difficult to see exactly what was on the frieze so I researched it online and cited the website below.  Overall, this is a beautiful building, that looks even better in the rain. It does an incredible job at incorporating different historical styles.

-Zunaira Naveed, Team Mars


The Library of Columbia University



In the photo above is The Library of Columbia University, located on the university’s campus.

As seen in the picture, the building has the signature column design of the ionic order. The columns have the ridges along the shaft, and the body tapers from small to big, creating a sense of slenderness to the columns. At the top of the columns are the capital’s curled scrolls, and the bottom is the stylobate and stereobate.

The library also features a dome, a feature of Ancient Greek architecture that is seen in The Pantheon. Although there is no opening to the ceiling like the oculus of The Pantheon, the building takes after its portico and rotunda structure. As for the frieze, the building makes a simple inscription of the library’s name. The photo also shows the use of Roman numerals MDCCLIV, which dates to 1754, the year Columbia University was established. There are also laurel leaves on the frieze, which refers to the symbol of victory or status that was given to the Greek god Apollo. The laurel’s symbol can be implied to Columbia’s high status as a Ivy League university.

Unlike the traditional forms of Ancient Greek architecture, the library has fully enclosed walls, windows, and air conditioners behind the columns. The walls prevent rain, snow, or wind from going into the library, but the large windows enable the same appreciation of natural or heaven-like light as the Greeks. The building is also most likely made out of concrete (as most modern buildings are), and may contain a sort of metal skeleton within to withhold the weight of the whole building. On the other hand, Ancient Greeks used a mixture of clay, rocks, minerals to build their temples.


Vicky Lee, Team Hermes

Greek/Roman Architecture On Campus


our very own Ingersoll




library (side)


library tower

I was walking around campus and thinking about this assignment when I noticed that pretty much every building on Brooklyn College’s campus has elements of Greek and/or Roman architectural design. In the 4 pictures above, you can see an arcade of arches (Ingersoll), arches with column designs between them and a pediment above (Roosevelt), an arch-shaped window and columns setting off the windows (library), and arches supporting a structure topped by a dome (library tower).

Greek temples used columns very often, since they relied on post-lintel architecture. The Romans began using arches (and, by extension, domes) because they allowed more stability and more open indoor space. Modern day architecture doesn’t need to rely on domes or columns to hold up our ceilings, but we still use elements like this in specific contexts.

Classical architecture is very popular for inspiration when it comes to buildings that need to have a certain gravitas. The structure of columns and arches lends that kind of weight, a way of hinting that this too is old and respectable. College campuses and governmental facilities often have similar features to the temples of old because it subtly implies importance. The design elements are no longer strictly functional; we use them because we like how they look and what they mean. By recreating these ideas in brick instead of marble or concrete, we prove that we don’t need them but choose to include them for the aesthetic benefits.

-Chaya Ovits, team Venus