Monday, March 15, 2010

Making a grand entrance

UPDATE: The architects were Porter, Lochie and Chatelain, and the entrance is by John Joseph Earley an amazing local architect and concrete artisan. Thanks to Neil in Australia for this information!!Driving up 16th street this weekend in tight traffic, I had time to appreciate the beautiful buildings which line the road which ends at the south with the White House. One of these many buildings was the Scottish Rite Temple of DC. Less renowned than their House of the temple by the famous John Russell Pope just down the street, I think this building also merits some attention. The copper and enamel entablature over the front door is really extraordinary, making it one of the most colorful buildings here in the district. I think congratulations are in order for keeping palm trees alive through our harsh winter or in this climate at all for that matter. If anyone has any information about this building, I would love to know more about the artist who created this doorway.

16 comments:

Martha said...

Beautiful door. The Scottish Rite Temple in my little town is also a thing of beauty. I love the old buildings and the work that went into them.

Pretty Lovely said...

I love that doorway. I love finding little gems like this throughout our city!

Wonderful article in the Examiner Stefan! Congrats!

xx,
Samantha

Pigtown-Design said...

The one in Baltimore is very classical. The DC one is awesome.

Kwana said...

Beautiful door. Masonic Temples have the best doors. My DH's temple in Harlem has gorgeous big gold doors on the simple old building.

Congrats onthe article!

Patricia Torres said...

Impressive Door... Its simply beautiful and makes you want to enter the temple!!

Terry said...

C-SPAN ran a great program last night on renovating the National Archives and a bit about John Russell Pope, the architec,t and how he was losing favor (at the time) with the "moderns." So many great masonic temples around. Always worthwhile searching for them. Many are derelicts, some happily re-purposed.

Lesley said...

Yes, great door! Something almost egyptian about it, with the objects on either side and the poor palms. Googled images to get close ups of the fretwork, or wotever you architects call it, but no luck. You are right, less well known.
Thanks-a memorable image.
Best Wishes
Robert

Lize said...

Lovely door, but I want to refer to your post about imitating nature (stairwells) and the nautilus shells. A friend of mine visited Slovenia recently, (in the dead of winter), and there was an open air exhibition on stairwells.

See a photo here: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_SN3byIxI8x8/S5509gWm3DI/AAAAAAAAIKk/2GWICt9Wr_Q/s1600-h/DrainArt.jpg

Her blog for more photos but not related to the exhibition is here:
http://sansdollhousediaries.blogspot.com/2010/03/day-125-130-rollas-1st-snow.html

Janet said...

I have always loved this building because it is such an anomoly in this city!

mg said...

goodness me, why would anyone be driving uo 16th on a sunday?

Renee Finberg said...

actually, it is amazing that those trees are alive.
that is some fabulous entrance.

xx

Jenn said...

It's funny how long I've lived here and never noticed that door. It's exquisite.

P.S. Congrats on the Examiner article. It was great!

Square With Flair™ said...

What a wonderful portal. I greatly admire good modern religious art and design. It is so seldomly encountered that it seems all the more spiritual and uplifting when one comes upon it. I am thinking of Matisse's Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, and the Chapel of Saint Blaise des Simples in Milly-la-Forêt that has interior murals by Jean Cocteau. One sees so much sentimental, cheap, and kitchy religious art and design, we forget how extraordinary it can be.

You are right to draw our attention to this.

BWS said...

Excellent eye. I have thought how elegant & how out of place this door is in DC. The surprise of it all is how the architect keeps us on our toes...

Thomas at My Porch said...

Living about 3 blocks from this building, it is defintely one of my favorite buildings in DC. I just noticed these palms for the first time this winter. I don't know this for sure, but I don't think they have always been there. I feel like I would have noticed it before.

I actually think that whole corner is amazing. The SRT is right next to a former Seventh Day Adventist church that is now being junked up by the Moonies...across the street is the Wren-like All Souls, and across from that is the that fabulous curvy, neo-classical Baptist church. Talk about a power corner.

Anonymous said...

According to my City Walks cards - purchased for my first visit to DC next week! - the building is 'steeped in occult symbolism borrowed from the mausoleum at Helicarnassus. Even the placement of the temple in relation to the city's other monuments reflects the Freemasons' reverence for geometry'