Art Paper 1
July 16, 2010 The Columbus Main Library
The Columbus Main Library is one of my most favorite buildings. I have visited the Library on a number of occasions now and frequently encounter it on my way. The first time I set my eyes on it I was struck by its charm and grandeur, and ever since have been captivated by its colossal size and magnificence. Therefore, for this assignment, I decided to make a special visit to the Library and observe with more detail the architecture of the building that encompasses the main entrance.
According to the archives found on the website of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the construction of the Main Library was made possible by a generous donation from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1907 (Columbuslibrary.org). The architects behind the design of the building were Albert Randolph Ross and Wilbur T. Mills. The design of the building is adopted heavily from Greek and Roman architecture and upon viewing one can point out several traits.
The building is exceptionally wide; stretching across the length of about half a soccer field. The most conspicuous aspect of the building is the use of Greek style Ionic columns with no base. These columns are not placed on the entire length of the building as in typical Greek structures; they are concentrated in the center and give the impression of holding the entire weight of the core above them. There is no triangular shape on top of the pillars either as found in most Greek and Roman buildings. Although the height of the building is constant along its length, it is extended a little higher on its center above the entrance door. Aside from the fact that this is the entrance of the Library, this part of the building is most noticeable because of the presence of columns, arches, relief sculptures, low-relief writing and eight statues found on the very top.
The entrance door of the Library is relatively modest and small compared to the rest of the building; some might even call it a little cramped! As a result the building is quite imposing and signifies the importance of what is inside its walls. Above the entrance door, written in low-relief are the words: “Open To All”. On top of that in a small triangular arch is a sculpture of a book with Latin words inscribed in it. Beside the top of the columns, embedded into the space above the arches are relief artworks of leaves. As this cluster of artwork reaches its pinnacle, the top of the building can be seen turning back to its simplistic design; and it is here that the Latin words: “Bibliotheca Fons Eruditionis” can be seen clearly etched.
There are a total of twelve columns found on the entrance; eight of these are in groups of two. Upon the very top of the building above these four sets of columns are four sets of two statues depicting a child. These statues are highly detailed even when seen from a distance. They are not rigid but do not exhibit a great deal of motion either. However, the statues are life-like and depict an ordinary boy