electric jewel

I have mentioned in previous posts what I do when I’m visiting a new city. I get up stupidly early to walk around and take pictures. It’s a mixture of wanting to maximize my time and being super excited to experience the city. While I was visiting Syracuse, I was up and at ’em at the crack of dawn. Literally. That’s the sun that is still rising in this picture! I was in heaven. Anyway, one of the pictures that was sent in for my AIGA Upstate NY talk was a picture of the typography on the Niagra Mohawk building. I knew the minute I saw the picture, I’d be able to use it in my presentation and I hoped I’d be able to see it in person. So, on the Friday morning after my talk, you can imagine my level of excitement when I stumbled upon this:
Whatever you are imagining, go ahead and multiply that x10.
2I spent some time across the street taking in all the details and simply amazed at the level of detail and beauty.
4I walked through those doors to get a better look inside and made friends with the security officer on duty. Turns out he grew up right down the street from where I work here in Hudson, OH. Awesome. Right when I thought we were bonding, he let me know I’m not allowed to wander through the building and I can’t take pictures inside. Jerk.
So I went back outside and took more pictures.
6The dude on the front of the building is the “Spirit of Light”:
7He is made of stainless steel and depicts a Native American warrior, nicknamed Iron Mike, and made from local materials.
History: The Niagara Mohawk Building is an art deco classic building in Syracuse, New York. It is a building of the Niagara Mohawk power utility company, now owned by National Grid plc. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Niagara Hudson Building in 2010.

According to the National Park Service:

The Niagara Hudson Building in Syracuse is an outstanding example of Art Deco architecture and a symbol of the Age of Electricity. Completed in 1932, the building became the headquarters for the nation’s largest electric utility company and expressed the technology of electricity through its modernistic design, material, and extraordinary program of exterior lighting. The design elements applied by architects Melvin L. King and Bley & Lyman transformed a corporate office tower into a widely admired beacon of light and belief in the future. With its central tower and figurative winged sculpture personifying electric lighting, the powerfully sculpted and decorated building offered a symbol of optimism and progress in the context of the Great Depression.

I just love this building. See any buildings you love in your city? Take a picture and tweet it to me @nikki_vz to be featured in an upcoming post! It’s the weekend type lovers! Back at it on Monday.


3 responses to “electric jewel

  1. Reblogged this on culture+typography and commented:

    LSU (my alma mater) played Syracuse yesterday in football. As I was cheering on my tigers, I was reminded of my time speaking to the AIGA chapter in Upstate New York. My talk was held on the Syracuse campus. The morning after my talk, I walked around the city and this was one of my favorite finds.

  2. Pingback: the guardian | culture+typography·

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