the virus in the city

1If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you will know that I’m a sucker for typography that is specific to a city. That’s pretty much the whole idea behind this blog. But, a lot of times, I come across really beautiful typography that isn’t specific to the city it is in, it’s just really beautiful. So, I take pictures and blog about it while knowing full well that it’s not culturally relevant (this statement might turn into a debate with some people, but I’d be willing to go toe to toe over it). I have found, strangely enough, that it’s actually really hard to find specific examples of typography that is a reference to the existing culture of the city. My definition of a reference is anything (done well) with the state name, the city name or the nick name of the city. Another reference is a nod to the history of the city. Finding well executed typography that has a historical reference is the biggest score of all. So, when I do, it makes me REALLY happy. Both of the hotel’s in today’s post make me REALLY happy. There is no mistake which city each are located in.

Hotel Syracuse, which is sadly abandoned, is located in downtown Syracuse and is situated at the intersection of two busy streets. What first caught my eye was the ornate details at the bottom and top of the building. It was built in 1924 and is an example of early 20th century modern architecture. Hotel Syracuse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Here is a close up of the beautiful letters above the door:
2While the Crockett Hotel does not boast the city name it is located in, there is no mistaking it is located in San Antonio.

History (via www.crocketthotel.com): The Crockett Hotel is a historic hotel of San Antonio that stands where Davy Crockett and an outnumbered band of Texas settlers defended the southeast palisade of the Alamo during a 13-day siege in February-March, 1836. The Republic of Mexico forces defeated the defenders of the Alamo in that battle, but shouts of “Remember the Alamo” inspired the Texans and Sam Houston to victory over the Republic of Mexico at San Jacinto just a little more than a month later.

The property was converted from agricultural to commercial use after the war, and in 1909 (within a few years of Hotel Syracuse!) a fraternal organization built the current six-story building to serve as a hotel and fraternal lodge. The seven-story west wing was added in 1927.

The building was carefully renovated to preserve its original grandeur in 1982, earning it a place on the National Register of Historic Structures. In 2007, the historic Crockett Hotel, a historic San Antonio Alamo Hotel, was completely renovated once again. A section of guestrooms that had been added for the 1968 World’s Fair was demolished to enhance the pool area, and this Alamo hotel’s remarkable 7th floor suites were brought back to their former glory.

Here are some close up shots of that killer sign:
34I was lucky enough to stay in The Crockett Hotel during my time in San Antonio. It is located (literally) right across the street from The Alamo:
5 6 7 8The culture that lives in a city is like a virus that is trying to stay alive. It’s little gems like these that are trying to hang on for dear life as big, mainstream corporations march in and infiltrate an area. My goal is to find the culture–find the virus–and document it in the hopes of keeping it alive.

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2 responses to “the virus in the city

  1. Pingback: Crawford’s | culture+typography·

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