Monday, May 30, 2016

CNY Public Art: The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Syracuse

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Postcard.
Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Postcard

CNY Public Art: The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Syracuse
by Samuel D. Gruber

For Memorial Day we look at Syracuse's Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument at Clinton Square, the city's largest and most prominent monuments to war veterans, and the grandest local expression of public art from the period of "The City Beautiful" and Beaux-Arts design. Memorial Day has its origins in Decoration Day and was celebrated to honor the dead of the Civil War. In Syracuse it took almost a half century before a large and fitting memorial was built as the backdrop for public ceremony. The monument was built to honor the 12,000 individuals from Onondaga County who fought in the Civil War, but it is now been rededicated in  memory of all the county's service men and women.

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber
Clarence H. Blackall (1857-1942) was the architect, and the bronze sculptures were designed by Cyrus Dallin (1861-1944). The East group of figures is titled, "A Call to Arms" and the West is named, "An Incident at Gettysburg." Dallin was a leading sculptor of the period, known especially for his majestic figures of Native Americans on horseback, such as Appeal to the Great Spirit (1909), now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and and his statue of the Angel Moroni atop the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City.

Dallin sculpted animated gorups of figures in high relief. His inspiration no doubt came in part from the Arc de Triumph in Paris. This is in stark contrast to the more staid and stolid Civil monuments erected across the country in the decade closer to the conflict, such as the multi-figuree "wedding cake" monument type of the  Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument erected in Detroit in 1872, or the column monument in Troy, New York, dedicated in 1891, or the solitary soldier keeping watch in Brandon, Vermont, inaugurated in 1886. 

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber
The following information about the Syracuse Monument comes from the Art Inventories Catalog of the  Smithsonian American art Museum.


On Dec. 12, 1905, thanks in part to the efforts of Mrs. Harriet Schwartz whose older brother was killed during the Civil War, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution committing itself to erecting a Civil War monument, and authorized a chairman to appoint a monument committee. Between 1906 and 1909, the Board of Supervisors made several appropriations to fund the monument, the cost of which eventually topped $100,000. A small amount of the funding had been raised earlier by Mrs. Harriet Schwartz who organized donations from school children ($238.38) and a benefit concert ($229.50).

The bronze reliefs were cast in France at the Gruet Bronze Foundry ("Call to Arms") and the Jaboeuf & Rouard Fondeurs ("Mending the Flag"). At the time of the dedication, however, only one bronze relief was in place; "Mending the Flag" arrived later and was not installed until June 23, 1911.

When originally built, the Beaux-Arts style monument was the centerpiece for a large stone plaza with formal granite piers and walls surrounding it. Since then, the plaza has been reduced in size and relandscaping done. In each of the four corners of the plaza are reconstructed granite piers from the original wall. Each of the piers has a cast iron light standard dating from subsequent modifications.

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber
Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber
A tall white granite monument surmounted by four eagles holding aloft a large sphere. The granite shaft is adorned with four granite unfluted Roman Ionic columns at each corner and decorated with two bronze reliefs depicting scenes from the Civil War. On the east side of the monument, "The Call to Arms" relief depicts an infantryman with his musket, a sailor with his sword drawn, an artilleryman with his cannon and cannon tamper, and a cavalryman holding the reins of a rearing horse. A female figure hovers over the figures holding the American Flag and blowing a trumpet to sound the call to war. On the west side of the monument, "Mending the Flag" depicts the moment during the Battle of Gettysburg when William G. Lilly, the color bearer in Pickett's army, repairs the broken flagstaff of New York's 149th regiment. His fellow soldiers rallying around him to save the day, as General Pickett astride his horse commands his men with sword held high. The monument is placed within a larger stepped plaza setting with cast iron lighting.

(On east side:) TO THE BRAVE SONS OF ONONDAGA WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY ON LAND AND SEA THAT THE UNION MIGHT BE PRESERVED AND THE CONSTITUTION MAINTAINED (On west side:) THIS MEMORIAL IS ERECTED BY THE GRATEFUL PEOPLE OF ONONDAGA IN APPRECIATION OF THE GLORIOUS ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MEN WHO VOUNTEERED THEIR SERVICES IN DEFENSE OF THE FLAG AND FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE NATION. 1861-1865. MAY THEIR EXAMPLE SPEAK TO FUTURE GENERATIONS

(On the north side:) BENEATH THIS STONE ARE THE NAMES OF 12,265 VOLUNTEERS OF ONONDAGA COUNTY, WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION. THIS MONUMENT STANDS AS A TRIBUTE TO THE BRAVE MEN WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN DEFENSE OF THE REPUBLIC -WHOSE NAMES AND HEROIC DEEDS ARE GRAVEN DEEP IN THE HEARTS OF THEIR COUNTRY. WE HERE HIGHLY RESOLVE THAT THESE DEAD SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN. THAT HIS NATION UNDER GOD SHALL HAVE A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM AND THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH. -ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber

Syracuse, NY. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Landmarks in the City: First English Lutheran Church (1911)

Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church. Archimedes Russell and Melvin King, architects, 1911.  Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2007.
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church. Archimedes Russell and Melvin King, architects, 1911. Bell tower. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016.

Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church. Archimedes Russell and Melvin King, architects, 1911. Interior. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016. 
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church. Archimedes Russell and Melvin King, architects, 1911. Interior. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016.
Landmarks in the City: First English Lutheran Church  (1911)
by Samuel D. Gruber

This summer, I'll be posting about some of the many landmarks in Syracuse and Onondaga County. These are buildings that have been recognized for their architectural, artistic or historic value and designated by the city as Local Protected Sites or placed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. One of these places is the lovely First English Lutheran Church at 501 James Street, just at the northeastern edge of Downtown. It was listed  on the National Register in 1998 

Designed by leading Syracuse architect Archimedes Russell and his young partner, Melvin King, This and the near-contemporary (and very different) Saint Anthony of Padua Church on West Colvin Street were Russell's last ecclesiastical commissions. Russell had designed many important churches throughout the region, mostly as free interpretations of historicist styles - primarily variations on Romanesque and Gothic designs. King almost certainly contributed to this design and he would soon take over the firm from the aged and ailing Russell (he died in 1915 and king took over the firm).

Groundbreaking  for the new building took place on April 18, 1910. The first service was held in the church on June 18, 1911.  The beige sandstone church is striking from the outside for its incorporation of Mission style elements and Arts & Crafts detailing. Most notable is its unusual bell tower, flanked by lower towers, all topped with pyramidal red tile roofs.

Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church. Archimedes Russell and Melvin King, architects, 1911. Interior. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016.
Inside, the church is very spare. the Post-Standard (June 19, 1911) gushed at the time of its opening of its brilliantly lighted auditorium with large balcony. The wide spacious feel, accented by a series of colorful stained glass memorial windows made by the Haskins Art Glass Co. of Rochester,  a firm owned and operated by George Haskins, who some speculate has previously worked for Tiffany.  The company started  in 1890 as W. M. Page & Co. In 1893 it became Parkes, Collyer & Stacy before becoming Haskins & Collyer in 1895. In 1904 it became Haskins Art Glass.  


 Add for Haskins window from Baptist Yearbook (1919)

Haskins worked predominately in opalescent glass. In the main sanctuary these include two large cathedral glass windows, the immediate left and right after entering. These are arranged in geometric and architectural designs into which are inserted art glass busts of handsome heads, which may have come from the congregation previous church and been reused.  Four other big windows are multi-section biblical scenes and landscapes made of opalescent glass.

One more big window is in the facade beneath the main tower. inside seen in the choir balcony, and this represent the Annunciation to the Shepherds (in memory of Christian and Katherine Cook). The colors of this window are very vivid.

Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church. Archimedes Russell and Melvin King, architects, 1911. Interior. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church., 1911. Interior. Cook Memorial Window; Annunciation to the Shepherds. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church., 1911. Interior. Cook Memorial Window; Annunciation to the Shepherds. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church. Archimedes Russell and Melvin King, architects, 1911. Interior, cathedral glass, east wall. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016.
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church., 1911. Interior, cathedral glass, east wall. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016.

Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  head inserted into cathedral glass, east wall. It is thought that this head and another in a window opposite may have been brought from the congregation's previous building on Salina Street, and reused here. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016.

Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  west wall. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016.
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  west wall. Ruth and Naomi window. Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  view to west wall. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016.
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  west wall. Ruth and Naomi window (Whither thou goest, I will go"). Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  east wall. "Suffer little children to come unto me" window. Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  east wall. "Suffer little children to come unto me" window. Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  east wall. Good shepherd window. Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  east wall. Good shepherd window. Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  east wall. Charles L. Amos memorial window. Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  east wall. Charles L. Amos memorial window, Church Triumphant. Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016
Syracuse, NY. First English Lutheran Church, 1911. Interior,  east wall. Charles L. Amos memorial window, Church Militant. Haskins Art Glass Co, Rochester. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2016

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ward Wellington Ward Arts & Crafts Houses at East Genesee and Allen Streets


Syracuse, NY. 2201 and 2205 East Genesee Street. Ward Wellington Ward, architect. (1919, 1923). Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

The Beautiful Ward Wellington Ward Arts & Crafts Houses at East Genesee and Allen Streets
by Samuel D. Gruber

I've written about houses designed by noted Arts & Crafts architect Ward Wellington Ward on this blog before and there are so many in the city and environs that I could fill many more posts extolling their beauty - sometimes simple; often complex. In my walking tours that I have given for the Westcott Neighborhood Association I have pointed out many of these houses, and many of the tours are being posted online - in much expanded versions.

One set of houses includes two impressive "manor house" designs on East Genesee Street at Allen Street, and there are two more modest Ward houses just a half block away on the 300 block of Allen Street.  Three of the houses have west facing facades, so any sunny afternoon is a fine time to take walk to view them.

The two substantial side-by-side houses at #2201 and #2205 East Genesee Street were built in 1919 and 1923 on part of the Pennock tract, land developed by James Pennock who built his own house across East Genesee Street.  Pennock developed the nearby blocks of Allen Street in the years just after 1900.

Syracuse, NY. 2201 East Genesee Street (Frank Collins house). Ward Wellington Ward, architect. (1919). Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

#2201, the Frank Collins House

Closest to Allen Street is #2201, an  impressive structure built as a new residence for Mr. And Mrs. Frank Collins. Collins, who was owner of the F. P. Collins Paint Co., was a previous client of Ward, the architect having designed a house at 423 Euclid Avenue. This new house on East Genesee is bigger, more ornate, and on what was in 1919, a more prominent location. 

Collins was born in Ireland and came to America in 1878. After settling in Rochester he came to Syracuse in 1890, where he established the paint business with his three sons, William E., John Emmett and Francis Chilton.

Though the house faces East Genesee Street, the main entrance is from the 300 block of Allen Street, where Ward design two others houses, too.  The two-story side-gabled Collins house has two cross gables on the Allen Street facade. It is predominately Tudor Revival in style with many of Ward’s distinctive Arts & Crafts details. Notable exterior features include half-timbering in the gables, inset tiles in the brick facing and front stoop, and twenty-one pieces of stained glass from the Keck Studio throughout the house.  The house has a structural system of brick and hollow tile supported by a concrete foundation. the roof is slate. The biggest change to the original house is that the south-facing porch has been enclosed.

Syracuse, NY. 2201 East Genesee Street (Frank Collins house). Ward Wellington Ward, architect. (1919). Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

Syracuse, NY. 2201 East Genesee Street (Frank Collins house). Ward Wellington Ward, architect. (1919). Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

Inside, in addition to the stained glass windows, the house is notable for its superb Mercer Tiles around the fireplace, decorative living room floor, and many original finishes. Frank Collins who was himself a professional in providing home finishing materials, wrote to the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown Pennsylvania for “something which is better than ever set up in Syracuse before.” The resulting tiles represent various seasons and trades.

There is a front-gabled garage clad in stucco with half-timbering. The garage has a chimney, as was often the case in Ward-designed garages, indicating that it was heated in winter. The doors are replacements, but other wise the structure is original.

The earlier Collins house was illustrated in a self-published monograph Ward issued of his work and Collins took out a full page ad in the back of the book, stating that “all of the beautiful residences illustrated in the brochure are finished with Pratt & Lambert Varnishes and painted with Lawrence Paints sold exclusively by F. P. Collins Paint Company.”

#2205, Kelly-Weiskotten House
Syracuse, NY. 2205 East Genesee Street (Kelly-Weiskotten house). Ward Wellington Ward, architect. (1923). Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

Syracuse, NY. 2205 East Genesee Street (Kelly-Weiskotten house). Ward Wellington Ward, architect. (1923). Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

Syracuse, NY. 2205 East Genesee Street (Kelly-Weiskotten house). Ward Wellington Ward, architect. (1923). Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

For the lot next door to the Collins house Ward designed a house in 1922 for restaurateur John Kelley. Kelly sold the house two years later to Dr. Herman Weiskotten, Dean of the Syracuse University College of Medicine and after whom Weiskotten Hall is named. The house is distinctive for the English cottage appearance of the exterior and inside for the Mercer tile fireplace and foyer, leaded glass bookcases, stained glass windows and built-in cabinets and closets. The garage was added to the house three years after its completion is was probably not designed by Ward but it is in a comparable style.

Upstate Medical University's Weiskotten Hall is now named in honor of the former Dean.  In September 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt lay the cornerstone for the medical school building with Weiskotten at his side.  In 2013 an historical marker was placed on the site recalling Roosevelt's visit. Here's how the event was reported in the Syracuse Herald in 1936.

Around the corner from the Collins house, on the 300 block of Allen Street, are two more Ward houses, both smaller, and more intimate and cottage-like.
Syracuse, NY.  301-309 Allen  Street. Ward Wellington Ward, architect. Photo: Some Recent Work  [Ward Wellington Ward]. Undated [c. 1920]

  
 Photo: Some Recent Work  [Ward Wellington Ward]. Undated [c. 1920]

The origins of these houses is uncertain; whether they were speculative or built for specific clients. The houses were featured in Ward's self-published album of his work from the 1920s and they were identified with the then-occupants but they were not featured houses, but included in an add for Kelsey air Generators that appeared in the back of the book.

The Roy Carpenter house at 309 Allen Street is an early work and is a variant on the then popular Craftsman-style bungalow, a small cottage-like side gable and entrance house. A full second story expressed as a substantial dormer protruding from a steep roof. Many similar houses can be seen on Sumner, Strong, Roosevelt and other avenue, all built about the same time.  In the case of the Carpenter house, the roof is of the gambrel type. there is a full porch front in the street. A tall plaster chimney with brick or tile ornament is the most distinctive exterior element. The original open parapet rail atop the front porch has been removed, but otherwise the house looks much like it did when it was built.

Next door, at #301, the William McKee house is a little different. It has a more unusual roof - but of type familiar in Ward houses.  The roof begins as a hipped roof but as it rises it transitions into a side gable roof.  Also the horizontal eaves on all sides of the houses are frequently broken by raised angled gable like elements, filed with vertical half-timber segments, giving a lively rhythm and texture to the house. Most of the exterior of the house is covered with a flat plaster surface, providing a modernist touch on this Arts & Crafts House.

Syracuse, NY. 309 Allen Street (Roy Carpenter House)
Ward Wellington Ward, architect. (1912). Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

 
Syracuse, NY.  301 Allen  Street (William McKee House). Ward Wellington Ward, architect. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber

Sources: 

Carlson, Richard. “Collins Residence, 2201 East Genesee Street. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form,” (1996)

Carlson, Richard. “Kelly Residence, 2205 East Genesee Street. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form,” (1996) 

Reed, Cleota, Henry Chapman Mercer and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987).
 
Some Recent Work  [Ward Wellington Ward]. Undated [c. 1920].