5.30.2006

County Courthouse Series No.2: Columbia County

Second in our occasional series on the County Courthouses of New York State is Columbia County. Located in the City of Hudson, this courthouse was erected from 1898-1900 by the firm Cure & Mont Ross, builders who were prolific in the area.

When standing directly in front of the building, you can see that the oculus of the dome and the arc of the Palladian window line up perfectly.

Posted By Natalie
The first in the County Courthouse Series and more information can be found here.

2 comments:

Jesse said...

Natalie,
forgive my ignorance, being an anthropologist and not an architectual historian like yourself, but what is a Paladian window and why is it important that it lines up with the "occulus" of the dome? Also, what is an occulus?
-Jesse

Natalie said...

Jesse,

I'm glad you asked, because it caused me to notice that I had misspelled Palladian (oops!)

A Palladian window is a tripartite window: a larger arched window flanked on either side by rectangular ones. The term "Palladian" for the window is commonly used because of its prevalence in the architecture of Andrea Palladio, but it has been used since classical times. Around upstate, it's a form commonly seen on federal and colonial revival homes, but also in civic buildings that draw on the renaissance tradition. Think of them as amplifiers before sound systems were invented, they draw attention to the person standing at them, and were used quite a bit in papal architecture, for instance, for this reason.

(The other name for the window [serliana] I'd forgotten, and googled to find out [Don't tell my professors!] and I came to this excellent site about Buffalo architecture. A good primer in jargon and look at Buffalo's architectural gems.)

An oculus, or 'eye' of a dome is the opening at a dome's zenith, and its not important that they line up, per se, but it was probably purposeful, and I just thought it was interesting to point out ;o)

Architecture nerd: over and out