Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Monday, July 16, 2007
Images of a grand dame who has lost her luster
Since I had nothing better to do, here are a list of terms inspired by the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse today:

Beaux Arts
Renaissance Revival
Greek Revival
Greek Key Pattern
Intricate scroll work
Finials - everywhere, on everything
Bad dropped tile ceilings
Old Carpet
Bad Wiring
Bad Lighting
High Tech meets turn of the 20th century (I mean - they have Wi-Fi, but no air conditioning??)
The Burning of Peggy Stewart
Stained Glass Domes -these are pretty effen spectacular, and would be even more so if they were cleaned.
Lord Baltimore Commending his People to Wisdom, Mercy, and Justice (this was my favorite - it's really a pretty impressively spectacular piece which dominates the entire wall of one very large courtroom.)

And a quick Google search finds this article from the Maryland Bar Association from two years ago:

When it opened it doors in 1900, it was an architectural prize with its beautiful murals, stained-glass windows, marble columns and marble courtrooms. The marble is European, the seven-foot-tall columns are the largest monolithic ones in the world and the lovely Sienna marble in the dome of the circular courtroom hails from the Vatican quarry near Rome, a true treasure.

Many large repairs, like roofs, have been needed for years. This lack of repair led to major leaks, especially in court chambers, that caused extensive water problems and mold, sometimes accompanied by toxins. According to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City Courts Needs Assessment Final Report, issued by RCG-RICCI in November 2002, many of the joints in the exterior stonework are open, exacerbating the leaks. Faulty windows have no insulation, further contributing to leaks and a cacophony of city street noise.

The antiquated electrical system violates building code, presenting significant fire hazards, according to the Needs Assessment. There is a lack of emergency lighting and stand-by lighting in some portions of the courthouse, inadequate fire alarms that also violate code and no sprinklers. Both the electrical and mechanical systems are largely inefficient, obsolete, inadequate and, essentially, simply worn-out.

The Needs Assessment also reports that the air quality, in terms of heating and air conditioning, is poor and uneven throughout the two buildings, there is no public drinking water due to contamination, and power outages occur frequently. Plus, the “elevators are constantly broken, and since parts can no longer be purchased, the workmen must replicate them; miraculously, they do,” states Holland.

posted by Broadsheet @ 6:34 PM  
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