Saturday, May 15, 2010

Interruptions and protrusions.

My apologies for both the delay between posts and the unexpected lapse between Part II and Part III of my Overhead Wire series. The collection and organization of photographs has proven far more challenging than I ever anticipated, but it will continue.

In order to counter the dry spell between posts, I wanted to offer a seemingly humdrum photo of Frankfort, the state capital of Kentucky, a community which offers far more interesting vistas than the one below:

However, this one offers a new configuration for the overhead wires, and the 26-story skyscraper in the background is worthy of note. It towers over and dwarfs this city of under 30,000, yet it is not the state house. It is the Capital Plaza Office Tower, which rests on one side of the valley that hugs the small city, while the official capital sits on the other:

Meanwhile, the oldest surviving state capital (active until around 1910) sits as a museum close to the historic downtown:

The strategic placement of the three structures across the hills of central Kentucky creates a jarring skyline. What better way to illustrate the succession of different architectural cultures over two centuries? And, at the start of a third century, a firm has recently recommended tearing the Office Tower down in order to integrate state government jobs into the downtown. Frankfort is worthy of an additional blog post, but this trinity of government buildings demonstrates an approach to monumentality in state capitol building that borrows loosely from Louisiana and Baton Rouge, while achieving entirely different aesthetic results.