Friday, March 18, 2011

Clements Library

The next stop on my tour was the Clements Library. This is an Albert Kahn building and allegedly one of his favorites. As I look at it, I can see why because it is a pretty nice looking building. It's not as overbearing as some of the other buildings and in fact you might miss it.

A shot of the front of the building. Little did I know, I would also get a shot of the unofficial uniform for young women in Ann Arbor.

A nice little sculpture of a book in front of the building.

Anyways, in 1921, William Clements who was a regent decided to donate his collection of rare books and pay for a library to house them. The University provided the land by razing a professor's house that stood next to the University President's house and the general library. The building was designed by Kahn under the supervision of Clements.

It is an Italian Renaissance design and is constructed from Indiana limestone. In the right light, it looks pretty cool.

This was an inscription by a University of Michigan professor. I think its an appropriate saying for both a University and a library. Knowledge is the light of the world or something like that.

This also was written by the same professor. Written records give us a collective memory.

One of the things I really like about this building is the friezes.

For some reason, I really like this shot.

This is Christopher Columbus' coat of arms.

This is supposed to be George Washington's coat of arms but somewhere an error occurred. Mr. Kahn picked out the right coat of arms but someone picked out another set on the same page and this happens to be the coat of arms of some Scottish King. Noone wanted to upset Albert Kahn so the matter wasn't brought up to him. Mr. Clements died without suggesting the right coat of arms be put on the building, so it remains.

It are the details like this that make me like the building. There is one on the opposite side and I could almost imagine a Venus statue in here.

This is looking up at the ceiling.

Even the light fixtures are pretty ornate.

You can sort of see me in this picture.

This is our State Seal. I've covered this in other places.

One of these years, I will try to make it a point to go inside this building. I hear the inside is as ornate as the outside.

1 comment:

BlueDragon said...

I really like this building. I saw it quite a few times while walking around campus, but I never explored its architecture as much as it deserved.