Posted by Lotg (OZ) on August 11, 2004
In Reply to: Deco delight posted by lantis on August 11, 2004
: thanks Berg.
: and here is the context:
: The spikey-topped General Electric building seems like a wild extension of the church, its slender shaft rising to a meshed crown of abstract sparks and lightning strokes that symbolises the radio waves used by its original occupant, RCA. The lobby (entrance at 570 Lexington) is yet another Deco delight.
: any help?
It is as R Berg says, it means an 'Art Deco Delight'. Art deco is a type of architecture popular in the late nineteenth century and revived 2 or 3 of times since then. Ummm... I think, the 1920's, '30s and the 50s (but don't quote me on those dates, they're just a guess). With a few fairly current revisions also occurring. But it wasn't just architecture, the style occurred throughout art, even crockery, clothing, furnishings, all sorts of things. It was very 'modern' in the sense that it was angular, streamlined and stylish and conveyed a sense of opulence as well. I say conveyed a 'sense' of opulence, because often they cheated. eg. Veneers were big. So timber lined walls and opulent looking timber furniture, was often really quite cheaply built but covered with stunning veneers. But not everything was cheap and nasty.
There's a town in New Zealand (I've heard about, but never been there), called Napier. Apparently in 1931 it was flattened by an earthquake. The whole town was rebuilt all at once, so the architecture of the town is apparently trapped in that time wharp. I'm told that whole town is Art Deco in design.
Just up the road from where I live, in the Blue Mountains - NSW Australia, is a town called Katoomba. This town is largely filled with late 19th century Art Deco buildings. I've no doubt there are many other towns throughout the world like these too.
The GE building being referenced in your example is an Art Deco building, hence when the author was referring to its lobby, he was referring to the delightful Art Deco design. This building is almost Gothic in design, and well, I don't know, but maybe gothic is the early foundation of Art Deco. I've never considered that possibility before, but maybe some architectural or design buffs out there could enlighten me. And if you look at the designs in the fictitious Gotham City (no doubt a reference go Gothic styling there too), it's all Art Deco.
I've added a link below. This site shows original photos of a hotel up the road from Katoomba, in Medlow Bath. This was once a natural spa and hotel resort for the well-to-do in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This hotel of course has since been refurbished several times. The first time I saw inside was in the 70's when it underwent a hideous and criminal 70's refurbishment. It has since been redone, more in keeping with the original, but still a bit disappointing.
Sorry, got a bit carried away. As you probably guessed, I LOVE Art Deco. And I cut & paste this link in, so I don't know if it will work.