The other night, we were driving to dinner, and we went past a copy of an old Greek-style temple. I remembered that there are a few of these tiny temples around Baltimore, and when I had a little bit of free time, I drove around to take some pictures. Unfortunately, most of these temples are abandoned, and one I remembered, an old spring house, had vanished.
This one’s got all of the elements of a Doric temple… columns, capitals, architrave, frieze, and tympanum. Simple, elegant and very graceful.This is spring house, moved to the grounds of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Its Ionic columns are a little more decorative than the Doric ones, and the dentil work around the tympanum really sets off the simple shape.The third tiny temple used to be a bank branch. It’s on one of the worst corners of the city. The columns, while in the basic Doric order, have been embellished with carvings around them. The tympanum is also much more decorative than the other two temples, but with classic elements including the dentil work and acanthus leaves. Here’s a detail.
The final temple is the original building for the University of Maryland’s 200+ year old School of Medicine. It’s modeled after the Pantheon in Rome and is the oldest medical school building still in use in the States. Very simple and at nearly 200 years old, still fresh.I find it so fascinating that more than two millennia after some of these buildings were first designed and erected, we’re still looking to their lines, proportions and decorative elements for inspiration.
Do you have any tiny temples in your town?