american art deco architecture


Highlights of a few of the Architectural masterpieces in Buffalo and its environs. Top and bottom photos are of the Our Lady of Victory Bascilica; one of several gems of the Frank Lloyd Wright and Frederick Law Olmsted, both created multiple buildings and parks/parkways; then the stunning Art Deco City Hall of Buffalo.

Art Deco Theatres

Theatre architecture in the 20s, other disciplines, embraced the clean and streamlined design that was Art Deco. This was a sea change from the palatial opulence of much of the early 20th century design that treated every surface as something to decorate. 

The following are excerpts from introduction to the 1989 THS annual “Glamour, Glitz and Sparkle: The Deco Theatres of John Eberson” by Richard Guy Wilson - Architecture Historian - University of Virginia.

“The term Art Deco has come to mean the attempt in the period between the two world wars to forge a new visual aesthetic, not only in architecture, but in the other design arts as well.”

“In the decades of the 20s and 30s, Americans were bombarded with the belief that a new age had come into being, a modern age controlled by machine and modern technology.”

“The full experience for many Americans came inside the new movie theatre…There one could really not just see, but feel the full kinetic impact, the physical and sensual three dimensions of modern design.”

Photos of the Oswego Theatre in Oswego, NY

Lake Theatre in Oak Park, IL

Beverly theatre in Chicago, IL

Paramount Theatre in Aurora, IL

Penn Theatre in Washington D.C.

The last two are of the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA


This is my new Blog, a tribute to my favorite architectonic and pictorial style, The art Deco, also named Style 25. Since Collage I started to feel very attracted to this visual art and design style in my Art History classes. 

Now I pay a tribute to Art Deco in this tumblog, I will be posting all the greatness and majesty of this art style. I hope you enjoy it as I will.

And let’s get started…

So, here we have, one of my personal favorite buildings, the “American Radiator Buiding”, since renamed to “American Standard Building” . It’s a landmark skyscraper located in New York, designed by  John Howells and Raymond Hood in 1924 and built for the American Radiator Company.

Black brick was used on the frontage of the building, symbolizing coal, was selected to give an idea of solidity and to give the building a solid mass. Other parts of the facade were covered in gold bricks, symbolizing fire, and the entry was decorated with marble and black mirrors.  Rene Paul Chambellan were employed by Howells and Hood for the ornamentation and sculptures.
American Art Deco: Architecture and Regionalism

Art deco architecture flourished in large cities and small towns throughout America in the 1920s and 1930s. Many of the best examples office buildings, movie theaters, hotels, and churches are still in use. Deco architects, artists, and designers drew on European styles but were most committed to a style that grew organically, as they saw it, from their native soil. Two themes bound Deco buildings and their decorative schemes together: a regional pride that tied buildings to their specific locales and functions, and a growing national symbolism that asserted the buildings’ identity as uniquely, independently American. American Art Deco features description sand over 500 color photographs of seventy-five lavish and innovatively designed buildings across the country that have been preserved both outside and in, giving the full scope of this beloved, exciting style.

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The 18-story Associated Press Building (Associated Architects, 1938) in foreground and the 70-story R.C.A Building (Associated Architects, 1933) at background in Rockefeller Center in 1940.

Foto: Rockefeller Center, Inc.

Source: Walter Karp, “The Center. A History and Guide to Rockefeller Center” (New York. American Heritage Publishing Company. 1982).