Monday, December 23, 2013

Architectural Holidays

From the office of Edward D. Pierre comes this angel adorning a holiday card from 1956, which can be found in the collection of architect and former alum from Pierre's previous firm Pierre & Wright, Fran Schroeder. They maintained a friendship throughout their careers, but Schroeder had his own firm by this time. A natural historian, it's in Schroeder's files that we find many of the holiday cards from Pierre, Leslie Ayres, and others. On this card, Pierre included his fellow architects in the firm, James Merrifield, Richard C. Zimmer, and J. Parke Randall.

Image: Holiday card from the office of Edward D. Pierre, 1956. Fran Schroeder Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Architectural Holidays

Architect Joseph Cezar highlights the banner proclaiming Peace on Earth Good Will to Men that was such an important part of Edward Pierre's early holiday displays on Monument Circle, and adds a personal message on a separate banner to make the scene fitting for this 1952 holiday card from him and his wife, Betty. The card is a reprint from one of Cezar's pencil drawings.

Image: Christmas card from Joe and Betty Cezar, 1952. Joseph O. Cezar Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Losing another Edward Pierre

While the city enjoyed the Circle of Lights, a much-beloved yearly holiday tradition Edward Pierre created many decades ago, bulldozers and wrecking balls were being planned for one of his buildings just a few blocks away at 1440 North Meridian Street. It was torn down this weekend.

His design for the Riddick Building in 1949, shown above, was altered substantially in later years from the inviting, open wall of glass meant to highlight the display of grand pianos on the first floor. As it looked most recently on Google Street View, below, shows the negative impact of such a severe alteration. The building, which once looked modern with its clean lines, glass walls, and streamlined columns, suffered from the addition of a stone façade that lent it the air of a small, but forbidding fortress on Meridian Street. Riddick Building, 1949-2013.

Images: Riddick Building, 1440 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, 1949. Sketch by Leslie Ayres. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records, drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Google Street View of 1440 N. Meridian Street, accessed December 19, 2013.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Architectural Holidays

Every December, we post some of our favorite things in the archives--holiday cards designed by architects from our collections. This year we start with one that is truly meaningful for all of us here at the College of Architecture and Planning. It's one of a series of Noel cards designed by the first dean of the college, Charlie Sappenfield, who sadly passed away earlier this year. The card is undated, but was likely sent during the holidays in the late 1960s. A true Modernist, Sappenfield's design for the card displays a restrained color palette with a graphic that is both strong and playful.

Image: Noel holiday card, undated. Charles M. Sappenfield Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Circle of Lights History

It took the vision of one man, architect Edward Pierre, to make the holiday seasons brighter in downtown Indianapolis for generations. Learn more about the origin of the yearly spectacle from a recent WTHR news story by correspondent Mary Milz as she interviews Edward Pierre's granddaughter and visits the Pierre & Wright collection at the Drawings + Documents Archive.

Image: Monument Circle holiday model photograph, date unknown. Fran Schroeder Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.