Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gurgling, Gothic and Gargoyles

Last August my son, and firstborn, went off to college. What an emotional time! I could have never prepared myself for the feelings that would come flooding in.  It felt like a "death", truly.  I sounds morbid, but hey, that's how I felt!  However, I am definitely excited for him. I truly believe he'll do fabulous, and he was ready for more of life's challenges and adventures. He recently was home for a holiday break for a good chunk of time, and I felt a "wee bit" of those emotions gurgling (remember that word) back up as he departed, but fortunately, they maintained themselves and didn't unfold.  

With that said...on a DESIGN note, Bradley University, where my son is going, has a lot of gothic architecture that I really admire!  I have always loved the stately, medieval, somewhat ominous feel of gothic architecture so let me enlighten you a bit.

Henry Ives Cobb designed the buildings at Bradley U in a style popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries known as Collegiate Gothic.  It's a subcategory of the Gothic Revival period and can also be found at Princeton, Yale, and Duke. Gargoyles and intricate arches were a popular feature. Mr. Cobbs is well known for bringing his Romanesque and Gothic touches to numerous public and private institutions in the Chicago area at the turn of the century.

Gargoyles date back to the 13th century. The were originally intended as waterspouts and drains to keep rainwater from damaging the mortar foundations of buildings. The word gargoyle comes from the French word gargouille, meaning “throat” describing the “gurgling” sound made by water as it ran through the figure.  Pretty cool tidbit to know, huh? I'd much rather have a gargoyle instead of the contemporary drainpipes of today! 

However, now that we have drainpipes (ick), gargoyles are primarily decorative. In addition to originally being functional, they were also suggested as a means to ward off evil spirits. 

There is also a lot of wonderful sculpture on the premises.  This one is my favorite!  Doesn't this look like a Henry Moore sculpture??  I could not find any plaque or inscription on it...I'll have to find out one of these days.  I absolutely love it!

And the patina!! Gorgeous, love patina!!

And this dear Lydia Moss Bradley, the woman who founded the University.  From looking at that scary delightful face, I dare say not too many students were probably skipping classes during that time!

Carpe Diem!  Susan Registered & Protected