Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Snowy Architecture

Kajsa Sabatke, Interpretive Projects Coordinator
Winter in central New York provides the opportunity to view a great number of beautiful snow-covered buildings. Susan Fenimore Cooper (James Fenimore Cooper’s daughter) wrote a book called Rural Hours (1850); in it, she vividly details a variety of observations of Cooperstown and its surrounding environment. It’s written in a journal format, and in her February 2 entry she considers the relationship between buildings and the winter season.
Milder; a little snow. This climate of ours is a trying one for the architect. In a mechanical sense, the severe frosts, and accumulated snows, and sudden thaws of our winters, make up a season which tries men’s walls, and roofs, very thoroughly. But in another way, also, our winters are a severe test of architectural merit; the buildings stand before one naked and bare, not only deprived of all the drapery of summer foliage, but rising from a ground-work of snow, they seem to stand out with peculiar boldness, and every defect challenges attention. One may feel assured that a building which bears the scrutiny of a snow climate in winter, will look like a perfect model at other seasons.
Do you have favorite buildings to visit or walk past in the winter? Take some time to enjoy the architecture in your neighborhood!

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