The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  DETAILS OF THE FISHERIES ARCADE - The Fisheries Building, which was erected by Henry Ives Cobb, architect, of Chicago, was not only a distinct creation among all types of human construction, but in its details it was equally peculiar, original and beautiful.. A riduculous example of the inertness of mere mechanical skill is to be noted in the picture before us. The architect, having invented the manner of treating his capital and column, as to decoration, made that treatment plain, as he supposed, and where more iteration remained to be performed, he left the mechanic to fill in with frogs, reeds, or serpents, as the pattern might require. Because the column of tortoises, for instance, showed what remained to be done, he left his plan blank when weary of repeating the device. Now the mechanic supposed that the architect wanted the lower parts of the pillars to be plain; yet the mechanic did not note that no two of the pillars agreed with each other as to the place of stoppage. Following the plans scrupulously, the odd result which is here seen was attained, but the architect had expected that the frogs and eels and urchins would deck the pillars from capital to base. These capitals are well worthy of study, for a greater wealth of detail in the effigies of living creatures was never lavished on an architectural work. Myriads of serpents and fishes are outlines, and the treatment of reeds and "cattails" is especially happy.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998