Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sixty Lions on the Ellis Hotel's Cornice - Really - I Counted Them

The Ellis Hotel was the Winecoff Hotel, scene of a tragic fire, December 7, 1946, in which 119 people died. Allen Goodwin's Winecoff Fire Remembrance Page is a moving, historical reminder. Another Atlanta tragedy, the Orly Crash in 1962, killed 130.

That needs to be said, but this is the Archtiecture Tourist and we are here to talk about sixty lions on the cornice.

The Winecoff opened in 1913. William Lee Stoddart designed it as well as the Georgian Terrace and the Ponce Apartments.

Can you see the lions from down here?

I'd never have noticed except that whitespace put together an exposition for Stanley Beaman & Sears studio on the top floor of  "Davisons" featuring art by Ann Stewart and Seana Reilly.

This was a 3-fer: Art, Architecture, Elevation so I went.

When I got out of the elevator on the 6th floor, the Ellis cornice was right in my face.

What do you think of the cornice detailing? And it has lions.

Lions-in-the-cornice has been a good look for a long time. See The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Limestone cornice with a lion’s head early 4th century B.C..

I had to count them.

The south cornice has three

The east cornice (facing Peachtree Street)  has 25.

The north cornice (facing Ellis Street) has 29

The west cornice has three.

But what's the story on Lion 45?

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  1. I have always been interested in such details in architecture myself. Usually when I take a photography of a building it is of its details and not the entire thing!

  2. Sometimes I don't "see: things until I see the photographs.

  3. I'd never noticed the lions before...and if you ever find out what happened to #45, please do share! Great photos, Terry, and I love the numbering of the lions. :)

  4. Today, I photographed the Candler Building Lions and I'm going in for the count. Stay tuned.

  5. Lion Nr 45's story is these are either made from machine pressed zinc, soldered together in sections, or cast iron riveted together in pieces, some rivet or solder seams gave out due to age, wind, ice, corrosion, someone reached out the window above and pried it loose, or even damage from a contractor's hanging scaffold.
    A super close up sharp photo might reveal the material of the lion masks but they can only be pressed sheet metal or cast iron, there can also be a combination of both metals in the makeup of that cornice.


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