Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feeling very, very Neo-Georgian

Construction has not started, but white tape marking the foot print of the new Wake Forest Welcome Center is now visible in the woods alongside the entrance drive. The new building will be Neo-Georgian, which refers to a late 19th and early 20th century style of English and American architecture inspired by an 18th century style of English domestic architecture referred to as Georgian (as in George I, George II, George III etc.). Typical features are brick fa├žades with rubbed-brick dressings, sash-windows, and door-cases with fanlights. It's been noted that Neo-Georgian architects often mixed Colonial in with true Georgian (on both sides of the Atlantic), and that unpretentious vernacular elements were frequently paired with Classicism. The term Neo-Georgian is especially used to describe English architecture of the reign of King George V (1910–36). When I think of true Georgian I think of, for example, the Royal Crescent in Bath, England. Given the context of 21st century Wake Forest, I think it's a good thing that Neo-Georgian is a whole lot more subdued than Georgian!

When will the new building be finished? It seems as if bets are being hedged. The sign for the construction mentions October 2010, but spaces in the graduate student parking lot have been commandeered for admissions folks through December 31, 2010.

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