Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Birmingham Historical Society's Architecture as Art Exhibit at Central Library
Before computers there was art—true art—in architecture. Architects painstakingly drew designs by hand, mapping out minute details of buildings that brought glory to cities—and to style itself.
One such Birmingham treasure was D. O. Whilldin, whose career extended from 1904 to 1962. Still-standing structures include Legion Field, the Florentine Building, Phillips High School, Tuscaloosa High School, the Dr. Pepper Building, and a large number of civic structures, theaters, and fine residences.
The Birmingham Historical Society (BHS) displays 70 of the foremost drawings—from the small details for brass, copper or terra cotta embellishments to entire plans for Beaux-Arts buildings—in the exhibit "Architecture as Art."
"The drawings had been privately held for a number of years, seldom seen," explains Marjorie White, BHS director. "People will be utterly amazed. This is a fraction of the architect's prolific work. They were never intended for exhibition—most are construction drawings intended for the stone or wood carver or the terra cotta manufacturer." The Whilldin Collection, featuring some 90 projects, currently resides in the archives at the Birmingham Public Library.
What: Architecture As Art Exhibit
Where: 4th Floor Gallery at Central Library
When: November 2-December 28
Birmingham Architectural History Defined in Drawings by D.O. Whilldin posted by James R. Nelson - Birmingham News