Sunday, October 01, 2006
Architecture of Marquette: Sandstone
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to finally break free from the NMU campus and wander around downtown Marquette. In a respite from the cloudy weather we'd been having all week, it was a gorgeous day -- the windows were shining, the granite was sparkling, and the architecture looked as beautiful as ever.
The bulk of the structures in downtown Marquette were built between the late 1870s and the early 1900s. Because of its local availability, sandstone (especially of the red variety) is one of the primary building materials. Sandstone doesn't weather very well -- especially not in Michigan's environment -- but its softness allows for intricate detailing and ornamentation.
The Marquette County Courthouse, built in 1903, is a handsome building constructed from sandstone blocks.
The old City Hall is one of the most colorful buildings in downtown Marquette.
Sandstone is used for the intricate detailing on the entryway arch and around the windows.
The Savings Bank, one of the most prominent buildings in downtown Marquette, is constructed from brick but also features sandstone detailing.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, like many of the churches in town, is built from sandstone and exhibits some ornate details.
Some of the decorative elements on the church are intact.
Other sandstone details are eroding away with time and weather.
In time, I will discuss the architecture (both sandstone and otherwise) of Marquette further.