Friday Fun: Architectural Trickery


Born September 29, 1938, architecture extraordinaire, Henry Hobson Richardson designed buildings in Albany, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. As his designs grew in popularity, his architectural revival of roman aesthetic, was given the design archetype name of Richardsonian Romanesque. Henry Richardson is known as one of the 3 involved in the American trifecta of architectural genius. The other two in the trinity are Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd wright.

            In one of Henry Richardson’s works in Albany, New York, Henry did some of his greatest works after a fire consumed Albany’s City hall, originally designed by Philip Hooker. In this fire, although the building was destroyed, the sacred Iroquoi items that were captive there, were untouched, not a hair was singed on the sacred medicine mask. Henry then implemented his Roman aesthetic to a new design. In this architectural piece Henry decided to hide a very unique and distinct depiction of a demon-like being, in the walls foliage. At some point, the depiction was blackened and to this day no matter how many times this depiction is cleaned of its soot state, it becomes blackened within days. In the discovery of this, employers of Henry dismissed him.

It is curious to know if Henry did similar trickery within his other masterpieces, this could potentially be seen one of the first forms of graffiti art. The act of making a statement in art, without giving the knowledge to authoritative figures.