Buffalo Savings / M&T - Table of Contents

Interior - Rotunda
Buffalo Savings Bank / Goldome /
M&T Center
545 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

On this page, below:
Triangular pendentives

Rotunda architecture

Dome zodiac and arabesques

Interior paintings were not commissioned until 1925. The three artists were William C. Francis, a Buffalo artist, Eugene F. Savage and George Davidson. The paintings were to be completed in 18 months.

"William C. Francis:  Studied art in Buffalo, New York City and Rome; graduate of Columbia University School of Architecture.  Mural panels and ceilings decorations in Saturn Club and First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo.

"Eugene F. Savage:  Studied Chicago Art Institute, American Academy in Rome and Munich.  Professor of Painting, Yale School of Fine Arts.  Member of National Academy; Century Club; Architectural League of New York; National Society of Mural Painters. Two of his paintings are in the Post Office Building, Washington, D.C. His many murals and facade mosaics include one on the United States Memorial at Epinal, France, and in the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany.  [Painted the pendentive murals]

"George Davidson:  Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, 1913-1916; teacher of mural painting, Cooper Union, New York. Awarded Medal of Honor for mural decorations by the Architectural League of New York."  - Source: "The Gold Dome: An Architectural Profile" brochure,  pub. by Goldome

Triangular pendentives

PendentiveA triangular curved surface between two arches and beneath a dome.

"The dome rests on four pendentives.  By transferring the weight to piers rather than to the wall itself, pendentive construction makes possible a lofty, unobstructed interior space." -  Gardner's Art Through the Ages, Tenth Edition, by Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner. Harcourt Brace College Pub. 1996, p. 291.

Spandrel:  The approximately triangular shape between two arches and the horizontal line that runs above them.

Each pendentive features a mural denoting Buffalo's success: "Commerce," "Industry," "Power," and  "The Arts"


Two of the four pendentives which include large murals in the spandrels.
Left:  Southwest pendentive mural: "The Arts"   ...   Right: Northwest pendentive mural: "Power."
  Beaux Arts Classical style   ...   Neoclassical style   ...    Facing Main Street through the right hand monumental Beaux Arts Classical  fanlight window    ...   Main entrance is in the left pier



Left:  Southeast pendentive mural: "Industry"   ...   Right: Southwest pendentive mural: "The Arts"
Facing Genesee Street through the left hand monumental Beaux Arts Classical  fanlight window   ...   The four pendentives, or triangular dome supports, are each 14 feet high, and 22 feet wide at the top




Southeast pendentive:  "Industry."
"A view of the Buffalo River, looking west. On both sides are signs of Buffalo's enormous industrial activity at the time. The former Donner Steel Plant (later Republic Steel) appears in the lower left portion of the painting. Throughout the design, factories, railway lines, ships, docks, and bridges show the city's incessant industrial activity and the distribution of Buffalo's products to all parts of the world. The worker and the engineer on each side of the upper panel represent the personnel of industry." - Source: "The Gold Dome: An Architectural Profile" brochure,  pub. by Goldome
 ...   Two details below:


Detail #1
The worker and the engineer on each side of the upper panel represent the personnel of industry.


"Industry"   - Detail #2






Northeast pendentive:  "Commerce."
"An aerial view of downtown Buffalo in 1926, looking north. The harbor light, ore and freight boats, railway terminals and grain elevators show the city's dominant position as a receiver and shipper of agricultural, mineral and industrial products. The view extends as far as Main and Genesee Streets,where the gold-domed building can be seen in the upper right hand corner of the picture. The two figures on each side of the upper panel symbolize the administrative and executive phases of the city's commercial activities." - Source: "The Gold Dome: An Architectural Profile" brochure,  pub. by Goldome.
Two details below:


Detail #1
The two figures on each side of the upper panel symbolize the administrative and executive phases of the city's commercial activities.


""Commerce"  - Detail #2






Northwest pendentive:  "Power."
"This painting shows the Niagara River at the falls, the mist rising from the mighty waters.  The river is depicted both as a source and a symbol of power, a previously uncontrolled natural force harnessed by the genius of man.  The two heroic figures in the upper portion are expressive of power under control, turning the wheels of industry. The compass in the lower left corner, as in the case of the other pendentives, indicates the direction from which this view is taken." - Source: "The Gold Dome: An Architectural Profile," pub. by Goldome   ...
Four details below:


"Power"- Detail #1


"Power"- Detail #2


"Power"- Detail #3


"Power"- Detail #4   ...   Lower left artist's signature: Eugene Savage






Southwest Pendentive:  The Arts
"The beautiful north section of the city which includes Delaware Park Lake and its environs forms the basis for this painting.  The Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the more prominent streets and parkways are readily recognizable. In the lower left portion of the picture, immediately above the compass, four buildings devoted to the Arts and Sciences have been included - the State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and Buffalo Museum of Science. On the upper left is a figure representing dance, painting and sculpture, while on the right is a figure symbolic of literature and music." - Source: "The Gold Dome: An Architectural Profile," pub. by Goldome   ...
Four details below:


Detail #1
On the upper left is a figure representing dance, painting and sculpture, while on the right is a figure symbolic of literature and music.


The Arts - Detail #2.
Triangle in upper left: 
Gates Circle, Chapin Parkway, Soldiers CVircle, Bidwell Prkway, Colonial Circle   ...
White building in middle:  Albright Art Gallery
In the lower left portion of the picture, immediately above the compass, four buildings devoted to the Arts and Sciences have been included - the State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and Buffalo Museum of Science


The Arts - Detail #3.
White building in middle:  Albright Art Gallery


The Arts - Detail #4
In the lower left portion of the picture, immediately above the compass, four buildings devoted to the Arts and Sciences have been included - the State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and Buffalo Museum of Science





Rotunda architecture


Photo taken at Christmas time  in 2008 ...   Customer desk  detailed below:


Detail #1 - Harpy: a rapacious monster described as having a woman's head and body and a bird's wings and claws or depicted as a bird of prey with a woman's face



Detail #2 - Customer desk plaque:   Note  bucrane between bay leaf garlands    ...    Scrolled acanthus leaves at bottom   ...
1846:  The bank was chartered in 1846 as the first savings bank in the city. Among the founding trustees were Millard Fillmore, who became the 13th president on the United States and Nathan Kesley Hall, who became Postmaster General.





Detail #3 - Rosette ornamentation on waste basket






Greek fret




3 variations of  leaf-and-dart molding



Marble pendentive pillar   ...   Three acroteria   ...   Roman Ionic columns




Neoclassical style marble door surround:   Acroteria   ...      Triangular Pediment   ...    Roman (smooth shaft) Ionic columns supporting entablature   ...  Double brass doors with transom




Acroterion




Roman (smooth shaft) Ionic columns





 
Dome zodiac and arabesques


Astrological signs of the zodiacAstrology is the study of correlations of celestial events with behavior on earth, particularly correlations which cannot be explained by gravitation, magnetism, or other forces that are well-established in physics or other sciences.

Arabesquean ornament or style that employs flower, foliage, or fruit and sometimes animal and figural outlines in a fancifully combined pattern.  Some Western arabesques derive from Islamic art, but others are closely based on Ancient Roman decorations, e.g., in Pompeii.



Fanning out between the ribs of the dome are 16 wedge-shaped arabesques of Renaissance ornamentation (each 24 feet high) against a background of gold leaf. Also included are the signs of the zodiac.   ...   The "eye" of the dome is 13 feet across   ...






Note top medallion which is detailed below:


Top quote from Confucius: "Virtue is the Root, Wealth the Flower"




Colors in photos depend on lighting




Left panel :  Capricorn     ...   Center panel: Aquarius    ...   Right panel: Pisces




Capricorn panel detail


Capricorn panel detail - "Goat-horned" (The Sea-Goat) ...    Arabesques 


Capricorn panel detail   ...   Harpies






Aquarius panel detail - The Water-Bearer


Aquarius panel detail - The Water-Bearer    ...  



Aquarius panel detail






Pisces panel detail


Pisces - The Fishes


Pisces panel detail





Aries panel detail


Aries - The Ram


A second depiction of Aries - The Ram





Taurus - The Bull   ...   Gemini -The Twins


Taurus - The Bull


Gemini -The Twins




Cancer - the crab




Leo - The Lion




Virgo - The Maiden


Virgo - The Maiden




Libra - The Scales




Libra - The Scales   ...   Scorpio - The Scorpion


Scorpio - The Scorpion   ...   Sagittarius - The (Centaur) Archer


Scorpio - The Scorpion


Same image as above, but different lighting:  Scorpio - The Scorpion



Sagittarius - The (Centaur) Archer






Photos and their arrangement 2017 Chuck LaChiusa
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