City Hall - Table of Contents

Buffalo City Hall - Common Council Chamber
13th floor

To compare an Art Deco stained glass window, see the Aldred Building in Montreal


2002 photos


Public enters at the upper level, where a circular gallery extends to the left and the right encompassing and overlooking the room.

The interior of the doorway to the Council chamber possesses the best woodcarving in the building. It was sculpted by the Lippich Brothers of Lancaster, New York. They were the virtuoso woodcarvers of the Buffalo area. Richard, and Albert, and their father, Emil Lippich, sculpted for the Art Deco  Kensington High School in Buffalo, and the Bank of Buffalo Building at Court and Pearl Street.




The triple doorway is framed in brown marble with three keystones, each with a carved face: Wisdom in the center, flanked by Strength and Authority.   ...The other carvings of animals and birds, the Dog, Lion, Hawk, and Pelican, are, respectively, loyalty, courage, forcefulness, and self-sacrifice.



Wisdom




Pelican represents self-sacrifice.



On each side of the middle door stands a fasces, carved from wood



3-story semicircular amphitheater. The concept of the room, the shape of which is determined by the skylight, is simple and appropriate. Everything occupying in the pit of this room is done out in the open, under the watchful heavens, as well as the scrutiny of the onlooking public It is a public space.   ...   The desks of the council members form a final arc around the dais. - Source: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record Type: Buffalo City Hall




Fluted columns of French limestone, between which tinted-glass windows silhouette bronze grillwork.



columns of French limestone, between which tinted-glass windows silhouette bronze grillwork.



Semicircular art glass decoration is literally a skylight, but also a representation of the heavens above   ...   The glass is structured in seven concentric circles, continuing the geometric pattern of the seven-row seating over the Council floor.



To



The center of the skylight is a sunburst of red and yellow, from which rays of light and energy extend outward from the blue.



Detail



Detail 


A row of twelve stone piers supporting a ceiling beam encircles the chamber.    ...    Spelled out in vertical lettering on the piers, from left to right are JUSTICE, COURAGE, PRUDENCE, WISDOM, CONCORDIA, PATRIOTISM, CHARITY, ACHIEVEMENT, KNOWLEDGE, INDUSTRY, FORTITUDE, and PHILOSOPHY.   ...    Seven concentric rows of seats for 383 people.



The semicircular Guastavino acoustic tile ceiling above the spectator seating is decorated with dozens of different Native American signs.   - Source: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record Type: Buffalo City Hall



The semicircular Guastavino acoustic tile ceiling above the spectator seating is decorated with dozens of different Native American signs.



At the top of the twelve stone piers, facing he Council, are twelve identical busts supported on a step-back of the pier so that their heads rise to stand against the beam supported by the pier.    ...   They are the work of Sculptor Albert T. Stewart.



The encircling gallery wall, with its diamond-shaped recesses, is also constructed of acoustic tile.



Seats have continuous wooden backs, strongly reinforcing the geometry of the chamber.






Captions sources:


Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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