A Lotta Terra Cotta

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It was a random comment by a friend that made me realize concretely something that I was already dimly aware of: Andersonville is just loaded with great terra cotta. It is terra cottalectible. Terra cottalicious. It’s terrificotta. It’s terra cottacular. It’s the place to go when you gotta terra cotta.

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The king and queen of Clark Street are this pair, the former Swedish American Bank Building on the left, and the ex-Calo Theater at right.

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That last pic there is one of two mostly-nude maiden bedecking the Calo Theater facade. Their rather decadent leers take on a whole new meaning with Andersonville’s ascendancy as a popular gay and lesbian destination.

There’s no shortage of lush ornament and no end to the variety of styles. Beaux Arts reigns, but Sullivanesque, Deco, and Classical are all represented.

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If you’re willing to stretch the definition of Andersonville a bit, you can pick up still more impressive buildings. Most people probably consider the neighborhood to end somewhere around Foster, but in architectural terms it essentially runs all the way down to Montrose, the continuity bolstered by several large and beautiful buildings.

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And remember our Egyptian car repair friend? He’s located in this neighborhood too!

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Small wonder that Andersonville is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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3 thoughts on “A Lotta Terra Cotta

  1. I love Andersonville! I'm a bit curious though, don't you think the head in the last picture is supposed to be a Native American, not Egyptian?

  2. If they would let you upstairs at the Women and Children First bookstore, you might see the plaster remnants of the old ballroom that used to be up there.

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