Monday, June 22, 2015

Hunting for Gargoyles in Philadelphia

I have two posts about my hunt for gargoyles while in Philadelphia.  I think I walked over 8 miles one day looking for gargoyles.  In the rain.  And cold!  And I had the most excellent time. 

Sadly, the first building I hunted down was a historic firehouse that had been torn down.  I had better luck finding the other gargoyles, which were all on historic churches.

Usually when you think of a gargoyle, you think of the scary creatures with wings.  I did see some of those. 

But gargoyles now seem to include any face along the gutters that can serve as water spouts.  Including creatures like lions on the sides of buildings.

I googled the gargoyles in Philadelphia, and my front desk friends helped me map out where they were in the city.

Each time I came to a new historic church I was excited to see what kinds of gargoyles I might find.

They were really varied on each location.  I never knew what to expect until I got there. 

Below is not a gargoyle, but I thought it a wonderful sculpture, so I've included it in my pictures.

I wish that architects would still be so creative and ornate in their buildings.  Construction today isn't nearly as interesting.

We could use a lot more faces on the corners of buildings, don't you think? 

And giant towers.  We need more buildings with mysterious giant towers, don't you think?

Check out the faces on this church!  Makes me think of Sophocles. 

So this church was by far my favorite.  It had traditional gargoyles all over and they were just marvelous.

Seriously.  Does it get any better than this?  Okay, so maybe if I got to actually go to Notre Dame in Paris that gargoyle could top this one.  But as far as U.S. gargoyles go, this one takes the cake?

The ladies at the front desk of my hotel were intrigued by my gargoyle hunting.  They said they'd never had anyone do so before.  I was surprised more people aren't wanting to go searching for gargoyles.

How can you not love the sparks of imagination these faces create?

This building below is actually from a building on Drexel's campus, so it is the only one that is not from a church. 

It was a little off the beaten track, but was close to where my car was getting repaired, so worth the trip.

Aren't the details on this building mind-blowing? 

You can see the constant drizzle in my picture below.  I dealt with the drizzle all day, but it wasn't so bad.  I had good distractions.

What do you like about historic buildings, readers?  Do you have a favorite?
Stay tuned - I have another gargoyle post coming up soon!


Vision By Mila said...

Lovely architecture, I haven't taken photos of buildings forever.

Out on the prairie said...

I hope none followed you home

Bas. said...

Wat een geweldig mooie gebouwen dat heeft veel werk en mankracht gekost om het zover te krijgen.

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh Lisa I would so have enjoyed searching with you. They do not make as interesting buildings anymore, you are right about that. Love them. Hug B

Steve Surratt said...

I have a few favorite buildings that are downtown in Roanoke. I wonder if we have any gargoyles in Roanoke?

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a fun adventure! I love what you found and I do love the construction of old building and churches.

Unknown said...

I have never searched for gargoyles, but am sure glad you did, because I enjoyed the tour in pictures. What I love that is old, is old churches...inside and out. They just don't make things like the gargoyles or old churches like they used to. Sad. Have a great Monday and I look forward to more of your pictures.

TexWisGirl said...

no, no, no more faces on buildings! creepy! :)

Unknown said...

Aha! Reminds me of of my tours on foot. Yes, the photo of the span and of course the sheer height of this structure is overwhelming. I can just see the original architects lumbering over a table to create the blueprints!

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Perhaps I am just too enamored by Nature's creations to be as intrigued as you are with them...:)JP

Michelle said...

I agree about our current architecture. Just not as interesting, or beautiful, as the older stuff.

Lin said...

I love those old buildings. We have a lot in Chicago.

As for gargoyles....have you even been to the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.? They have incredible gargoyles and it is fun to find them all. That might be fun for the kids--whether you do it online or in person.

mail4rosey said...

I've seen the best Gargoyles at Notre Dame. They're intriguing and just a tad creepy to me. :)

You found some good ones here. I'd have never noticed the ones in the top pic on the building!

Tanya Breese said...

oh i really enjoyed all of these! and i agree, building has just gotten so boring!

Slamdunk said...

Ha, good for you in educating the locals on neat history that they walk past all of the time. I like towers for some reason--so your tower shots are my favs.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I do like the ornate architecture and think we've got a lot of boring looking buildings nowadays. I tend to like the red brick buildings around Central Virginia--you can tell when the bricks are original to the construction. Love that old look.

Sally said...

Oh, these are wonderful, Lisa. How great that you got the opportunity to search, and photo (even in the drizzle).
Looking forward to more pics. :)


Gail Dixon said...

So interesting! I don't know why I'm a little disconcerted that churches have gargoyles...can't say why, but a gut feeling. I'm with you on the ornateness of buildings. I wish they'd build things with more personality these days. Glad to see you're having fun on your trip!

Linda said...

I like gargoyles too. Was fascinated by the ones on the National Cathedral as a child. Were you?

Marie said...

such gorgeous details! what a fun adventure!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Wow,,so much detail!

Eat To Live said...

I wish I would have been with you when I visited Philly. When I went, I took my Granddaughter who was not really interested in being there.

Anonymous said...

I'm like you when it comes to admiring architectural detail. I wish they made new buildings to look so interesting!