Kammerzell House, Strasbourg, France


Strassburg. Kammerzell’sches Haus.
On back:
Kammerzell’sches Haus.
Die alte freie deutsche Reichsstadt Straßburg hatte eine wechselvolle Geschichte. In der ersten Blüthezeit der Stadt, im 13, Jahrhundert, zählte diese bereits ca. 50 000 Einwohner. Von der hohen Entwicklung der Kunst in dieser Zeitperiode zeugen u. a. in. die Werke des berühmten Baumeisters Erwin von Steinbach, welcher die herrliche Fassade des Münsters schuf. Trotz vieler Kriegsverheerungen und Brände, die Straßburg in dem Wandel der Gieschichte heimsuchten, sind noch etliche Holzhäuser aus dem 15, Jahrhundert übrig geblieben. Das sehenswerteste unter diesen altertümlichen Privatbauten liegt nahe dem Münster am Münsterplatz und ist allgemein unter dem Namen : ”Kammerzell’sches Haus” bekannt. Es dient jetzt dem schönen Wein-Restaurant ‘”Zum Stiftskeller” für den Ausschank rein elsässischer Weine.
[From Google Translate:
Kammerzell house.
The old free German imperial city of Strasbourg had an eventful history. In the city’s first heyday, in the 13th century, it already had around 50,000 inhabitants. Evidence of the high development of art in this period of time is e.g. in. the works of the famous master builder Erwin von Steinbach, who created the magnificent facade of the Minster. Despite the many devastations of war and fires that have ravaged Strasbourg throughout history, there are still a number of wooden houses from the 15th century left. The most worth seeing of these ancient private buildings is near the cathedral on Münsterplatz and is commonly known as the “Kammerzell’sches Haus”. It is now used by the beautiful wine restaurant “Zum Stiftskeller” for serving pure Alsatian wines.]
c.1910
Publisher: Ortmann & Co

Google Street View.

The Kammerzell House is one of the most famous buildings of Strasbourg and one of the most ornate and well preserved medieval civil housing buildings in late Gothic architecture in the areas formerly belonging to the Holy Roman Empire. Built in 1427 but twice transformed in 1467 and 1589, the building as it is now historically belongs to the German Renaissance but is stylistically still attached to the Rhineland black and white timber-framed style of civil (as opposed to administrative, clerical or noble) architecture.
Wikipedia.

Strasbourg. Vieille maison Strassburg. Altes Haus”, Library of Congress

Strasbourg is proud to present Maison Kammerzell as one of its most charming building, an authentic and traditional symbol of the city’s age-old values. The original architecture of the building, somewhat come straight out of a fairy tale, is a great example of the region’s traditional artistic past. Wooden sculptures, frescoes, spiral staircases and view angles are just some of the details that reveal the richness of the past of this monument. The late Gothic foundations date back to 1427. Later on in 1467 and 1589, three upper floors of timber panelling were added, increasing the originality of Maison Kammerzell. The rich decoration on the façade, both secular and sacred, was inspired by the Renaissance humanistic ideal mixing Roman antiquity with the middle ages. The 75 bottle bottom stained glass windows give an extraordinary lighting to the rooms.
Maison Kammerzell

Although this house bears the name of the grocer Kammerzell, its owner in the 19th century, it actually owes its current appearance to Martin Braun, a cheese merchant who acquired it in 1571. He kept only the stone ground floor, dating from 1467, and rebuilt the house with three corbelled out storeys and three floors in the loft in 1589. The rich decoration on the façade, both secular and sacred, was inspired by the Bible, Greek and Roman Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Visit Strasbourg

House of Denis Papin, Blois, France


BLOIS. – Maison de Denis Papin
1900s

Google Street View

Google Street View from other direction

The construction at 13 rue Pierre de Blois, known as Hôtel de Villebresme, or more recently, and for no justifiable reason, as the house of Denis Papin, in honour of the city’s inventor of the steam engine (hang on, wasn’t that James Watt?) and the pressure cooker, were built in the 15th and perhaps early 16th centuries. The two buildings on either side of Rue Pierre de Blois, constructed for a member of the Villebresme family, owners of Château de Fougères sur Bièvre, are linked by a wooden footbridge above street level, with prismatic mouldings, gothic decor, monstrous heads and acrobat.
Loire Daily Photo

Via Google Translate:
15th-16th century: entire construction for a member of the Villebresme family (the name Denis Papin’s house is recent and fanciful), two buildings located on either side of rue Pierre de Blois connected by a wooden footbridge spanning the street, prismatic moldings, gothic decor, engoulants, acrobats; 19th century: reduction of the property (part of the north building integrated during the construction of number 7 place Saint-Louis, building is annexed to number 16 large degrees Saint-Louis), resumption of the windows on the ground floor and the distributions (corridor, staircase).
Ministere de la Culture


Ground floor plan, Hotel de Villebresme known as Denis Papin’s House, Ministere de la Culture

Daprès une tradition locale Denis Papin serait né dans une maison iselée, située sur la place Saint-Louis . . . Aucune pièce décisive, à notre connaissance, ne vient confirmer expressément cette tradition; mais plusieurs circonstances la rendent vraisemblable. La façade orientale de cette maison la seule qui soit à peu près intacte, annonce une construction du xvi e siècle; et, d’autre part, un acte de 1661 (2), nous apprend que le père de Denis Papin demeurait dans la paroisse Saint-Solemne (aujourd’hui Saint- Louis).

[(Google Translate) According to a local tradition, Denis Papin was born in an isolated house, located on the Place Saint-Louis . . . No decisive piece, to our knowledge, expressly confirms this tradition; but several circumstances make it probable. The eastern facade of this house, the only one which is almost intact, announces a construction of the 16th century; and, on the other hand, an act of 1661 (2), tells us that the father of Denis Papin lived in the parish of Saint-Solemne (today Saint-Louis).]
La famille de Denis Papin, Louis Belton, 1880

Letitia Street House, Philadelphia


Wm. Penn’s Mansion, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
Postmarked 1907
Publisher: Philadelphia Postal Card Co.

Google Street View.

Library of Congress: Drawings (plans)

Until the 20th Century, this small unassuming brick townhouse on Letitia Street (now relocated to Girard Avenue) was assumed to have been built in anticipation for the first arrival of William Penn in the New World. Instead, the story of the Letitia Street House is indicative of the power of rumor, myth and the urge to preserve a historical legacy. This legend seems to have gained popularity in the early 19th Century when Philadelphia historian John Fanning Watson examined records from Gabriel Thomas, one of the first Englishmen in Philadelphia. Before Penn’s arrival in 1682, Thomas described a cellar being dug for the use of the new Governor. Thus, many had theorized on scant additional evidence that the cellar which Thomas was describing was a similar cellar beneath Letitia Street House. When Watson published his Annals of Philadelphia in 1830, the idea spread so far that in 1846, when Penn’s great-grandson Granville John Penn, visited Philadelphia as a guest of honor, he was treated to a reception at Letitia Street House. . . . We now know that the home was constructed not in 1682, but in 1713 by Thomas Chaulkney, a Philadelphia merchant and Quaker preacher. The land had been previously owned by William Penn’s oldest surviving daughter from his first marriage, Letitia Penn Aubrey, for whom the street is named after. However, the house was never intended to be the residence of any member of the Penn family.
The Constitional Walking Tour

Letitia Street House is a modest eighteenth-century house in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. It was built along the Delaware riverfront about 1713, and relocated to its current site in 1883. The house was once celebrated as the city residence of Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn (1644–1718); however, later historical research determined that he never lived there. . . . It was well documented that Penn had rented the Slate Roof House as his city residence during the 1699-1701 second visit — John Penn was born there. But despite that building’s direct associations with the Penn family and Pennsylvania’s colonial government, and despite desperate calls by antiquarians to preserve it, the Slate Roof House was demolished in 1867. Every other building associated with Penn, including his country house, also had been demolished. As the two-hundredth anniversary of Pennsylvania’s 1682 founding approached, there was a desire to honor Penn with a monument. The Letitia Street House became that monument. The Bi-Centennial Association of Pennsylvania was formed to raise funds through subscription to relocate the house, and to organize a week-long anniversary celebration for October 1882. The parades, historical pageants, athletic events (including a regatta on the Schuylkill River), concerts and fireworks went on as scheduled. But relocation of the house wasn’t begun until June 1883, with restoration completed in October.
Wikipedia.

William Perm (“Letitia”) house, on its original site. 1682-1683 From an old photograph in the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, “Domestic architecture of the American colonies and of the early republic”, Fiske Kimball, 1922

Toward 1680 there appeared for the first time certain brick houses built from the start with a depth of two rooms in each story: the Sergeant house, the Tufts house, and the Perm house, all built within a period of five or six years. The Perm house is even deeper than it is wide. In it the door opens directly into the chief apartment, which must be traversed to reach the rear rooms; but in the other two a central hallway for the first time gives privacy of access. This doubling of rooms and introduction of passages which marked the post-Renaissance dwellings of the continent and of England in the seventeenth century, was, in America also, a symptom of the onset of a new style.
“Domestic architecture of the American colonies and of the early republic”, Fiske Kimball, 1922

Maison du Tisserand , Clamecy, France


CLAMECY (Nièvre)
Maison du XVe siècle, dile Maison du Tisserand
c.1930

Google Street View (approximate).

The medieval centre of Clamecy has been classed by the French government as a “Secteur Sauvegardé” (protected sector) in entirety; the only such protected area in the whole of the department of the Nievre. The town has evolved in the typical concentric French manner, with a town centre consisting of 13th- to sixteenth-century houses (still remarkably intact), surrounded by nineteenth-century houses and buildings with 20th-century developments forming an outer ring.
Wikipedia.

(Via Google Translate)
The house of the Weaver (or of the Artisan)
Many half-timbered houses, mullioned windows and corbelling have been preserved in the city center, rue de the currency , rue du Puits Marande , rue du Marché and place Saint Jean. The most famous is the “Maison du Tisserand”, listed as a historical monument in 1923. It was the first half-timbered house restored in Clamecy in 1921 by the care of its owners, Mr and Mrs Neveu Lemaire. It comprises on the ground floor, two windows and two semi-circular arched doors, one of which, that of the cellar, is placed under the bottom of the lamp supporting the engaged turret, containing the spiral staircase. The stairwell is completely clad in wood and is sheltered by the cantilever of the second floor. During the whole month of September of the year 1921, visitors admitted to enter this house were welcomed by charming hostesses dressed in long dresses with wide sleeves and wearing the hennin. “The Morvan and the Nivernais”, edited by the Federation Morvandelle of Tourism in 1926, mentions ” a curious little 15th century Weaver’s House, where the weaver’s workshop has been reconstructed at his work, as well as his residence, with period furniture, which can be visited.”
Quelques maisons du vieux Clamecy

(Via Google Translate)
Opposite, at the corner of rue Romain Rolland and rue du Pont-Châtelain, is the Maison du Tisserand, undoubtedly the most picturesque in the city. Dating from the 15th century, classified as a Historic Monument in 1923, it has on the ground floor windows typical of the stalls of the time.
The semi-circular cellar door is placed under the cul-de-lamp supporting the spiral staircase. The highly corbelled second floor has direct access to the staircase. Admire the diversity of its half-timbering.
Clamecy, centre historique (tour of the town)

Great Western Staircase,Capitol, Albany, USA


Western Stair Case, Capitol, Albany, N.Y.
c.1910
Publishers: Bryant Union Co., (1904-1912)

The Capitol Building is impressive, covering three acres and reminiscent architecturally of a French chateau, with Romanesque and French Renaissance influences. The exterior was also likely influenced by the Hôtel de Ville, the city hall of Paris. On the interior, there is also something of the Paris Opera Garnier, which broke ground in 1861 just a few years before the State Capitol. The State Capitol took 32 years to build, all by hand from 1867 to 1899, cost $25 million, and encompassed the efforts of five architects.
. . .
The experience of walking up the Great Western Staircase is more akin to living in an M.C. Escher work of art. Two sets of stairs lead up to a first landing which sits below a vaulted ceiling. The stairs here split into two more staircases going up, leading to another landing, which splits again. In this way, the grand reveal — the skylight and top loggia — is concealed for maximum effect. The skylight is a system of multiple parts, including a large laylight that diffuses the direct light forty feet above the fourth floor. The 3,000 square foot skylight, which sits on both sides of the gabled roof, is made up of 200 glass panes. What is viewable on the inside from the Great Western Staircase is the laylight. The side corridors next to the Great Western Staircase also contain laylights. Electric sconces designed by Louis J. Hinton, a master stone carver, light up the area. An architectural critic (as reported by the Capital Commission) said “the effect of the lighting of the Western Staircase is perfection.”
Untapped New York

The Great Western Staircase is one of the highlights of the New York State Capitol Building in Albany. Also known as the “Million Dollar Staircase”, it took fourteen years to complete at a cost of almost 1.5 million dollars. In 1894, The New York Times called the staircase “the greatest architectural work on this continent.” While that may be a bit of an overstatement, the staircase really is amazing. . . . The staircase is enormous: 119 feet in height and containing 444 steps. The predominant materials are Corsehill freestone, medina sandstone, limestone, and granite. It is illuminated throughout by light fixtures designed by Louis Hinton, and an enormous skylight on the top floor bathes the uppermost levels in natural light.
History View


Western Stair Case, Capitol, Albany, N.Y.
c.1910
Publisher: A. C. Bosselman & Co

Houses in the rock, Graufthal, France


GRAUFTAL Maisons construites dans le roc
[Houses built into the rock]
c.1930
Publisher: La Cigogne, Strasbourg

Google Street View.

(Translated with Google Translate)
In 1899, the archaeologist Robert Forrer undertook to excavate the site of the troglodyte habitat of Graufthal. From these works we can conclude that after being used as warehouses in the Middle Ages, the rocky overhangs were converted into dwellings, probably around 1760, as indicated by a vintage, which has now disappeared, engraved on the lintel of a door. People of modest means settled using the rock cavities to reduce the surface area of ​​roofs and facades. These houses were occupied until 1958. . . . The troglodyte houses have two sets housed in two horizontal faults. The residential houses, embedded in the first fault, are located approximately 7 meters above the village. The Match Factory is located in the Upper Rift. These buildings are built directly on the rock, in rubble masonry, partially covered with flat tiled roofs, where the rocks do not completely overhang them. The frames are basic, the interior partitioning rudimentary. Access to the complex is via a passageway bordering a rock projection. A ramp provides fall protection.
Ministere de la Culture

The houses are set into caves in red sandstone cliffs. There are two sets of buildings in two horizontal caves, reached by a footpath. The houses are in the first cave, about 7 metres (23 ft) above the village street. A match factory is located in the upper cave. These buildings are built into the rock, with rubble masonry, and are partially covered with tile roofs where they are not fully protected by the rock ceiling. They are roughly built, with rudimentary internal partitioning. The houses have the same internal layout. On the ground floor there is a kitchen beside the room where the parents would have lived, and a stable with unplastered walls. Above that is a second floor holding a dormitory for the children and a hayloft and granary.
Wikipedia.


Part of photo “Felsenwohnungen in Graufthal”, after 1870. from Wikimedia Common

Metropole Hotel, Launceston, Australia


Murray View No. 42. The Hotel Metropole, Launceston, Tas.
1930s
Publisher: Murray VIews, Gympie, Queensland

Built as the Launceston Coffee Palace (opening 1882), also known as Sutton’s Coffee Palace and Metropole Coffee Palace. Demolished 1976.

Google Street View.

Prominent amongst the new erections will be a three-storey building in Brisbane-street, opposite the Brisbane Hotel, for Mr S. J. Sutton. In this Mr Sutton intends to carry on the business of a first-class coffee palace, similar to that in Collins street, Melbourne, and the establishment will be denominated the “Launceston Coffee Palace.” Mr Sutton has recently returned from a visit to Victoria, where he has had ample opportunity of observing the management of coffee houses, and intends to adopt the style of the Collins-street Coffee Palace.

The internal arrangements of the coffee palace will be very complete. The entrance hall, 8ft wide, will be in the centre of the frontage, and a shop will be provided on either side. On each side of the hall will be the public rooms, consisting of a coffee-room, commercial-room, smoking-room, and ladies’ dining-room, a special feature of the arrangements being that these rooms are readily accessible to the public, instead of being placed in some out-of-the-way part of the house. The public dining-room will be across the end of the hall, and will be an apartment 36ft long by 19ft wide. There will also be a kitchen, pantry, and bake-house in the rear. The second storey will comprise, in addition to the arcade already mentioned, two commodious par lours and nine bedrooms, four of the latter being 16ft by12ft, and the remaining five smaller apartments. The third storey will contain sixteen bedrooms. The building will be fitted with bathrooms and other conveniences, and there will be fire escape from the rear of the second flat. Every attention will be paid to ventilation, such sleeping apartments as will not containg fireplaces having flues leading from the floor to the top of the parapet.
The Launceston Coffee Palace will be built of brick with a cement front and iron roof, and Mr Sutton expects it will be completed and ready for occupation in November.
Launceston Examiner, 21 May 1881

The new coffee palace being built by Mr S. Sutton is making rapid progress, and is already being roofed, and will be ready for occupation by the 1st of December next. The architecture of the elevation is of a highly pleasing style, looking both light and graceful, while the building is really a very substantial peace of work. The basement is divided into two shops, coffee-room, smoking-room, commercial-room, ladies dining-room, and large dining hall. These rooms are lofty and commodious, and are divided by a spacious hall 8ft. wide, with a large staircase as near the front of- the house as possible. Overhead are 27 bedrooms and two bath-rooms, and in the rear a large- kitchen and pantry are yet to be built, also a ten-stalled stable. The new bake-house at the rear has a steam boiler, and machinery for making biscuits, besides other patent appliances of recent invention.
Telegraph, 20 August 1881


Brisbane Street, 1897-99, with the Launceston Coffee Palace second from the corner. (Photo from the Archives Office of Tasmania1897-99.)

A change has taken place in the management of one of the most important city establishments, the Metropole Coffee Palace, Brisbane-street, where on Saturday Mr W. Hunt, formerly for very many years chief steward on the Pateena, took over control from Alderman S. J. Sutton
2 September 1901

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Empress Hotel, Victoria, Canada


Empress Hotel, Victoria, B.C.
1912-1928 (see below)
Publisher: Coast Publishing Co, Vancouver

Google Street View.

Picture of the palm gardn

Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), the Empress Hotel is one of a series of Chateau-style hotels built by Canadian railway companies in the early 20th century to encourage tourists to travel their transcontinental routes. Popular with the travelling public for their elaborate decor and comfortable elegance, these hotels quickly became national symbols of quality accommodation. The Chateau-style vocabulary used by the railway hotels evolved as a distinctly Canadian architectural type. The Empress signals the beginning of this evolution from a strictly Chateau-style design towards one that incorporated contemporary forms. Built in 1904-08 to designs by Francis M. Rattenbury, the Empress was enlarged in 1910-12 to designs by W.S. Painter and in 1928 to designs by J.W. Orrock.
Parks Canada

Construction on the building began in 1904 and took nearly four years to complete. Rattenbury’s initial plans called for the development of a seven-story structure similar to Québec City’s Château Frontenac. As such, the nascent hotel’s appearance drew largely upon Châteauesque-style architecture as a source of inspiration. Similar to the other grand railroad hotels of the Canadian Pacific Railway, The Empress incorporated exterior walls built with stone and brick cladding, topped by a steep-pitched copper roof. Ornate dormers and gables defined the structure of the roof, which was lined with a series of polygonal turrets. Rattenbury did not exclusively rely upon Châteauesque architecture, either. On the contrary, he also used additional architectural forms whenever appropriate. For instance, the hotel’s spectacular porch used design principles based on Tudor Revival-style design aesthetics, while Second Empire architecture was present within the layout of several interior spaces. The Empress was unlike the hotels operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway in other ways, too. Rattenbury’s blueprinted followed an asymmetrical floor plan centered somewhat on an arcaded central loggia. Many projected pavilions accented by oriel windows defined the loggia, as well. Yet, the hotel’s most distinctive feature was a glass-roofed palm garden decorated with Chinese-inspired motifs.
Fairmont Empress

Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, USA


Fairmont Hotel, on Nob Hill, San Francisco, Cal.
c.1920
Publisher: Pacific Novelty Co., San Francisco
Prnter: A.F. Broad, 48 3rd Street, San Francisco

The Fairmont San Francisco is an AAA Four-Diamond luxury hotel at 950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill in San Francisco, California. The hotel was named after mining magnate and U.S. Senator James Graham Fair (1831–94), by his daughters, Theresa Fair Oelrichs and Virginia Fair Vanderbilt, who built the hotel in his honor. . . . The hotel was nearly completed before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Although the structure survived, the interior was heavily damaged by fire, and opening was delayed until 1907. Architect and engineer Julia Morgan was hired to repair the building because of her then innovative use of reinforced concrete, which could produce buildings capable of withstanding earthquakes and other disasters.
Wikipedia.

Fairmont San Francisco is the city’s grande dame, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece where notable events happen — and have ever since it opened its venerable doors in 1907. The fabled history permeates the walls — you feel it as soon as you step into the sumptuous lobby. The hotel has hosted world leaders, diplomats, entertainment stars, cultural icons, and also staged star-studded galas and internationally impactful events. Fairmont San Francisco earned the moniker “White House of the West” for having welcomed every U.S. President visiting the city since the hotel’s inception. This flagship has also witnessed numerous historic firsts. A pioneer in the industry, Fairmont San Francisco introduced America to hotel concierge services, and was the first hotel in the city to house honey beehives on its rooftop garden to raise awareness of the world’s collapsing bee colony population.
Fairmont San Francisco


Ball Room, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, Cal.
c.1910
Publisher: Newman Post Card Co., Los Angeles

Google Street View.

Fairmont floor plan

The Gold Room boasts some of the Hotel’s finest molding and detailing; it is truly a grand space. Elegant trim and gilded mirrors lines the walls and reflect some classic San Francisco views from the tall windows overlooking the Bay. The chandeliers add emphasis to the high ceilings without obscuring site line for presentations.
Fairmont San Francisco room information brochures