I’m on a road trip with my family this week to go visiting for Thanksgiving, and yesterday we stopped in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I can sniff out a beautiful or unusual door from a mile away, but I didn’t expect to find such a plethora of different beautiful doors on the same building.
The doors below are some of the amazing bronze doors on the Forum Auditorium (1931), part of the Capitol Complex (the building near the bottom right with the curved front). The doors were created by sculptor Lee Oskar Lawrie, and are cast with figures depicting “man’s creative and re-creative occupations.” Each door is approximately 12 feet high and 3 foot-6 inches wide and weighs approximately 600 pounds. This page from the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System gives some more detail about the meaning of some of the symbols. Here’s a short description from that site:
“The three double doors on the Education side of the building (main entrance) contain 120 panels with symbols depicting the various vocations of man in industry and the arts, separated by a repeated design of the sun and the keystone. The eleven doors on the Forum side of the building depict man’s creative and cultural occupations. Each door has twelve panels depicting fables, circus, mythological tales, poetry, music, drama, science and philosophy.“
Take a look at some of these gorgeous doors!
I especially like this panel… 😀
Most of the doors have no exterior hardware, but here are two sets of door pulls. In the first photo, the circular areas are essentially an overlapping astragal.
And no building is without it’s creative applications, aka “kludges”:
Conservation efforts are being undertaken to preserve the bronze doors and replace glass as needed (more on that here).
Aerial photo: Google Maps