Classical symmetry

The Enid Postcards site runs a few hundred old pix in slow rotation, eliciting more or less the same comments every time.

Repetition tends to bring out patterns. When I lived there I didn’t appreciate the SKILL of the bricklayers who turned out intricate and sturdy art on every wall, whether visible or not. Enid’s downtown was a time capsule until 1990 or so, when city governments decided to start seeking COOLNESS to dishonor the original artists.

The comment on this pic says it all:

I really hate it when history is destroyed in this’s like the people who built these great buildings just “don’t count”… very sad for Enid’s loss!

On the dot. The people who built them poured their ART into their work, and now they don’t count.

Another pattern has emerged from those pics. This pattern was long gone by the time I lived there, so I can’t blame myself for failing to appreciate it.

In 1908 the street plan of the east side had a classical symmetry. Randolph, Broadway and Maine are a ‘triplet’.

Broadway was a boulevard with the streetcar tracks in the median. Broadway ran from the Square to Phillips, heading for a similar building at each end. Randolph and Maine continued beyond the Square and Phillips.

Courthouse at the west end:

Old Main of Phillips at the east end:

Even the terrain is symmetrical. The triplet passes through two valleys, which I’ve indicated loosely with blue blurs.

Both of those buildings burned down. The Courthouse was replaced by the WPA in neoclassical style. Phillips replaced Old Main with an uninteresting 1960s admin building.

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