architecture - Wang 1 Chen Wang USFS 100 November 21, 2008...

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Wang 1 Chen Wang USFS 100 November 21, 2008 Prof. Oakley Setting Back the Times: the Key Tower in architecture Everyday, bankers walk through a line of taxis waiting for customers. Buses run through the square constantly. One can hear the sighs of a bus’s engine almost anytime he or she stands outside the building. In front of the building on the opposite side of the street lined with taxis sits a statue of a man holding a torch. Back on the building’s side of the street, three large rotating doors greet the employee who pushes one of the doors to access his or her workplace. When he or she enters the elevator hall, the lights of the hall automatically lights up to indicate his or her presence. This description does not survey a future plan for a building, the building- the tallest building in the state of Ohio- already exists as the headquarters of KeyBank. Designed in the Art Deco style by architect César Pelli, the KeyTower was finished in 1991 when Richard E. Jacobs (the same person who owned Jacobs Field) financed its construction. Despite the grand stately mood Key Tower’s outside presents to people, its pitifully austere lobby represents Cleveland latest attempt to imitate other major cities for a local landmark. Before the architect planned Key Tower, many buildings in the Art Deco style existed in the United States. The style started in the late 1920’s when archeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamen’s tomb; soon after, the interest in Ancient Egyptian style- in clothing, jewelry, and architecture- became common throughout the world (Craven 2). When the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs occurred in Paris in 1925, prominent French artists there displayed their works (“Art Deco” 1). Soon enough, the exhibits influenced the arts and culture channel in Europe. From Europe, its influence spread throughout the world and into the United States. One of the first buildings built in the Art Deco style in
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Wang 2 was the Chrysler Building. The main stylistic goal of Art Deco architecture is to present the classical details of ornamentation combined with the twentieth century taste of industrialization and growth (Craven 1). Because Art Deco style buildings convey the authority and gravitas of many corporations in the United States, many corporate and government authorities chose their headquarters in this architectural style. As the main building of Key Bank, the Key Tower exhibits some similarities to other buildings in the Art Deco style. The first similarity was the use of the tiered ziggurat structure. Each tier on top became narrower than the tier below it. Because the archaeological dig for the pyramids of Egypt occurred in the same time period as the development of Art Deco style, many architects borrowed the Pyramids of Egypt as a model when designing their buildings (Craven 2). The outside walls of Key Tower cave inwards as the building progressed higher, a technique in architecture called the setback (Wiess 1). Setbacks on the New York Daily News Building (courtesy Dover Publications- in public
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architecture - Wang 1 Chen Wang USFS 100 November 21, 2008...

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