The tagline on my blog says it all: “I am at home among trees.” Today’s trail walk took me far from those trees into the concrete sidewalks of downtown Cleveland, and way out of my comfort zone. As anyone who follows my blog knows, I am a nature photographer, and I find most of my photos along the trails of local parks, but today’s trail walk was different.To begin with, today is my birthday, and my family and friends have gone out of their way to make it extra-special with cards, phone calls, texts, Facebook greetings, and gifts. One of those gifts resulted in this blog post.
My daughter Alison called and announced that she would pick me up this morning at 10 am and to be sure to bring my camera. However, she wouldn’t say where she planned to take me. It was only after we were in the car driving west on route 2 that her plan unfolded. We were going to take a very different trail walk, involving no parks, no nature trails, no hawks, deer, or snow-covered landscapes. We were going to walk the city streets where we would look for abstracts, architectural details, building elements indoors and out, and whatever else struck our fancy.
I knew right then I was going to be out of my comfort zone, but Alison was in the driver’s seat, so I made up my mind to go along for the ride and have a good time…and I did. I had a great time. We made quite a few stops and several of them led to today’s blog post. We started our tour at the Arcade (top of page) and then moved on to the Cleveland Public Library. Established in 1869, the library was originally operated in several temporary locations in downtown Cleveland until, in 1925 the Main Library on Superior Avenue was opened.
The main entrance and first floor lobby are an impressive introduction to this handsome building. According to a brochure handed to us by a delightful gentleman stationed near the entrance…
The entrance doorway window depicts the classical Lamp of Knowledge. The interior entrance doorway has a clock flanked by mythological griffins, a motif of creatures that protects civic buildings. a beautiful terrestrial globe made of pearl art glass hangs from the entrance hall ceiling (1925). It is based on one of the first maps to depict the early Americas done by Leonardo da Vinci. The vaulted lobby ceiling is decorated with paintings done in 1926 that illustrate historical figures that represent the arts, writing, and learning….The lobby is illuminate by torchieres (circa 1990s) which are symbolic of the Lamp of Knowledge.
Along with the brochure we were given an interesting personal introduction to the library that made us feel very welcome. Who would have known so much beauty awaited us when we walked up the stairs and entered through the large main doors. The picture gallery below is a small sampling of my images, including the interior and exterior of the main library, plus a peek into the gated reading garden that features a fountain by Maya Lin, garden gates by Tom Otterness, and other works of art. My images don’t do it justice, so I will have to return and try to do a better job on my next visit.
If you are familiar with Cleveland, you probably recognized some of the shots in this gallery as well as the Arcade, pictured at the top of the page. I hope you enjoyed them.
That’s all for today. Thanks to everyone who helped to make my birthday very special and to Alison who opened my eyes to an entire realm of new “trail” walks and proved that one is never too old to “learn new tricks.”