Art Deco.

Public buildings built in the late 1930s and early 1940s are very interesting to me. I love the architecture. There’s a certain amount of comfort in these designs; the elementary school I attended was built in 1939 and had a distinct Art Deco flair in the design. There was an impressive staircase in the middle of the school. It linked the main entrance to the second floor, with ornate metal railings and a color scheme similar to that seen in the photo above. The stairway took folks to the second floor in a split design, arriving in front of the library. It felt so solid.

The library was filled with so much wood trim. The shelves and desks were sturdy. There was a room off one end of the library designated for the Board of Education meetings. The wood appointments were heavy and it always felt like important decisions were made there.

Public buildings built after World War II don’t really interest me. Design moved from impressive to functional. Cinder blocks were painted to look like a wall. There’s a lot of brick. No columns, no ornate railings, no heavy desks.

These pre-WWII buildings are bit more rare here in the desert southwest. If I find one I can’t photograph it; I might be mistaken for a terrorist or something. Things are weird in the 21st century.

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