Arches have been used in buildings and gateways for thousands of years. The shape is dramatic and pleasing, and also serves to span open spaces and to bear weight. Whether it’s the Coliseum in Rome or a small bridge over a creek, we love these sweeping curves.
For my money, no place makes much lovelier use of archways than the Stanford University campus.
The quad is full of them, and Memorial Church on the campus echoes that style and form.
Memorial Church was started in the 1890′s, and finished in 1903. In 1906, the great San Francisco earthquake shook the campus, destroying the clock tower and north face of the church, as well as the Memorial Arch leading to them.
The clock tower wasn’t rebuilt, but by 1917, the church had been completely restored from original plans – including the many mosaics and Frederick Lamb stained glass windows. After the 1989 earthquake, repairs had to be done again – and “MemChu” reopened in 1993.
Walking along the Stanford Quad, with its tile roofs and arched colonnades, I’ve often felt as if I were in some Medterranean location – I think it has some really lovely curves.
Click on photos to see larger versions.
This post was written in response to a Travel Theme challenge from Ailsa at wheresmybackpack. This week’s theme is Curves. To see what curves other bloggers have thrown, click here.