Friday, September 16, 2011
An Architectural Ode to Cats
Here's a peculiar building I came across last week. It's called Greater London House, and it's a brightly-accented Art Deco behemoth decorated with, of all things, cats.
Two cats flank the front door:
And up near the roof, medallions feature black cats peering out at the street:
Turns out this is the former Carreras Cigarette Factory, built in 1926-28 in a style known as Egyptian Revival. (Hence the cats, although those black cat medallions look less like Egyptian felines and more like my childhood cat, which I tried to name Midnight but my family insisted on calling Black Kitty.)
The building now houses offices, and although it was stripped of its original Egyptian detailing in the early 1960s, the ornamentation was restored in a renovation slightly more than ten years ago. For details about the architecture, here's the Wikipedia page for Greater London House.