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Colonnade on Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library (40 East Saint Clair Street)

Colonnade. A colonnade is a series of columns, spaced evenly apart in a straight line, which supports a roof or entablature (the “stuff” found above the columns). Although colonnades may date from Greek and Roman classical architecture, they are employed in a variety of ways in American architecture. The term portico describes a porch with a roof typically supported by a colonnade.

The Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library (40 East Saint Clair Street) features a wonderful Neo-Classical design that includes several archetypical classical features. The Central Library, completed in 1916 and designed by architect Paul Phillipe Cret, features a strong colonnade on the primary (south) façade. The two story columns repeat eight times and are spaced evenly across the façade. This example shows the colonnade as applied literally from the original Greek architectural theory.

Colonnade on Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library (40 East Saint Clair Street)

The Taggart Memorial in Riverside Park includes a limestone colonnade. This wonderful Neo-classical monument dates from 1931 and is currently on the Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered List. The colonnade is one of the primary design elements of this memorial to the creator of the Indianapolis park system, Thomas Taggart. The colonnade features paired columns supporting masonry arches with keystones. Who wouldn’t love to see this monument returned to its former glory?

Colonnade on Taggart Memorial, Riverside Park

Add it to your vocabulary – how might one use today’s Building Language term in their everyday life?

At the courthouse, protestors swarmed the areas within the colonnade to protest the judge’s ruling.

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