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Fountain Square Theater Building, Pilaster Columns

Pilaster Columns. This post will attempt to dabble into the many types of architectural columns found in Indianapolis. As each type of column has a different name and standard characteristics, we’ll wet our feet today with the pilaster column. The pilaster column is characterized as a rectangular feature found slightly projecting from a primary wall. The pilaster column can include features found on other columns, such as a base (the bottom) and a capital (the top). The pilaster column is frequently used as an ornamental feature, serving as decoration or to break up sections of a wall. The pilaster column should not be confused with an engaged column, which is a column that appears to only slightly attach to the wall and is generally more than fifty percent exposed from the wall.

Drawing upon Tiffany’s widely popular post on Fountain Square a few weeks ago, the Fountain Square Theater Building (1115 Prospect Street) dates from 1928 and features some unique pilaster columns. One of my favorite features of this brick structure is the brick pilaster columns, used to break up the space between each set of windows. Each pilaster column includes a plain terracotta base with a lovely terracotta capital. The greens and blues of the terracotta capitals really accent the structure well and help draw attention to the plain, brick pilaster columns.

Pilaster Columns on The Ambassador 39 East 9th Street

Another example of pilaster columns is found on the Ambassador building at 39 East 9th Street. The Ambassador is tucked behind the new addition to the Central Library, dates from 1924, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Albeit smaller, the pilaster columns act to break up the storefront windows found on the first floor of the building. Each pilaster column is brick, with a simple base, and a slightly ornamented terracotta capital.

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

The tuckpointing on the exterior walls was completed on the areas adjacent to the pilaster columns.

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