Even though the Golden Age of Greece only lasted 50 years, its effects can still be widely seen even today. Since Greece was the birthplace of democracy and we are a democratic nation, many of our government buildings draw inspiration from Greek architecture. The Greeks believed that man is the measure of all and in their art and architecture they constantly tried to achieve perfect balance, proportion, and unity. The Parthenon was the largest temple of the Acropolis in Athens. The Acropolis or “high city” was an elevated rock supporting several temples, precincts, and other buildings.
It used to be a citadel during the Mycenaean period. The temple was designed by the architects Iktinos and Kallikrates and was constructed from 448 B. C. to 432 B. C. The Greek general, Perikles, initiated the architectural projects and vast rebuilding campaign to celebrate Athenian art and civilization which included the Parthenon, the Nike Temple, The Erechtheum, and The Propylaea. The Parthenon was built using the Doric order, however it has two ionic features included which expressed the Athenians interest in harmonizing the architecture of eastern and western Greece.Order now
The first Ionic feature in The Parthenon is the four Ionic columns inside of the treasury; the second feature is a continuous Ionic frieze around the top of the outside of the inside wall. The Temple is for Athena and the eastern pediment tells the tale of the birth of Athena which is utterly beautiful. The western pediment shows Athena contesting Poseidon for patronage of Athens. The Parthenon is of Doric Order, we can see this quite easily in many features such as the columns which are wide with no bases and plain column capitals.
Atop the capitals are plain architraves which support the frieze which has metopes and triglyphs which are exclusive to the Doric Order. Finally at the very top are the two pediments on the east and west ends that told stories of Athena. Gould Memorial Library was built by the architect Stanford White and was completed in 1899. Until this assignment I never paid much attention to the library but after examining it, it is beautiful and you can plainly see the Greek inspiration behind the building and there are many similarities to The Parthenon. There are five which standout at first glance.
The library has an even number of columns in the front and they are equally spaced apart with less length in between at the ends and more in the middle to give a sense of symmetry. The library has two pediments similar to the Parthenon sitting on top of the frieze. The material used for the building kind of looks like marble that the Greeks would use which adds to the feeling of Greece architecture. The stairs leading up to the columns are in similar style to all three Greek orders with steps that have stereobates and a stylobate at the top step.
The final similarity is the designed entablature under the pediment. Even though Gould Memorial Library draws much inspiration from The Parthenon there are also obvious differences between the two buildings. The Parthenon has columns from the Doric Order and so the column has sections called flutes and is shaped like a Doric drum. The library however has Corinthian columns which are slimmer than Doric columns and has a base on the bottom unlike Doric columns.
On top of the columns of the library is a capital designed with Acanthus leaves which is a dead giveaway the building is of Corinthian Order. Both buildings have pediments but the library has no carvings or anything being depicted in its pediment. The library also has a frieze but there are no carvings like the Greeks would make instead simply inscribed is the name of the building and the year it was built. The final difference between the two buildings is that at one point in time The Parthenon had a painted pediment while the one on Gould Memorial Library was never painted.