Thursday, January 18, 2007

Glory of Commerce: OMOM Essay 26

A photo of Hermes being carved (ca. 1914) shows a worker lying full-length along Hermes' forearm, which gave me for the first time a sense of how enormous this this sculpture atop Grand Central Terminal's fa├žade is. Another surprise was that the sculptor originally planned to have mirror images of Hercules flanking Hermes. Had he carried that plan through, there would have been no complex symbolism showing business as a combination of physical and mental effort. See "About the Sculpture" in Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan.

"About the Subject" describes the remarkable engineering and execution of Grand Central Terminal. Over the years required to demolish the Depot and construct the Terminal on the same site, trains continued to move on regular schedules.

The Forgotten Delights calendar text for Glory of Commerce is one of my favorite poems, "The Ships That Won't Go Down."

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