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Art Deco in Asmara

The Guardian this week published several pieces about the African country of Eritrea, which is ruled by a repressive regime.

The Guardian briefing about the country is here.

Two of these articles were, however, illustrated by photographs of Art Deco buildings – a relic of Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) of which Eritrea was then a part.

I couldn’t find all of the photos from the print editions on the Guardian website but the main piece on the Art Deco buildings is here.

The Fiat Building in Eritrea’s capital Asmara is simply stunning:-

Fiat Building Asmara

This is the Cinema Impero in Asmara:-

Cinema Impero Asmara

And here is a café interior:-

Cafe in Asmara

The photographs shown here are credited in the Guardian to Natasha Stallard/Brownbrook.

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 33: Peebles. Addendum

In August 2013 when I was in Peebles the former Playhouse Cinema looked a bit run down. (See here.)

By this May it had been spruced up a bit.

Peebles Former Cinema

We partook of the ice-cream from Caldwell’s shop/cafe just along the street. It was good.

On the High Street I noticed this Art Deco gate at the entrance to a close:-

Art Deco Gate in Peebles

This is the view from the close:-

Peebles Art Deco Gate

We ventured down to the green by the River Tweed where there is this Pavilion:-

Art Deco Pavilion, Peebles

The reverse has slightly more deco style:-

Peebles Art Deco Pavilion Reverse

On a back street the two Chambers brothers who later produced Chambers’s Dictionary (as it was known at first) were both born, in 1800 and 1802 respectively, as the plaque records.

Peebles House Chambers Plaque

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 34: Crieff

Minor Art Deco in Crieff, in the old Perthshire part of Perth and Kinross.

Two shops on the High Street.

Art Deco Style Shop, Crieff

Pity the windows have been poked out on this one.

Art Deco Style, Crieff

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 33: Cardross

I was over in the West twice recently and happened to pass through Cardross. (The locals pronounce the name with the emphasis on the first syllable.) The second time I stopped to photograph Cardross Golf Club’s Clubhouse as it’s in the deco style. My eldest brother used to play golf here in his young days.

From car park. Showing entrance and main building:-

Cardross Golf Club Clubhouse from car park

The Art Deco style is evident here in the semi-circular canopy above the entrance. Note also the curved window behind facing the golf course itself and the flat roofs:-

Cardross Golf Club, Clubhouse Entrance

Side view. You can see two semi-circular elements here plus more flat-roofs:-

Cardross Golf Club Sideview

The frontage onto the golf course itself has no fewer than four glazed curved elements:-

Cardross Golf Club

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 37: Prestonpans

On a detour through Prestonpans I spotted this building and of course had to stop to photograph it.

Now derelict, it used to be the premises of Lothian Coated Fabrics.

It has the typical flat roof and rectangular towers. There are good long thin windows on the far tower portion and nice banding near the roofline.

It looks like the original (Critall?) windows were never replaced. Also note the two flagpoles. It’s in a sad state now, though.

Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 14: Merchant City

Glasgow’s Merchant City lies to the east of Buchanan Street and north of Argyle Street.

I couldn’t get back far enough to get this all in:-

Same building, other side:-

Deco detail:-

This one looks a bit lonely:-

This is fairly mundane except for the decoration near the roofline – for which see next photo:-

There is some lovely decoration near the roofline:-

Modern Deco Styling

These are flats on the corner of Steel Street and Saltmarket, Glasgow. There is some deco influence here:-

Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 13: Union Street

Art Deco style shop in Union Street, Glasgow:-

Detailing round the windows:-

The roofline has good touches:-

On the corner of Union and Argyle Streets lay the location of the famous meeting place known as “Boots’ corner” but Boots is long gone and this Union Street facade has now had “Mackintosh” embellishments added. Mockintosh, if you like:-

The detailing has typical Mackintosh square elements with sinuous biologically inspired lines:-

As do the window surrounds with the addition of also typical elongated rectangles:-

The elongated rectangles and sinuous lines are prominent in the bay window too:-

I can’t remember exactly which street this was in but it’s a fine building too, with hints of deco:-

Colonial Pavilions at the Empire Exhibition 1938

Here are two more of my collection of postcards of the Empire Exhibition, Scotland 1938.

The first shows three of the Colonial Pavilions, part of the South African building on left – one of the few “traditional” structures present (rather than the deco/moderne that dominated the Exhibition) – then New Zealand and finally Canada. As ever Thomas Tait’s Tower of Empire is in the background.

This next one is captioned wrongly. It shows the South African and New Zealand Pavilions and not Australia.

Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 12: Renfield Street

Art Deco style building on corner of Renfield and West Gordon Streets, Glasgow. Elegant vertical banding, plus good canopy in West Gordon Street:-


Renfield Stret view:-

Lower portion in Renfield Street:-

Flat roofed deco building on corner of Renfield and Bath Streets, Glasgow. Good v-shaped detail between the middle windows on Renfield Street:-

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