Cornice on the Lonsdale building on West Superior Street

I didn’t know before I started Duluth Daily Photo that the decorate tops of buildings are called Cornice. From Wikipedia: A cornice (from the Italian cornice meaning “ledge”) is generally any horizontal decorative molding that crowns a building or furniture element – the cornice over a door or window, for instance, or the cornice around the top edge of a pedestal or along the top of an interior wall.  And they are not just for decoration, they prevent water from seeping into interior walls.  This is the Lonsdale Building, which is 8 stories high and is considered a low-rise. (It’s 9 stories high on the back over Michigan Street.

The lighter colored building next to and taller than it is the Alworth Building. I’ve never really noticed how the windows are staggered, it must be a stairwell.  The two buildings share a common entrance at the street level. The Alworth Building is 16 floors, considered a high rise and has some very elegant window at the very top. I’ve even been in the top corner office.  Here is my DDP post from Oct. 29, 2014: Detail on the Alworth Building Here is a post on my blog from March 14, 2011.  Brass door

If you want a more reliable source than Wikipedia how about the Dictionary of Architectural Terms from the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission’s Pennsylvania Architectural Field Guide, Here is what they have to say:

A cornice is the finished edge of the roof where it meets the exterior wall, of varying sizes, sometime plain, but often decorative and marked by brackets, dentils, medallions or some other decorative feature.

Parts of the finished roof edging: Cornice, Frieze, Architrave

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