Art Deco and Moderne 1930-1950
Deco buildings are brick or stone and are characterized by geometric
decoration. Zig-zag patterns and stylized natural forms are common. The
most familiar type of the style in Cincinnati is the box-like,
two-story, flat-roofed, brick apartment building. Windows are sash or
casement. Glass block windows are common. Other features include
decorative brickwork in contrasting colors and stepped parapets (walls
rising above the roof). Art Deco apartment buildings are found in many
areas of Cincinnati including Westwood, Roselawn, and Oakley.
Art Deco style developed after the Paris Exposition Internationale des
Arts Decoratifs et Industrieles Modernes in 1925. Beginning as a style
of ornamentation, Art Deco was exemplified in trains, radios, jewelry,
furniture, and countless other items. It also evolved into a style of
architecture. Office buildings, post offices, movie theaters and
apartment buildings were built in the Art Deco style. Single-family
houses of the style are rare.
Moderne, a style that followed Art
Deco, is closely related but lacks the intricate geometric Art Deco
ornamentation. It is also known as streamlined architecture: banded
windows, smooth stone surfaces, and stainless steel trim and railings
are characteristic of this style. Union Terminal is the best example of
Moderne in Cincinnati. There are few houses of this style.
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