Lioness roundel

I saw a photo of a very charming, very interesting sculpture on what was originally the offices of US Steel Co., 311 South Sarah st, St Louis.

In fact, on this small one story building there are 7 of them!

I really like this!

It was once a US Steel office but is now occupied by the US Metals & Supply Co, probably a subsidiary of theirs.

I’ve so far found absolutely nothing on this building which is surprising.

The roundel appears to be about 24″ in diameter, and is overlaid on an oblong rectangular panel. I’m definitely considering making a model.

By the way, as I discovered on a Canadian Architecture site, a little tidbit of roundel history;

Medallions (or roundels) were a very fashionable form of ornament during the Renaissance; the most famous medallion maker was Luca Della Robbia in Florence. These are plaques, usually round, bearing figures or family symbols in relief. Sometimes they have stories or anecdotes. In the Art Deco period, these were left plain.

A roundel is a small circular decorative plate used extensively in Renaissance courtyards and arcades often a niche containing a bust.

So what we see of this shape in the US on facades would be a throwback or tribute to the Renaissance style’s use of these, even if the facade is not fancy Renaissance style, they used a key element from the style.

Here’s a link to the site to learn all about the names of various elements found on building facades, you will discover what we have in the US on facades in the older cities all has it’s basis in form taken from Europe, which is logical since it was the imigrants in the 1870’s 1880’s and 1890’s coming through Ellis island in NYC for processing, who brought the styles and stone carving skills with them.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Wampa-One

Larger image here;

Larger photo

Canadian architectural terms site;