Joseph Williamson house, 1842, Belfast, Maine

Joseph Williamson house, 1842, Belfast, Maine

A superb example of Greek Revival architecture in Maine, the Williamson house was modified in 1920 with the extension of the front portico with its Ionic columns to allow the addition of two small wings on both sides.  As was typical of this era, the siding of the house is shiplap wood siding, presenting a surprisingly smooth surface to those more familiar with the clapboards of more modern structures.
 

James P. White house, 1840, Belfast, maine

James P. White house, 1840, Belfast, maine

Mr. White was a shipbuilder in Belfast and also owned a paper mill.  The house he had built is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture of the Federal period.  The cupola sits over the central stairwell and the ionic columns at the entranceway support a two-level entablature and pediment.  The siding of the house is shiplap wood, typical of this period.

James P. White house gardens

James P. White house gardens

Mr. White was a prominent businessman in Belfast and a son of one of that cities earliest settlers.  His house sits on a large parcel at 1 Church Street, and is an imposing structure from any angle.  Note the hip roof and twin chimneys characteristic of the Federal period.

St. Patrick's Church, 1808, Newcastle, Maine

St. Patrick's Church, 1808, Newcastle, Maine

Two prominent businessmen in Newcastle, James Kavanaugh and Matthew Cottrill,  were instrumental in promoting the building of a Catholic church in town.  Cottrill donated three acres for the church site and later acquired a Paul Revere bell for the tower.  There is one room inside the church with a central aisle leading to the apse.  Recently a new church was built behind the old to accommodate an increase in parishioners.

Kavanaugh house, 1803, Damariscotta, Maine

Kavanaugh house, 1803, Damariscotta, Maine

James Kavanaugh was an Irish immigrant who settled in Newcastle and started a mercantile store with a friend, Matthew Cottrill.  The two prospered and acquired sawmills and shipbuilding enterprises.  Kavanaugh and Cottrill were instrumental in building St. Patrick's church (previous image.)  The house is a Federal period structure with a Palladian window above the entranceway, a balustrade around the hip roof, and a cupola above the central stairwell. 

Alna Meeting House, 1797, Alna, Maine

Alna Meeting House, 1797, Alna, Maine

Meeting Houses in New England were built both as churches and town meeting halls.  An entranceway on the long side of the building faces a pulpit on the opposite long end;  there is no altar, and no religious decoration.  This was a Calvinist reaction to the elaborate churches of the Catholic and Anglican religions.  Meetinghouses played an important part in the lives of early settlers.

Interior of Alna Meetinghouse

Interior of Alna Meetinghouse

Box-like cubicles with wooden benches, entered through a small half-door, are typical for New England meetinghouses.  There are similar boxes in the second floor gallery.  The raised pulpit with octagonal sounding board canopy is also typical of meetinghouses, at least in Maine.
 

Old German Church, 1772, Waldoboro, Maine

Old German Church, 1772, Waldoboro, Maine

This meetinghouse/church was first constructed on the east side of the Medomak River which flows through the town of Waldoboro.  It was build by German immigrants from the Rhine region of Germany.  A subsequent dispute caused the building to be transported to the west side of the Medomak where it was rebuilt in 1795.  This meetinghouse has its door and pulpit on the short side of the building.  The grounds of the accompanying cemetery are quite lovely, and the site has a view of the Medomak valley.

Interior of Old German Church in Waldoboro

Interior of Old German Church in Waldoboro

Very typical construction, except it is unusual for the entrance and pulpit to be on the short side of the rectangular floor plan.

Interior of Old German Church

Interior of Old German Church

The rather stark interiors of New England meetinghouses lend themselves well to monochrome imaging.

Walpole Meetinghouse, 1772, Walpole, Maine

Walpole Meetinghouse, 1772, Walpole, Maine

One of the older meetinghouses in Lincoln County, situated near Damariscotta.

James T. Wood house, 1804, Wiscasset, Maine

James T. Wood house, 1804, Wiscasset, Maine

A Federal period house with a two-story entrance built for shipbuilder James T. Wood.  Supposedly traded to another shipbuilder, Moses Carleton for 100 barrels of rum. 

Nickels-Sortwell House, 1807, Wiscasset, Maine

Nickels-Sortwell House, 1807, Wiscasset, Maine

Captain William Nickels, a shipowner and trader, built his house near the harbor in Wiscasset.  The house is a fine example of Federal period houses, with a Palladian window above the entrance portico and a lovely stairwell in the center hall.  Unfortunately, the Trade Embargo Act of 1807 and the War of 1812 bankrupted many shipbuilders and Nickels lost his home.  It served as a hotel until the late 19th Century when it was purchased and restored by Alvin Sortwell.

Nickels-Sortwell house

Nickels-Sortwell house

The entranceway to the Nickels-Sortwell house is embellished with intricately designed side lights and fan light over the door.

William S. Hagar house, 1870, Richmond, Maine

William S. Hagar house, 1870, Richmond, Maine

This extravagantly detailed home is an excellent example of the Empire style of the late 19th Century.  Empire style buildings have projecting entranceways and mansard roofs with elaborate dormer windows.  Here, the cupola adds to the striking imperial presence of the home.  The Hagar family made their fortune building square-rigged ships, although they were no longer in that business when William built this home.

Old Head Tide Church, 1838,Alna, Maine

Old Head Tide Church, 1838,Alna, Maine

Head Tide village is located located on the Sheepscot River, at the farthest point upstream reached by ocean tides.  The village was founded in about 1760, mainly due to the cataract that blocks the tide.  That rushing water contributed power to lumber and clothing mills that operated until the early 20th Century.  Head Tide, now contained within the town of Alna, was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.  [Image recorded on Ilford Delta 120 roll film, developed in Diafine.]

A local "haunted house"

A local "haunted house"

An aging home on Bayview Road in Damariscotta Mills.  The occupants are anything but haunted.

Portland Museum of Art

Portland Museum of Art

The Portland Museum of Art is a piece of artwork in itself.  This is a skylight on the top floor.

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

The neoclassic Arc de Triomphe was completed in 1836, originally as a monument to those who died in the Napoleonic Wars.  Today it commemorates all those who have fought to defend France.  An unknown soldier is entombed under the Arc.  The monument sits in a plaza in western Paris, from which radiate roads in all directions, including the Champs-Élysées which leads to the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre.

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

One very angry angel, who, judging by her lower limbs may have been a ballet dancer before the war.

Orpierre, France

Orpierre, France

An interesting two-story home, perhaps abandoned, on the edge of the small village of Orpierre in the Haute Alpes district of Provence.  Orpierre, 30km northwest of Sisteron, is situated in an area of high cliffs.  It is these cliffs which have rejuvenated the town, as these have been laced with rock-climbing routes to attract tourists.  That has apparently worked quite nicely, as the tiny village seems to be thriving on tourist dollars, and not losing all its young people to the cities.
 

Orpierre, France

Orpierre, France

A well-used door in a stucco façade in Orpierre.

Chateau, Peyruis, France

Chateau, Peyruis, France

This former chateau in Peyruis was abandoned by its owner after the French Revolution, when it became too expensive to maintain.  He donated the grounds and the farm land he owned to the local townspeople.  The Chateau was built in the 12th Century but partially destroyed after the French Revolution.  It would make an interesting tourist attraction if funds could be found to restore it, as this part of Provence is steeped in history dating back more than two millennia.

Ásolfsskálakirkja

Ásolfsskálakirkja

A small church in a very scenic part of southern Iceland.  The church sits in the shadow of an arm of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which closed European airways for two weeks in 2010.

Kiva in Aztec Ruins National Monument

Kiva in Aztec Ruins National Monument

The pueblo ruins at Aztec National Monument were built by the Anasazi people in the 12th Century.  The ruins are most interesting and the great kiva (not pictured) at this site has been rebuilt.  A worthwhile stop in the four-corners area of the American Southwest.

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

A Moorish fortress and palace until 1492, when southern Spain was reclaimed by Christian forces, the Alhambra is a jewel of Muslim architecture.  The richly carved and decorated columns, walls, and ceilings have to be seen to be believed.  Moorish influence can still be seen in the Mudéjar style of architecture common in southern Spain.

Cathedral and Belltower, Seville, Spain

Cathedral and Belltower, Seville, Spain

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third largest church in the world.  Its belltower, the Giralda, was originally the minaret for a Mosque, but was converted after the Reconquista.  The Cathedral is truly huge, its outer walls bastioned by many flying buttresses. To say its structure and elaborate adornments are a pinnacle of Gothic architecture would be an understatement.  It's a bit ironic to note that the Gothic arch is derived from Moorish architecture.

The Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain

The Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain

Córdoba's mosque, La Mesquita, was completed in the early 9th Century.  It is still one of the largest Mosques in the world, measuring 180 by 130 meters.  Originally open on all sides, a Medieval wall was built around the structure when a Christian cathedral was built in the center of the mosque in 1526.  When King Carlos V first visited the new cathedral he remarked, "You have built something you could have built anywhere, and destroyed something unique in the world."

Church of the Virgin of the Assumption, Córdoba

Church of the Virgin of the Assumption, Córdoba

While the Church of the Virgin of the Assumption is not an unimpressive church, it was built inside La Mesquita, the Great Mosque, and was much opposed by the locals.  It must be said, however, that the mosque has been well cared for.  This is the only place in the world where a mosque and Catholic church occupy the same grounds.  Córdoba residents are often heard to remark, "I'm going to the Mosque to hear mass."

Roman Aqueduct, Segovia, Spain

Roman Aqueduct, Segovia, Spain

The Roman aqueduct dates from the early 2nd Century and is certainly a defining characteristic of Segovia's skyline.  The structure is the most important Roman engineering work still extant in Spain.  Its 25,000 granite blocks are not held by mortar and yet the structure has stood for 2000 years.  Segovia is an interesting town an hour or so northwest of Madrid.

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand

A Wat is a Buddhist temple, and this one houses a statue of Buddha that originated in India.  Wat Phra Singh was begun in 1345 to house the ashes of King Phayu's father.  It acquired its current name in 1367 when the statue of Phra Buddha Singh was brought to the temple.

Phra Budda Singh statue, Chiang Main, Thailand

Phra Budda Singh statue, Chiang Main, Thailand

Reliquary at Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Reliquary at Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The intricacy of Thai carving, painting, and inlay is amazing.  It is especially so in the many temples.  Chiang Mai has been a center of learning for a thousand years.  There is a university here, and a large nursing school.  Travelers come to Chiang Mai to study everything from Buddhism to cooking.

Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Building of the Grand Palace was begun in 1782 when King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke moved the capitol of Siam (Thailand) to Bangkok.  The Palace is a collection of dozens of buildings, temples, and government offices built over decades.  The detail shown on all of the structures is quite stunning, some buildings with inlaid gems and glass resembling highly decorated cakes.  The accompanying statuary and artwork are treasures of Thai culture.

Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan

Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan

Dzongs were originally fortresses built at key points on the rivers and roads of Bhutan.  Today the dzongs are administrative offices and each houses a Buddhist monastery.  Punakha was partially destroyed by a fire in 1987 but has since been rebuilt.  Located at the junction of two rivers it has always been prone to flooding, but measures are being taken to relieve that situation.

Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa, Bhutan

Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa, Bhutan

Architecture in Bhutan is Tibetan in origin, and the basic structural style is seen in both houses and government buildings.  Living and working areas are on the middle floors and the uppermost story is left open, yet protected by roofs, so as to store grain and other food. Dzongs were very sturdily built to withstand attacks.  Farmhouses are also quite sturdy, but more to withstand the elements of Himalayan winters.