Chicago Art Deco, 27 February 2011

2011/02/27

In keeping with my recent photographic theme, check out the following: architectural photographs using a glorified box camera! [1]

KodakDuaflexIV CHI Acros100 MadonnaDS01B

KodakDuaflexIV CHI Acros100 MundeleinCollege01B

Photo Information:

Location: Chicago, Illinois; Roger’s Park Neighborhood (Loyola University)
Camera: Kodak Duaflex IV
Lens: Integral Kodak Kodar 72mm f/8
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (120 respooled onto 620) [2]

The building in the upper photo is the Madonna della Strada Chapel on the Loyola University campus. The Chapel was designed by Andrew N. Rebori and completed in 1939; along with the original Library building, Rebori designed the Chapel in the late 1920s, but due to the Great Depression, construction was not completed until some ten years later (the Library was completed in 1930). Architecturally, it is a synthesis of the predominant substyles in Art Deco design, namely a combination of (relatively) stark rectilinear volumes and more streamlined & curved shapes (often referred to as Art Moderne). This photo shows the west façade; I didn’t photograph the eastern one with this camera, but I will get around to posting some digital photos I shot of the overall building…later.

The lower building is the Mundelein College building; [3] I’ve already written elsewhere about this building, so feel free to check out that post to see a little more about this building in detail. One thing I found amusing (and also quite apt) about the AIA Guide to Chicago listing for the building is that the editors noted similarity to an office tower by comparing the building not to a real-life example, but to the Daily Planet building of Superman fame. In fact, if one were to put a giant revolving globe on top of this building…but I digress. In real life, the most striking aspect of the building is the pair of colossal angels flanking the main entrance. See my previous post if you want to see what they look like.

Enjoy.

Notes:

[1]: Despite its appearance (see my original post a couple weeks back), the Duaflex series of cameras are not true twin-lens cameras, even though they outwardly resemble such cameras. Twin-lens cameras feature a pair of matched lenses that share a common focusing mechanism (traditionally a shared lensboard that slides in and out to focus the pair of lenses); the upper (or viewing) lens projects its image to a reflex mirror that reflects the resultant image into a viewfinder that allows one to compose the image, while the lower (or taking) lens projects its image to the film. While the upper lens of the Duaflex operates on a similar principle, it is not optically matched to the taking lens, nor does it focus along with the focus mechanism of the taking lens; other models of the Duaflex did not even have lens focusing mechanisms. In fact, the Duaflex line shares more features in common with Kodak’s earlier box camera designs.

[2]: It occurs to me that I’ve been mentioning this but y’all may not have any idea what this entails. Silly me…I have a set of images on Flickr that illustrates how to do this. I will (eventually) write up a post that will mirror this information, as well.

[3]: A little additional information regarding Mundelein College (I didn’t look up much when I wrote my previous post on the subject): the college was originally founded as a college for women by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (makes sense, right?) and operated as an independent (though still Roman Catholic) college for most of its life. It was eventually incorporated into Loyola University in 1991. Despite this, the building should be relatively safe, as it is now listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and as a Chicago Landmark. Additional information available here (Wikipedia article).

[4]: I also forgot to mention that I previously wrote a post about this camera, but it was over a year ago, which is (probably) why I don’t remember doing it. Oops.

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