About This Item
exceptionally rare and wonderfully maintained all original single 19th century ornamental cast bronze interior lobby columbus memorial building electrolier wall sconce with original “moving tongue” edison-bergmann sockets and shade fitters the richly ornate double arm electric wall sconce is comprised of brass and bronze components, with bent tubular arms accentuated with beaded and faceted spear-shaped finials. the protruding base supporting the arms features a similar downward pointing finial, with a crown on the very top and a centrally located fanciful embossed letter “c.” the oversized backplate contains a well-designed depiction of the christopher columbus coat of arms, with rearing lions and a crenelated castle. the original copper-plated finish remains largely intact. two identical wall sconces available for sale. the non-extant or demolished columbus memorial building was a 15-story steel frame downtown chicago skyscraper building designed at a time to capitalize on the columbian exposition or chicago worlds fair of 1893. the downtown chicago steel frame structure was the very last commission for william w. boyington, who was a highly regarded chicago architect at the time. boyington earned a solid reputation for designing several buildings prior to the great chicago fire of 1871, which included the chicago water tower and pumping station (extant). however, most of his buildings constructed prior to 1871 were destroyed in the fire. the heavily ornamented terra cotta and stone building featured large glass mosaics of the landing of columbus between the main entrance on state street. a nine-foot cast bronze freestanding statue was mounted in an alcove directly above the building’s entrance. the 240 foot tower contained an opalescent glass globe that was lit by incandescent lighting. continents on the globe were marked in color, with a large cut jewel used to pinpoint chicago’s location. an in-depth or descriptive analysis of the interior is still a work in progress for me. with more time in the near future, i hope to locate any and all interior images of the building, along with information pertaining to the decorative treatments used throughout the lobby and office spaces, which were primarily as physician offices. the few artifacts collected from this building (see other listings) are likely just the tip of the iceberg, but whether anything equally or much more substantial dodged the wrecking ball or scrap yards remains undetermined. at the very least the moses ezekiel-designed statue of christopher columbus was rescued shortly before demolition and later relocated to little italy’s arrigo park (formerly known as vernon park) in 1966.