Wednesday, March 28, 2018

license to kiln

Terra cotta (literally “burnt earth”) enjoyed a rennaissance in Northern Italy in the 15th century.

It spread to England in the early 1800’s 
and to New York City by the late 1800’s.

Our 1886 ClockTower is a great example.

But this building, Casa Manzoni is in Milan, in northern Italy.

It was built in the 1700’s but restored to terracotta glory in 1864.

The American stonecutter’s union was not happy when this trend landed in New York.

“It will not endure in New England winters!” was their battle cry.
(But it does.)

All over our city terracotta is as sharp and crisp and clean
 as the day it came out of the kiln.

In Italy, too.

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