Not to get all architect-y, but being landscape architects, we like obsessing over the details in some older designs – beauty is in the details – really! It’s those details that added so much to a person’s everyday surroundings in the past, and are missing so often from life today.
If you can remember any older house you were ever in, you might remember the amount of woodworking that was there, along with other true architectural features – outdoors, too. That woodworking was beautiful, and memorable, because of its detailing.
Maybe, as these details slowly slipped away from everyday life most people didn’t notice. Sometimes gradual change is difficult to detect!
Which brings us to this classic wall built long ago, hailing natural stone and a clay brick cap that peaks in a continuous ridge line. It also has large end columns, each topped with a weighty rounded stone finial.
There is this magnificent brick and stone masonry wall in the yard of a neighbor that is so classic – and truly inspiring for more of the same. The house sits on a flat-iron shaped lot. Because of the shape of the lot, residential streets border both the front and back yards.
This wall is located along the back property line, right along the one street. Its design is of traditional period architecture, and is in sync with the period architecture of the house, which was built in 1940. That was the time in history when homeowners often hired an outdoor architect to design their project, and then a skilled craftsman/contractor was selected to build the project.
Today, many times the homeowner deals directly with the landscape contractor who wants to ‘design’ and build. Contractors have not studied design, and have no architectural background – it’s really unfortunate for the homeowner.
Today, we see projects that are plain and non-dimensional – projects that are turning away from having the amazing details like those that were used to create the beauty of this wall.
It’s really so disappointing that you don’t see outdoor architecture like this nowadays. And, we understand it would be costly in the present, what with the price of materials, a professional designer, and skilled labor.
But, it would be great to see projects where period architectural features were actually intentional, and in the everyday, again. Perhaps, one day it will be so.
Here’s hoping that a structure like this wall will inspire future outdoor residential design projects and, that such projects become reasonably attainable!
Do you find beauty in this wall? Does it inspire any landscape wall ideas for your own outdoors?