As/Is







9.18.2015


Staring at Buildings, Waiting for Individuals...


Fayette Street in Conshohocken is a testament to the power of the human imagination. The aesthetic effect both of architectural sublimity and of bizarre juxtapositions carries over the whole length of Fayette Street, from where it begins until it turns into Butler Pike. I am by no means an expert on architecture, but the jaw-dropping gorgeousness of Fayette Street is difficult for any serious artist to miss. Were the architects channeling other worlds when they pieced Fayette Street together, building by building, strip by strip? I think so; and I have already likened Fayette Street to Narnia (remember Cair Paravel?), though any fairy tale realm where the fanciful, the evanescent and the ethereal (apparitional, in the spirit of Neo-Romanticism, also works) triumph over the quotidian and its monstrosities. This strip, between 2nd and 1st Ave on Fayette, adds an edge of the urban and hipsterism to the party. It looks like Georgetown in DC and Park City Utah; but, as usual with Fayette Street, the juxtaposition of the strip with Calvary Episcopal, Saint Matthew Church, and the Conshohocken Municipal Building behind it where the slope levels off again takes something normative and makes it transcendental. And does the architecture of Fayette Street critique the inhabitants? On the other side of things, the row homes which constitute the architectural backbone of Fayette Street past the Municipal Building on 7th Ave and Fayette all have something important to say, sometimes fanciful/imaginative, sometimes not, about the kinds of folks who may be living there. Hard-headed, practical things too; and in this way, the evanescence of Fayette Street is balanced, heaven to Earth, Kether to Malkuth.