Moorish Revival architecture
Moorish Revival or Neo-Moorish is one of the exotic revival architectural styles that were adopted by architects of Europe and the Americas in the wake of the Romanticist fascination with all things oriental. It reached the height of its popularity after the mid-nineteenth century, part of a widening vocabulary of articulated decorative ornament drawn from historical sources beyond familiar classical and Gothic modes. Little distinction was made in European and American practice between motifs drawn from Ottoman Turkey or from Andalusia.
Moorish Revival in Europe
In Spain, the country conceived as the place of origin of Moorish ornamentation, the interest in this sort of architecture fluctuated from province to province. The mainstream was called Neo-Mudéjar. In Catalonia, Antoni Gaudí's profound interest in Mudéjar heritage governed the design of his early works, such as Casa Vicens or Astorga Palace. In Andalusia, the Neo-Mudéjar style gained belated popularity in connection with the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and was epitomized by Plaza de España (Seville) and Gran Teatro Falla in Cádiz. In Madrid, the Neo-Mudéjar was a characteristic style of housing and public buildings at the turn of the century, while the 1920s return of interest to the style resulted in such buildings as Las Ventas bull ring and Diario ABC office.
Although Carlo Bugatti employed Moorish arcading among the exotic features of his furniture, shown at the 1902 exhibition at Turin, by that time the Moorish Revival was very much on the wane everywhere but Imperial Russia, where the shell-encrusted Morozov House in Moscow (a stylisation of a Portuguese palace in Sintra) and the Neo-Mameluk palaces of Koreiz exemplify the continuing development of the style, and in Bosnia, where the Austrian government commissioned a range of Neo-Moorish structures. This included application of ornamentations and other Moorish design strategies neither of which had much to do with prior architectural direction of indigenous Bosnian architecture. The central post office in Sarajevo, for example, follows distinct formal characteristics of design like clarity of form, symmetry, and proportion while the interior followed the same doctrine. The Oriental Institute in Sarajevo is an example of Pseudo Moorish architectural language using decorations and pointed arches while still integrating other formal elements into the design.
The "Moorish" garden structures built at Sheringham Hall, Norfolk, ca. 1812, were an unusual touch at the time, a parallel to chinoiserie, as a dream vision of fanciful whimsy, not meant to be taken seriously; however, as early as 1826, Edward Blore used Islamic arches, domes of various size and shapes and other details of Near Eastern Islamic architecture to great effect in his design for Alupka Palace in Crimea, a cultural setting that had already been penetrated by authentic Ottoman styles. By the mid-19th century, the style was adopted by the Jews of Central Europe, who associated Mudéjar architectural forms with the golden age of Jewry in medieval Muslim Spain. As a consequence, Moorish Revival spread around the globe as a preferred style of synagogue architecture.
The development of the style in the United States
In the United States, Washington Irving's travel sketch, Tales of the Alhambra (1832) first brought Moorish Andalusia into readers' imaginations; one of the first neo-Moorish structures was Iranistan, a mansion of P. T. Barnum in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Constructed in 1848 and demolished by fire ten years later, this architectural extravaganza "sprouted bulbous domes and horseshoe arches". In the 1860s, the style spread across America, with Olana, the painter Frederic Edwin Church's house overlooking the Hudson River, Castle Garden in Jacksonville and Nutt's Folly in Natchez, Mississippi usually cited among the more prominent examples. After the American Civil War, Moorish or Turkish smoking rooms achieved some popularity. There were Moorish details in the interiors created for the Henry Osborne Havemeyer residence on Fifth Avenue by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The 1914 Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon incorporates Turkish design features, as well as French, English, and Italian ones; the smoking room in particular has notable Moorish revival elements. In 1937, the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota added unusual minarets and Moorish domes, unusual because the polychrome decorations are made out of corn cobs of various colors assembled like mosaic tiles to create patterns. The 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, whose minarets and Moorish domes are now the pride of the University of Tampa, was a particularly extravagant example of the style. Other schools with Moorish Revival buildings include Yeshiva University in New York City. George Washington Smith used the style in his design for the 1920s Isham Beach Estate in Santa Barbara, California.
Moorish Revival theaters in the U.S.A.
Theater City and State Architect Date Alhambra Theatre Birmingham, Alabama Graven & Maygar 1927 Alhambra Theatre Hopkinsville, Kentucky John Walker 1928 Alhambra Theatre San Francisco, California Miller and Pflueger 1925 Bagdad Theatre Portland, Oregon Thomas & Mercier 1927 The Carpenter Center Richmond, Virginia John Eberson 1928 Civic Theatre Akron, Ohio John Eberson 1929 Emporia Granada Theatre Emporia, Kansas Boller Brothers 1929 Fox Theatre Atlanta, Georgia Mayre, Alger & Vinour 1929 Fox Theatre North Platte, Nebraska Elmer F. Behrens 1929 Keith's Flushing Theater Queens, New York Thomas Lamb 1928 The Landmark Theater Richmond, Virginia Marcellus Wright Sr., Charles M. Robinson 1927 Olympic Theatre Miami, Florida John Eberson 1926 Lincoln Theater Los Angeles, California John Paxton Perrine 1927 Loew's 72nd Street Theatre New York City Thomas W. Lamb 1932 (dem.) The Majestic Theatre San Antonio, Texas John Eberson 1929 Mount Baker Theatre Bellingham, Washington Robert Reamer 1927 Music Box Theatre Chicago, Illinois Louis J. Simon 1929 Palace Theatre Canton, Ohio John Eberson 1926 Palace Theatre Marion, Ohio John Eberson 1928 Plaza Theatre El Paso, Texas W. Scott Donne 1930 Saenger Theater Hattiesburg, Mississippi Emile Weil 1929 Sooner Theatre Norman, Oklahoma Harold Gimeno 1929 Temple Theatre Meridian, Mississippi Emile Weil 1927 Tennessee Theatre Knoxville, Tennessee Graven & Mayger 1928 Tower Theatre Los Angeles, California S. Charles Lee 1927
Theatres outside the United States
Theater Photo City and State Country Architect Date State/Forum Theatre Melbourne, Victoria Australia Bohringer, Taylor & Johnson 1929 Eastern Arcade (former Palace/Metro Theatre) Melbourne, Victoria Australia Hyndman & Bates 1894 (demolished in 2008)
Moorish revival synagogues
- Munich synagogue, by Friedrich von Gärtner, 1832 was the earliest Moorish revival synagogue (destroyed on Kristallnacht)
- Semper Synagogue, by Gottfried Semper, Dresden, 1839–40 (destroyed on Kristallnacht)
- Leopoldstädter Tempel, Vienna, Austria, 1853-58 (destroyed on Kristallnacht)
- Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest (Hungary), 1854–1859
- Leipzig synagogue 1855 (destroyed on Kristallnacht)
- Glockengasse synagogue, Cologne, Germany, 1855-61 (destroyed on Kristallnacht)
- New Synagogue, by Eduard Knoblauch, Berlin, 1859–1866
- Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, Tbilisi, Georgia, 1896
- Tempel Synagogue, Cracow, Poland, 1860–62
- Cetate Neologue Synagogue, Timişoara, Romania, by Ignaz Schumann, 1864–65
- Zagreb Synagogue, 1867
- The Great Synagogue of Stockholm, Sweden, by Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander, 1867–1870
- Spanish Synagogue, Prague, 1868
- Rumbach Street synagogue, Budapest, Hungary, 1872
- Czernowitz Synagogue, Czernowitz, 1873
- Great Synagogue of Florence, Tempio Maggiore, Florence, 1874–82
- Princes Road Synagogue, Liverpool, England, 1874
- Manchester Jewish Museum, built as a Sephardic synagogue, Manchester, England, 1874
- Great Synagogue in Pilsen, Pilsen, Bohemia, Czech Republic, 1888
- The Grand Choral Synagogue, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888
- Fabric New Synagogue in Timişoara,Romania, by Lipot Baumhorn, 1889
- Prešov synagogue, Prešov, Slovakia, 1898
- Vrbové synagogue, Vrbové, Slovakia, 1883
- Košice synagogue, Košice, Slovakia, 1899, interior of Rundbogenstil building
- Sarajevo Synagogue 1902
- Jubilee Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic, 1906
- Groningen Synagogue, Groningen, Netherlands, 1906
- Sofia Synagogue, Sofia, Bulgaria, 1909
- Isaac M. Wise Temple,( also known as the Plum Street Temple) Cincinnati, Ohio, 1865
- Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia, 1866 (no longer standing)
- Temple Emanu-El, on Fifth Avenue at 43rd Street, Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York built in 1868, designed by Leopold Eidlitz, assisted by Henry Fernbach, (no longer standing)
- Temple B’nai Sholom, Quincy, Illinois, 1870
- Central Synagogue, Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York, 1872
- Vine Street Temple, Nashville, Tennessee, 1874
- B'nai Israel Synagogue (Baltimore), Maryland, 1876
- Temple Adath Israel, Owensboro, Kentucky, 1877
- Prince Street Synagogue (Oheb Shalom,) Newark, New Jersey, 1884
- Eldridge Street Synagogue, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York, 1887
- Congregation Beth Israel of Portland, Oregon, 1888 (no longer standing)
- Park East Synagogue, Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York, 1889
- Gemiluth Chessed, Port Gibson, Mississippi, 1891
- Temple Beth-El, Corsicana, Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas, 1898–1900
- Temple Sinai (Sumter, South Carolina), 1912
- Ohabei Shalom, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1925
- Congregation Ohab Zedek, Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York, 1926
- Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia, 1928
Churches and Cathedrals
- Immaculate Conception Church (New Orleans), (a.k.a. Jesuit Church) is a striking example of Moorish Revival Architecture. Across the street was the College of the Immaculate Conception, housing a chapel with two stained glass domes. The chapel was disassembled and about half of it (one of the stained glass domes, eleven of the windows) was installed in the present Jesuit High School.
- The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar (1825–1832) an early example of Moorish revival architecture is located in Gibraltar, which formed part of Moorish Al-Andalus between 711 and 1462 AD.
The Shriners, a fraternal organization, often chose a Moorish Revival style for their Temples. Architecturally notable Shriners Temples include:
- New York City Center, now used as a concert hall
- Shrine Auditorium—Al Malaikah Temple, Los Angeles, California, by architects G. Albert Lansburgh and John C. Austin in 1926, on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Medinah Temple, Chicago, built by architects Huehl and Schmidt in 1912, now a Bloomingdales.
- Tripoli Shrine Temple, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1929.
- Almas Temple, 1315 K St NW, Washington. D.C., 1929.
- Zembo Mosque, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Acca Temple Shrine, Richmond, Virginia, (currently the Landmark Theater, colloquially known as 'The Mosque'), designed by Marcellus Wright, Sr. in association with Charles M. Robinson and Charles Custer Robinson in 1925 and completed in 1926.
- Algeria Shrine Temple, Helena, Montana
- El Zaribah Shrine Auditorium, Phoenix, Arizona
- The Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while not a Shrine Temple, is a Masonic building that uses the Moorish Revival architectural style. 1912
- The Zacherlfabrik, Vienna, 1892
- Templeton's Carpet Factory, Glasgow, Scotland, 1889 (normally described as Venetian Gothic).
- Former Yenidze Cigarette Factory, Dresden, Germany, 1908 (here, the "minarets" are used to disguise smokestacks)
National Library, Sarajevo (Bosnia)
Gran Teatro Falla, Cádiz (Spain)
Palace of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
The Grand Choral Synagogue, St. Petersburg (Russia)
the Fabric New Synagogue in Timişoara,(Romania),1889,(nowadays in decay, may be in danger of collapse)
- Moorish architecture
- Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture
- Sultan Abdul Samad Building - famous landmark in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- ^ John C. Poppeliers, S. Allen Chambers Jr. What Style Is It: A Guide to American Architecture, p. 63. ISBN 0-471-25036-8 .
- ^ Gebhard, David. Santa Barbara Architecture, from Spanish Colonial to Modern. Capra Press. Santa Barbara. 1980. (later editions avail.) p. 109
- ^ Landmark Theater
- ^ www.nmscottishrite.org/web-content/santa_fe/index.html
- Naylor, David, Great American Movie Theaters, The Preservation Press, Washington, D.C., 1987
- Thorne, Ross, Picture Palace Architecture in Australia, Sun Books Pty. Ltd., South Melbourne, Australia, 1976
Moorish Revival in New York Architecture http://www.nyc-architecture.com/STYLES/STY-MoorishRev.htm
Revival styles in Western architecture and decorative arts International British Empire France Germany Greece Portugal Russian Empire and USSR Scandinavia Spain United States
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