The windows are set in recessed spaces and the brick courses just above the windows are gently brought outward to the main surface plane. For interest, alternating bricks are brought outward even more to create a checkerboard pattern. Then, as the wall transitions to the roof line, bricks are pushed forward to create bracket-like shapes.
Then, there is a series of bricks set diagonally, creating a hatched effect. Above that is a line of brackets supporting a Cornice. And, finally, there is a name set into a brick Parapet that spans the width of the building.
As you look over to the building notice the different types of support bars and wires there are, and where they are attached to the building.
Like the previous building, the upper part has a different facade style. This one is covered in terra-cotta tiles, giving the effect of solid stone blocks.
This topknot has a name and a date.
Then, the double brackets look like it could be two buildings with identical facades, but the bricks below do not have a seam. There is a door immediately below that leads to the upper floors, so that is most likely the reason for the extra width.
Each of the vertical elements has bricks that are set vertically in a triangular 1-3-5 pattern. The courses above the windows are interrupted with two bricks set diagonally to create diamond shapes. Then, bricks are set to form a horizontal serpentine pattern across the wall. Just above that, pairs of bricks are set forward to create a line of Dentils.
But, there is something unusual. You might have to back and forth a bit, but look below the arched windows. There is a triangular detail that looks like it might be covered over.
Is it possible that the ground floor has the same sort of detailing? Otherwise, why is that triangular bit there?
But why? The space is so narrow–too narrow for an alley or a sidewalk–so why leave a gap. One of the two buildings could have been widened to fill the space.
Then look at the top. But notice how the details are on the simple side, and the paint makes them look more complex.
As for details, look at the upper two corners. There is a pair of very detailed cornices, but notice how they do not connect. In fact, they do not even go to the edge. And then there are the two swags underneath with their wafting ribbons.
The alternating keystone-like blocks draw attention to the fact that the arch is made of separate blocks–normally the joints are more discreet. But all the right angles and straight lines contrast with the curves of the arch to hightlight each block.
Now look at the detail above the door. We have all those somewhat geometric details and here there are curvy lines and leaves. This is not bad, just not as solid. Also, the whole element is slightly wider than the door frame, so it feels like crown.
Imagine the curvy bits are gone and the Cornice is narrower–it would blend in with the rest of the details. Perhaps that is why the it is there.
The leaf detail is called a Palmette.
Now look between the legs. What do you see? Where you might expect a fig leaf there is another Palmette.
So what do you do? Paint. It highlights the geometry on the facade but it really adds to the side. Those arches are simple half-circles, but the paint brings them, the wall above them, and the cornice into a single large detail. Do you see it?
But, this time the bricks have different colors so there is some visual texture.
Look at the windows above the entrance. They each have a keystone bracket, this time with a different leaf type at the bottom.
Now look just to the left at the details between the windows. What do you see? More Palmettes.
I think this side–the side that faces Main Street–is meant for business. You are downtown to get something done and this is where you start. The other entrance–that has a lawn and those curving staircases–is more grand and better for speeches and photos.
However, they did not succeed.
See those little blocks at the top and bottom of the Pilasters? The top center one is different–it has a portait. Now look just above that. You might notice those four four swags, but look closely at the detail in the center. It is a Green Man. His face is made of greenery.
You can also see, on either side, a pair of cornices. While they looked a little strange on a flat roof line, they make sense with the shapes here.
And it is tall. Just look at the front door for a sense of scale. The entrance is not being shy either–that is a lot of stone for such a small door.
The upper level, with its smooth brick surface, seems even more secure way up there. It does not have to try because you would have to get past the ground floor first. Even so, it is not slacking. See the turret on the corner? It has Crenellations. One could imagine a guard up there keeping an eye out for invaders.
It has a taller-than-necessary ground floor. After all, it does have to compete with the Keep next door. The middle section has two floors. Notice how the upper windows are taller. The sign does say "Fraternity Building", so perhaps the lower floor is offices and the upper is a big open area–maybe even taller than the windows because there is more building above.
Then there are six large brackets below an even larger Pediment. And there is still building behind there; perhaps it is a large and dusty attic full of cobwebby antiques.
After all that, there are still a variety of smaller details scattered around. This is definitely no wallflower.
This is a face that could be on a gold coin. It is in profile with a classic hair style and even has a coin-like detail above. Then there is a jungle of flowing foliage to cover up the otherwise plain surface.
Take a quick glance at the column. See all those little divets? How would you like to be the one that had to pop all those little chips? Not me.
The upper stories have arches, keystones, and Pilasters. And, normally, that would be enough. But, someone came by and decided that the ornaments needed ornamenting. So the arches got smaller arches, the keystones got a smaller keystone detail, and the rectangles in the Pilasters got Letterpressed.
Again, not complaining.
Not here. The mortar has decided to rise up–or out–and let everyone know It Is Here. What it does not know is that each and every brick is even more visible now instead of blending together into a unified mass. We can really see how the bricks are put together.
See those greeny-browny rectangles below the brick part? See the horizontal seams on them? Those seams are not random–they have a pattern. The widths of the rectangles might vary but not the pattern.
And then, look at the grid below the rectangles. Can you read the letters?
There is another pair of cornices, this time sporting moustaches.
If you step away from the building and look up you can see a decorative panel between the two sets of windows. Amongst the swirling foliage you can see a book, an eye, and a violin.
There are some nice uncomplicated details. The bricks that outline the tops of the windows are themselves outlined by bricks. The large Cornice at the top is suppported by brackets of different sizes. The small windows below it have scrollwork underneath. And the center window has a date above and a lattice for more visual texture.
The two cornices come right up to the emblem and then return. If they had met it would have been just another cornice that might be worth just a glance.
The ground floor has the rough stone, then five windows separated with rough stone, then horizontal stone, then bricks and windows, then the checkerboard pattern and finally small vertical rectangles.
They also help us see that the building does not just look old, it is old.
But, the brick details on either side are nice. They are deep enough to create some large and not-at-all-subtle shadows. And then there are the scooped-out areas of the top edge that break up that long straight edge.