Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plaza d'Italia

One New Orleans landmark that most people don't know is architect Charles Moore's post-modern masterpiece the Plaza d'Italia...  Situated in the arts/warehouse district, a block or two out of sight, is Louisiana's answer to the Trevi Fountain.

Plaza d'Italia - photo gifted to the public domain

In plan this fountain plaza is more or less a 3D marble and cobblestone map of Italy, set in concentric circles of paving and embraced by arcs of colonnades, with water spurting out here and there unexpectedly.  (There's an intermittent geyser at Mt. Vesuvius!)  

This park displays all my favorite aspects of the short-lived Post-Modern movement: humor, playfulness, color, and erudition.  Charles Moore and Robert Venturi may have been the only designers able to pull this tricky style off.  I love this place!

Plaza d'Italia colonnades - photo gifted to the public domain

Plaza d'Italia had been in terrible condition - nicknamed "the first post-modern ruin" - but I was glad to see that its renovation of a few years back is still holding (mostly) good.  Charles Moore himself is gone, but his face remains at this space he created... as a fountain which, I'm told, was a surprise from his students.

Charles Moore's face, Plaza d'Italia, New Orleans - photo gifted to the public domain

No comments:

Post a Comment