Coffers and Corinthians

Milwaukee City Hall coffered side entry and Corinthian columns

A trip to the dentist took me past City Hall again for the second time in a couple months. In December it had been probably a few years since I’d been able to get up close, thanks to the scaffolding in place to perform restoration work.  That afternoon I took a picture of the fire escape, which was so ornate it didn’t even look like a fire escape to me.  A small version of the photo is below, but you can view the full-sized version here.


Today it was the columns flanking the side entrance on the east side of the building that caught my eye.  Not the columns themselves, although I do love how that gleaming, white marble contrasts with the sandstone.  No, what I noticed today were the small cherub faces peering out through the foliage of the Corinthian capitals.

Milwaukee City Hall cherub face

More cherub faces—all different from one another—can be found on each side of every column.  For example, you can see three cherubs in the photo below.

Milwaukee City Hall cherub faces in Corinthian columns 2

And here’s another.

Milwaukee City Hall cherub in Corinthian column 3

I actually only noticed the “coffers” of this post’s title courtesy of my younger daughter.  She’s studying art history, and as soon as she saw the arched entryway just inside the exterior wall in the first photo of today’s post, she exclaimed, “Oh, it’s just like the Pantheon!”

Which it really is.  At least in terms of being arched and coffered 🙂

Interior of ancient Rome’s Pantheon dome, by Владимир Шеляпин CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikipedia)


Milwaukee’s City Hall is such a treasure.  I know I’ve said it before, but we are so fortunate to have this building!

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
This entry was posted in architecture, Art, History, Life, Milwaukee, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Coffers and Corinthians

  1. benbrilliant says:

    Wow that’s some beautiful architecture!


  2. Those little faces are so cute!! I never knew they were there!!


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