November 10, 2005 - Ed Warms the Bench
Ceramic tiles are everywhere in Santa Barbara. They cover benches, steps, fountains, and floors. They are the perfect accent to the white smooth walls that cover much of all-over-the-place.
If your business in Santa Barbara is legal business, you might find yourself walking up Anacapa Street from Carrillo to the Courthouse. As you “approach the bench” (that’s one of those legal terms we learned from Law & Order or Ally McBeal), you’ll find many tile benches on which you can sit and rest your case. In fact, there are three tile benches on the block before the Courthouse.
The benches are in front of the busy parking lot that’s attached to the Wells Fargo Bank building on the corner of Figueroa and Anacapa.
We’re not sure that the benches get much sitting action, but we do know that one of those benches was photographed and its likeness placed on the Edhat website for the Wednesday Where Is It (WWII). Yesterday, after the rain-rain went away, the dedicated staff of edhat.com spent some time photographing the benches and the other tile that adorns the bank building. A fountain in the ATM Plaza has a tile backdrop for the lion head that spits water from the top. Almost all of the stair risers are adorned with tile. Each step has a different tile pattern. just like the famous staircase at Paseo Nuevo.
We saw many people sitting on the plain green benches across the street as they waited for the Number 11 bus to arrive, but the tile benches were only used briefly as a shelf for resting plastic bags by one of the City’s homeless citizens.
Brian Cearnal, an architect who has designed many of the white buildings in town – Saks Fifth Avenue, the Bank and Trust Building, the Braille Institute, and the Goleta Presbyterian Church, designed the bank. Of course, he’s also the architect behind the Andalucia Hotel at Four Corners.
We might get emails about this, but it appears to the dedicated staff that the use of colorful ceramic tile is a newer feature of Spanish Revival.
You can find this feature on many of the buildings built since the late 80’s, but not as much so on the buildings built prior to that.
In yesterday’s contest, there were many close-but-no-cigar guesses (anyone who said bus stop was disqualified). There were also many contestants who knew their tile. The winners were, ^, Nelsonsmom, nix, grizgirl, Peg S, mcconfrontation, Edda Hatte, linnyg, mucho, and 2728. Ten little training treats were placed in a perfect line on the floor. The edhat dog, who was feeling quite symmetric, picked the middle treat - number 5. Peg S is the winner of an Edhat t-shirt.
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