The Palace of Industry or Derzhprom in Freedom Square, Kharkiv, was competed in 1928 and, at ten stories, was the first Soviet skyscraper. Its overlapping cubist forms are a 'constructivist' composition, with sky bridges linking the mini cityscape of rising and dropping blocks. Constructivism held that the essence of modern art was found in construction, and so all decorative form was eliminated. Goundbreaking in its time, the building was much visited. It was the result of a competition in 1925 and constructed as the parliament building for the new Soviet Republic of Ukraine (Kiev had resisted the Bolsheviks in 1918). It housed it's central committee, commissariats, planning commission, various industrial enterprises, a library and a hotel. Its architecture represented a dramatic and confident break from the past and embodied what the architects (Sergei Serafimov, Samuel Kravets and Mark Felger) thought was the spirit of the new state. However, almost as soon as it was opened 'national communists' began to be repressed and in 1932 Stalin dissolved all autonomous architectural groupings in favour of a state architecture that was much more hierarchical and classically inspired. In 1934 the capital was moved back to Kiev. The building survived several attempts to be blown up by the Nazi's in World War II and managed to avoid being refaced, like some of its neighbours in the Stalinist style in the 1950's. The radio transmitter on top of one block was added in the same decade. Apart from the removal of a statue to Lenin, the building had remained unaltered in recent decades. At present, with the city subject to significant Russian bombardment, the condition of this important and unique modernist building and of its many workers and occupants is unknown.
Set at the focus of Mariupol's Beaux Arts town plan, the theatre, like Belfast City Hall, terminates the view down a long urban boulevard. Behind is a large public park, where during winter, an ice rink is provided. The theatre opened in 1887 but was significantly enlarged in 1960. lts' pediment is unusual in that the statues are not embedded in a wall behind, but are free standing in top of the entablature below. So sad to see such a fine place being wantonly besieged and destroyed at present. This drawing is based upon a photograph taken in 2021.
Located near the village of Castlemagner in Co Cork, this ruined and overgrown structure is the place that gives the village its name. William Magner (or Magnuel) was granted this pace in 1183 following the Anglo Norman conquest. The site is elevated above a nearby river and may have been the location of a pre-existing Gaelic fort. Originally a stockade, the tower construction is understood to have commenced in the 14th century at a time when the Duke of Clarence was fortifying the edge of Norman control against the McCarthy's. In the 15th century it was extended as a tower house and the curved stair tower added. A defensive wall was added around the site at the same time. In the 17th century . Following burning in the Great Munster Rebellion of 1598 the structure was reinhabited and a two story house built alongside. Damaged again in the Comwellian period the buildings were again rebuilt, only to be destroyed in 1691 following occupation by Jacobites. the tower was deliberately blown up leaving the remnant we see today. In 1755 a new owner developed a Georgian hose on the Comwellian ruins. In the early nineteenth century the site was converted into a working farm. The house was extended westward into the former stable and this portion thatched. in 1934 the building was sold to the last resident owner. He removed the thatch following a fire in 1955 and replaced it with corrugated metal. He died in 1984 aged 95. the building has not subsequently been occupied and is now in a poor state.
Marks of Time
Sketches of buildings in the North West of Ireland and further afield with a little information about their history.