Sophie Says: City Hall

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Gramps Says Of all of the new buildings that have been constructed in Winters since the Arco Station was built, which one best reflects the city style and has the most attractive exterior? Hands down, my vote for the most handsome building is the new Winters Hotel. The brick façade compliments the adjoining downtown buildings and the various motifs fronting Abbey Street speak of the varied cultural influences throughout the state of California. I won’t mention why I didn’t select any of the other structures. I realize that there are as many opinions about almost everything as there are people. If this were not so we would all live in the same color of house and everyone would love Trump. That covers the new buildings. Now among all the buildings in town, both old and new, which one takes the prize? I look at the hotel, and then look west and then to the hotel again, but my eye keeps drifting back to the west. Standing west of the hotel is the City Hall. It has the requisite brick and there is a quiet elegance about it. It is beautifully balanced. The pediment entry and decorative detailing are neither garish nor understated. But there is more and I think it is the symmetry of the structure. I took a picture and measured the height and width. Sure enough it comes very close to matching the Fibonacci Golden Ratio, which is considered to be the most pleasing proportion to the human eye. So my vote for the most pleasing building exterior goes to the City Hall. The City Hall was designed by architect William H. Weeks and built in 1916. Surely Weeks knew of the golden ratio as architects have recognized its significance since the death of Leonardo Fibonacci in 1175. If Weeks tweaked the ratio a tad, it was out of practical necessity. He was required to include in the building a city hall, court rooms, jury room, jail, city attorney office, town clerk’s office, library, and fire department. These needs today are met in both the city hall building and other sizable structures scattered about the city. Sophie Says Gramps is not the best choice to select the pleasing qualities of a structure as his olfactory senses are not fully developed. For instance, when I circumvent the new hotel I get nothing. I know of a fireplug that has more ambiance. The really good buildings need to be old. Let me give you an example. The building on the corner of Railroad and Edwards Street has long sidewalk frontages on two sides. When I circumvent that structure I revel in decades of aromatic blends. Now that’s a fine building! Other than that, I guess it’s like a book, or people for that matter. It’s not so much what’s on the cover as what’s on the inside.]]>

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