Thursday, March 13, 2008

a firm grasp on the local: relocating Wordsmiths

To my surprise, the historic building currently housing Wordsmiths Books in Decatur, Georgia doesn't seem to be represented in images on the web...I may have to do some documentation before the building undergoes its next transmutation in a couple of weeks. (As far as I know, the building was one of a limited number of post offices and public buildings built with Georgia marble as a New Deal response to quite local this case, the architectural use of Georgia marble in a somewhat Deco/Moderne construction, which would have made more sense in terms of economic stimulus than another one of the brick, Mount-Vernon-quoting post office buildings that are spread across the Midwest and elsewhere.)

So enough of speculative architectural history, which I am hoping will spur somebody other than myself to visit the Dekalb County Historical Society and get the real story. The point of the present post is that Wordsmiths Books, which in a few months' time has established itself as the key indie player in a burgeoning literary community (arts community in general eventually, I hope), failed to make an offer on the building in time and now must relocate to another, younger but equally remarkable architectural site.

So as a matter of my own pleasure I had to rip off from their newsletter this photo of the former Suntrust Bank space on Decatur Square to which they are relocating. I am perennially charmed by independent booksellers with the architectural imagination to understand that books ought to be sold in surroundings at least as individual and thought-arousing as the volumes themselves.

A lobby chandelier and a now-disused vault qualifies, I should think.

If these guys get a clearer view of the visual arts beyond architecture they could be formidable.

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