1920s Art Deco Architecture
In classic Art Deco, rectangular blocky forms were often arranged in geometric fashion, then broken up by curved ornamental elements. But always the aim was a monolithic appearance with applied decorative motifs.
Art Deco took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs , from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, though the diverse styles that characterize Art Deco had already appeared in Paris and Brussels before World War I.
Art Deco emerged as a popular style of American architecture the 1920s and 1930s. The style originated as a visual art movement in France at the beginning of the 20th Century. It was widely seen at the 1925 Paris exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts and the 1933-1934 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. Art Deco architecture, sculpture, decorative arts and functional objects all flourished in the United States during this time.
Identifying Art Deco: Smooth wall surface, often stucco; smooth-faced stone and metal; polychromy, often with vivid colors; forms simplified and streamlined; geometric designs including zigzags, chevrons; towers and other vertical projections, presenting a vertical emphasis; machined and often metalic construction materials for decorative features.