My apologies for both the delay between posts and the unexpected lapse between Part II and Part III of my Overhead Wire series. The collection and organization of photographs has proven far more challenging than I ever anticipated, but it will continue. In order to counter the dry spell between posts, I wanted to offer a seemingly humdrum photo of Frankfort, the state capital of Kentucky, a community which offers far more interesting vistas than the one below. But check out that big tower.
However, this photo offers a new configuration for the overhead wires (compared to my two previous posts), and the 26-story skyscraper in the background is worthy of note. It presides over dwarfs this city of under 30,000, yet it is not the state house. It is the Capital Plaza Office Tower, which rests on one side of the valley that hugs the small city, while the official capital sits on the other:
The strategic placement of the three structures across the hills of central Kentucky makes for a jarring skyline. While a few other states have opted for a high-rise tower as the primary configuration of their statehouse (North Dakota, Nebraska, and Louisiana come to mind), it’s unprecedent for a small town like Frankfort to preserve its more conventional low-rise State Capitol, yet push the majority of state government workers onto a separate high-rise office tower. But, taking an optimistic view of these incongruous aesthetics, what better way to illustrate the succession of different architectural cultures over two centuries? And, at the start of a third century, a firm has recently recommended tearing the Office Tower down in order to integrate state government jobs into the downtown. Frankfort is worthy of an additional blog post, but this trinity of government buildings demonstrates an approach to monumentality in state capitol building that borrows loosely from Louisiana and Baton Rouge, while achieving entirely different aesthetic results.