Re: Re: Clerys
The ground floor columns have elegant Ionic capitals.
However most do not appear to feature plinths of any kind – they merge directly with the floor, possibly as they originally ran into built-in timber counters and display units.
One particularly curious feature is this odd box-like projection on at least half of the ground floor columns. The capital detail even continues around it:
I had always presumed them to be original electrical conduits servicing counters given the building’s solid concrete frame, but it’s also possible they were installed as reinforcing supports for the added third storey. It’s also very odd that they do not even face the rear wall in spite of the crude projections they are; rather they stick out at various angles.
The delightful ribbon and flute plasterwork can still be observed around the modern insert panels of the cool, icy coved ceilings.
It doesn’t bear thinking about what the coffers looked like originally right across the store, perhaps with matching centre roses suspending bronze or brass light fittings with glittering glass shades…
Upstairs on the first floor the scale is immediately more intimate and human; here the columns are shorter in line with the lower ceiling, and hence more visible:
They are also fully designed from capital to plinth, adding a distinguished air to the shopping space atop the dark timber flooring:
They must have been quite striking in the ballroom.
Towards the rear of the first floor, magnificent pairs of oak doorcases stand to attention either side of the staircase, the left-hand side now serving the Tearooms, the right-hand side providing access to toilets and staff quarters. Apparently the staff washrooms still feature the 1940s mirrors of Mr Guiney’s ballroom from when they used to be the Ladies powder room!
Vaguely Georgian in character, and reminiscent of Government Buildings’ entrance of the same era, they feature typical 1920s leaded warped glass which if all original is a remarkable survival, and some sturdy detailing:
More ribbon plasterwork surrounds them:
And also features on the brass handles: