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ABOUT THIS SITE:

Cupola is an eclectic collection of historic architecture, fine art,  picturesque landscapes, word play, autocad resources, white-hot web links, and of course, cupolas.  Its main focus is on architectural history, serving as a general resource for students and lovers of old buildings. 

It also is a great place to learn more about cupolas and where to find them.


ABOUT THE GALLERIES:

Cupola's Building, Art, and Landscape thumbnail picture galleries offer a kind of an Internet version of the traditional, arty, coffee-table picture book.  The Cupolas of Capitalism galleries chronicle the building histories of all the working American State Capitols, complete with a picture gallery and links to other relevant sites.  My Cupola F.A.Q. offers answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about cupolas and where to buy or find them.

The WordPlay gallery includes word games, poetry, and humor that your host has collected over the years.  It also is the current home of Steve Fullenwider's Not So Correct Dictionary.  The Autocad Resource and HotLinks galleries feature links to many other architecture, art, word play, and autocad sites that your host has found worthwhile and believe my visitors may as well.


WHO'S BEHIND IT ALL AND WHY:

The Cupola website evolved from the creative, though possibly pepperoni pizza-induced, musings of Howard Partridge, your host.  Cupola Consulting, our business oriented sister site at Qupola.com, sponsors the entire production in the spirit of being a patron of the arts and of education.  Aside from acknowledging its creator and sponsor, the site has no purpose in the commercial sense.

Cupola is mainly a collection of pictures of historical buildings, places, and things that Howard has visited and photographed over the years.  The site's architectural leanings reflect his background in architecture, as well as his enthusiasm for interesting old buildings.  Its purpose is mainly to engender some of that same enthusiasm in others, and to act as a general architectural resource for the Internet community.

It is also a soapbox for cupola promotion, celebrating its venerable history as one of architecture's most whimsical and fascinating design elements.  The early modernists hated them with a passion usually reserved for mother-in-laws.  Cupolas to them represented the worst ornamental excesses of the past, especially those built in miniature temple form, and as such had no place in the modern architect's design vocabulary.  But after so many years of ornament bashing, it is clearly time to reevaluate that position.

Howard makes no claims that this is a comprehensive database of architects, artists, or their works.  He offers only a cursory survey of some of the different historical periods and styles.  The site, large as it is, merely scratches the surface.  It has many, many gaps in its architectural coverage, as does the Internet in general.  The HotLinks section lists some of the better online resources, but one must keep in mind that most architectural history subjects are still best covered in books.  Your host only hopes that this site will help fill in a few of the online holes in an interesting and entertaining way.  Fortunately, public libraries are usually available whenever you want to delve deeper.

Howard chose the Cupola name originally because he wanted a permanent email address (not tied to an ISP or other service) and thought cupola a good moniker for an architect.  The word simply oozes with architectural meaning.  Cupolas, widow's walks, and  gazebos have always fascinated him, which added to its allure.  He also liked the name's alliterative sound.  The double "C" in Cupola.Com rolls off the tongue nicely.  Said quickly, it almost sounds like Kubla Khan.  That is the title of a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which describes Xanudu and its "stately pleasure dome," an unintended bonus.  Your host understands that Kubla Khan was also the code name for the world's first network hub, which provides a loose tie in to his other experience as a network administrator.  Incredibly, Cupola.Com was still available at the time, so he snapped it up.

It took a few years, but eventually Howard began work on the Cupola site itself.  The email address was simply begging for an architectural website to go with it, and it seemed silly to have a site named Cupola without cupolas....

Work on this site has been demanding in terms of Howard's limited free time, but he has had fun in the process.  He has learned a lot, and has gained a real appreciation for the dedication required to put up and maintain a website.  His combined background in architecture and in computer support makes him painfully aware of how artistic intent may be at odds with the available technology and vice versa.   This is an ongoing challenge in the development of this site.  The content here is inherently more visual than verbal.  As an artist, your host would like complete control over the composition, as well as the pleasure of using nice big, high quality images on the site without any negative consequences.  But as a techie, he is also aware of the limitations that hardware and software impose on such things.  One must make compromises in order to get web pages to load quickly and reliably, under all kinds of conditions.  Finding a suitable balance is all part of the fun.


MORE INFORMATION:

The Cupola website first went online on September, 18, 1998.  Please review the Legal Stuff page if you would like to download items from this site.  Hope you enjoy your visit.  If you are revisiting, you might want to check out the What's New section to see the latest news on Cupola.

 
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This page was last updated on 10/20/2014
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the owner of Cupola Creations