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Preston Bradley Hall Tiffany Dome

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 10 September 2013 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

Another edition of "What's old is new again." (Tag: woina) This photo was posted back in 2009. But this was during a time when my HDR processing was a little (OK, a lot) over the top. I wanted to reprocess this image in a more "conservative" way. :-)

Approximately 38 feet in diameter, the Tiffany dome inside the Chicago Cultural Center spans more than 1,000 square feet. It contains approximately 30,000 pieces of glass in 243 sections within an ornate cast iron frame. The body of the dome has a “fish scale” pattern. The center, called the oculus, shows the signs of the zodiac. The interior stained glass dome originally was protected by an exterior translucent glass dome, which allowed much-needed natural light into what was then the Chicago library’s general delivery room.

During this project, the concrete and copper exterior dome that had been added during the 1930s was removed, once again allowing natural light to shine through the glass. This was added, I was told, to protect the dome from enemy attack as the country entered World War I. Now, natural light pours into the room, changing the subtle colors of the restored glass minute-by-minute, while all of the room’s decorative elements glow and harmonize. In addition to cleaning and repairing the art glass, the ornate cast iron framework of the dome was given a new application of its original finish. Delicate rosette lighting around the cornice of the dome also was refurbished.

The cost of restoring the Tiffany dome was approximately $2,200,000.00. What was interesting to note was the original cost of the building’s design and construction, including the Tiffany dome, was less than the cost of restoration. In early 1900’s dollars, it cost $2,000,000.00, with the Tiffany dome coming in at a cost of $120,000.00.

It was also amazing by how much the colors would change in the Tiffany dome as the earth continued to orbit the ever-setting sun. After touring the entire building, I am still amazed at the construction of the building, the marble decor and the mosaic friezes, all at a minimal cost of $2,000,000.00.

Along the bottom of the dome’s entire perimeter is a phrase by Joseph Addison (1672-1719) written in Roman lettering: “Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.” Remember that the building’s original function was a library when it was first built, not as a cultural center.

Photo taken September 13, 2009.

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Spotlight Images

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

This HDR processing is an odd thing yeah? We both probably travelled the same road, out at the start the wild super saturated colours and excessive glows were all new territory and HAD to be explored. Now of course we all get a little more self critical and the learning curve has taught us how to control the process in such a way that we can actually achieve what we want, rather than accepting the the psychedelic creations that the software threw at us in the past.
Yes, this surely is a GOOD HDR, one that you can be really satisfied with.

10 Sep 2013 7:29am

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

Have a beautiful day.

10 Sep 2013 8:08am

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Superb . Great colors too . This is a beautiful way .

10 Sep 2013 10:25am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Yes, curious to look back at how we 'saw' things . . and these domes are a tough assignment in any mode.

10 Sep 2013 10:29am

Mariana Maoduš from Waterloo, Canada

wonderful framing .

10 Sep 2013 11:00am

Judy Clark from United States

Your processing drew every bit of available light out of your image w/o the often/usual distortions. This is really beautiful, Steven.

10 Sep 2013 2:26pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

WOW! This is spectacular!

10 Sep 2013 6:13pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

This is just magnificent! I love the color! Gorgeous image!

10 Sep 2013 6:18pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

A really stunning shot, very good work

10 Sep 2013 6:21pm

tataray from Deux-Sèvres. (Charentes-Poitou), France

Vraiment génial !.... ))

10 Sep 2013 7:37pm

LauraS from Chico, United States

So beautiful!

10 Sep 2013 7:42pm

maximage from Mase, Switzerland

A wonderful piece of art! A really stunning shot here.

10 Sep 2013 7:45pm

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

Spectacular result! Terrific processing creating such beautiful colors.

10 Sep 2013 9:18pm

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

Lovely capture and colors !

10 Sep 2013 9:42pm

Baldwin Vandewalle from Bejuma, Venezuela

Stunning image of this magnificent dome ... the colors and details are spectacular !!! Excellent treatment and very interesting information ...

11 Sep 2013 12:29am

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

This is so gorgeous, and a bit of an optical illusion. I can see it as curving in or curving out.

11 Sep 2013 12:53am

@B. Thomas: It's ironic that you would say that. I felt the same way about the Tiffany dome's chandelier and how it seemed to stand out, posted here. :-)

John Jungklaus from Chase Mills, NY, United States

Excellent - It's wonderful ! A superb capture !!!

11 Sep 2013 12:59am

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

I remember it.

HDR is best when kept very subtle. This is lovely.

11 Sep 2013 1:13am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

I remember this dome. It's gorgeous! Superb processing.

11 Sep 2013 1:37am

Julie L. Brown from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Amazing artwork! It is so luminous, the colors are lovely. You have made a good choice to reprocess these images. Really nice work!

11 Sep 2013 1:57am

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

Wonderful detail.

11 Sep 2013 2:27am

Akbar&Armaghan from Gorgan, Iran

Very nice photo

11 Sep 2013 4:01am

franz from Baden, Austria

this cupola glows thanks to your new touch !!!

20 Sep 2013 7:33pm