January 13, 2016

Preservation Glossary: Arcade

  • By: David Weible
The downtown Berkeley post office

photo by: Paul Sullivan/Flickr/CC BY ND 2.0

The downtown Berkeley Post Office in California has a beautiful exterior arcade.

No. Not the kind of arcade with pinball and Buck Hunter. The kind of arcade that imbues a classic, cultivated feel to just about any building. The kind of arcade that conveys beauty and power.

But if you can find an arcade with an arcade, all the better I suppose.

If we're strictly talking building design, though, the Trust for Architectural Easements Glossary of Architectural Terms defines the word as:

Arcade, noun:

A series of arches supported by columns or other vertical elements.

Word in Use:

"Now active in Save the Berkeley Post Office, a grassroots group, Lonergan is like many Berkeley residents who have come to appreciate more than ever the 1914 Renaissance Revival-style building. Its architectural features, like its arcaded loggia and grand lobby with ornate woodwork and marble details, embody the ideals of the City Beautiful movement."—Lauren Walser, City Unites to Save Berkeley’s Downtown Post Office, April 10, 2014

And for more information on historic post offices, click here.

David Weible is the content specialist at the National Trust, previously with Preservation and Outside magazines. His interest in historic preservation was inspired by the ‘20s-era architecture, streetcar neighborhoods, and bars of his hometown of Cleveland.

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