WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in Saint Louis is known for its fine architecture, particularly those buildings done in the Academic Gothic style. Here are some photographs of Gothic ornament, found while I made a brief visit to the school. This is hardly a thorough survey, and some of the pictures are a bit blurry.
One of the newer buildings on campus, the Danforth University Center.
Here is McMillan Hall, where the following photos were taken.
I imagine that hardly anyone today knows the principles of Gothic proportion; however, the elaborate designs were produced with simple rules and tools, which took into careful consideration the relative ratio in size between design elements.
Often the meanings of various design elements are obscure; but these are undoubtably largely humorous. Even very fine Gothic churches will have some element of humor, especially in the more worldly and outer parts, far from the altar.
Diploma — the goal of most students!
The following were taken at the entrance to Graham Chapel, and in the authentic Gothic tradition, include natural scenes as well as fantastic beasts. Both McMillian Hall and Graham Chapel date from the early 20th century.
The Green Man.
Eagle in thistle.
Both this figure and the following one are indeed sideways.
Beast and man as purely decorative gargoyles.
Some other newer buildings on campus.