Le Corbusier famously argued that the house is a machine for living in. His inspiration varied from ocean liners to granaries in the United States, in which engineers designed around functionality and simplicity of purpose. It seems fitting then that a Renaissance era Italian motif is recreated in a singular style by American engineers. You might even say it has more in common with an Indian chhatri than its Italian counterpart.
Since chhatri’s were originally used to “demarcate funerary sites” the location atop the Cleveland Indians’ stadium seems fitting. Still, these domes on stilts exude “pride and honor”, which the team and the people of Cleveland most certainly have.
Yet, following Corb’s argument, this American cupola has a singular purpose, to generate energy. And we all know Cleveland can’t afford to pay its energy bills right now. Its spiral form is pragmatic, dynamic, and expresses the hopes of a nation on the rise, if not a baseball team.
Frank Lloyd Wright tried to create a style truly American. There are disagreements as to whether he succeeded. Did he actually create a style recreated by those who followed him and was it considered an American one? Or did he simply create a style for himself, mimicked by many, and taken further by others, such as Bruce Goff? Perhaps now, we will have our own singular gesture that will define us when future generations think of American architecture.