Creative Sparks essay, week 4: Architectural detail

A look at San Francisco's cornices

I live in San Francisco where there’s a wide variety of Victorian houses. What’s been catching my eye recently are cornices, a word I didn’t know existed until I saw a home renovation show. They’re the little right-angle bits holding up the roof. There are many of them here in the city, ranging from stone to wood, simple to ornate. I might add more to this post later if I find myself wandering another neighborhood.

I once read somewhere that people don’t normally look up when they’re walking around. It’s true: you’re usually focused straight ahead or at the highest, maybe the distant traffic light. But far up—like roofs, balconies, windows—all those little details are worthy of notice, too. Now I look up wherever I go. I’ve found cats and dogs staring down at me, people people-watching in return, and life-sized cutouts that scare me.

The last image isn’t exactly about a cornice, but I had to capture how intensely ornate that entryway was.