Today’s post is a tribute to our Rosslyn forebear, George McNulty, from whom we inherited a whimsical double sunburst motif on the west façade of Rosslyn’s ell, and Peter Vaiciulis who fabricated a slightly downscaled sister embellishment for the east façade of the icehouse.
This twist on a familiar Essex architectural theme, the sunburst motif that is most prominent on the old firehouse turned art gallery turned tavern (in the middle of town), is perhaps best described as a double sunburst. Or, in the view of Peter, the carpenter who reinterpreted George McNulty’s original with a slightly more diminutive iteration, this is not a sunburst at all, but rather two “sun fans”.
And a haiku is born.
Double Sunburst Haiku
What sunburst motif?
Better two suns than one, and
a pair of sun fans.
Or Sunup, Sundown?
As an unabashed heliocentrist I’m drawn to another possibility. Possibly Peter’s “sun fans” are actually an architectural paean to the rising sun and the setting sun. Sunup. Sundown. Conjoined. Sunup-sundown.
While it’s tempting to conceive of Essex, New York (and maybe even the entire Adirondack Coast) as the point of perennial sunrise, more fitting (and yet similarly flattering) is the more reality based celebration of sunup AND sundown. For both are glorious in this realm.
The Essex sunburst has ostensibly been ornamenting our community since the late 18th or early 19th century. Perhaps this 1882 Harper’s Weekly illustration was inspired by a visit to our fair hamlet?
What do you think?