I was back in Salem, Mass. over the weekend for a photo shoot (updating the KHS website) and stopped by my favorite room in the upper level of East India Marine Hall at the Peabody Essex Museum. Constructed in 1825 to house artifacts collected by the East India Marine Society from beyond the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn, the Hall's original architect is currently unknown.
The height and shape of the windows in combination with their arrangement and glazing pattern make a striking impression. Despite their towering size, I believe the windows are single-hung. The surrounding trim emphasizes the windows' shape much as eye liner calls even greater attention to the eyes they trace. The windows' reflections on the floor are not to be overlooked, nor the different types of glass that form the window panes. I don't know if the original design called for the use of different glass types, but the result creates a somewhat abstract collage-like more modern effect.
The airy daylight in this grand space inspires most visitors to lower their voices and stand in admiration of the space before venturing to the rooms edges to look at the artifacts housed there. It's a must see/must experience if you find yourself at the PEM.
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast