Incense and monuments

photo.JPGHere is the latest ancient ruin from Clayton Fulkerson, whose Greek and Roman monuments graced this blog (“Ancient temples on parade“), and Cranston’s William Hall Free Library, last November. I dined with Clay this afternoon at the Chapel Grille, also in Cranston, and asked him whether he had started any new ancient temples. He replied that he had completed an incense burner inspired (he imagines) by the four ornamental pylons on the Alexander III Bridge, in Paris, among other things. His thinking reflects the tendrils and penumbra of memory that influence how a design arrives in the mind of a designer:

It’s an original design, but I find that almost everything is derivative.  A few weeks ago I found a pair of similar structures just off of Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.  In addition, I’m sure I was inspired by the Alexander III Bridge in Paris.  In short, it’s a common form, but the removable urn is mine, I think.

In addition to the photo at left, Clay sent a brief video of the monument in the process of smoking. To see the fumes curl forth into the air is almost to smell it. I was unable to slide it off his email and onto my desktop for plantation in this post. I will add it as soon as I can. [Update: The 29-second video is now posted beneath the bridge below.]

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Pont d’Alexandre III, in Paris. (

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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