Friday, May 16, 2014

From the Parthenon to the Kittredge House; HBI's Council of Advisors Celebrates the Greek Revival

HBI’s Council of Advisors and friends gathered for their spring meeting May 13th and the focus was the Alvah Kittredge House (1836) and the classical architecture that inspired the American Greek Revival period in which it was built.

The afternoon program began with a behind-the-scenes visit to Kittredge House, currently undergoing restoration in Roxbury’s Highland Park, followed by a reception at the historic First ChurchRoxbury and riveting lecture by classical archaeologist and NYU Professor Joan Breton Connelly on her new book, The Parthenon Enigma:  A New Understanding of the World’s Most Iconic Building And The People Who Made It.  Dr. Connelly presented her new interpretation of the tragic foundational story of ancient Athens, embodied in the Parthenon’s 4th century BC friezes, and connected the symbolism of the building to American expressions of democratic ideals in the early 19th century.  Professor Connelly reminded her listeners that preservation of the Alvah Kittredge House’s temple architecture connects us to universal ideas that underpin civil society, and that the message of the Parthenon and ancient Athens --that individual sacrifice for the common good is a requirement for our survival – challenges us today as much as it did in the fledgling American republic of Alvah Kittredge.

Several new members of HBI’s Council of Advisors were also welcomed at this meeting:  

Robert Beal                                                     Lawence Curtis 
Marla Curtis                                                    Ronald Druker
Thomas Goemaat                                            Barbara Hostetter
Former Mayor Thomas Menino                        Robert Rivers
Marc Truant                                                    Robert Verrier
Chrystal Kornegay

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