The arches found over entrances of many old buildings are often set apart from the building both stylistically and structurally. Sometimes they symbolically announce the building you’re entering, and sometimes literally. And in the case of a number of historic arches across the country, they have outlived their buildings.
The first case of this that I knew about was the arch from the Chicago Stock Exchange Building (1894). Even as the building was torn down, onlookers knew they were losing something important. Several pieces of the building can still be seen: the Trading Room has been reconstructed within the Art Institute of Chicago and a set of the stunningly intricate elevator doors can be seen at the Seattle Art Museum (I just stumbled across these last week!). And, as you may have guessed, the arch from the main entrance has been preserved as a stand-alone piece just outside the Art Institute.
The more I look, the more I see examples of arches being saved from demolished buildings. In the case of the Francisco Terrance (1895), a low-income apartment complex designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park, the arch was salvaged and reinstalled in another Oak Park apartment complex in 1977.
Seattle also has an arch remembering a lost building in downtown. This arch, which stands on 1st Ave in Seattle, was originally part of the 1895 Burke Building. Today is stands out, set apart from the newer buildings. It stands next to a bus stop and invites pedestrians to walk through, though they are no longer ushered into a building on the other side.
I’d be curious, do any of you know of other stand-alone or reused arches out there?