REQUIESCAT IN PACE
But not too much pace.
Of all the historical styles that might be represented in Agincourt’s architecture, several have been a particular challenge for me — and some are downright creepy. It reminds me that my architectural education fell at the end of the Modern Movement when a spartan Bauhaus æsthetic held sway and “less was [deemed to be] more”. So when half-term mayor Ed Flynn went to that great campaign stump in the sky, I knew he’d have to go out in classical style — literally.
Ed’s anticipation of his passing would probably have focused on long-term remembrance on Earth, rather than building up treasures in Heaven: Ed attended church services in a very public way but it was a campaign strategy more than something genuinely spiritual. His widow Amity is another story, though I don’t know anything about her religious affiliation. I’ll ask around. So, whether planned by Ed himself or by Mrs Flynn posthumously, I knew the FitzGerald Flynn interment at The Shades would be above ground and in the cemetery’s sole mausoleum. Ed’s ego demanded nothing less than an erection of some kind. And yet…
His passing so soon after the World’s Columbian Exposition — will we be renaming that in the spirit of revised political correctness, I wonder; why would we want to have celebrated the European “discovery” of a world that was new to them but certainly not to the inhabitants already here? — meant that the ever fashion-forward Flynn would have chosen the new Classical Revival style popularized at the fair. And that, of course, has challenged me with an unfamiliar architectural idiom: I know it conceptually but have never actually tried to work within it. The simpler a style, the more obvious my missteps will be to my critics. Complexity is easy; minimalism, not so much.
Ed and Amity have been referenced in these pages multiple times; proportionally more than they might warrant. But I still hope to do the Flynns justice in design for their eternal rest, if for no other reason than Amity, who became such a warm and likable person as soon as Ed was out of the picture.