Architecture Peaks

Gothic Revival Heavy Arched Bookends by Bradley & Hubbard (LEO Design)

The Gothic is, in my opinion, the high point of human architectural design.  Begun in France in the 1100’s, the style was originally called Opus Francigenum (or “French Work”) due to its strong association with the French.  It spread throughout Europe and remained en vogue until the Renaissance,  some 400 years later.  It was most commonly used in large, public (or state) buildings: town halls & castles, city walls & bridges, abbeys & cathedrals—some of which took centuries to complete.  The design is typified by strong vertical (“heavenward”) thrust with pointed arches, ribbed vaulting, flying buttresses, large tracery windows, towers & spires, and plenty of trefoils and quatrefoils.

Part of what impresses me is that The Gothic—which was so high-minded, so inspirational, and so aspirational—thrived during the Middle Ages, otherwise a time of intellectual stagnation (if not regression).  Clearly Medieval architects were moving mankind forward!

Another fact which astonishes me is that many of these buildings still stand.  Darting into a European Gothic cathedral (especially on a hot, summer day) is my idea of a vacation high point—and a few moments of heaven on Earth.

The bookends above, made of cast iron in the 1920’s or 1930’s, are just a little touch of the divine.  They are part of a new collection of bookends, now in-store.  Please come into the shop to see them or peruse our collection of bookends on-line.



LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (

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