Watt and Shand Department Store


Utilitas: The Watt and Shand building was a department store so its main function was to attract customers who would want to shop in their store.  From the Sanborn maps, we can see that the department store began small, but as the store became more popular the company acquired other buildings on the block.  The department store is now made up of seven different buildings and now takes up the entire block.  The large display windows on the first floor were an important design for the function of the department store since they would display the goods they had to sell in order to attract customers to shop at the Watt and Shand department store.

Firmitas: The Watt and Shand department store was made of stone which was used structurally but also decoratively as there are many ornamentations on each of the facades.  This building uses a trabeated structural system  because the department store has straight horizontal beams rather than arches.  This trabeated structure gives the building a solid, boxy shape with straight vertical walls that draw the eye upwards.  Although the third set of windows are arched, this was more of a decorative decision than a structural one.   Because the building is made of limestone, it provides a very sturdy foundation for the building to rest on.

Venustas: The Watt and Shand department store was designed to attract customers who would desire to purchase the store’s goods.  The building is beautiful and stands out among the simple brick structures such as the City Hall cross the street in Penn square.  This building has a very classical feel to it and the façade is limestone.  The building  can be characterized as formal because it spreads out horizontally, has identical display windows, and its main entry is in the center on the façade that is rounded out.  The building has many ornamentations from the classical style of the Romans and Greeks.  The use of the display windows is important because they are large and allow natural light into the building to create a nice atmosphere for the clients who are shopping.


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