Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Onion Domes in NE Kansas

What are onion domes?
First they are not a new kind of onion rings. In fact they are not food at all. According to Wikipedia,
An onion dome is a dome whose shape resembles an onion. Such domes are often larger in diameter than the drum upon which they sit, and their height usually exceeds their width. These bulbous structures taper smoothly to a point.

It is the predominant form for church domes in Russia (mostly on Russian Orthodox churches) and in Bavaria, Germany (German: Zwiebelturm (= "onion tower"), plural: Zwiebelt├╝rme, mostly on Catholic churches), but can also be found regularly across Austria, northeastern Italy, Eastern Europe, Mughal India, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Other types of Eastern Orthodox cupolas include helmet domes (for example, those of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod and of the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir), Ukrainian pear domes (Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev), and Baroque bud domes (St. Andrew's Church in Kiev).
photographer Kevin Surbaugh
Here in Topeka and northeast Kansas there are a number of onion domes. Most notably is the Charles Curtis House (museum), the house that served as the home to the Topekan, who would one day become Vice President of the United States.   The onion domes additions to the Charles Curtis House were added in 1888 by architect Seymour Davis (1869 - 1923).

In addition, there are two that have long been removed from their original buildings and now sit in a yard in central Topeka.  The history of which, I have long wondered about.  They, in fact what got me to thinking about doing this article.

photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Other onion domes that we have learned of exist in Kansas City, KS. A former Russian Orthodox Church that is now home to the Thieves Of Flight Dance Studios, features these architectural designs.

The domes pictured can be seen as you drive in the area of 13th and Buchanan in Topeka, KS

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