For more than 2,500 years round architectural columns have served as symbols of strength for some of the world’s most magnificent structures. Round columns have traditionally signified a civilization’s wealth, power, prestige, sophistication, and endurance.
In ancient Rome load-bearing round columns were used to support such iconic buildings as the magnificent Roman Pantheon, the Greek Parthenon, the beautiful Colonnades, the library at Ephesus in Turkey, the beautiful Maison Carree of Nimes Provence in France, the Temple of Bacchus Baalbek, Lebanon with its forty-two unfluted Corinthian columns, and the Market at Leptis Manga in Libya, North Africa, where dozens of classical round columns now reach to an empty sky with the remains of crumbled buildings at their feet.
The popularity of round columns throughout the Roman Empire continued into the next millennium, down to today. Another example is Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, completed in 1626 AD. Its stoic columns still stand like sentries protecting the treasures within.
Much closer to home in time and place is our own presidential residence, the two hundred and ten year old White House in Washington DC and the famed Lincoln Memorial dedicated in 1922. Both structures are supported by the enduring strength and beauty of classical round columns. Throughout the US countless banks, city halls, theaters, grand hotels and other buildings of prominence bear round columns.
Today, columns come in all styles and sizes for purposes that range from structural support to simply decorative elements. Although some round columns are still made of masonry and marble as in ancient times, the majority of today’s round columns are now produced in more modern materials such as fiberglass or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Both round fiberglass columns and round PVC columns can generally handle higher loads than square columns under a variety of adverse environmental conditions. So it seems that weather for load-bearing capacity, beauty or symbolism the long tradition of round architectural columns has definitely stood the test of time.
For more information about architectural columns visit the industry leader, HB&G Columns, at www.HBGColumns.com.