Crown moulding is a beautiful architectural detail. It transforms the seam between walls and ceiling into a visually interesting feature and adds an elegant air to a room that can’t be achieved in any other way. Some of the most stunning, ornate crown mouldings can be found in well-known buildings both around the world and right here in Canada. From carved wood to ornate stonework, moulding has long been a way to signify a structure’s importance and elegance. From buildings dating back to ancient times, to modern government facilities, the most beautiful ones all bear this similar feature. Read on for some impressive examples of famous crown moulding.
Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London, England
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
Perhaps the most ornate and grand example of moulding on this list, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England is an incredible example of architecture and artistry. This cathedral is actually thought to be the fourth version to exist on this site, the highest point in London. Designed by master English architect Sir Christopher Wren around 1675, it has remained a shining example of Baroque design for centuries. Its curved archways and carved walls all feature incredibly intricate crown moulding, often inlaid with gold.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia
The second cathedral on this list is very different than the first, but no less impressive. Saint Basil’s in the Red Square of Moscow was built in 1555 after being commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to mark the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. Its unusual design is unique to a distinctly Russian style and is said to have been inspired by a bonfire. Inside the cathedral are nine chapels, four of which are topped off by those colorful domes. All along the walls are multiple layers of crown moulding.
British Columbia Parliament Buildings, Victoria, Canada
The Parliament Building, located in Victoria, British Columbia, is a stunning example of neo-baroque architecture. It was designed by Francis Rattenbury and built from 1893-1897. Pictured above is the Chamber of the Legislative Assembly. Its columns and carved layers of wooden crown moulding lend it a stately but elegant air appropriate to the important things that take place here. Without these details it would just be an empty rectangular room!
The New York Public Library
Photo by Guillen Perez- The New York Public Library. License: CC BY 2.0
Designed by John Carrère and Thomas Hastings, construction on the New York Public Library began in 1899. Seated on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, it spans two whole blocks right in the heart of New York City. Its grand, yet inviting design was built to be functional as well as to contribute to the aesthetic of the city that surrounds it. Inside, its carved crown moulding gives way to an even more ornate ceiling. The main reading room pictured above, is a gorgeous example of this.
Union Station in Toronto, Ontario
A beacon of both function and beauty, Toronto’s Union Station is a beautiful example of Beaux-Art style architecture. Designed by the Montreal based firm Ross and Macdonald and officially opened in 1927, it is the city’s third station of the same name. Its stone and marble walls stretch up 88 feet high and a beautifully simple moulding lends the Great Hall a timeless air before giving way to a perfectly curved ceiling.