Superposition

Submitted by Sammy Smith (sammy@thesga.org)

piedmont_park_planter

This huge planter built of natural stone cemented together is one of several pieces of nineteenth-century decorative architecture you can see in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.

These eye-catching planters, along with paved walkways and fancy stairways, are all the obvious architecture that remain of the stone construction for two massive fairs, the 1887 Piedmont Exposition, and the 1895 International and Cotton States Exposition. A huge oval track built for horse races has been converted to a walking or jogging track—no horses, or even dogs, allowed!

The huge display halls from the Exposition are long gone, but these modest architectural features still survive. Note that a modern building that’s part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden complex, looms not far behind this planter.

Superposition is a big word that refers to locating one thing atop another thing. Archaeological researchers discover superpositioned objects all the time. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine just when the superpositioning occurred—whether the two objects were abandoned more or less simultaneously, or whether they were left during events hundreds of years apart. In the case of these two features of the built environment, the planter and the garden building, they indeed were built over a century apart in time.

exposition_sign