Do you ever get the feeling that you are being watched? Well, if you walk by any number of McGill buildings, chances are you are under surveillance. No, it’s not Big Brother or security cams, spy drones or Google Earth. The gargoyles are watching us. Gargoyles and a host of other fanciful faces carved into the façades of many University buildings.
Dozens of faces – human, animal, mythological – glower, smile and stoically stand guard over the campus. But, because we hustle by them every day, they have become almost invisible to us.
Perhaps we should take the time, pry ourselves from the downward pull of our smart phones, and look up, “Waaaaay up,” as the Friendly Giant used to say. There is much to be discovered in looking skyward.
We’ve compiled a short, 20-question quiz to see how well you know your campus. Match the stone faces and statuary in each picture with a McGill building. Click on the “Answer” link below each picture to see if you are right.
All photos by Neale McDevitt
1. Lions are a recurring motif in McGill architecture. Where would you find this ferocious feline?
2. Four forlorn faces help support the gallery of which campus building?
4. Where would you find this bearded gent?
5. Martlets can be found pretty much everywhere at McGill. But this one (surrounded by other feathered friends) perches atop which building?
6. These toothy skeletons flank the entrance to which McGill building?
7. Speaking of skeletons, this underfed lion is a denizen of which of our heritage buildings?
8. Which building is adorned by this unlikely trio, including poet Robbie Burns and what might just be McGill’s largest gargoyle?
9. One of the few architectural ornamentations to be found on this building. Where is it?
10. This sinuous snake slithers atop the turret of which building?
11. This building is topped with carvings representing knowledge and education, including a bookish owl. Where is it?
12. Visitors to this building may scratch their head as to why a frog takes centre stage above the entrance. But if you know the building’s original purpose, it makes more sense.
13. These small, but ferocious creatures are guardians of which building?
14. Master of all he surveys, this regal lion enjoys a lofty perch atop which building? Hint: The building has appeared earlier in the quiz.
15. Where can you find this delightful design?
16. These gargoyles hang out on which building? Hint: The building probably is festooned with more faces and statuary than any other at McGill.
17. Where would you find this angry face?
18. This trio can be found on the walls of which building?
19. This pair can be found on opposite sides of which building?
20. We’ll end with one more big cat. Where would you find this snarling beast?