The September issue of Winston-Salem Monthly magazine features a stunning foldout cover photo of the heart of downtown by the redoubtable J. Sinclair. Find a copy, buy it and enjoy. Better yet, buy several copies…this is an instant collector’s item.

Here is a guide to the principal buildings in the photo, with dates and architects, where known. Click on the image for a readable version.

And when you are done poring over all that, return to your copy of the magazine and check out the article on public artwork. Three of my favorites:

“Memory Wall”, behind the downtown transit center, was done by Gregory Womack, “Mr. Imagination”, during his stint as artist in residence at SECCA in 1999. I walk past it more than once a day and frequently encounter people arguing over some aspect or another of this very public work. Occasionally they add or subtract an item from the wall, which I think is OK.

Duncan Lewis “Triple Helix” graces the courtyard of One Technology Place in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Duncan is the son of Doug Lewis, long time headmaster of Summit School.

Many years ago, when I was working on my book on Winston-Salem, I was fortunate to spend some time chatting with the then nearly 100 year old brick maker George Black. He could not remember my name from day to day, but if I asked him about something that happened in Winston-Salem in 1920, he always had nearly perfect recall, including vivid details and a very intelligent assessment of the outcome. Whenever I’m near the Forsyth County Government Center, I always stop by for a chat. George never says anything back, but he doesn’t need to…it’s all right there in his hands.

And once you are done with that, check out some other great public art from around the world here, courtesy of Facebook friend Melissa Clark James via Betsy Blackmore.