Florence Baptistery

The Florence Baptistery known as the Baptistery of Saint John, is a religious building in Florence and has the status of a minor basilica. The octagonal baptistery stands in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza San Giovanni, across from Florence Cathedral and the Campanile di Giotto; the Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in the city, constructed between 1059 and 1128 in the Florentine Romanesque style. Although the Florentine style did not spread across Italy as as the Pisan Romanesque or Lombard styles, its influence was decisive for the subsequent development of architecture, as it formed the basis from which Francesco Talenti, Leon Battista Alberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, other master architects of their time created Renaissance architecture. In the case of the Florentine Romanesque, one can speak of "proto-renaissance", but at the same time an extreme survival of the late antique architectural tradition in Italy, as in the cases of the Basilica of San Salvatore, the Temple of Clitumnus, the church of Sant'Alessandro in Lucca.

The Baptistery is renowned for its three sets of artistically important bronze doors with relief sculptures. The south doors were created by the north and east doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti. Michelangelo dubbed the east doors the Gates of Paradise; the Italian poet Dante Alighieri and many other notable Renaissance figures, including members of the Medici family, were baptized in this baptistery. It was long believed that the Baptistery was a Roman temple dedicated to Mars, the tutelary god of the old Florence; the chronicler Giovanni Villani reported this medieval Florentine legend in his fourteenth-century Nuova Cronica on the history of Florence. However, twentieth-century excavations have shown that there was a first-century Roman wall running through the piazza with the Baptistery, which may have been built on the remains of a Roman guard tower on the corner of this wall, or another Roman building, it is, certain that a first octagonal baptistery was erected here in the late fourth or early fifth century.

It was altered by another early Christian baptistery in the sixth century. Its construction is attributed to Theodolinda, queen of the Lombards to seal the conversion of her husband, King Authari; the octagon had been a common shape for baptisteries for many centuries since early Christian times. The number eight is a symbol of regeneration in Christianity, signifying the six days of creation, the Day of Rest, a day of re-creation through the Sacrament of Baptism. Other early examples are the Lateran Baptistery that provided a model for others throughout Italy, the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople and the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna; the earlier baptistery was the city's second basilica after San Lorenzo, outside the northern city wall, predates the church Santa Reparata. It was first recorded as such on 4 March 897, when the Count Palatine and envoy of the Holy Roman Emperor sat there to administer justice; the granite pilasters were taken from the Roman forum sited at the location of the present Piazza della Repubblica.

At that time, the baptistery was surrounded by a cemetery with Roman sarcophagi, used by important Florentine families as tombs. The present much bigger Baptistery was built in Romanesque style around 1059, evidence of the growing economic and political importance of Florence, it was reconsecrated on 6 November 1059 by a Florentine. According to legend, the marbles were brought from Fiesole, conquered by Florence in 1078. Other marble came from ancient structures; the construction was finished in 1128. An octagonal lantern was added to the pavilion roof around 1150, it was enlarged with a rectangular entrance porch in 1202, leading into the original western entrance of the building, that became an apse, after the opening of the eastern door, facing the western door by Lorenzo Ghiberti of the cathedral in the 15th century. On the corners, under the roof, are monstrous lion heads with a human head under their claws, they are early representations of Marzocco, the heraldic Florentine lion (the symbol of Mars, the god of war, the original male protector of Florentia, protecting a lily or iris, the symbol of the original female patron of the town.

Between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, three bronze double doors were added, with bronze and marble statues above them. This gives an indication that the Baptistery, at that time, was at least equal to the neighbouring cathedral in importance; the Baptistery has eight equal sides with a rectangular addition on the west side. The sides constructed in sandstone, are clad in geometrically patterned colored marble, white Carrara marble with green Prato marble inlay, reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128; the pilasters on each corner in grey stone, were decorated with white and dark green marble in a zebra-like pattern by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1293. The style of this church would serve as a prototype, influencing many architects, such as Leone Battista Alberti, in their design of Renaissance churches in Tuscany; the exterior is ornamented with a number of artistically significant statues by Andrea Sansovino, Giovan Francesco Rustici, Vincenzo Danti and others. The design work on the sides is arranged in groupings of three, starting with three distinct horizontal sections.

The middle section features three blind arches on each side, each arch containing a window. These have alternate semicircular tympani. Below each window is a stylized arch design. In the upper fasc

Fiscal localism

Fiscal localism comprises institutions of localized monetary exchange. Sometimes considered a backlash against global capitalism or economic globalization, fiscal localism affords voluntary, market structures that help communities trade more efficiently within their communities and regions. "Buy local" or local purchasing is the most visible face of fiscal localism. There are more complex institutions. Institutions like credit unions, CDFI's, local currency or complementary currency all can contribute to making communities more resilient and wealthy. Local currency has been in the news most, with journalists citing the Berkshares in Massachusetts, the Ithaca Hours in Ithaca, New York. Beyond these salient examples, there are thousands of local currencies all over the world. Fiscal localism is rooted in the concept of decentralization; the creation and maintenance of a regional economy is supported by communities who believe that their community is economically better off sustaining itself rather than being part of and relying upon a larger economy, such as a national economy or the global economy.

This is a movement against the increasing globalization of all economies around the world. The main tenets of fiscal localism include buying products that are made locally and using a currency, unique to that local economy; this allows a community to grow at a controllable and sustainable rate by supporting farmers and service providers of a community. Consumers in these communities are more informed about how their foods and products are grown and made. Using a unique form of currency allows a community to determine its economic growth and health more than using metrics of a national economy to gauge economic health. Taxation in these communities is emphasized at the local level and low importance is put on local taxes; these communities want to separate themselves from the larger national economy so they must rely on revenue generated from local taxation. Banking is preferred to be done on a local level. Communities that follow fiscal localism would rather have one local bank than be customers of a massive bank that does business across the country as well as internationally.

Unique currencies used by local economies are backed by a national currency. The town of Totnes, from 2007 to 2019 used the Totnes Pound, backed by the British Pound sterling at a one-to-one ratio; the idea behind using a unique, local currency is to keep money flowing through the community while preventing money from leaving or relying on money to enter the community. This allows a community to become self-sufficient, have enough funds to create an energy source for the community to use, eliminate transportation costs for bringing products into the community. A large reason Totnes wanted to become self-sufficient is to decrease its dependence on the use of oil. Following in Totnes' footsteps, several other English towns—Brixton, Stroud and Exeter—have established currencies of their own. A few towns in the United States have adopted unique currencies. Berkshire and Ithaca, New York have implemented Massachusetts BerkShares and the HOUR, respectively. While a BerkShare is worth $.95 US dollars, the HOUR is not convertible to US dollars or any other type of national currency.

A British Quaker colony in Pennsylvania created and used the Pennsylvania Pound in the 18th century, but fiscal localism failed for the colony and the currency was abandoned. Lorenzo Fioramonti, director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, believes that the European Union would be more stable if it used multiple local currencies combined with a "digital euro". Proponents of fiscal localism argue that paying higher local taxes and lower national taxes will help communities grow and thrive. A report from The TaxPayers' Alliance states that a decentralized form of taxation leads to a more efficient public sector; this report references a German econometric study which found that “government efficiency increase with the degree of fiscal decentralization”. Reasons used to support local taxation include responsiveness, cost efficiency and accountability; the Spanish Institute of Fiscal Studies conducted a study over a period stretching from 1972-2005 using data from 23 countries regarding taxes.

The study found that “reducing the share of central government in total tax revenue by one percentage point boosts long-run GDP growth by about 0.06 per cent per annum”. Setting local taxes is complicated, because too high a tax rate will lead to taxpayers refusing to pay while too low a rate will not give the local government enough funds to function and operate effectively; these taxes are not set at the state or federal level. Increasing local taxes allows a community to reinvest revenue generated from the taxes into public institutions or programs that help the local community. Residents are able to physically see and experience where their tax money is going and how it improves their lives. Modern banks have become monolithic institutions with thousands of branches in their respective countries of service; this globalization of banking institutions and the banking practices used by these organizations is the antithesis of what fiscal localism is about. Toby Blume argues for a shift in the banking system in his essay "Changing the Debate: The Ideas Redefining Britain."

Blume writes, "A more localised banking system -, more common in other countries but we don't h

Zephyrhills Downtown Historic District

The Zephyrhills Downtown Historic District is a historic district in Zephyrhills, Florida. It is bounded by South Avenue, 9th Avenue, 7th Street and 11th Street, contains 126 contributing buildings on 84 acres. On September 27, 2001, it was added to the U. S. National Register of Historic Places; the district includes the Capt. Harold B. Jeffries House, built in 1911 and was the home of city founder, Capt. Jeffries, it is a residential and commercial area. It includes the Zephyrhills Woman's Club, which houses the local women's civic organization founded in early days of the town, it was built as part of Works Project Administration projects in the 1930s. It includes the City Hall built as a WPA project, built in Art Deco style in 1940, it has corner battlements. Media related to Zephyrhills Downtown Historic District at Wikimedia Commons