The history of embellishing architecture with pineapple ornamentation is largely unknown, but many have speculated the significance of the pineapple in European and American architecture. While some argue the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, others have linked the fruit as a symbol of Christianity.
|Antique pineapple finial|
Image by Hannah Manning via Materials Unlimited
|Pineapple finial atop a church belfry|
Image by Walter Baxter [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
While most people would associate the pineapple with Hawaii, the fruit actually did not make its way to the Hawaiian islands until the British brought it there in 1880s. The popularity of the fruit was further widespread with the formation of James Dole's Hawaiian Fruit Company in 1901.
|Pineapple finials greet approaching guests with hospitality atop|
the columns of an estate entrance gate.
Image by Trish Steel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Dole Food Company
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation