The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration, vol. 06, No. 01, January 1900: The Ten Most Beautiful Buildings in the United States.



List of Text Illustrations.

Carved Arm-piece of Choir Stall, Sixteenth Century, Cathedral of Genoa 123
Carved Choir Stall, Modern (1856) Baptistery, Pisa, 131
Carving, Detail of, Twelfth Century, Church of S. Ginsto, Lucca 127
Cathedrals of England, The.
Canterbury Cathedral: The Choir 185
Chichester Cathedral from Northeast 183
Hereford Cathedral from Northeast 187
Lincoln Cathedral: The Choir 193
Norwich Cathedral from East 185
Peterborough Cathedral: The Choir 189
St. Albans Abbey from Southwest 199
Wells Cathedral: The Choir 197
Wells Cathedral: West Front 195
Winchester Cathedral: West Front 193
Worcester Cathedral: The Choir 191
Worcester Cathedral from Southwest 181
Chateau of Chambord, The.
Lantern of the Great Staircase 151
Plan 155
View of Chambord (1576) 157
Chippendale Chairs.
Chippendale Chairs, Chinese Pattern 77
Chippendale Chairs 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, 83
Ducal Palace: Venice, Italy.
Ceiling, Detail of, Ante-Chamber of Chapel 139
Fireplace in Doge's Bed-chamber 141
Piazetta and Sea Façades 137
Duomo and the Campanile, The. Florence, Italy.
Plan 93
Window, The Campanile 91
English Carved Fireplaces.
Mantelpiece, Montacute House 63
Mantelpiece, Restoration House, Rochester 59
Mantelpiece, Standish Hall 61
Mantelpiece, Stokesay Castle 65
Mantelpiece, Wraxhall Manor 67
Grotesques from Notre Dame, Paris. 95, 97, 99
Guild Halls of London, The.
Butcher's Hall, Board Room 121
House of Jacques Cœur: Bourges, France.
Bird'seye View (After Viollet-le-Duc) 105
Japanese Gardens.
Fukagawa, Detail of Garden 27
Hill Garden, Model of 35
Lanterns, Garden, Typical Varieties of 31
Merchant's Villa Garden, Detail, Fukagawa 29
Model Pine Tree 25
Stepping Stones, Arrangement of 31, 33
Tea Garden, Inner Enclosure, Tamagawa 33
Louis XVI. Sconces.
Douai 161
Fontainebleau 161, 163
Versailles 161, 163
Petit Trianon, Versailles.
Temple of Love 57
Spanish Wrought-Iron Screens.
Chapel Screen, Seville Cathedral 41
Pulpit, Avila Cathedral 47
Screen, Louvre 47
Screen, Zaporta Chapel, Church of La Seo, Saragossa 45
Specimens of Gothic Wood Carving.
Gothic Carved Woodwork of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, Bavarian National Museum, Munich 111, 113, 115
Gothic Carved Woodwork of Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, Germanic Museum, Nuremberg 109
Ten Most Beautiful Buildings in the United States.
City Hall, New York City 19
Congressional Library, Approach, Washington 11
Madison Square Garden, New York City 13, 15
Madison Square Garden, New York City (Detail) 15
National Capitol, Washington 3, 5
Public Library, Boston, Entrance 7
St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City 17
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Façade, New York City 17
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Interior, New York City 19
Trinity Church, Boston 7
Trinity Church, New Porch, Boston 9
Trinity Church, Tower, Boston 9
Twelfth Century Capitals from the Benedictine Monastery, Monreale, Sicily.
Capitals from Monreale 49, 51
Types of Italian Garden Fountains.
Fountain by Bernini, Villa Borghes 145
Fountain, Garden of Vatican, Rome 147
Fountain, Villa Andobrandini, Frascati 147
Fountain, Villa Medici, Rome 145
Work of Sir Christopher Wren.
Greenwich Hospital from the River 173
Hampton Court Palace, Fountain Court 179
Kensington Palace, Entrance 173
Monument, The, London 171
St. Bride's Church Steeple: London 175
St. Dunstan's-in-the-East Steeple: London 175
St. Stephen's Walbrook Steeple: London 177
Trinity College Library: Cambridge, England 169

List of Subjects.

Bourges: House of Jacques Cœur 103
Campanile, The: Florence, Italy 87
Capitals, Twelfth Century: Benedictine, Monastery, Monreale, Sicily 49
Carved Fireplaces, English 65
Carving, Specimens of Gothic Wood 115
Cathedrals of England, The (See List of Plates) 183
Chairs, English, Chippendale 71
Chambord, Chateau of: France 151
Chateau of Chambord: France (See List of Plates) 151
Chippendale Chairs (See List of Plates) 71
Cœur, Jacques, House of: Bourges, France 103
Competitions, Brochure Series.
Competition O (Ten Most Beautiful Buildings in the United States) 3
Competition P (Photographs for Brochure Series) 131, 143
Ducal Palace, The: Venice, Italy (See List of Plates) 135
Duomo and the Campanile, The: Florence, Italy (See List of Plates) 87
English Carved Fireplaces 65
English Cathedrals 183
English Chippendale Chairs 71
England, Guild Halls of London 119
Florence, Italy, The Duomo and the Campanile 87
Fountains, Italian Garden 145, 147
France, The Chateau of Chambord 151
France, House of Jacques Cœur: Bourges 103
France, Petit Trianon: Versailles 55
Gardens, Italian Fountain 145, 147
Gardens, Japanese 23
Gothic Wood Carving, Specimens of 115
Grotesques from Notre Dame, Paris 95
Guild Halls of London, England, The (See List of Plates) 119
Hamlin, Professor A. D. F. (Ten Most Beautiful Buildings in the United States) 5
House of Jacques Cœur: Bourges, France (See List of Plates) 103
Italian Garden Fountains 145, 147
Italy, The Campanile: Florence 87
Italy, The Ducal Palace: Venice 135
Italy, The Duomo and the Campanile: Florence 87
Japanese Gardens (See List of Plates) 23
London, The Guild Halls of 119
Louis XVI. Sconces 161
Monreale, Sicily, Twelfth Century Capitals from the Benedictine Monastery 49
Notre Dame, Paris, Grotesques from 95
Paris: Grotesques from Notre Dame 95
Petit Trianon, The: Versailles (See List of Plates) 35
Sconces, Louis XVI 161
Screens, Spanish Wrought-Iron 39
Sir Christopher Wren, Work of 167
Spanish Wrought-Iron Screens (See List of Plates) 39
Specimens of Gothic Wood Carving 115
Ten Most Beautiful Buildings in the United States, The A discussion by Prof. A. D. F. Hamlin 5
Ten Most Beautiful Buildings in the United States, The (See List of Plates) 3
Twelfth Century Capitals from the Benedictine Monastery, Monreale, Sicily 49
Types of Italian Garden Fountains 145, 147
United States, Ten Most Beautiful Buildings in the 3
Venice, Italy, The Ducal Palace 135
Versailles, France: The Petit Trianon 55
Wood Carving, Gothic 115
Work of Sir Christopher Wren (See List of Plates) 167
Wren, Sir Christopher, Work of 167
Wrought-Iron Screens, Spanish 39


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Brochure Series

1900. JANUARY No. 1.


During the Autumn of the past year a voting contest was proposed to the readers of The Brochure Series with the object of determining by the consensus of votes, which, in their opinion, were the Ten Most Beautiful Buildings now existing in the United States. The only condition imposed was that no reader should enter more than one list. A lively interest was taken in the contest, and over two hundred votes were received,—the voters being almost entirely either architects or professed students of architecture.

The following ten buildings, named in the order of preference, are those which received the greatest number of votes in this contest; and the appended percentages show approximately what proportion of the total number of votes each received:—

I. National Capitol, Washington. Hallet, Thornton, Hadfield, Hoban, Latrobe, Bulfinch, Walter and Clark, Architects. About 99%.
II. Boston Public Library, Boston. McKim, Mead & White, Architects. About 97%.
III. Trinity Church, Boston. Gambrel & Richardson, Architects. About 96%.
IV. Congressional Library, Washington. Smithmeyer, Peltz and Edward P. Casey, Architects. About 75%.
V. Columbia University Library, New York City. McKim, Mead & White, Architects. About 70%.
VI. Trinity Church, New York City. Richard Upjohn, Architect. About 55%.
VII. Madison Square Garden, New York City. McKim, Mead & White, Architects. About 45%.
VIII. St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City. James Renwick, Architect. About 35%.
IX. "Biltmore House," Biltmore, N.C. R. M. Hunt, Architect. About 29%.
X. City Hall, New York City. Mangin and Macomb, Architects. About 29%.


In the article which follows, Prof. A. D. F. Hamlin comments upon the above list, and draws some interesting conclusions from the comparison of it with a similar list, compiled fifteen years ago in the same way by the readers of The American Architect. The announcement of the award of the prizes in this Competition will be found on the publishers' page of this issue.

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A final and absolute verdict upon the relative merits of works of art is in most cases an impossibility. Since there is no such thing as an absolute objective standard of comparison for all works of a given class, the personal equation and the time equation must always enter largely into critical estimates by individuals or groups of individuals. Least of all are we likely to pass correct judgments on contemporary works, because we measure them wholly or mainly by the dominant taste or fashion of our time, instead of by that larger experience and more impartial judgment which comes with the lapse of decades and centuries. When, however, a large number of intelligent and presumably competent critics are found in agreement as to the merits or defects of a given work, it is safe to conclude that there is some ground for the verdict; and when the agreement extends to a number of buildings (in the verdict about to be discussed we are dealing with buildings) it is reasonable to draw definite inferences as to the grounds of the agreement, both in relation to the works so judged and in relation to the view-point and taste of those who have pronounced the opinion.

Of course in such a vote as that by The Brochure readers on the "Ten Most Beautiful Buildings in the United States," the result can only be a composite,—a consensus reached by the fusing together and averaging of a great number of widely diverse estimates. The very terms of the vote will be variously interpreted according as the expression "the most beautiful building" is made to apply to the exterior alone, or to the plan, the decorative detail, the scale, or other elements of architectural design, or to include all; and according to the varying values assigned to dignity, simplicity, richness, grandeur, refinement, and other qualities, by the several voters. But, having made all these allowances, there is much instruction and suggestion in the vote, both as to the tendencies of taste among the constituency of The Brochure Series, and as to the progress and tendencies of American architecture, especially in the light of the vote of 1885 in The American Architect.


As a preface to the comments about to be made on these tendencies, it is in order to present a few statistics with regard to the vote and the buildings voted on. In these I shall call the Brochure's list of the ten buildings receiving the highest number of votes the "First" list; the supplementary list of the ten coming next in popularity, the "Second" list, and that published in The American Architect in 1885, the "1885" list. (The "Second" and the "1885" lists are printed on page 17.)

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A comparison of the styles represented in these three lists is interesting, after making all allowances for doubtful classifications of some of the examples.

I. (a) Renaissance Group:
"FIRST." "SECOND." "1885."
Classic 2 1 1
French 3 2 1
Italian 2 2 0
Spanish 0 1 0
Modern American 0 1 0
(b) Mediæval Group:
Romanesque 1 2 5
Gothic 2 1 3
10 10 10

The percentages of the total number of votes won by buildings in the different styles in the "First" list were as follows:

Classic 16.9
French 15.6
Italian 12.0
Romanesque 9.6
Gothic 9.0

These percentages are only approximate, and the apportionment would vary with a different classification; but they show, in a rough way, that the ten buildings ranking highest received about 63 per cent of all the votes, and that the seven in the Renaissance group obtained 44.5 per cent of all the votes.


Comparing next the classes of buildings represented, we have this result:

"FIRST." "SECOND." "1885."
II. Government Buildings, 2 3 6
Churches 3 0 2
Libraries 3 0 0
Museums 0 2 0
Club Houses 0 2 0
Hotels 0 1 0
Private Houses 1 1 1
Amusement Buildings 1 0 0
Commercial Buildings 0 1 0
Educational 0 0 1
10 10 10

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Comparing the geographical distribution, we have:

"FIRST." "SECOND." "1885."
III. New York City 5 4 3
Washington 2 1 1
Boston 2 0 1
Baltimore N.C. 1 0 0
Chicago 0 1 0
Albany 0 1 2
St. Augustine 0 1 0
Pittsburgh 0 1 0
Hartford 0 1 1
Cambridge 0 0 1
North Easton 0 0 1
10 10 10

Of the ten buildings in the "1885" list but three appear in the "First" list, and two in the "Second"; so that only five of the ten buildings adjudged in 1885 to be the most beautiful in the United States are included in the twenty given the leading rank in 1899 by the Brochure readers. Of these twenty, six in the "First" list and five in the "Second" have been built since the 1885 vote. Of the remaining four in the "First" list, three, as we have seen, figure in that of "1885"; the fourth—the New York City Hall—was not in 1885 considered worthy of a place among the ten—a significant suggestion as to changing tastes since that date.


The first and most obvious conclusion to be drawn from the above statistics is that American architects, so far as they are represented in the Brochure vote, have no hide-bound traditions or ingrained prejudices as to style. There is in the list selected by them a preponderance, it is true, of buildings in the various styles of the Renaissance and Classic Revival—seven out of ten. But the third in the list, with 96 per cent of unanimity in its favor, is a Romanesque building, Trinity Church, Boston. Two others, standing sixth and eighth, are Gothic,—Trinity and St. Patrick's Churches in New York. The remaining seven, although they may all be included under a broad extension of the term "Renaissance," exhibit wide divergencies of style. The Capitol at Washington and the Columbia Library represent two different phases of the Classic Revival, nearly a century apart in date; the New York City Hall, a version of the style of Louis XVI. The Boston Public Library was avowedly inspired from the "nèo-Grec" Bibliothèque St. Genéviève of Labrouste, as far as its façades are concerned, and yet differs from that building more than it resembles it; and although, in the foregoing tables, both this and the Biltmore mansion are classified as in the French Renaissance style, they are really much farther apart than the classic Capitol and the Louis Seize City Hall. The Congressional Library follows Italian rather than French precedents, and the Madison Square Garden suggests both Italian and Spanish prototypes. Evidently our architects are not bound by allegiance to any one style or kind of beauty, but are ready to find subjects for admiration in buildings of the most diverse character, and to recognize beauty alike in pointed and round arches, in domes and in spires, in acanthus leaves and crockets, in new buildings and in old. This catholicity of taste is interesting, and on the whole hopeful, for it suggests the ability and readiness to appreciate realities instead of names, style rather than any particular historic dress, essentials rather than externals;—an eclecticism which recognizes beauty, quality, excellence, wherever they can be found, and adopts what is best without regard to names or categories. And if we consider the buildings themselves, instead of the motives of the voters, the same statistics indicate, as we might expect, a like catholicity of taste in the designs of recent American buildings, and—what is more to the point—a conspicuous measure of success in fusing together and adapting to modern American needs the multifarious suggestions of the "historic styles," so that the results are neither copies nor patchwork, but consistent, intelligent and harmonious units.


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Taking next the second comparative table, we find that in the "First" and "Second" lists taken together, 20 per cent of the names are those of government or administrative buildings; 15 per cent are churches, with the same number of libraries (three of each, all on the "First" list). There are two each of museums, club houses and private residences; and one each of office buildings, hotels, and amusement houses. Here again we encounter the same breadth of judgment as in the first comparison. The Brochure readers, and presumably our architects generally, are willing to discover beauty alike in public, private, religious, and commercial architecture.

It is a significant fact that churches and libraries constitute 60 per cent of the "First" list, and that there is but one residence, and not a single commercial edifice among the ten buildings it enumerates. Apparently it is religion and education which inspire and call forth the highest results in architecture, rather than the private and commercial luxury of which we hear so much in these days. If to these sources of architectural inspiration we add that of civil government, it appears that we owe 80 per cent of the "First" list to government, religion and education—the three highest activities of the community. This is not merely due to the fact that the architectural requirements of churches and civic buildings are such as favor monumental results; for both in size and cost, and hence in the opportunity for an ample and sumptuous architectural treatment, these are often surpassed by banking and office buildings, private palaces and rich men's clubs. The presence of three truly magnificent public libraries of recent erection in the "First" list seems to me particularly encouraging, as a symptom of the extent to which the wealth of the country is being devoted to the higher interests of the people, and at the same time to the promotion of high art. That this is a correct symptom, is confirmed by such buildings, erected or about to be erected, as the Chicago Library, the magnificent New York Public Library, the new libraries at Milwaukee, Providence, Newark, N.J., Jersey City, and Washington; by the Art Museum at Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery at Washington, the new wing to the Metropolitan Museum at New York, the Phebe Hearst competition for the University of California, and other like enterprises. The most important architectural enterprises in New York today are the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the vast palace of the Brooklyn Institute, of which a new wing is about to be erected. Evidently our art has not fallen wholly a prey to commercialism and private luxury.

The geographical distribution of the buildings chosen is interesting. In 1885 but three out of ten were in New York City, and Albany stood ahead of Boston. In the "First" list New York has one-half of the ten, and in the "First" and "Second" lists, jointly, nine out of twenty buildings. Boston and Washington divide the second place, with two each on the "First" list. In the two lists together there are nine cities and towns represented, of which five are in the northeastern states, with fourteen out of twenty buildings; one in the nearer west (Chicago); and three in the south (if we include Washington among southern cities). Of course the fact that New York, Boston and Washington are old cities, as cities go among us, counts for much in the way of maturity of civilization and accumulation of architectural resources; and it is only natural that the wealthiest city in the New World should possess the greatest number of important buildings. But it is also very possible that the majority of the Brochure readers are in the northern and eastern states, and therefore more familiar with eastern and northern than with southern and western buildings. Allowing for this, they may draw their own conclusions from this table.


If now, we turn to inquire what are the qualities which have won for these buildings a place on this list, and to what tendencies, either of progress or retrogression, do the votes point, two facts stand out very clearly. The first is, that each of the ten buildings, whatever its style or purpose, represents a conception clearly thought out, simply and forcibly expressed, and treated with monumental dignity, quite irrespectively of the amount or richness of its decoration. The second is, that there has in recent years been a notable advance in all that concerns the interior decoration of important buildings. In 1877 Trinity Church in Boston stood alone as an example of really high art in interior decoration. The three most recent buildings on the list—all three by the way, public libraries—are conspicuous instances of the sumptuous and dignified treatment of interior design, with the help of all the resources of decorative art; and here again, other buildings now being erected or about to be built confirm this conclusion, that our architects and the public are beginning to appreciate the importance both of the interior design of a building and of the collaboration of all the arts,—as for instance, in the new Appellate Court in New York.

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[Pg 13]Comparing the list of 1899 with that of 1885, the progress of our national architecture in fourteen years becomes very evident. The United States Capitol and the Trinity Churches in New York and Boston are the only buildings common to both lists. Six of the buildings on the Brochure list were, in 1885, either incomplete or not yet begun: these are the Boston, Congressional and Columbia Libraries, the Madison Square Garden, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Biltmore residence. The Cathedral, however, wanted only its spires; but its appearance on the Brochure list is undoubtedly due to the spires more than any other element in its design. In 1885 Mr. H. H. Richardson was the one bright and particular star on the architectural horizon in the United States: one-half of the "1885" list of buildings were his work. Only one of these remains on the new list,—Trinity Church in Boston, doubtless on the whole his greatest work. The style which he made his own, and which was then at the height of popular favor, borne on the wave of admiration for the real strength and originality of his works, has waned, as all fashions must wane which are not the result of a spontaneous movement of taste, but ride into favor on the back of some passing whim or on the merit of the achievements of some one person or coterie. No architectural period can be truly great that depends upon one man or set of men for its great works.

It is perhaps not amiss to say a few words regarding buildings of secondary merit and of minor importance in cost and size. These may be as significant criteria of architectural taste and progress as those most conspicuous for grandeur and beauty. It is quite possible for the architectural energy of one place or period to be concentrated on a small number of great works, and for an equal amount of energy and ability in another place or period to be expended on a larger number of less important buildings. The average quality of our architecture, and the quality of our ordinary every-day architecture, are perhaps as important as that of the ten most beautiful buildings; and the fact that the west and south have so small a representation in the Brochure lists by no means argues a corresponding deficiency of good architecture. Yet after all, when all is said, the great and noble buildings, the highest and grandest triumphs of architecture are the only ones which profoundly affect the imaginations and kindle the artistic aspirations of men; and when a community becomes so pervaded with the artistic spirit that works of art furnish the readiest, most natural and complete expression of its ideals and enthusiasms, great works will result whenever there are enthusiasms and ideals worthy of monumental expression. From this point of view the Columbian and Omaha Expositions, and the New York Naval Arch of Triumph—which, owing to their transitory and temporary character, no doubt, have found no place on the Brochure lists—seem to me in the highest degree significant and encouraging. And the public libraries, St. John's Cathedral and the Phebe Hearst competition are further evidence in the same direction.

A word might also be said for certain buildings which found no place on either the "First" or "Second" list, but which competent critics might assign to one or the other list in preference to some that appear on them. There is for instance, Mr. Richardson's Woburn Library, which some consider his most beautiful work next to Trinity Church; the new State Capitols of Minnesota and Rhode Island (the latter not quite finished); the Treasury Building and White House at Washington; the Temple Emmanuel; the Metropolitan Life Building; Metropolitan Club and Cornelius Vanderbilt's residence in New York; the University group at Charlottesville, Va.; the Omaha Exposition and the Dewey Arch.

But the task assigned me was the discussion of the Brochure lists, not of other possible lists; and I close with the suggestion that a vote every ten or every five years would afford a most valuable and interesting gauge of the movements of taste and of the progress of architecture in the United States.


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The following list names, in order of preference, those ten buildings which received the highest number of votes after the first ten named in the list given on page 3.

I. Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington, D.C. Ernest Flagg, Architect.
II. House of W. K. Vanderbilt, New York City. Richard M. Hunt, Architect.
III. Fine Arts Building, Chicago, Ill. Charles B. Atwood, Architect.
IV. New York State Capitol, Albany, N.Y. H. H. Richardson and others, Architects.
V. Hotel Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Fla. Messrs. Carrère and Hastings, Architects.
VI. Court House and Jail, Pittsburgh, Pa. H. H. Richardson, Architect.
VII. Century Club, New York City. McKim, Mead & White, Architects.
VIII. State Capitol, Hartford, Conn. H. H. Richardson, Architect.
IX. American Surety Building, New York City. Bruce Price, Architect.
X. University Club, New York City. McKim, Mead & White, Architects.


In 1885, fourteen years ago, the readers of The American Architect (Boston) were invited to name, by a consensus of votes, their choice of the then most beautiful buildings in America. The voting resulted in a list of the following ten buildings:—

I. Trinity Church, Boston. Gambrill & Richardson, Architects.
II. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C. Hallet, Thornton, Hadfield, Hoban, Latrobe, Bulfinch, Walter and Clark, Architects.
III. House of W. K. Vanderbilt, New York. R. M. Hunt, Architect.
IV. Trinity Church, New York. Richard Upjohn, Architect.
V. Jefferson Market Court-House, New York. F. C. Withers, Architect.
VI. State Capitol, Hartford, Conn. Richard Upjohn, Architect.
VII. City Hall, Albany, N.Y. H. H. Richardson, Architect.
VIII. Sever Hall, Cambridge, Mass. H. H. Richardson, Architect.
IX. State Capitol, Albany, N.Y. H. H. Richardson and others, Architects.
X. Town Hall, North Easton, Mass. H. H. Richardson, Architect.


The Capitol at Washington is 751 feet in length and 121 to 324 feet wide, consisting of a main edifice of sandstone, painted white, and of two wings of white marble, and covers an area of 3-1/2 acres. The site was selected by a French engineer, Peter Charles L'Enfant in 1791, and the design for the first building—a compromise between the plans of Stephen Hallet and Dr. William Thornton,—was chosen by competition in 1792. In 1795 George Hadfield was placed in charge of the work, and was succeeded in 1798 by James Hoban, neither of whom made important changes in Thornton's designs. In 1814 the building consisted of two small wings connected by a wooden bridge; and in that year the structure was damaged by fire set by the British. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who was appointed in 1803, continued in charge until 1817, when he resigned, turning over his post and plans to Charles Bulfinch of Boston,—the first American-born architect of the Capitol. Bulfinch completed the central structure, and crowned it with the original low dome. In 1828 the old capitol was substantially completed, and the office of architect abolished. In 1843, it being necessary to enlarge the former structure, plans were advertised for, and in 1850 those of T. U. Walter of Philadelphia were accepted. The additions made the old dome look insignificant, and Walter designed the present one, which was completed in 1863. The terraces and the approaches, begun in 1882, are the work of Edward Clark.


The Boston Public Library, begun in 1888, was completed in 1895. The building is 225 feet long, 227 feet deep, and 70 feet in height from the sidewalk to the top of the cornice. The material of which the exterior is constructed is grayish-white Milford granite. Although the architects of this building were officially the firm of Messrs. McKim, Mead & White of New York City, the senior member, Mr. McKim, was the actual architect.

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Charles Follen McKim was born in Pennsylvania in 1847. He studied at the Harvard Scientific School, in a New York architect's office, and in a Parisian atelier connected with the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

William Rutherford Mead was born in Brattleboro, Vt., in 1846, and graduated from Amherst College in 1867. For some years he studied in an architect's office in New York, and then went to Paris, studying there and elsewhere in Europe.

Stanford White was born in New York City in 1853. He grew up in the office of Gambrill & Richardson, and between 1878 and 1880 studied in Europe. The present firm of McKim, Mead & White was formed in 1880.

Trinity Church, Boston, Henry Hobson Richardson, architect, was completed in 1877. It is in the shape of a Latin Cross with a semi-circular apse added to the eastern arm. A central tower, 211 feet high, rises from piers at the crossing of the nave and transepts. The chapel is connected with the main structure by an open cloister. The extreme width of the church is 121 feet; the extreme length, 160. The material employed in the body of the structure is Dedham granite, with brown freestone trimmings, and it is roofed with red tiles. The porch, shown in the small view on page 9, was contemplated in Mr. Richardson's original design, and was added in 1897-8 from his sketches, by his successors, Messrs. Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge of Boston.

Henry Hobson Richardson was born in Louisiana in 1838. He was educated at Harvard, and matriculated in 1859, and immediately after his graduation went to Paris to study architecture. A year later he was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, studying in the atelier of André. During the war his father lost his property, and Richardson was forced to support himself by working as a draughtsman in the offices of French architects; and it was only in 1865 that he returned, and chose New York as the place in which to try his fortunes. His first commission, won in competition for the design of a church in Springfield, Mass., came to him only after he had been a year at home, but this brought other work; and by 1866 he was fairly launched in professional life. In 1867 he entered partnership with Charles Gambrill in New York. After the dissolution of this partnership in 1878, he removed to Brookline, Mass., and there he remained until his death in 1886.


The Congressional Library, Washington. In 1873 Congress passed a bill inviting plans in competition for the proposed building, and those of Messrs. John L. Smithmeyer and Paul J. Peltz, both of Washington, were selected. But between the years 1874, when they were officially recognized as architects of the building, and 1886, when Congress finally appropriated money to begin it, they had to endure great political pressure, and their plans underwent many modifications and improvements. Finally in 1886, after a bitter fight, they were installed as architects of the new building. Before the structure had risen above the foundations, however, a new act of Congress repealed all that had previously been legislated about the building, and put its construction under the sole control of the chief engineer of the army, General Casey. Mr. Smithmeyer was discharged as architect, but his partner, the artistic member of the firm, Mr. Peltz, was retained. In the spring of 1892, when the structure had reached little more than half its intended height, Mr. Peltz's connection with the work ceased; and he was succeeded by Mr. Edward P. Casey of New York, who continued as architect of the building until its completion in February, 1897. The library is 470 feet long and 340 deep, and occupies, exclusive of approaches, three and three-fourths acres.

Columbia University Library was completed in 1898. The architects are Messrs. McKim, Mead & White, who have been referred to above.

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Trinity Church, New York City, was finished in 1848. Richard Upjohn, its architect, born at Shaftsbury, Eng., in 1802, was given a common-school education, and afterwards apprenticed to a builder, and engaged in [Pg 19]this occupation until 1829, when he emigrated to America, settling in New Bedford, Mass. Here he pursued his trade until 1833, when he went to Boston, and made some architectural drawings for a city court-house. He thereafter continued the practice of architecture with increasing reputation, until, in 1839, he was called upon to rebuild Trinity Church, New York, which work gained him a national reputation as a church architect.

Madison Square Garden, New York City, McKim, Meade & White, architects, is 465 feet long and 200 feet wide, and its walls are 65 feet high. The roof is nearly flat, but the sky-lines are broken by a colonnade which rises above the roof at the Madison Square Avenue end, and extends along either side for 100 feet, by six open cupolas with semi-spherical domes, which rise above the colonnade, by two towers at the Fifth Avenue corner, and by a great square tower which rises from the Twenty-sixth Street side with its lines unbroken for 249 feet, and then in a series of open cupolas. Along the Madison Avenue end, and extending along either side for a distance of 150 feet is an open arcade, which covers the sidewalk, and the roof of which rests upon pillars of polished granite and piers of brick. The top of the arcade is laid out as a promenade. On the top of the tower is poised a heroic figure of Diana, 332 feet from the sidewalk, designed by St. Gaudens. The materials of the building are buff brick and terra-cotta. It was completed in 1890.


St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, was opened in 1879, although the spires were not finished until 1887. Built of white marble, its main dimensions are: length 306 feet, breadth, including chapels 120 feet, length of transepts 140 feet, height of nave 108 feet. The principal front on Fifth Avenue consists of a gable, 156 feet in height, flanked by twin spires, 330 feet high. James Renwick, the architect, was born in New York City in 1818. At the age of sixteen he graduated from Columbia College, and, following an inherited taste, entered the engineering department of the Croton Aqueduct. His training in architecture was entirely self-acquired. He early manifested a fondness for the Gothic style, and as there were then no Gothic buildings of merit in America, his knowledge of it was derived entirely from books. With such scanty preparation he designed Grace Church in New York. Later, Mr. Renwick travelled in Europe, and became still more impressed with the beauty of Gothic architecture. In 1858 the corner-stone of St. Patrick's Cathedral was laid, and it was mainly through this church that his reputation as an architect was established. It was his life work; he regarded it as his favorite child, and never ceased to grieve that his original plan, which contemplated a central lantern and a chevet, and which would have covered the entire block between Fifth and Madison Avenues, had been cut down for reasons of economy. Mr. Renwick died in 1895.

"Biltmore House," at Biltmore, N.C., the residence of Mr. George Vanderbilt, was completed in 1897. Its main general dimensions are, 152 by 373 feet. Indiana limestone was used in its construction.

Richard M. Hunt, its architect, was born in Brattleboro, Vt., in 1827. He graduated from the Boston High School in 1843, and in the same year, having already chosen his profession, he went to Europe. In 1845 he entered the atelier of Hector Lefuel in Paris, and for nine years pursued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1854 his patron having been put in charge of the new work on the Louvre, Hunt was appointed inspector, and under Lefuel designed the Pavillion de la Bibliothèque. In 1855 he returned to New York, and began his American career, toward 1870 taking up the class of work by which he is best known. He died at Newport in 1895.


The third and present City Hall of New York City was projected in 1802, when a premium was publicly offered for the best design. The award was given to Messrs. Mangin (a Frenchman) and Macomb,—architects concerning whom very little authentic information is obtainable. It was finished in 1812. The corner-stone of the building was laid by Mayor Edward Livingstone.

The building consists of a central structure of two stories and an attic, surmounted by a cupola, and two wings of two stories each. The architects' original design provided a pediment for the base of the cupola, showing the city arms and bas-reliefs. The City Hall, when cross-sectioned, north and south, resembles the Register office in Edinburgh, designed by the Brothers Adam. The front and sides are of white marble, with brown freestone basement. Freestone was used for the rear because the building then stood so far out of town that it was thought not worth while to build it of marble. A broad flight of steps leads from the south to an Ionic colonnade. The cupola is surmounted by a statue of Justice.

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