Monday, February 8, 2010

Benjamin Latrobe and American Architecture

I found this article on the Washington Post about a documentary coming out tonight on TV called "Benjamin Latrobe: America's First Architect." Latrobe was an architect most known for his Baltimore Basilica and recruited by Jefferson to help design the Capitol. Jefferson and Latrobe didn't really get a long because Jefferson was not totally pleased with the design Latrobe had drawn. Latrobe was forced off the Capital project in 1817 because of financial issues.

In the documentary, they say "Latrobe didn't just import classical ideas from Europe into the nascent American republic. He enlivened and adapted them, gave them an austere simplicity, and integrated them with interior spaces that had their own vibrant energies and flow" (1, Kennicott). Latrobe’s influence is present across America one can see it in Greek temple like facades and dome capped off buildings (1, Kennicott).

This article about the documentary reminded me of our discussion of American Icon reading and the idea of a house and building significance in the American dream and ideal.

Here is the article if you would like to read it.

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