"We will construct buildings of the classic style of architecture, just as the old Greeks and Romans did. We will not do just exactly as they did, but we will copy their ideas and modify them to suit our purpose." -James Knox Taylor
They chose the classical style because they wanted the buildings to be dignified, impressive and suggestive of a big government.
Before choosing the Classical style, they examined nine other styles such as the Gothic style, the Romanesque style, and the Byzantine style
Both the Gothic and Romanesque style were suggestive of churches which violates the idea that church and state should be separate. This, in a sense, violates our country's freedom of Religion if the government buildings were to chose a christian based style.
Knox also says "Most of the big government buildings here and abroad that are successful in any way an last with the people are classic buildings." (Such as the White House, the Capitol building, and the Treasury building.)
Knox says that if you put buildings that are impressive and dignified all over the country, they will serve a patriotic purpose as well as make many cities beautiful. They should suggest the government and if they are modeled after the buildings in d.c., then it will be a connecting link to the capitol.
Our second Article starts out by referencing our first one. They are written a week apart. They begin by praising our first article and saying it was exceedingly well done.
The article then goes onto say that Mr. James Knox Taylor is the best architect who has been in the govt. office for years and he wants to do what is right.
"The art of architecture is the only art which rests solely and only on the traditions of the past...The art of architecture is the one dead art."
Back to our opening quote, "We will construct buildings of the classic style of architecture just as the old Greeks and Romans did."
The author of this article feels this is why architecture is a dead art. They are copying from past traditions.
"There has been no real, vital expression or though in the art of architecture since the sixteenth century."
“The world before the time of the Greeks had built monoliths, obeslisks, cromleehs, sphinxes and pyramids, but they were mostly monumental to the dead.”
“But Greek architecture did most for the living. Ignoring Egyptian precedents and borrowing nothing from other nations, Greek architecture carved its own columns, set its own pediments, adjusted its own entablatures, rounded its own modlings.”
The author then goes on to say that the Parthenon has been an inspiration to all architects for centuries and will continue to be until the world is itself a temple ruin.
He ends with saying that every well designed and beautiful building, such as a fine church, a courthouse, a tasteful home, or an appropriate auditorium, would not exist if not for the Parthenon because somehow, either directly or indirectly, everything can be traced back to it.
This is why the author feels we are a debtor to the Greeks.
New Union Railway Depot
“The depot will cost about six millions, and with its approaches about fifteen millions, and will be the most magnificent of its kind in the world.”
The new Union Railway Depot will be of Roman architecture.
“The stupendous arches in the centre of the front of the building, and the decoration above them, statues five times life size, eagles surmounting corners of the roof of the gigantic vestibule,”
The author feels this will make other buildings look puny. “The imposing arches of the Washington Postoffice Building will look like portholes when compared with them...They are eleven times the height of an ordinary man.”
Carnegie Library - Washington, DC
“The new Carnegie Library, a structure of remarkable beauty, is rapidly nearing completion….” “The building in its architecture is an effective combination of the Greek and Roman renaissance, and, with considerable ornateness, combines taste and dignity.”
“The central portion consists of three Roman Ionic columns, the entrance being approached by broad steps.”
The article continues to describe the physical features of the new public library and gives the reader a real sense of its beauty and grandeur, as well as the fact that it was gifted to the state by Mr. Andrew Carnegie.
“The beautiful edifice, which will be such a notable addition to the city’s architectural attractions, as well as a boon to a multitude of readers for whom the Library of Congress is somewhat out of the way, had its beginning in a gift of $250,000 to the city of Washington by Mr. Andrew Carnegie...”
The Mckinley memorial Ohio College of Governement
“The building, when completed, will be a magnificent edifice”
The general style of this building will be Greek with some Romanesque features. For example, there is a low dome which is supported by 6 huge Corinthian columns. This, with addition to the high arched windows, make this building of the pure Greek idea.
In this article some other college buildings were listed who were also constructed in the classical style, giving strong indication that the classical style was the standard for building of high education during this time period.
“Federal Buildings in Indiana, “ The Indianapolis journal, October 25,1903. Accessed November 28, 2016. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014635/1904-02-07/ed-1/seq-21/#date1=1789&index=12&date2=1922&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&words=architecture+Federal+style&proxdistance=5&state=&rows=20&ortext=federal+style+architecture&proxtext=federal+style+&phrasetext=&andtext=architecture&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.
“Familiar Old Hymns,” The Indianapolis journal, November 1, 1903. Accessed November 28, 2016. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015679/1903-11-01/ed-1/seq-27/#date1=1895&index=19&rows=20&words=architecture+Roman+Romans&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=&date2=1905&proxtext=Roman+architecture+&y=15&x=1&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=5.
“Our Debt to Greece,” Peninsula Enterprise, April 3rd, 1897. Accessed November 28, 2016. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn94060041/1897-04-03/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1895&index=12&rows=20&words=architecture+Greek+Greeks&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=&date2=1905&proxtext=Greek+architecture&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.
“Work of a Forgotten American Architect.,” The Jennings daily record, March 21, 1902. Accessed November 28,2016. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88064676/1902-03-21/ed-1/seq-4/.
“The Proposed New Union Railway Depot,” The Washington Times, March 17, 1902. Accessed November 28, 2016. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87062245/1902-03-17/ed-1/seq-3/.
“Beautiful New Carnegie Public LIbrary Nearing Completion,” The Washington Times, September 7, 1902. Accessed November 28,2016. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87062245/1902-09-07/ed-1/seq-17/#.
“Mckinley Memorial,” The Camden Chronicle, August 1,1902. Accessed November 28,2016. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89058013/1902-08-01/ed-1/seq-6/#date1=1895&index=11&rows=20&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&words=architecture+edifice+Greek+Roman&proxdistance=5&date2=1905&ortext=greek+roman&proxtext=&phrasetext=&andtext=architecture+greek+edifice&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1.