The Washingtonians Who Fought to Keep Their City as the Nation’s Capital

Rivalries Over Its Political Symbolism, and Damage From the War of 1812, Nearly Destroyed the City

As the national capital, Washington, D.C. always has carried special meaning—representing both the federal government and the United States as a whole. No matter how Americans might feel about the state of the nation at any given time, they typically respect and revere the city—visiting on vacations and school trips by the millions each year.

Many might be surprised to learn, therefore, that at one particularly precarious point in the city’s history during the War of 1812, Congress seriously debated abandoning the site and moving the capital to another location. …

Why Do So Many Public Buildings in the U.S. Look Like Greek Temples?

In the Architectural Void of a New Nation, William Strickland Borrowed from Ancient Athens to Express America's Democratic Ethos

President Andrew Jackson took a keen interest in the construction of the federal mint in Philadelphia, a grand, columned edifice, inspired by the temples of ancient Greece, that opened in 1833. Jackson was not a man …

Why Broadway Meanders up Manhattan’s Grid

New York's Most Iconic Street Grew Organically From Colonial Cowpath Into an Allegorical Strand

I first saw Broadway from the air. It was 1990 and I was flying with my architecture class from the University of Florida up to Boston so we could learn …

The German-American Family Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge

In Creating an Icon, Washington Roebling and His Kin Realized Dreams That Europe Never Could Fulfill

The Brooklyn Bridge was truly an American project embodying a certain American ideal. And people celebrated that fact from the start.

On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge—after 14 years of …

How Hospital Rooms Went from Airy Temples to “Inhuman” Machines

Architecture Used to Pamper Patients. Then Designers Began Prizing Efficiency.

In the March 1942 issue of the journal Modern Hospital, Charles F. Neergaard, a prominent New York City hospital design consultant, published a layout for a hospital inpatient department that …