How Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architecture Turned New York Into the Center of the World

Though the Wisconsin-Born Architect Called the City a ‘Pig Pile’ and ‘Incongruous Mantrap,’ It Made Him a Superstar

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City is architecture as sculpture—a smooth, creamy-colored, curved form that deliberately defies its square, gray urban context, and succeeds by harnessing the pure abstraction of modernism to the archaic form of the spiral. It proclaims the authority of the architect. It says to the public: It’s my art. Learn to live with it. It stands alone as the built confirmation of the architect’s supremacy as artist.

The Guggenheim is also the defining symbol of the legacy of its designer, the legendary American architect Frank Lloyd …

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 …

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 …