Category: 19th century government architecture

Architectural walking tours of Washington,D.C.

Bill Lebovich, former National Park Service historian, architectural historian and photographer, and former adjunct college faculty member, gives weekday and weekend tours of Lafayette Square, Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, historic downtown and museums, and custom tours.

To schedule a tour, get additional information, reviews, DSCN2867.jpgor ask questions, email me at or call (301) 467-2831.

The beauty of early 19th century architecture

Detail of the cornice of gatehouse designed by Charles BulIMG_4934.jpgfinch, third Architect of the Capitol, in approximately 1827, for the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. This gatehouse and another one by Bulfinch were moved to Constitution Ave, closer to the White House, in the late 19th century.

Bulfinch, considered one of the first professional architects in this country, took drawing courses as a Harvard undergraduate and then traveled through Europe observing architecture.

Atlas Obscura Tour

I had the pleasure of giving my tour of Capitol stones today to a very DSCN2675.jpgnice group of people.                                                                            (c)Bill Lebovich,2016

More on NYC firehouses: Engine 23.

In Manhattan, several late 19th and early 20th century fire houses are still in use.  They are narrow, three story brick buildings, with interesting detailing.  Above the string course there is usually a bronze plaque listing every official associated with the building of the house, except for the architect.  But I have seen two firehouses where the famous architect LeBrun was listed.  Also, along the walls flanking the overhead  door, and on walls inside the building, are plaques commemorating the members who died in the line of duty.

Also the firehouses have knicknames such as “bat cave” or “lion’s den”, and these names and symbols are painted on the door. But at “lion’s den”ImageImageImage, the city required that a new plain door be installed.  The decorated door is in storage, and will be mounted on the rear inside wall of the station.

The top two images are this month, with the new door rolled up, the third image is last December with the decorated door.

That gem of a city, Erie, PA.

This much under appreciated city has a wonderful Federal residence that is now a private club,late 19th century water tower, streamlined former Greyhound bus station, powerful industrial and warehouse buildings (although one of the most important was demolished,without reason), a bold art museum, and strong retail buildings and blocks, defined by attention to detail.  Plus it sits adjacent to  a great lake and has outgoingImageImageImageImageImage, friendly people who are enthusiastic about their architecture.

(C) Bill Lebovich, all rights reserved, 2013.