Category: architectural tours

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.

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Architectural Photography/Architectural History Tour of Embassy Row

Saturday, November 12,2016, 10am-12:30pm

To make compelling architectural photographs, one has to understand architectural history.

This tour places the buildings and spaces in context and demonstrates the photographic techniques used to capture photographs that convey the significance of the buildings.

Participants should bring their own cameras (digital or film, any format).

$20/per person.

For further information contact Bill Lebovich:architecturalphoto@mac.comIMG_3189.jpg (c)Bill Lebovich,2016

Two Historic and Grand Hotels

The current building for the Willard Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave.,N.W., 2 blocks east of the White House, dates from 1901 and it was designed by the prominent NYC architect,Henry HardenberghIMG_2413.jpgIMG_2401.jpgIMG_2393.jpgIMG_1418.jpgIMG_1416.jpg.  But earlier,more modest versions of the hotel date to the early 19th century.

With its mansard roof, formal lobby,and grand corridor (“Peacock Alley”) running nearly a block to a secondary entrance on F St.,the hotel evokes Parisian architecture and planning.

On another major avenue, Connecticut Ave, in 1925, the Mayflower Hotel was built, and while its lacks French architectural detailing, it also has a grand promenade running from its lobby to a rear entrance. This hotel also has a formal lobby and is an entire block in depth.  (It differs from the Willard in that the rear section of the Mayflower was originally apartments.)

The Mayflower was designed by the same architects who were responsible for New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, Warren & Wetmore.

Other surviving hotels (seen in next posting),built only a few years later, do not occupy entire blocks and, therefore, lack the promenades that define the interiors and to a large degree, how these two hotels are perceived by guests and visitors.

First three photos:Willard   last two photos:Mayflower   (c)Bill Lebovich,2016

Anderson House, now The Society of The Cincinnati Headquarters, Mass. Ave.

Designed for the wealthy Brookline (adjacent to Boston) couple Isabel Weld and Larz Anderson as their winter home in Washington,DC, in approximately 1905 by the Boston architectural firm Little and Brown, it is has since 1937 been home to the oldest patriotic society in this country.  Anderson was the young diplomat with old pedigree and money who married a young multimillionaire heiress.  Their Brookline house is home to an outstanding automobile museum.Image

©Bill Lebovich,all rights reserved,2014.