Category: monumental 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.

Mies van der Rohe’s only building in Washington,D.C.

Late in his career, Mies was commissioned to design the main D.C. public library, named in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.  In contrast to Mies’s better known projects such as the Seagrams Building, a moderately tall skyscraper in New York City, and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, upscale housing towers, the library is only four stories above ground.  But all three projects display Mies’s trademark emphasis on a highly visible gridded facade.  In Seagrams and MLK Library the facades had a strong vertical emphasis created by steel i-beams welded on to the frame.

Mies, who was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and Royal Gold Medal, among numerous other recognitions as a leading Modernist architect, designed the building from 1965-1966, ground broken July 1968, and the library opened either August or September 1972. (Various sources site different key dates for this building.)

The building very recently closed for renovation (including roof garden and floor plans) and will only reopen in 2020.  Washingtonia Collection is at the DC Historical Society’s space at the Carnegie Library.

The architect for the renovation is Martinez and Johnson.  The architectural historian is Traceries.

Top photo shows G Street (main facade at left) and 9th Street side.  Bottom photo showing I beams detail on 9th Street.  photos copyrighted by Bill Lebovich, 2017MLK Library06072017 (2).jpgIMG_3377.jpg

Heins and Lafarge, prominent New York City Architects

The firm might be best known for its NYC subway stations, but its Cathedrals in NY and Washington,DC as well the Metropolitan Club near the White House are worthwhile examples of their late 19th century Beaux Arts and H.H. Richardson,for whom they worked, architecture.  The photo of St. John the Divine shows the front of the church,which was designed by Cram,who replaced Heins and Lafarge after they completed the chancel end and crossing of the church.  Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew The ApostleSt. John the Divine,1047 Amsterdam, Ralph Adams Cram, begun 1892 Metropolitan Club 3 Cathedral of Mathew Cathedral of St. Matthew's 1 DSCN0068‘s is very much in the Richardsonian style.  The funeral for JFK was held at this church.  (3 photos of St. Matthew The Apostle, 1 photo of Metropolitan Club, and 1 photo of Cathedral of St. John the Divine)

(c)Bill Lebovich,all rights reserved,2014t