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, 2017
A former train station in Paris turned into an art museum. They preserve what is most architecturally significant about the structure, while creating functional display spaces
On April 13,1861, U. S. Army Major Robert Anderson surrendered Ft. Sumter, Charleston,South Carolina, to the Confederacy. On April 27th, the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates convened at Kemp Hall, corner of E. Church and N. Market Streets, Frederick, to discuss whether Maryland should follow the southern states and secede from the Union. The senators and delegates never voted on the issue. Lincoln had his troops arrest the pro-Secessionists members of the Maryland General Assembly, preventing the august body from having the necessary quorum for taking a vote.
The building is a distinctive revival building of approximately 1860 with arched window heads and wide, bracketed cornice. It is connected by a lower, setback hyphen with circular window to the third building, along Church. This building is slightly lower than the hyphen building, which in turn is slightly lower than the main building. Only the main building has arched windows. The glass store front covers the N. Market St. facade and part of the Church St. facade, which has later brickwork.
Built for a Cincinnati industrialist in 1904 and designed by the prominent NYC society architect Bruce Price and the equally prominent Washington,DC society architect Jules Henri de Sibour, this house is strikingly beautiful with its steep Mansard roof, strong visual contrast between the deep red brick walls and white stone quoins, and compact yet soaring massing.
As architecturally impressive as the exterior is, it is outdone by the interior with its rich wood paneling and the sense of movement from space to space, and grand ballroom.
The building is now the Embassy of Columbia’s ambassador’s residence.
De Sibour designed many grand residences in the Embassy Row neighborhood, including 1785 Mass. Ave.,the former headquarters of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (photograph by (c) Bill Lebovich,2016)
One of the most popular rows for tourists is also one of the best rows. The power of simple motifs repeated down the row creates a sense of harmony, rhythm, and horizontal and vertical movement. No American architectural style achieved so much with such restraint. In most periods, such as classical revival, Richardsonian Romanesque — all great styles, and the post modernism, architects depend on bold statements to say their design is important architecture.
Chevy Chase Circle with boundary marker,
This is a detail from the 1929/1930 (different sources give different dates for completion) skyscraper in downtown Philadelphia. It has been converted from an office building to a Marriot Hotel. Ritter & Shay were the architects.
The panels beautifully express the boldness, originality,and exuberance of the Art Deco—-at the beginning of the Great Depression.