Our Classical Heritage

Classical design formed our nation’s capital. The soaring Washington Monument, the columns of the Lincoln Memorial and the spectacular dome of the Capitol Building speak to the founders’ comprehensive vision of our federal city. Learn about the L’Enfant and McMillan plans for Washington, D.C., and how those designs are reflected in two hundred years of monuments, museums and representative government. View the statues of our Founding Fathers with the eye of a sculptor and gain insight into the criticism and controversies of modern additions to Washington’s monumental structure. Author Michael Curtis guides this tour of the heart of the District of Columbia.

Description

A selected, bold and refreshing look at the great monuments of our national heritage: With keen observations and telling insights the author guides the reader along a walking tour of Washington, DC, here-and-there pausing to describe some feature of architecture or statuary, to illuminate an intent of the Nation’s Founders or some accident of history in telling anecdote, quip or criticism as only a sculptor-architect who has created monuments can do, as only a brave and independent scholar would do.  Here is a brief, aesthetic history of our nation’s Capital, a stroll along her streets and plazas, a pleasure of beauty, a censure of ugliness, a lesson, an amusement, a delight: open, read, and enjoy the history, the art and architecture of Washington, DC, our classical heritage.

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These tours are fashioned for those who wish a greater understanding of why and how the District of Columbia came to be a classically designed city. Whether you are a visitor to the District or a native you will appreciate your nation’s capitol in new ways. You will learn of the ancient antecedents of our political philosophies, of the stylistic precedents of our architectural forms, and of the Founders’ classical vision. Along the way you will see well-considered plans realized, you will learn how accidents of history amend ideas, and you will understand how progressive modernism eagerly destroys tradition. Mostly, you will enjoy the grandeur and the beauty of Washington, The District of Columbia.