Drive up a narrow road with steep bluffs on one side and a busy railroad on the other, and you reach the visitors’ center for the Effigy Mounds National Monument. After an epic hike up the bluffs, you reach a… Continue Reading
As I came over a high hill in the rugged northeastern corner of Iowa on U.S. Route 18, I looked down into the valley below and I could have sworn I was seeing a village in Vermont. As I entered… Continue Reading
West Union is the county seat of Fayette County, and thus has a larger amount of large houses that you would expect in such a town. Many are well-preserved or restored, including this rare shingle-style house below. The main square… Continue Reading
“But, but, we have to have a parking lot or people won’t come downtown!” I’m sure someone said that when it came time to do something with the vacant lot that was left on the west side of the main… Continue Reading
Oelwein still bustles because of a heavy railroad presence, and its location at the intersection of two highways. Its downtown is perhaps a bit smaller than others, as there are extensive suburban-style businesses located over on Highway 150. Still, there… Continue Reading
Walkable environments are so important, and why so many American cities are struggling.
Acanthus leaves, rosettes, volutes, ogees, egg and darts, dentilated cornices: they all started back in the ancient world. This chunk of marble from the imperial Roman fora has been copied directly and indirectly thousands of times around St. Louis.
The Saint Louis Art Museum Sculpture Hall is influenced by the Baths of Caracalla, but it’s also inspired by the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius, which is one of my favorite buildings in the Roman Forum. It is mostly collapsed from… Continue Reading
The Basilica of Great Saint Lawrence is one of the most important churches in the world you’ve never heard of. It sits across what is now a plaza, but was once crowded with houses, from the Colonnade of St. Lawrence.… Continue Reading
Urban renewal happens in Europe, as well, and the Colonnade of St. Lawrence is a perfect example of that. As the ancient world transitioned into the Early Christian, an old temple or bath house was torn down, and this colonnade… Continue Reading