The Palace of Versailles

Visiting Versailles just about drove me crazy. It’s an exhausting day, taking a commuter railroad out from central Paris. But you have to take the right train, from the right station to the correct destination because there are multiple depots in the town of Versailles. It was a beautiful day for the start, and it…

The Louvre

I get a good laugh out of the Louvre. It is an absurdity. Obscenely huge, the product of around twenty expansions and now the home of a gigantic museum with a stellar art collection as well as numerous other institutions in other wings, the Louvre was never the seat of the royal government in France….

Foundations of the Louvre

Like St. Louis, Paris is multi-layered. One of the sights that I was not going to miss out on are the original foundations of the Louvre fortress, which are now viewable after being buried for centuries under the courtyard of the eastern portion of the famous palace. This helpful illustration that somehow photographed well above…

Some Random Impressions of France

First off, perhaps I would like to start off with some impressions of Paris, and France in general. This was my twelfth trip to Europe, but my first to France. Many people were surprised that I had never been, and that was a major reason I chose to finally go. As I remarked to someone,…

Sachs Museum, Missouri Botanical Garden

After being closed the vast majority of my life, the Missouri Botanical Garden’s museum, one of the oldest buildings in St. Louis, finally opened up again as the Stephen and David Sachs Museum. Originally built by Henry Shaw, the Sachs Museum was built in 1859 according to plans by his favorite architect, George I. Barnett….

The Lawrence Cribbin House, St. Charles County Heritage Museum

We’re going to be looking at Greek Revival farmhouses out in St. Charles County for the next week along with some other landmarks. Many of the houses are perhaps not “pure” Greek Revival anymore because of additions and elaborations, but I found it fascinating just how many survive. In this case, this is the which…

Twenty Years Since 9/11, Revisiting Washington, DC, Part Two

We crossed over the Memorial Bridge into the Commonwealth of Virginia, and picked up the Metro to head to Alexandria and meet up with an old professor friend of mine. The Metro used to be the pride and joy of Washington, DC, but I was shocked at how far it had fallen. While it had…

Twenty Years Since 9/11, Revisiting Washington, DC, Part One

As a few of my readers know, I was living in Washington, DC on September 11, 2001, exactly two miles away from the Pentagon when the plane crashed into it. I moved back at Christmastime of 2006, and had only been back to the District of Columbia twice since then. I just returned for the…

Cincinnati Union Terminal

Out on the western edge of the urban core of Cincinnati is the Union Terminal, which while still serving rail connections for the city, is now mostly turned over to museums. There’s a great history of the building here; it was one of the last major train stations built in America and was apparently only…

Downtown Quincy, Illinois

Much like St. Louis, Quincy got its start due to its location high on the bluffs above the Mississippi River, allowing it to benefit from the trade connections without the threat of flooding. Much like St. Louis, eventually the railroad connections became much more important, and bridges began to be built across the river at…