Montmartre Cemetery

Across Paris in the Montmartre area is another cemetery, built in the basin of a former limestone quarry–a common theme where largely unbuildable land is used for the burial of the dead. It’s an interesting counterpoint to Père Lachaise; Montmartre Cemetery is still a rural cemetery movement space but it is more rigid and just…

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Perhaps a visit to the burial ground where so many iconic people are buried would not be as memorable if a steady rain were not falling as I walked the winding paths of Père Lachaise Cemetery. Designed as the first rural or garden cemetery, laid out with winding paths and forested lanes, the land lies…

Public Space in Paris

One thing I’ve noticed about the great cities of the world, particularly Europe, is their lack of wide open spaces. Isn’t that counterintuitive? Aren’t American cities constantly building more plazas for free concerts and festivals? We need to bring more life to our cities with special events! In reality, life is brought to European (and…

Neoclassicism and Beyond, Paris

Moving along now so we can get back to St. Louis, here is a smorgasbord of Paris buildings that have broader implications on world architectural history, including here in the Gateway City. First up is the Madeleine, which was originally built by Napoleon to glorify his reign, but was then converted into a church. It’s…

The Pantheon, Paris

The Pantheon in Paris, named after the one in Rome, has gone through so many identity changes over the centuries that it’s hard to keep track. You can read about that elsewhere. However, it’s the perfect domed church-like structure to examine in the history of architecture right after the domed chapel of the Invalides, which…

The Château of Fontainebleau

The Château of Fontainebleau features as one of the most important in the history of royal France, but it is perhaps not very well known. Dozens of French kings called it home at least for part of the year, all the way up to the year 1870, but it is perhaps not well known to…

The Trianon

The Trianon was a village demolished for an expansion of the royal grounds of Versailles under the reign of Louis XIV. Equally influential in the development of garden and park design, the Trianon was built to provide a respite from the formality of the court at Versailles, and in the process and in combination with…

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….

Lindell Boulevard from North Boyle Avenue to Kingshighway

Proceeding further west on Lindell Boulevard, we see both well-preserved stretches of historic architecture and utterly obliterated streetscape. There are those stunning townhouses, which I would love to own if I didn’t have to worry about a car driven by a man-child flying into my living room every day. And then there’s the former of…

Bethel Church, Logan County, Illinois

Through the randomness of Google Maps, I spotted a new landmark popping up in the countryside north of Lincoln, Illinois. Labeled Bethel Church, I knew the short ten minute drive off the interstate was going to be worthwhile. The style of the church is an interesting mix of the massing of the Gothic Revival, with…