Mid-nineteenth Century America was a time of great energy and change. Cities grew, immigration soared, railroads expanded, and new building technologies emerged. To meet the housing needs and tastes of our growing and increasingly diverse populace, architects designed houses in a multitude of styles. Though widely varied, the Romantic Revival styles of this period all reflect Romantic and Picturesque sensibilities in their yearning for the security of the past to ameliorate the complexities of modern life and in their idealization of nature as an antidote to the city.
[As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, I thought I would share with you a memoir I wrote for our tenth anniversary.]
Just before Rosabelli and I walked into the Piazza Navona I asked her to pause for a moment, knowing the thrill that she was about to experience for the first time. Then she walked into the Piazza and with awe she gasped at the beauty of the plashing fountains with their brilliant sunlit sculptures set off in front of the darkly towering San’Agnese in Agone. Large tears welled up in her eyes as she breathed in a small part of what Rome offers an architect. It was Rosabelli’s first trip to Rome from her native Brazil and it was also the Institute’s inaugural Rome Architectural Drawing Tour.