All posts by John Hill

Center Square Water Works

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Latrobe and his engineering assistant Fredrick Graff crafted a model of the building to test different ideas. Latrobe was hired to design this building due to a heightened need for clean water sources because of the yellow fever outbreaks of 1793. The building never was very efficient, it needed a lot of maintenance and was ultimately discontinued. The design shows the Greek-Roman designs that Latrobe generally sticks to. Graff was put in charge of developing a more practical design after it was clear that Latrobe’s original didn’t work out.

Virginia State Pennitentiary



This was Latrobe’s first major project in the United States. It definitely looks like a scary prison and is not a place anyone would have wanted to be in. The prison was eventually torn down and another prison was erected on the same site.  This prison is the epitome of what the Big House should look like, a giant imposing, inescapable castle.


Greek Revival



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Latrobe designed both of these houses later on in his career in America. The Pope Villa is located in Lexington, Kentucky and was made for senator John Pope. It is one of Latrobe’s finest in my opinion. The unique design and simplicity is very appealing.

The Adena Mansion is in Chillicothe, Ohio. Again the simple design with the door  in the middle makes it really stick out. It was completed in 1807. It is now a tourist attraction and museum that teaches about the early European settlement in Ohio. In 2003 it was declared a National

The Baltimore Basilica



The Baltimore Basilica was built from 1806-1821 and was the first great metropolitan cathedral constructed in the United States after the adoption of the Constitution. Latrobe was among the designers of this building. I particularly like how it has a castle feel to it with the old classic Roman columns. Latrobe designed this building to combine a longitudinal axis and a domed space.


The United States Capitol

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Benjamin Henry Latrobe designed the United States Capitol and it was completed 1800. I really like how imposing and dominant the white makes it look. The massive dome I also really like because of the detail and work it takes to pull off. It is located right on Capitol Hill and it is where the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government are located.


Benjamin Henry Latrobe – The father of american architecture

Latrobe was the man who designed the United States Capitol. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1796 and was one of the first professionals architects in America. His other works include the Old Baltimore Cathedral which was the first Roman Catholic Cathedral constructed in the United States. He traveled to several places around the world and moved about in America constructing beautiful buildings. 




This palace was home of Fredrick the Great. It’s unique to me because of it’s height. Usually when i think of a kings palace, I think of a giant structure. The castle isn’t very tall but it is built on top of a hill with platforms of beautiful gardens leading up to the gate. The interior is neat because each room is a little different but it flows well. The masterful art work and designs throughout the castle are amazing. It’s definitely a must see if ever the opportunity to travel to Germany becomes available.

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Chrysler Building

I think I like this classic building because it looks like a rocket ship. Its wide base that builds up to the neck and into the spire has a really nice look. The spire itself is very pretty at night when it’s lit. The design on it is simple but really classy. I have to respect a legendary building when I see one. For a building to stand out in New York like this one does for me is impressive. It was also built in 1928 so its been around for almost a hundred years and that really says something

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The Devon Tower

The Devon Tower in Oklahoma city is one of my favorite buildings. It is the biggest tower in Oklahoma City, while it isn’t much compared to big sky scrapers in cities like New York, its still pretty cool. I like how there is a circular base with the shard like walls jutting through the sky. It sticks out like a soar thumb, but in a good way. I like to think of it as a sign that Oklahoma is growing and someday it will blend in a little more.

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Neuschwanstein Castle

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In Germany there sits one of the most impressive castles ever known as “The Fairytale Castle” . The gold themed throne room demonstrates the epitome of a kings place of power. The castle was built on top of a mountain, the way it forms along the peak is seems like it would be very tricky to pull off. There is are swan designs and themes can be found throughout each area because King Ludwig II’s favorite animal was the swan. There is a lake next to the castle where pairs of swans can be found. The castle was originally built by the king as a refuge of privacy, he was very shy. This was actually the castle that inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom. The landscape it sets in is breathe taking.