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Gilded Age Architecture 1890s – Turn of the Century. Bill Woolwine Winter Haven High School 2009. The Gilded Age.

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gilded age architecture 1890s turn of the century

Gilded AgeArchitecture1890s – Turn of the Century

Bill Woolwine

Winter Haven High School


the gilded age
The Gilded Age
  • The Gilded Age is sometimes associated with the idea of the Gospel of Wealth. This idea was promoted by many successful businessmen that their great wealth was a benefit to all. Advocates like Andrew Carnegie linked their great wealth with the idea that they had a responsibility to help society.
  • The post Civil War and post Reconstruction period represented a period of population growth and the growth of tremendous wealth for some Americans.
  • The wealth of the period was characterized by the upper class’s opulent lifestyle and the rise of philanthropy.
the library of congress
The Library of Congress

The Law creating the Library of Congress was approved on April 24, 1800, called for its books to be housed in “a suitable apartment” in the Capital.

The library occupied various spaces in the capital building between 1806 and August 24, 1814, when the British burned the Capital and the Library.

moving the library
Moving the Library

The first separate Library of Congress building, was authorized in 1886, and completed in 1897. When it opened to the public on November 1, 1897, it represented an unparalleled national achievement: its 23-carat gold-plated dome capped the “largest, costliest, and safest” library building in the world.

library was built under the direction of the corps of engineers
Library was built under the direction of the Corps of Engineers

After two design competitions and a decade of debate about design and location, in 1886 Congress finally chose an Italian Renaissance plan submitted by Washington architects John L. Smithmeyer and Paul J. Pelz. The building’s construction was placed under the direction of Brigadier General Thomas Lincoln Casey, Chief of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

union station
Union Station

Union Station was opened on October 27, 1907 and completed in 1908.

It is considered to be one of the finest examples of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture.

At its completion it covered more ground than any other building in the United States and was the largest train station in the world.

union station19
Union Station

The station sits on the edge of an area once known as “swampoodle” an infamous shantytown located on the remnants of Tiber creek.

Seventy pounds of 22-karet gold leaf adorned the 96 foot barrel-vaulted ceilings.

The white granite and classic lines of Union Station set the stage for the next 40 years of Washington’s classic architecture –reflected in the construction of the

union station20
Union Station

Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and the Supreme Court building.

Union Station cost $125 million and employed over 5000 people.

The Presidential Suite was added later and President Taft was the first to use it in 1909.

Today Union Station is the most visited destination in Washington with over 32 million visitors a year.

heurich house dupont circle
Heurich HouseDupont Circle

Christian Heurich House Museum is Washington’s most intact late Victorian house.

It was built in 1892-1894 during Dupont Circle’s golden era as Washington’s premier residential neighborhood.

The mansion is an example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture.

christian heurich
Christian Heurich

Heurich was a German immigrant, American citizen, brewer, real estate magnate, and philanthropist.

His mansion was Washington’s first fireproof home built of reinforced steel and poured concrete.

It had 31 rooms with hand carved wood, 15 fireplaces with individually carved mantles and cast bronze fire backs.

heurich house
Heurich House

To ensure safety none of the fireplaces were ever used.

It incorporated the most modern technology of the day , including full indoor plumbing, circulating hot water heat, central vacuum system, venting skylight, elevator shaft, pneumatic and electric communication systems and combination gas and electric lighting fixtures.

henry b plant museum moorish revival architecture
Henry B. Plant MuseumMoorish Revival Architecture

It was constructed between 1888 and 1891 for an estimated $3 million with another $500,000 spent on furnishings.

The 511 room hotel was the first in Florida to have electricity.

Advertised as completely fireproof, the hotel was built of poured concrete reinforced with steel rails and cables between the floors.

tampa bay hotel tampa florida38
Tampa Bay Hotel – Tampa Florida

Henry B. Plant built a series of hotels to go with his growing Railroad empire. He also added steamships to his extensive transportation network.

henry b plant
Henry B. Plant

Plant built and formed the Plant System Railways following the Civil War.

The Plant system provided service from Charleston SC through Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Connections were also provided to New York and the northeast.

The Tampa Bay Hotel was one of eight hotels built by Plant in west Florida.

entrance of the tampa bay hotel
Over $500,000 was spent on furnishing the Tampa Bay hotel following its construction . Plant brought in furnishings from all over the world for the hotel.Entrance of the Tampa Bay Hotel
tampa bay hotel interior
Henry Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel became a magnet for the wealthy from the North and those seeking the lifestyle that represented the Gilded Age.Tampa Bay Hotel Interior
steamship service
Steamship Service

Plant recognized that his railroad would be a greater success if combined with steamboat and steamship service. In 1896 Plant organized the Plant Steamship line that went from Port Tampa to Cuba.

The Tampa Bay Hotel was the quintessential Victorian resort hotel. Plant and his architect John A Wood created a Turkish and Moorish fantasy of minarets, domes, cupolas, arches, and verandas.

hotel guests during the gilded age at the tampa bay hotel
Hotel guests during the gilded age at the Tampa Bay Hotel

During the Gilded Age the guests of the hotel dressed formally for most of the activities.

spanish american war
Spanish American War

The hotel’s gilded age was a magical time in its history when formal dress was de rigueur and rickshaws carried guests through the hotel’s exotic gardens.

Because Tampa was the city nearest to Cuba with both rail and port facilities, it was chosen as the point of embarkation for the Spanish American War.

naval cannon used during spanish american war
Naval Cannon used during Spanish American War

The Tampa Bay Hotel was used as headquarters tor troops going to Cuba during the Spanish American War. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders were guests before leaving for Cuba.

henry morrison flagler
Henry Morrison Flagler

Henry Flagler was an American Tycoon, real estate promoter, railroad developer and partner of Rockefeller in Standard Oil.

He was a key figure in the development of the east coast of Florida along the Atlantic Ocean, and was the founder of what became the Florida East Coast railroad.

ponce de leon hotel
Ponce de Leon Hotel

Flagler came to St. Augustine in 1885 and began construction on the 540 room hotel.

He created the Florida East Coast Railway in order to support his hotel ventures.

The Ponce de Leon is an example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.

The hotel was designed by John M. Currere and Thomas Hastings and involved Louis Comfort Tiffany and Thomas Edison in its construction.

flagler college
Flagler College

In January of 1888 the Ponce de Leon Hotel opened for the first season.

Today the building the is used by Flagler College.

biltmore estate asheville nc59
Biltmore EstateAsheville NC
  • In 1888, George Vanderbilt, youngest grandson of business tycoon Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, visited the Western North Carolina mountains. Asheville, North Carolina was a high-society health retreat for those looking for a rugged, yet pleasant retreat from the pressures of the Northeast.
  • George Vanderbilt recognized the area as a perfect spot for an estate. He envisioned an estate that would not only showcase his collection of art, but also become a self-supporting business. Richard Morris Hunt became the designer of the Biltmore House.
Hunt modeled the Biltmore House after an early 16th–century French Chateaux. Construction of the house required an immense amount of manpower, from the local laborers to world renowned craftsman. Vanderbilt included such cutting-edge technology as central heating, electricity, running hot and cold water to upstairs baths, a fire alarm, cold-storage mechanical refrigeration, an elevator, an electric communication system for calling servants, and a swimming pool with underwater lighting.
A prestigious landscape architect, Fredrick Law Olmstead, supervised the surrounding grounds. Olmstead had designed parks, including New York’s Central Park and the U.S. Capital grounds, and was a pioneer in conservation.

George Vanderbilt introduced new farming techniques to the region and was instrumental in the founding of the Biltmore Forest School, the first institute for scientific forestry in America. The estate was formally opened on Christmas Eve 1895, though even then , some of the rooms in the house were not complete and remain so today.