Gilded Age Architecture 1890s – Turn of the Century. Bill Woolwine Winter Haven High School 2009. The Gilded Age.
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Winter Haven High School
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Henry B. Plant built a series of hotels to go with his growing Railroad empire. He also added steamships to his extensive transportation network.
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.
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.
During the Gilded Age the guests of the hotel dressed formally for most of the activities.
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.
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 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.
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.
In January of 1888 the Ponce de Leon Hotel opened for the first season.
Today the building the is used by Flagler College.
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.