Hector Guimard (French, 1867-1942) was an architect known for advancing the Art Nouveau movement towards the end of the nineteenth century.
in the late 1890s, Paris was in the process of establishing an underground transportation system to prepare for the Paris Exposition of 1900, and the Compagnie du Metropolitan sponsored a competition to design the system’s entrance gates. Guimard won the commission (although he never formally entered the competition) with his avant-garde designs using standardized cast iron components, making for easy fabrication and assembly on-site. The gates have been described as having sinuous, organic lines with stylized, giant stalks drooping under the weight of what seem to be swollen tropical flowers (Museum of Modern Art). These flowers are amber glass lamps, which are well known elements in Art Nouveau design.
For two hundred years, the White House has stood as a symbol of the Presidency, the United States government, and the American people. Its history, and the history of the nation’s capital, began when President George Washington signed an Act of Congress in December of 1790 declaring that the federal government would reside in a district “not exceeding ten miles square…on the river Potomac.” President Washington, together with city planner Pierre L’Enfant, chose the site for the new residence, which is now 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As preparations began for the new federal city, a competition was held to find a builder of the “President’s House.” Nine proposals were submitted, and Irish-born architect James Hoban won a gold medal for his practical and handsome design (whitehouse.gov).
The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris, France that stands in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the “Place de l’Étoile”. It is at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, and it honors those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. On the inside and the top of the arc there are all of the names of generals and wars fought. Underneath is the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I.
The Detroit Riverwalk has evolved over the last few years into an amazing resource for people. Previous industrial uses of the riverfront have been cleared, and a portion east of downtown has been developed as Milliken State Park and Harbor. Rivard Plaza offers a carousel, Wheelhouse Detroit (bike rentals), and more.
The Ferry Building in San Francisco has been named one of the top 10 Great Places by the American Planning Association. Opening in 1898 on the site of the 1875 wooden Ferry House, the Ferry Building became the transportation focal point for anyone arriving in San Francisco by train. Architect A. Page Brown included a 245-foot-tall clock tower modeled after the 12th century bell tower in the Seville Cathedral in Spain to serve as a welcoming beacon on the Bay. At its peak, as many as 50,000 people a day commuted by ferry.
Image copyright 2010 City Photos and Books, Inc.
This 3-exposure high dynamic range image of downtown Chicago features one of the incredible downtown views in Chicago, Illinois. Image copyright 2010 City Photos and Books, Inc.