"Infotainment? What the hell are you talking about?"

Library of Congress, the Facade

The Thomas Jefferson Building, main building of the 3 massive containers built for the library, was constructed in an italian renaissance style between 1890 and 1897 and designed by John L. Smithmeyer who was replaced by his assistant, Paul J. Pelz, who was in turn succeeded by Edward Pearce Casey.
Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress
The central block is comparable to the Opéra Garnier in Paris, a similarly ambitious expression of triumphant cultural nationalism in the Beaux-Arts style that had triumphed at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. On the exterior, sculptured portrait heads that were considered typical of the world's races were installed as keystones on the main storey's window arches.
Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress
The front facade bears a replica of the Trevi fountain.
Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Library of Congress
When the Library of Congress building opened its doors to the public on Nov. 1, 1897, it was hailed as a glorious national monument and "the largest, the costliest, and the safest" library building in the world.

Next stop: the Great Hall!

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3 Responses to “Library of Congress, the Facade”

  1. # Blogger colibri

    This comment has been removed by the author.  

  2. # Blogger colibri

    Ho la la... It’s gigantic in size and in… bad taste ! It’s true that between the perpetuation of the Baroque Style of the 18th century and the Second Empire style, the combination is very heavy ! In France, during a long time, we have compared the Second Empire to the summum of bad taste : at their first visit to the Opera Garnier, “people” (!) said “What a bad taste !” and somebody replied “This is the Second Empire !”. Of course, it was also very "subjectif", not a splendid historical reference...  

  3. # Blogger Ténèbres à la lumière...

    Bonjour! Cedric,
    What very interesting photographs of the "Library of Congress, the Facade."

    By the way, Colibri, Being an Art History major, I agree with your comment too!

    Merci de partager!
    DeeDee ;-D  

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    I am Cedric, discoverer of things that would go unnoticed in the streets of Paris, historic haven of fashionistas and city of lights ('lights' as in 'enlightenment', not street lights).
    But seriously: I'm an expat from Luxembourg (the country, not the garden), living in the center of Paris (hence 'Paris 2nd arrondissement'), and currenlty studying architectural history...

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