The end of the War of 1812 left the young United States of America awash with nationalist fervor. In the following years, the world’s first modern republic experienced unprecedented growth and prosperity; it was not without reason that the period came to be known as the “Era of Good Feelings.” It was into this epoch of unbridled national pride that Thomas Jefferson, one of the country’s founding fathers and its third President, introduced his master plan for the University of Virginia: an architectural manifestation of the Enlightenment and republican ideals he had helped cultivate.
The belief that a building can both blend in and stand out at the same time is embodied by the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art (CAC), located in Cincinnati. Though it's heavy volumetric massing makes it appear as an independent and impenetrable sculptural element, the Rosenthal Center is in fact designed to pull the city in – past its walls and up, toward the sky. This inherent dynamism is well-suited to a gallery which does not hold a permanent collection, and is situated at the heart of a thriving Midwestern city.
Seeing as it’s the 4th of July, we thought we would take a moment to reflect on the state of Architecture in our country today. Where are we? What’s important to us now, July 4th, 2012? And what does the future look like?