Glory In Stone

The great age of Christian faith fulfilled its passion of spirit in the soaring vaults and glowing glass of the Gothic cathedral

The glorious west front of the great cathedral in Lincoln, England, was found some years ago to be leaning out of plumb. It was tilting at the terrifying rate of one inch every sixteen days. More, two of the angelic trinity of bell-towers were discovered to be in danger of collapse. At risk of their lives, masons temporarily shored up the structure which Ruskin had called the most precious piece of architecture in the land. But $600,000 would be required for the permanent rescue job (by the delicate operation of grouting with fluid mortar).Read more »

American Gothic

The revival in the nineteenth century of medieval motifs in architecture extended from villas and furniture to farmhouses and vineries

Many of the visitors who admire the classic calm of Monticello would be startled if they knew of the original intentions of Thomas Jefferson. In 1771, after he had begun work on the estate, he seriously contemplated building a battlemented tower on a neighboring mountain; and he also planned, though he did not actually erect, “a small Gothic temple of antique appearance” for the graves of his family and retainers. As usual, the master of Monticello was ahead of the times.Read more »

The River Houses

Along the Mississippi the spirit of vanished culture lingers in the ruined columns of the great plantations

In southern Louisiana, along the misty, turbulent lower Mississippi, can be found some of the most evocative relics of the American past. These plantation houses—a few preserved, but most in ruins now, nearly hidden by the humid lushness of cypress and hanging moss—are what remain of the last great non-urban culture in the United States.

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