- Historic Sites
Mr. Smith’s American Acropolis
Washington would be a capital of Egyptian pillars and Roman splendor if this hardware merchant’s grandiose plan had been adopted
June 1956 | Volume 7, Issue 4
As far as can be ascertained, Smith’s Petition with its attendant proposals was never reported out of the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia. Perhaps the senators of those days had no artistic taste, or perhaps they had too much. Like his scheme, Smith himself fell upon hard times. In 1906 all his projects—in Washington, Saratoga Springs, and St. Augustine—were foreclosed. By the time of his death in obscurity in 1911, his dreams of “alabaster cities,” though based firmly on concrete, had been wholly shattered. Washington, alas, as yet shows no signs of becoming the new Athens of the world.