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Castellating Kansas

July 2024
1min read

At Richardson’s death in 1886, his great friend, the actor Henry Irving, wrote, “I most sincerely hope that [his] work … will be continued—for to my mind its prosperity would be a national good. …” Prosper it did. Richardson Romanesque became for a time the only style substantial enough to ennoble banks, schools, and—especially—railroad stations, and Richardson’s imitators peppered the landscape. If some of the examples shown here seem to imitate only Richardson’s eccentricities, even the most excessive betray a certain solemnity of purpose, acquired over all the decades that Americans have gone inside them to vote, to get married, to launch a lawsuit, to testify, to pray, or to pay a traffic ticket.

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