2007

Tuesday, January 16
THE WRIGHT WAY TO SEE JAPAN: SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIANS TOUR SEPTEMBER 2006
Lecture by Cynthia Field and Sally Berk
Following a route nearly synonymous with Frank Lloyd Wright's 1905 tour of Japan, the Society of Architectural Historians began in Kyoto and concluded in Tokyo, stopping along the way in Okayama, Naoshima, Nara, Ise, Nagoya, Atami, and Nikko. The theme was the exchange of influences between East and West in architecture: both modern and ancient sites were visited. These included several of the country's most treasured temple complexes such as the Silver Pavilion, the Golden Pavilion, and the Saiho-ji Moss Garden; the early twentieth-century work of Bruno Taut, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Antonin Raymond; and the late twentieth-century work of the Venturis, Arata Izosaki, and Tadao Ando. The road, in search of the often subtle instances of cross-cultural influence, led to city and country by way of motor coach, bullet train, and water ferry.

Wednesday, February 7
IN HIS OWN WORDS: THE ARCHITECTURE OF HUGH NEWELL JACOBSEN
Lecture by Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect, with introductory commentary by Karin Alexis, Architectural Historian

Admired for a modernist architecture of elegance and classical repose, Washington architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen is a national and international figure in the realm of contemporary architecture. Architectural Digest named Jacobsen as one of the top 100 designers in the world in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. There have been at least two comprehensive retrospectives of his work, including one held at the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., in 1999.

This lecture offered a rare opportunity to hear a prominent and influential architect speak directly and reflectively about his own long and distinguished career. After completing his formal training at Yale University, Jacobsen worked in the office of Philip Johnson before establishing his own practice in Washington, D.C. in 1958. Since the 1950s, Jacobsen has received a wide variety of architectural commissions, including art museums and civic projects. He is perhaps most well-known for his private homes. A prolific practice has brought forth Jacobsen-designed architecture throughout the United States and abroad. The Washington metropolitan area has a significant number of Jacobsen buildings, including the new Alumni Center at the University of Maryland in College Park.


Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18
BUILDING SPIRITUAL WASHINGTON: A SYMPOSIUM
Co-sponsored with The Catholic University of America and the D.C. Preservation League


Saturday, April 21
STUDY TOUR OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL
Led by Carter Wormley and Andy Seferlis (aprox. 2 – 2.5 hours)
The Latrobe Chapter organized a very special behind-the-scenes tour of St. Elizabeths Hospital, opened in the early 1850's as the Government Hospital for the Insane. This National Historic Landmark, situated on over 200 acres overlooking the federal city, contains one of the richest collections of buildings showcasing almost a century of American mental hospital design, including the Thomas U. Walter-designed main building. St. Elizabeths today remains a site in question; the historic west campus sits abandoned and dilapidated, while parts of the east campus still serve the institution's purpose. With major redevelopment plans on the table, access to the grounds has been restricted, making this tour a rare opportunity!

Tuesday, May 8
REDISCOVERING THE ECCENTRIC IN WASHINGTON ARCHITECTURE
Lecture by Martin Moeller, Senior Vice President & Curator at the National Building Museum

Residents and visitors alike tend to regard Washington as a dignified if somewhat bland city. There is, however, a thread of eccentricity in the city’s social history that can inform one’s appreciation and understanding of its architecture. In researching and writing the fourth edition of the AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C., Martin Moeller discovered a number of fascinating characters whose stories are intimately connected with various Washington landmarks. In this lecture, he traced a few of these connections, revealing an often overlooked subtext to the city’s physical character.

Friday, June 1
STUDY TOUR: AN INSIDER'S LOOK AT THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

Saturday, September 22
LATROBE'S MASTERPIECE: A STUDY TOUR OF THE BALTIMORE CATHEDRAL

Benjamin Latrobe is regarded as one of the foremost architects of the early American Republic. English-born and trained, he was a sophisticated and scholarly Neo-Classicist who brought his knowledge, rationalistic approach, and professionalisms to the United States. Greatly admired by his contemporaries, Latrobe received some of the most prestigious commissions of the day and served as one of the principal architects of the United States Capitol. The Baltimore Cathedral (Basilica of the Assumption), designed in the early 19th century, is regarded as his masterpiece and as one of the most important achievements of American Neo-Classical architecture.

The Latrobe Chapter tour explored the history and mission of the Basilica of the Assumption as it heads into its third century. The three-year, multi-million dollar renovation and restoration of the basilica are now complete. The tour will highlighted the efforts to restore the interior to its early 19th century appearance, as well as the major overhaul of the crypt level into a magnificent worship space as originally planned but never completed. Stephen Reilly of John G. Waite Associates, supervising architect for the restoration, was on hand to discuss that fascinating process.

Tuesday, September 25
THE LOST WORLD OF JAMES SMITHSON: SCIENCE, REVOLUTION, AND THE BIRTH OF THE SMITHSONIAN
Lecture by Heather Ewing

In 1836, the United States government received a strange gift—a half-million-dollar bequest to establish a foundation in Washington "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." The donor turned out to be an English scientist named James Smithson, who had never set foot in the United States. The Smithsonian today is the largest museum and research complex in the world and one of the best known, but the man behind the institution has remained an enigma. Heather Ewing discussed her book, the first full biography of Smithson, and her search for Smithson in archives across Europe and the United States.

Saturday, October 20
STUDY TOUR OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL


Friday, November 2
WASHINGTON, D.C.: ARCHITECTURE OF CONTRAST
A session of The 34th Annual Conference on Washington, D.C. Historical Studies, November 1-3, 2007
co-sponsored by The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., The Washingtoniana Division of the District of Columbia Public Library and The George Washington University

The Latrobe Session, Friday, November 2, 11:00 A.M.:
Moderator: Tim Kerr
Coordinator: Karin Alexis
Latrobe Session Committee: Karin Alexis, Lisa Davidson, Penny Jones, Tim Kerr, Kathleen Lane, John Sandor and Andy Seferlis

“An Insider’s View: Sculpture and Sculptors of the Washington National Cathedral,” Andy Seferlis, Restorationist, son of sculptor Constantine Seferlis

“A Tale of Two National Churches: National Presbyterian Church and National City Christian Church from Eisenhower to Reagan,”David Bains, Samford University

“The Statler Hotel (Capital Hilton): A Modern Hotel for World War II-Era Washington, D.C.” Lisa Davidson, Architectural Historian, HABS/HAER

“Philip Johnson in the Nation’s Capital: Shaping a Modernism in a Classical City,” Karin Alexis, Art and Architectural Historian

Thursday, November 15
LOUISE COMFORT TIFFANY'S LAURELTON HALL: MYSTICISM AND SYMBOL
Lecture by Richard Guy Wilson

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