Notre-Dame, 1881

Recreating Notre Dame

The famous Paris cathedral was built over many centuries, reflecting the growth and evolution of Paris itself.
An Octagon House

A Phrenologist’s Dream of an Octagon House

Orson S. Fowler thought houses without right angles would offer a better life, but his own architectural experiments did not end well.
Desert View Watchtower, Grand Canyon, Arizona

How Mary Colter Made the Grand Canyon an Experience

Architect Mary Colter created buildings that incorporated local materials and indigenous motifs, blending with the environment rather than dominating it.
Barragan house

Casa Luis Barragán, Sacred Space of Mexican Modernism

A tour of the Mexican modernist architect Luis Barragán’s house and studio reveals a surprise with a touch of the divine.
warehouse

The Crucial American Warehouse

In 19th-century America, the changing economy called for warehouses, which in turn created the warehouse districts that defined many cities.
Horse skull

The Horse Skulls Hidden in the Dance Floors of Ireland

Old houses in Ireland often have horse skulls buried beneath the floors, but folklorists and archaeologists disagree on exactly why.
Susan Fenimore Cooper bluebird

Susan Fenimore Cooper, Forgotten Naturalist

Susan Fenimore Cooper, known as her father James Fenimore Cooper's secretary, is now being recognized as one of the nation's first environmentalists.
Parlor room

What Ever Happened to the Parlor?

For musicologist Edith Borroff, the parlor was egalitarian, open, and joyful—all qualities she equates with the best musical spirit.
New York skyline

The Real Reason Why NYC’s Skyscrapers Are Where They Are

Why does Manhattan have two business separate districts? Turns out that it's not because of the usual story about bedrock depth.
Maison de Verre Paris

What Makes a Glass House the Ideal Home for a Communist Gynecologist?

Paris’s Maison de Verre is a marvel of modernist architecture whose rarely seen interior was constructed to foster sociality.