The American Enterprise

Once, we built for beauty.(The United States Capitol: Its Architecture and Decoration )(Book Review)

The United States Capitol: Its Architecture and Decoration By Henry Hope Reed Principal Photography by Anne Day W. W. Norton & Company, 288 pages, $50

I should acknowledge at the outset that I owe my vocation to Henry Hope Reed. Not just because Reed, starting in the 1950s, laid the groundwork for the current resurgence of traditional civic art and architecture with books such as The Golden City. I am one of many fortunate souls who has benefited from his encouragement and support over the years.

Reed's new, lavishly illustrated book on the U.S. Capitol is his culminating work, simply because no other American building better epitomizes the ideals he has advocated throughout his career--architectural design in the great tradition, generous decoration by means of sculpture and mural painting, and, last but not least, enlightened patronage. …

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