Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Make no little plans

Daniel Burnham, architect and city planner, said about his master plans for Chicago and also the World's Columbian exhibition:
Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die
Burnham could just have as easily been talking about his plans for Washington DC and the National Mall, known as the McMillan Plan. Burnham was also the architect for one of my favorite buildings in DC, right off the National Mall pictured here: Union Station.On June 9th at 8:30pm, the film Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City will be shown on the National Mall at 4th street NW. Joan Allen, the film's narrator, will be attending. You may be familiar with the screen on the green series, which I love; just call this a precursor to the upcoming season!
The McMillan plan was designed by Burnham (along with a host of others including Frederick Law Olmsted, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Charles F McKim) in 1901 , expanding upon L’Enfant’s original 1791 plans for the National Mall by designing the Lincoln Memorial, the adjacent reflecting pool and the Jefferson Memorial, seen on this plan below.
These ingenius plans turned DC into the beautiful city we enjoy today. The City Beautiful movement from that time period touched nearly every major US city, thanks the Columbian Exhibition, and remain today among the most visited sections of any city.
I hope you can visit the National Mall on June 9th to watch the film!

14 comments:

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Don't think I'll be able to make it all the way to the US on the 9th, but it's still a great post :-). Love the third photo (reminds me of an orangerie) and the old plans... Love from London x

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Mademoiselle, I'll be out of town myself, unfortunately. I just wanted to share the event and existence of the movie with everyone!

Marija said...

Oh I wish I could...I have no doubt it will be a great experience. Such a cool event idea. I'm glad that at least now I know the movie exists and to look for it so thank you!

Anonymous said...

Marija - you're in luck. The documentary will be airing on PBS in the fall (I believe Sept 6th)!

teaorwine said...

Have you read "Devil in the White City"? Details of his planning for and construction of the Columbia Exposition (Chicago World Fair) in Chicago is a major part of the book. An excellent and intriguing story.

Terry said...

Thanks for the tip. I hope some blogger remind us when it comes up on PBS. I Thanks for mentioning the "City Beautiful Movement" which I learned about for the very first time at the CNS (free sessions) last week. It's good to see the term used in context.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Anon: I'll be watching the movie that same way: can't wait!
Teaorwine: I did read that book and loved it! Both the world fair information and the mystery/crime solving. It reminded me a bit of an Agatha Christie novel!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Really wonderful post.

As a child, I used to spend hours and hours and hours curled up with my great grandparent's huge souvenir book of the White City...

The Down East Dilettante said...

Bad Dilettante. I meant to add that even in our little village in Maine, the 1895 Colonial Revival wooden town hall owes a clear debt to the Columbian Exposition (it's true, JCB, take a look next time you're in town), only a couple of years before, in both style---central motif of heroic
Corinthian Columns supporting an equally heroic arch over a Diocletian window in the gable--and site, on a rise at the nexus of two streets. The city beautiful movement was indeed far reaching, and Washington is certainly the best example.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

So great to let everyknow about this!

La Petite Gallery said...

I wish there were more beautiful Malls like that. They have one in Florence Italy. That is so beautiful, sorry I never saw it the few times I was in DC. I did the Ambassador's house tour.

yvonne

VoiceTalk said...

Very interesting. Wish I could be there to see the film. Speaking of which, I would be interested to know if the shape of the diagram- which is that of a cross- is addressed.

little augury said...

love this post Stefan, from quote, topic, layout, images, words. Beautiful.pgt

Pretty Lovely said...

I will be there covering the event for We Love DC. Sorry I missed you at the Thomas O'brien event, I ended up having to miss it last minute :( I heard it was really interesting though from my co-workers. Also, great piece on the National Cathedral!

xx,
Samantha