This particular subject of iconic architects came to the forefront of my mind as a result of my recent trip to visit family and friends in Florida from where I live in Arizona at the beginning of May 2021.
I spent the first night of my trip in Lakeland, Florida, which is the location of my Dad’s college alma mater, Florida Southern College, where Frank Lloyd Wright was said to have designed over ten of its buildings.
Then, on my way home to Sedona from the Phoenix Airport on the West Loop 101, I passed by the sign for “Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard” in Scottsdale.
The prodigiousness of his work as an architect in places geographically- distant from each other brought to mind, in addition to Frank Lloyd Wright…
…four other individuals I have encountered in my research that were credited with the same kind of prodigious output – landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted…
…building architect Henry Hobson Richardson…
…and bridge-designers Polish-born American Ralph Modjeski…
…and German-born American John Augustus Roebling.
In addition to the prominent place they occupy in our historical narrative to explain how our infrastructure came into existence, I will bring forward interesting connections between these gentlemen and other people and events that were happening during the reset of the timeline from the Old World Order to the New World Order.
I am going to begin with Frederick Law Olmsted.
He is called the “Father of Landscape Architecture.”
His biography says he created the profession of landscape architecture by working in a dry goods store; taking a year-long voyage in the China trade; and by studying surveying, engineering, chemistry, and scientific farming.
Though I found references saying he did attend Yale College, we are also told he was about to enter Yale College in 1837, but weakened eyes from sumac poisoning prevented him the usual course of study.
At any rate, he apparently did not graduate from college in any course of study.
We are told he started out with a career in journalism, travelling to England in 1850 to visit public gardens there, including Birkenhead Park, a park said to have been designed by Joseph Paxton which opened in April of 1847 and said to be the first publicly funded civic park in the world.
Joseph Paxton, a gardener and greenhouse builder by trade…
…was also said to have been commissioned by Baron Mayer Rothschild in 1850 to design the Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire…
…and Joseph Paxton was also given credit for designing the Crystal Palace to house the 1851 Great Exhibition in London in Hyde Park.
The Crystal Palace was described as a massive glass house that was 1,848-feet, or 563-meters, long, by 454-feet, or 138-meters, wide, and constructed from cast-iron frame components and glass.
After his trip, Olmsted published “Walks and Talks of an American Farmer” in England in 1852, where he recorded the sights, sounds and mental impressions of rural England from his visit.
Frederick Law Olmsted apparently was also commissioned by the New York Daily Times to start on an extensive research journey in the American South and Texas between 1852 and 1857.
The dispatches he sent to the Times were collected into three books, and considered vivid, first-person accounts of the antebellum South: “A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States,” first published in 1856…
…”A Journey through Texas,” published in 1857…
…and “A Journey in the Back Country in the Winter of 1853 – 1854,” published in 1860.
All three of these books were published in one book, called “Journeys and Explorations in the Cotton Kingdom,” in 1861 during the first six months of the American Civil War at the suggestion of his English publisher.
All of these books by Frederick Law Olmsted are really raising red flags for me as I have come to believe from my research that publications like these are indicative of some kind of setting the stage in seeding the new historical narrative into our consciousness by those responsible for the hijack of the original positive civilization that built all of Earth’s infrastructure, and, as we will see, ultimately what this post is all about.
One more thing, before I move on to what Frederick Law Olmsted was really known for, is that he provided financial support for, and sometimes wrote for, “The Nation,” a progressive magazine that is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, having been founded on July 6th of 1865, three-months after the end of the American Civil War.
Now, on to Frederick Law Olmsted’s career as a prolific and celebrated landscape architect, and his other connections to people and events going on during this time.
Olmsted was said to have gotten his start teaming up with Calvert Vaux in the design and creation of Central Park in New York City.
He had been introduced to English-born architect Calvert Vaux by his mentor, another founder of American landscape architecture, Andrew Jackson Downing, who died in 1852 in a tragic steamboat fire.
A prominent advocate of the Gothic Revival architectural movement, Andrew Jackson Downing had brought Calvert Vaux to the United States as his architectural collaborator after they met when Downing was travelling through Europe in 1850.
Olmsted and Vaux entered the Central Park design contest together after Downing’s death in 1852.
Vaux was said to have been impressed by Olmsted’s theories and political contacts, though Olmsted had never designed or executed a landscape design.
Their design, announced as the winner in 1858, was called the “Greensward Plan.”
Frederick Law Olmsted’s visit to Birkenhead Park in 1850 was said to have provided him inspiration for the Central Park design.
Backing up in time just a tad regarding Central Park, the land for it was said to have been donated by Robert B. Minturn, after he and his family’s return from an 18-month grand-tour of Europe between 1848 and 1850.
Robert B. Minturn was one of the most prominent American merchants and shippers of the mid-19th century.
Robert Minturn was an active manager of many charitable associations in New York city, aided in establishing the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, and the New York Juvenile Asylum.
There were an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 homeless children in New York City by 1850, which was said to have a population at the time of 500,000 people.
The New York Juvenile Asylum (NYJA), which was established in 1851, sent an estimated 6,000 children out west between September of 1854 until 1923, and was in the top four of institutions participating in the American orphan train movement.
The NYJA supplied thirty of the forty-six children for the very first company of children sent to Dowigiac, Michigan, by Charles Loring Brace’s New York Children’s Aid Society in a new experimental program called “placing-out,” and was a function of the Children’s Aid Society’s Emigration Department.
After a long and arduous journey involving two train rides and two boat rides, the children arrived in Dowigiac, where thirty-seven of the forty-six children were said to have found adoptive homes in local families.
The remaining unadopted children were said to have traveled, by way of Chicago, to an Iowa City orphanage to seek foster families for them.
On the basis of this 80% placement rate in Dowigiac, the program was deemed a success and led to approximately seventy-five years of orphan trains taking something like 200,000 children across the continent…to uncertain destinations and uncertain futures with strangers.
A close friend of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles Loring Brace established the Children’s Aid Society in 1853.
It was during this time that the American West was opening up for settlement, and we are told Brace’s vision was to emigrate children to live with western farming families.
A movement going in this direction was widely supported by members wealthy New York families, like Charlotte Augusta Gibbes, the wife of John Jacob Astor III, who was the wealthiest Astor family member of his generation.
Before they boarded the train, children were dressed in new clothing, given a Bible and placed in the care of Children’s Aid Society agents who accompanied them west.
As part of the orphan train movement, committees of prominent local citizens were organized in the towns where the trains stopped.
These committees were responsible for arranging a site for the adoptions, publicizing the event, and arranging lodging for the orphan train group.
Though committees were required to consult with the Children’s Aid Society on the suitability of local families interested in adopting children, Brace’s system put its faith in the kindness of strangers.
Many of the children did not understand what was happening.
They were placed in homes for free and were expected to serve as an extra pair of hands to help with chores around the farm, with families expected to raise them as they would their natural-born children, providing them with decent food and clothing, a “common” education. Legal adoption was not a requirement.
Many orphan train children went to live with families that placed orders specifying age, gender, and hair and eye color.
Others were paraded from the depot into a local playhouse, where they were put up on stage.
The Children’s Aid Society’s sent an average of 3,000 children via train each year from 1855 to 1875, to forty-five states, as well as Canada and Mexico.
Criticisms of the orphan train movement focused on concerns that initial placements were made hastily, without proper investigation, and that there was insufficient follow-up on placements. Charities were also criticized for not keeping track of children placed while under their care.
What was the true significance of Charles Loring Brace’s orphan train movement?
Was it really about finding impoverished children from the city a good home and a better life, as we are taught?
Or was the orphan train movement a means to populate the country with parentless children with no history and no sense of connection to wherever and with whomever they landed?
Or does the orphan train movement really represent the beginning of organized, industrial-scale, trafficking of children by the elite?
Now back to Frederick Law Olmsted, and his prodigious career as a landscape architect.
Other works he and Vaux were credited with include the landscaping plan in 1866 for Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York…
…the plan for Riverside Park in Illinois, one of the first planned communities, in 1868…
…the Buffalo Olmsted Park System, New York’s oldest system of paths and pathways, which included six parks, seven parkways, eight landscaped circles, and other public spaces, said to have been designed with Vaux starting in 1868.
According to the notation on the bottom of this image of his map of the Buffalo Park System, Olmsted proclaimed that “Buffalo was the best planned city in the United States…if not the world.”
The plan for the Walnut Hill Park in New Britain, Connecticut, was said to have been designed by Olmsted and Vaux in 1870.
The Mount Royal Park in Montreal Quebec was planned in 1877, said to be the first park Olmsted created after he and Vaux dissolved their partnership in 1872.
Other landscape plans for which Frederick Law Olmsted is listed as the primary landscape architect include:
Boston’s Emerald Necklace of Parks starting in 1878…
…and in 1888, in Rochester, New York, both Highland Park…
…and the Genesee Valley Park.
The Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan, sometime in the 1880s…
…and the Cadwalader Park in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1890.
The Cherokee Park in Louisville, Kentucky in 1891…
…and starting in 1892, Olmsted is credited with the Grand Necklace of Parks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, also known as the Emerald Necklace, which includes Lake Park…
…and Juneau Park.
Here is a good place to insert a picture of the “Tartarian” Milwaukee City Hall, suggested by YouTube viewer John L, the construction of which was said to have been finished in 1895 in the Flemish Renaissance Revival style by architect Henry Koch, a German-American architect based in Milwaukee.
Next came the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
We are told Frederick Law Olmsted collaborated with yet another prolific architect, Chicagoan Daniel Burnham, to adapt Olmsted’s design of a Venetian-inspired pleasure ground, complete with waterways and places for quiet reflection in nature that complemented the grand architecture of the exposition…
…for the South Park Commission Site for the World’s Columbian Exposition of Jackson Park, Washington Park, and the Midway Plaisance.
This area was described as a sandy area along Chicago’s lakeshore that looked like a deserted marsh before construction began, but Olmsted saw, we are told, the area’s potential, and that his design included lagoons and what became known as Wood Island since they had not been developed yet.
As the person responsible for planning the basic land- and water-shape of the exposition grounds, we are told that Olmsted concluded the marshy areas of Jackson Park could be converted into waterways, and that workers dredged sand out of the marshes to make lagoons of different shapes and sizes.
Of course, since the buildings of the Exposition were only intended to be temporary structures, they were torn down afterwards, but Olmsted’s Jackson Park was left as a legacy for Chicagoans to enjoy…
…which hosts the one of two Exposition buildings that were left standing – the former Palace of Fine Arts, which houses the Museum of Science and Industry today.
The other still-standing building from the 1893 Exposition is the Art Institute of Chicago…
…which was said to have been utilized as an auxiliary building during the Exposition for international assemblies and conferences.
Frederick Law Olmsted’s last project, we are told, was for the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina…
…where he was employed by George Washington Vanderbilt III to design the landscape for his new Biltmore Estate, which was said to have been built between 1889 and 1895.
Just for the record, before I move on, the Olmsted Legacy in landscape architecture did not end, as it was carried on by his son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and adopted son and nephew John Charles Olmsted, in the form of the Olmsted Brothers architectural firm which they established in 1898…
…and they played an influential role, among other things, in the creation of the National Park Service, which was established in August of 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson.
Now, I am going to take a close look at the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Frank Lloyd Wright was credited with designing over 1,000 structures in a creative period spanning 70-years, and that he played a major role in the architectural movements of the 20th-century through his Taliesin Fellowship program.
A native of Wisconsin, he was born in June of 1867. His father, William Cary Wright,was a gifted musician, speaker, and minister, and his mother, Anna Lloyd Jones, was a member of the Lloyd-Jones clan that had emigrated from Wales to Wisconsin, and her brother Jenkin was influential in the spread of Unitarianism in the Midwest.
According to his autobiography, his mother decorated his nursery before he was born with illustrations of English cathedrals she took from a periodical to encourage the baby because she believed he would grow up to build beautiful buildings.
His mother also was said to have bought a set of educational blocks for her son called the “Froebel Gifts” after she saw an exhibit featuring them in 1876, with which he spent much time playing, and shared in his autobiography that these youthful exercises influenced his approach to design.
His father William sued for divorce from Anna in 1884, when Frank was 14, on the grounds of “emotional cruelty and physical violence and spousal abandonment” and when their divorce was granted in 1885, his father left his life forever.
Frank Lloyd Wright attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1886 when he was admitted as a special student and worked under civil engineering Professor Allan D. Conover, though he left the university soon, and without taking a degree.
Much later in his life, the University of Wisconsin-Madison granted him an honorary doctorate in 1955.
After leaving the university, next we find Frank Lloyd Wright landing in Chicago in 1887 looking for a job, where we are told architectural work was plentiful as a result of the 1871 Great Fire of Chicago.
He took a position as a draftsman almost immediately upon arrival in the firm of the significant American architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee, known best for his drawing ability, gift for designing buildings in a variety of styles, and prominent buildings in New York in Syracuse and Buffalo; and in Chicago.
During his short time with the firm between 1887 and 1888, Frank Lloyd Wright worked on two family projects: one in Chicago, the Unitarian All Souls Church, for his uncle Jenkin Lloyd-Jones…
…and the Hillside Home School 1 in Wyoming, Wisconsin, near the town of Green Spring, for his aunts, which functioned as a dormitory and library, and which he later had destroyed in 1950.
In 1888, Frank Lloyd Wright became apprenticed to the firm of Adler & Sullivan, where prominent Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, called the “Father of Skyscrapers” and the “Father of Modernism,” took Wright under his wing.
Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Henry Hobson Richardson, who I will be looking at next in this post, form what is called the “Recognized Trinity of American Architecture.”
The firm of Adler & Sullivan, and primarily Louis Sullivan, was credited with designing the Transportation Building for the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
I am not finding Frank Lloyd Wright’s name attached in connection to this building design, or any other at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition.
What I am finding is that it provided the opportunities for Frank Lloyd Wright to engage with Japanese art, architecture and culture with the physical Japanese architecture at the Exposition.
This is the Ho-o-den, also known as the Phoenix Hall, said to have been erected by the Japanese government specifically for the Exposition.
In 1893, Frank Lloyd Wright left the Adler & Sullivan architectural firm on less than good terms with Louis Sullivan after Sullivan had discovered Wright was designing buildings privately outside of his exclusive contract to work for the firm.
Wright established his own architectural practice on the top-floor of the Schiller building on Randolph Street to start out, which was said to have been designed by Adler & Sullivan for Chicago’s German Opera Company.
Opening in 1891, at one time it was one of the tallest buildings in Chicago.
It was demolished in 1961, and replaced by a parking garage.
Between 1893 and 1897, Frank Lloyd Wright was credited with the design of projects in the following examples of the 22 listed…
…which included the Walter Gale House in 1893…
The Lake Mendota Boathouse of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the commission for which was said to have been awarded to Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1893 based on his winning design in a competition to build a boathouse with the “primary function of storing recreational equipment and serving as a viewing deck for boating events and races that took place on the lake.”
Based on what we are told, it was demolished after only 33-years, in 1926.
The Francis Apartments in Chicago, Illinois in 1895, and the Chicago Architectural landmark that was officially-designated in 1960…
…was demolished by 1971.
The year of 1895 was also the year that Frank Lloyd Wright was said to have designed, and eventually patented, forty-five variations of the Luxfer Prism for the American Luxfer Prism Company.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s design was described as: having “lines of ornamentation produced upon the prism-light by variations in the surface-levels. These ornamental lines take the form of circles, arcs of circles, squares, and the like, arranged concentrically about the center and interlacing or overlapping each other. The whole forms a grid-like sort of ornament.”
When I saw the ornamentation on the facade of the Schiller Building that was credited to Adler & Sullivan, and was the location of Frank Lloyd Wright’s office during this time, it immediately brought to mind the basic design of the Luxfer Prism design.
This is what it brings up for me.
- Did Frank Lloyd Wright get the inspiration for the Luxfer Prism design from studying the the design of his mentors’ ornamentation through the window of his top-floor office in the same building?
- Or were both Frank Lloyd Wright and Adler & Sullivan given the credit in our history for designing what was already in existence?
This brings me first to the United States Patent Office, with the question:
Did the U. S. Patent Office play the same role as the Smithsonian Institution in covering up True History?
This is the old U. S. Patent Office, said to have been built between 1836 and 1867, with this image of it said to be circa 1846.
Today the Old Patent building houses two Smithsonian Institution Museums: the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
We are told that the original designer of the building in the Greek Revival Design, Robert Mills, was removed for incompetence in 1851, and that the building was eventually completed under the direction of the Dean of American Architecture during that time, Thomas U. Walter, in 1867.…and the year the American Civil War ended.
Then in 1877, a fire in the buildings west wing destroyed some 87,000 patent models and 600,000 copy drawings.
This is said to be a picture of one of the Old Patent Office’s model rooms between 1861 – 1865 (all of the years of the American Civil War)…
…and the Kogod Courtyard of the now National Portrait Gallery of what was the old Patent office, complete with sky-lights and three rectangles filled with water that ripple across the ground-plane.
The other thing this brings me to is the subject of the prism lights themselves.
Prism lighting was the use of lighting to improve the distribution of light, usually daylight, within a space. It is a form of anidolic lighting, which refers to using non-imaging mirrors, or lenses, and light guides, like fiber-optics, to capture exterior sunlight and direct it deeply into rooms…and scattering rays to avoid glare.
Sounds like a form of advanced renewable lighting technology that did not involve energy generation, like, for example, electricity does.
Yet we are told prism lighting was only popular starting from its introduction in the 1890s…until cheap electric lights became commonplace in the 1930s, at which time prism lighting became unfashionable.
At any rate, with funding Frank Lloyd Wright secured through his contract with the Luxfer Prism Company, he was able to build a new studio addition to his Oak Park residence in Chicago, and worked primarily from home between 1898 and 1911 on around 100 projects, and he is credited with such projects as…
…the William Fricke House in 1901 in Oak Park, Illinois, which had elements of what was called the Prairie Style, which were the features of a high-water table (which is a projection of lower masonry on the outside of a wall), slightly above the ground, horizontal-banding, overhanging eaves, shallow-hipped rooves, and an expansive, stucco, exterior.
It is still in use as a residence today.
He is credited with the design of the entrance, poultry house and stable of his architect and developer friend Edward Waller’s Auvergne estate in River Forest, Illinois, but only the entrance credited to Wright is still-standing.
The Larkin Company Administration Building was said to be Frank Lloyd Wright’s first independent, large-scale commercial project, for a company that sold soap-products to middle-class customers.
The building included air-conditioning, built-in desk furniture and housed a 100-rank Moller pipe organ in the building’s central court, complete with pipe chambers in the upper-levels.
For what reason would you need to have an organ in a company administration building?
None of this can be seen today as the building was demolished in 1950.
I could go on and on with the work Frank Lloyd Wright is credited with during this period of his work.
One more example from it that I would like the share was the Banff Park Shelter in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.
This long, low-lying structure featured an expansive common room with three fireplaces and exposed steel trusses.
According to what we have been told about it, this beautiful shelter, a classic structure attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright in the wilderness of Banff National Park, only lasted for 27 years before it was demolished in 1938?
And yet another example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterful architecture destroyed!
There are so many examples to choose from to share of work attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright that I am going to fast forward in his legendary career to where I started at the beginning of this post – to Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, and in Arizona, to Frank Lloyd Wright in the Phoenix-area and Sedona.
Florida Southern College in Lakeland is the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world, with 13 of his 18 proposed structures funded and built, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful campuses in America.
This history of his involvement starts when Dr. Ludd Spivey, the President of Florida Southern College starting in 1925, met with Frank Lloyd Wright in April of 1938 in the hopes of finding someone who could transform the small, obscure college into a consequential national institution by creating a “campus of tomorrow.”
Frank Lloyd Wright was 71-years-old when he first set foot on the Florida Southern campus in May of 1938…
…and the first building he was credited with was the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, with it being constructed between 1938 and 1941, which would have been taking place at the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.
He was also given credit for these other buildings on campus, including, but not limited, to:
The Danforth Chapel, said to have been designed by Wright in 1954…
…the Watson-Fine Administration Building said to have been completed in 1949…
…and the Water Dome, said to have been partially completed by 1949, and fully-completed in accordance with Wright’s original plans in 2007.
Next, the road sign I saw in Scottsdale, a city in the Phoenix area, for Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, focused my attention on Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona.
Frank Lloyd Wright came to Arizona for the first time in 1927 for the given purpose of consulting on the Biltmore in Phoenix.
At this time, he was living in a home and studio named Taliesin in Green Spring, Wisconsin.
I want to make some comparisons here between architectural designs credited to Frank Lloyd Wright in examples I have seen so far, with some examples of the same design features that I have seen in other places.
The main architectural design with the towers, window arrangements, and directional orientation that I see with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fricke House in Illinois on the left, and Lake Mendota Boat House and Taliesin home in Wisconsin on the right, reminds me of…
…the architectural design of towers, window arrangements and directional orientation that I have seen many times, including, but not limited to, Old Ouarzazate in Saharan Morocco on the left, Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Canary Islands in the middle, and the city of Atchison in Kansas on the right.
For point of information, the pyramids on Egypt’s Giza plateau on the left, and the Pyramids of Guimar on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands are also facing a certain way as well.
It has been determined that the Pyramids of Giza are oriented to the cardinal points of the north, south, east and west.
After his 1927 visit to Arizona, Frank Lloyd Wright ended up purchasing 600-acres at the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, where he established the “Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, also known as “Taliesin West,” in 1937, and it served as his winter home as well until his death in 1959.
Now, I want to take a look at Henry Hobson Richardson, the namesake of the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural-style.
Richardsonian Romanesque is described as a free-revival style, incorporating 11th- and 12th-century southern French, Spanish, and Italian Romanesque characteristic
Architecture historically said to have been built in the Richardsonian Romanesque-style by other architects included the Greenville City Hall,built in 1889, and demolished in the early 1970s…
…the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, said to have been built in 1889…
…the Algiers Courthouse in the Algiers community of New Orleans, said to have been built in 1896…
…and in the design in Alabama of the Montgomery Union Station in 1898.
Henry Hobson Richardson never finished his college-level architecture studies in Paris due to the American Civil War.
He also died at the relatively young age of 47, after having a prolific career as the architect of mind-blowingly sophisticated and ornate buildings of heavy masonry, including:
…Boston’s Trinity Church, said to have been built between 1872 and 1877…
…the Ames Free Library in Easton, Massachusetts, said to have been commissioned by the children of Oliver Ames, Jr, after he left money in his will for the construction of a library.
The building of it we are told took place between 1877 and 1879. The Ames Free Library is situated right next to…
…the Oakes Ames Memorial Hall, said to have been commissioned by the children of Congressman Oakes Ames as a gift to the town of Easton, and built between 1879 and 1881…
Henry Hobson Richardson got around like Frederick Law Olmsted, and in some of the same places, like in Easton, where we find the Rockery, also known as the Memorial Cairn, described as an unusual war memorial designed by Olmsted in 1882…
…and they even worked together in 1870 on what is now known as the Richardson-Olmsted Complex in Buffalo, New York, with Richardson getting credit for the buiilding’s architecture, and Olmsted getting credit for the landscaping.
It started out as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane.
One more thing in association with Richardson and the Ames Brothers of Easton was the credit given to him for the design of the Ames Monumentin Wyoming, near Laramie, said to have been built between 1880 and 1882.
It was dedicated to the Ames Brothers for their role in financing the Union Pacific Railroad.
He was also given credit for the design of Albany City Hall in Albany New York, said to have been built between 1880 and 1883.
Here is a chronological list of the architecture in the historical record that is attributed to Henry Hobson Richardson:
Ralph Modjeski is the next prolific builder I am going to take a look at, a Polish-American civil engineer who specialized in bridges.
I first encountered Ralph Modjeski’s name and reputation when I was doing research on the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys.
Thebes, Illinois, is on the Mississippi River, and located near Cairo, Illinois, which sites at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
It is geographically near Thebes, Makanda, and Carbondale in Illinois and is just down the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri.
Like Cairo, Thebes was said to have been named for the Egyptian city of the same name, and is perhaps best-known for the Thebes Bridge, a five-span cantilever truss railroad bridge said to have been built for the Union Pacific Railroad and opened for use in 1905.
The Thebes Bridge was said to to have been designed by civil engineer Ralph Modjeski, a pre-eminent bridge designer in the United States, and its construction started in 1902.
Ralph Modjeski was born in Poland in 1861, and emigrated to America with his mother and stepfather in 1876.
He returned to Europe and studied at the “l’Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées,” or “School of Bridges and Roads,” in Paris, France.
He received his American citizenship in Paris in 1883, and he graduated first in his class from the “School of Bridges and Roads” in 1885.
Upon his return to America, Ralph Modjeski worked first for George Morison, an attorney-turned-civil-engineer known as the “Father of American Bridge-Building.”
Ralph Modjeski opened his own in Chicago in 1893, the same year as the World Columbian Exposition, and his first project as Chief Engineer was said to be the railroad bridge across the Mississippi River from Davenport, Iowa to Rock Island, Illinois, called the “Government Bridge,” said to have been completed in 1896.
The “Government Bridge” has a swing-section to accommodate traffic navigating the river.
Called “America’s Greatest Bridge Builder, Ralph Modjeski is listed here as having been Chief Engineer or Consulting Engineer on 26 bridges:
Besides the Thebes Bridge, his major accomplishments were considered:
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge between Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, opening in 1904, and one of four primary bridges between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey…
…along with the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge over the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia, opening in 1929…
…the Trans-Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland in California, opening in 1936…
…and the Blue Water Bridge connecting Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, opening in 1938.
The last prolific producer of infrastructure I am going to take a look at in this post is John Augustus Roebling, whom I first encountered doing research in the Cincinnati-area.
This is what we are told about his life and work.
John A. Roebling was born in the Prussian city of Muhlhausen in 1806, and starting in 1824, he received an education in architecture, engineering, and hydraulics in two semesters at Berlin’s Bauakademie, or Building Academy.
After working as a designer and supervisor in the construction of military roads for four years until 1829, he returned home to prepare for his engineer examination, which he was said to have never taken.
He ended up emigrating to America in 1831 with a group of Prussians including his brother, and the two of them ended up landing in Butler County, Pennsylvania, and purchased land to establish a German settlement, which they named Saxonburg, and John Augustus Roebling was a farmer there for about 5 years.
Then, in 1839, he went back into engineering, starting with improvement of river navigation and the building of canals, and in 1840, he connected with suspension bridge designer Charles Ellet, Jr, to help with the design of a suspension bridge near Philadelphia.
He began producing wire rope in Saxonburg in 1841 for use in such projects as suspension bridges…
…and in 1844, Roebling was said to have won a bid to replace the wooden canal aqueduct over the Allegheny River with the Allegheny Aqueduct in Pittsburgh, the first wire suspension bridge he was credited with.
The next bridge project in Pittsburgh Roebling was credited with building was what is known as the Smithfield Street Bridge, with construction starting in 1845.
Some time around 1848, apparently he built a large industrial complex for his growing wire production company in Trenton, New Jersey…
…and this wire production complex was said to have inspired the famous slogan on the Lower Trenton Bridge “Trenton Makes, the World Takes.”
I am going to highlight two of his most famous bridge projects out of this list of twelve.
I am going to first look at the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge connecting Cincinnati, Ohio, with Covington, Kentucky, across the Ohio River.
The Covington and Cincinnati Bridge Company was incorporated in 1846, we are told, and asked Roebling to build a bridge, which was perceived as necessary due to the increase in commerce between Ohio and Kentucky that led to highly congested steamboat traffic and constriction of the economy.
Construction of it was said to have started in 1856, and that it first opened on December 1st of 1866, which would have been only a year after the end of the American Civil War.
At the time the bridge opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge on the left reminds me in appearance of the famous Tower Bridge in London, England,on the right, which was said to have been built between 1886 and 1894.
The other famous bridge that John A. Roebling was said to have designed was the Brooklyn Bridge.
We are told he started the design work on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1867…
…but that on June 28th of 1869, when John A Roebling was standing at the edge of the dock to fix the location of where the bridge would be built, his foot was crushed by an arriving ferry, requiring the amputation of his injured toes.
His death on July 22nd of 1869 was caused by tetanus after he refused medical treatment.
The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was said to have been completed by his son, Washington Roebling.
The Brooklyn Bridge on the left reminds me in appearance of the Sidi M’ Cid Bridge on the right in Constantine, Algeria, known as the city of bridges…
…which at one time was the highest suspension bridge in the world.
There are many famous architects and engineers to choose from, but these five men really stick out in my mind that I have encountered in my research as great examples of being hailed as geniuses, pulling off spectacular building accomplishments all over the country in their prolific careers, largely without formal training during times we are taught in our historical narrative that were low technology compared to what we have now.
Their accomplishments were incredible, and the details of their celebrated careers defy belief upon close examination.
I think these men were elevated in stature and ability to provide the explanation for how previously existing architecture and infrastructure came into existence after something very unnatural happened here in the last 200 – 300 years, wiping the builders of the original advanced civilization off the face of the Earth…
…and was part and parcel of the reset of civilization by negative beings seeking absolute power and control.
Yet the stories we are told by them to explain the world we live in just don’t add up!