tv Discussion on the Gilded Age and American Renaissance Palaces CSPAN May 3, 2015 8:55am-10:01am EDT
including the eulogy and speeches and musical performance and a 36 cannon salute. president lincoln's funeral 150 years later. today at 2:30 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> up next on american history tv, from the late 1800s to the 1920's, architects working during what mark twain called the gilded age constructive enormous homes like the gregor's in rhode island that contained over 40 bedrooms. professor richard wilson talks about the architecture and architects that defined the era. this event from the society of the cincinnati is about an hour. >> today, anderson house serves as the headquarters for the the cincinnati institute. a nonprofit organization that works to promote information on the achievement of american independence. before the society took ownership of the house in 1939 it was the winter residents of the andersons.
the andersons officially opened their home for entertaining when -- 120 years ago. their home was described as a florentine villa in the midst of american independence, with an interior that will be a dream of beauty and good taste. tonight, dr. wilson will investigate the architecture of the anderson house and other extravagant mansion's mdc m newport -- mentions-- mansions in d.c. and newport built between the civil war and world war i. he specializes in the architecture, design, and art of the 18th through 20th century, both in america and abroad. dr. wilson has directed the victorian society's 19th-century summer school since 1979 and has served as an advisor and commentator for a number of
television programs including "america's castles" and 10 most influential buildings for the pbs. he is the author or co-author of 16 books, including studies -- the prairie school in iowa, and monument avenue in richmond. his most recent book "edith wharton at home" was published in 1912 -- excuse me, 2012. dr. wilson. [applause] dr. wilson: thank you very much, kendall. can you hear me all right? ok. i want to thank kendall and the society for inviting me here. it is a little daunting to be here in this room. and i do want to also acknowledge anything i say
tonight is actually built on the shoulders of other scholars who have worked on the different subjects here and so forth and different archives, and particularly to note historic new england, which has substantial archives of the architects who designed this and i will be referring to in a minute. what i am going to try and do in my talk is to put lars and isabel anderson's house -- and make sure there is an l and an i there, and see how many l's and i's you can see by the end. there is quite a number of them. this is in the context of other houses, greenhouses and so forth
-- great houses and so forth of the latter 19th, early 20th century. what were they up to in a place like this, other than building a big thing. what was it that was inspiring these different individuals and their architects. in other words, what this might mean? of course, on one level, the house here is part of these giant houses. these are called cottages by some people. newport cottages. very expensive. in this case here, this is one of the vanderbilt houses in newport, rhode island, designed by the eminent architect richard morris hunt. we are looking at the dining room. as you can see, you can get a lot of calories, not just in the food, but also on the interior. this is one example of what we might say is a gilded age mansion.
there is another newport house by mckim, mead and white. this is done for the ehrlichs. they owned a huge steamship line. but actually the money that was funding this came out of virginia city, nevada. this is another example of these large houses. i can go on and on. new york at one point in time had quite a number of these on upper 5th avenue. also over on madison avenue. most of them unfortunately have disappeared over the years. this one is still left, a frontispiece for a big hotel. this is another mckim, mead and white. this is the former music room you are looking at there on the
rights. and the the mural over there is by john lafarge, one of the great american painters at the time. and we can go of course further afield. the largest house ever built in this country is biltmore, the george washington vanderbilt house down in asheville, north carolina. that is on the right. and it is gone, but this was the potter palmer house. the hotel people. this is mrs. palmer's castle that stood on the like driving chicago. but now since gone. how should we call these things other than mcmansions? other than giant houses? too much wealth? it should be noted a couple of these houses did inspire and attempt, but did not get anywhere in congress, to
actually prohibit spending more than $250,000 on an american house. there was a bill actually introduced into congress in 1890-1891 that tried to pull it back. there are a lot of other terms. one term and we frequently use is the term victorian. of course, that is for good queen vicky. that we see here. this is a term very much today -- this is a term very much in use today, as noted in the introduction. there is a victorian society in america, there is a washington d.c. chapter, summer schools that we offer in a number of different cities. indeed the term victorian is a very much used. the reason i am bringing this up -- we might have our independence. we got our independence from england, but culturally and intellectually, a good portion
of america in the 19th century was still very indebted to england. yes, we had attempts to make our own culture, but at the same time we were very much indebted to england. we still use this term today in english literature classes, the term victorian. in other words, it is something and it shows this type of strong connection that went on. now i will note that beginning around the civil war, there is a slight break, which i will come back to in a minute. we beginning to reorient ourselves, at least artistically more towards paris towards france. still, queen vicky -- and there she is painted on the right by
thomas sully, an american painter as she is taking the throne. one of the interesting things about her was that she and her husband prince albert were architecture nuts of the first order. in particular prince albert was very involved in architecture. his hand is all over mid-19th century england. this is their getaway. has anyone ever been there? osborne house? 1, 2, 3, 4? ok. it is on the isle of wight on the south coast outside of portsmouth. this is where victoria and prince albert made their getaways. they made many, many, many additions to the house, as you can see over the years. i do i bring this up because if you have a certain amount of money as an american, you had your own ship that took you to england. you wanted, if possible, to stop
here and get invited to the house. and this is a big deal for wealthy americans to get received by queen victoria at her house, her osburne house on the isle of wight. just a couple of the interiors to give you a certain sense of their taste, or some people would say their lack of taste. but very cluttered interiors. the room on the right is the indian room, all carved in india. of course, the symbol of english empire. it is interesting, just to the range of elements that you get. this is her boudoir on the left. i am showing you a detail. the house is still owned by the crown, though it is managed today by english heritage and is open for business. there shows what the boudoir looks like.
the salon style of painting. this is a detail of mitten tiles, just to give you a sense here that this has a lot of stuff in it. that there is a tremendous amount of detail. queen victoria really never did design anything. she was apparently pretty good at watercolors. this is one thing here that i think is interesting. because this is of course the monument to her lately departed husband, it stands in hyde park in london. the architect as you can see is george gilbert scott. but just once again to notice -- i hope this will work right. you can see all of the different details and so forth, the lushness. this is one of the things we very frequently think about it when we use the term victorian
it is a lot. an overload visually in any way that you can take it. there are other terms that have also been applied to these years. many years ago, the great american water entitled the book "the brown decades." that was one turn. another was "the mob decades." the age of energy. another term in frequently used is of course, the gilded age. it comes from mark twain and charles dudley warner, a book from 1871 called "the gilded age: a tale of today." what it is, it is set in washington, d.c. anybody read it here? nobody reads it any longer today. one person reads it. it is really a good read. it is a damn good read.
we ought to read it more often because it is about corruption in washington, d.c. [laughter] dr. wilson: right here, on this illustration right here, this is an illustration out of it, this is the congressman from tennessee. you can see this is public document, and they are filing them in, and he says "all congressman do that", in other words, you are covering up. what is interesting to show other illustrations -- this is the lady's dress, the elaboration of the interiors and this is a term that was very political, but of course it has caught on in a visual-cultural sort of way. it is very much what we use today. examples of this type of architecture that are here at home. on the public sphere, the
eisenhower executive office building next to the white house on the right. notice the date on this year. -- on this here. my date is a little off, it only took about 18 years to build the damn thing. and you can have a real contest on how many columns are on the exterior. one student told me once that he counted 100 it be -- 480 columns. there was a lot of political corruption involved in the construction of this. two blocks is the hewlett mansion. this is 1892-1894, but architecturally this looks back. this is on the corner of new
hampshire avenue. this is where the term "brown decade" comes from. all of this rough, brown stone on the exterior is simply a detail. this is a wild sort of concoction, a variety of different elements that are pulled together. this is, as i say, one of the best examples of architecture from this period remaining in washington d.c. in the sense that it is in this romanesque type of style on the exterior. all of the details, some of them just made up, that the architect mr. myers is using. inside it is interesting. and i'm sorry, i would hope we would have a bigger screen. but as you can see, there is a lot on the floor patterns. here is the entrance hall, a lot
of stuff on display. but it is basically an extremely dark interior. extremely dark. this is one of the styles and so forth of the 1870's, the 1880's. another building, which unfortunately does not exist but that this man and knew very well, because this is where our lars anderson grew up. his father commissioned the house from ath richardson. it stood over the corner of 16th and k street. h.h., richardson if you are not familiar, strode across the architectural stage in the 1870's and a trinity's. -- and 1880's. he strode across, the only weighed 320 pounds. he actually did 3 houses in washington, d.c.
there is one that has been moved, the warner house way up 16th street. he did this for john hay and henry adams down on lafayette square. unfortunately this is gone. that is where the hotel with that name is located. but this house here done for lar's anderson's father in his youth. look at this and think about this -- two very very different worlds. it goes to the point, and this is a rule of history -- we tend to zone the taste of her parents -- disowned the taste of her parents and find great value in the taste of our grandparents. no, but there is the sense to reject what we know and rediscover something that has
come from the past. in the case of the anderson house, it is very well known at the time, that here are the interiors. this is well enough known that he was published in a very famous book -- a huge folio of the best american interiors, published in 1883 called " artistic interiors." there is the entrance hall. there is the dining room. you came in through the entrance hall here. maybe you have not seen the dining room but anyway the dining room is a very different sort of thing. this is where lars anderson spent portions of his youth. and so this gives us a little bit of a background. because, here we are -- there is
a period of 20-odd years that separates these two houses. which again shows the way that taste changes. you have to have changed to have history. you can't have history without having some change. this is a good example here of the rearview of the house. there is the hall right around the corner here at the lars anderson house. what i am suggesting is that there was a shift that went on in american taste. when we use the term gilded age, victorian, it isn't the same thing all the way through. there are shifts and so forth that go on. for instance, these two chairs right here. they are both designed for the white house.
the one on the left, 1870, done by a brooklyn firm, remodeling under ulysses grant for the white house. you might think that popeye had something to do with it. whereas on the right, this is a boston firm, davenport and company. this is designed for remodeling the white house under teddy roosevelt in 1901 under charles mccann. they are two different things. this one is looking more to the past, whereas this, you have to wonder what is going on here as far as the design. [laughter] dr. wilson: or here. there is the entry hall. there is the entry hall. in the early 1880's, and associated american artists were hired to remodel the white house. this is the entry hall here.
mckinn rips all of this out, and this is what he does to the entry hall. basically the same door. the same space across here, but you can see two worlds of difference. this is tiffany glass here. there are lots of different stories about where this glass went up. people are still scrambling through the dumps to find it. shifts in taste are what is going on. what i would suggest is that
there wasn't something that began to occur -- was something that began to occur in the latter part of the 19th century that is sometimes called the american renaissance. what i am showing you on the right, you may remember this as exhibit i was involved with many years ago. is at the brooklyn museum, then it came down here to the smithsonian. this is the cover of it. that is a look inside the library of congress. the term american renaissance was not invented by me. there is nothing that art historians like more than to invent terms. here is a book titled "american renaissance" in 1905. this is actually a term that begins to come in circulation in the 1880's and continues well past the 1920's as the description of the new type of american architecture, new type of american interiors that begin to appear in these years. it was very different than the stuff we have been looking at a minute ago.
one way that this caught on can be seen in chicago in the world columbian exposition of 1893. it was decided that one of the greatest events in the history of all mankind history happened in 1492, when you know who sailed the ocean blue. and so this should be celebrated, but the event that out of hand a little bit, so they couldn't get their act together until 1893. the 141st anniversary of columbus's discovery of the new world. this is the world's fair, or the so-called white city in chicago on the south side. lake michigan is, well, i would be sort of drowning in lake michigan where this was taken. but this is the court of honor right here. this is the administration building. this is the statue of the republic by daniel chester french. what statue did he do here in washington, d.c.?
the lincoln memorial. the lincoln memorial. this is a meeting of the architects held on february 24 1891, when the most preeminent american architects in the country were called in to come out to chicago. the guy that is calling the men is this fellow, -- them in is this fellow, daniel of the chicago firm has been placed in charge of trying to get a design for this big world's fair. he has called in, this is charles mckim presenting his design. i will not go through all of these people. this guy right here, that is richard morris hunt, who did the administration building down here. those of you that are
architectural nuts will be interested that the guy bending over right there, with the dark beard, he is taking notes in the meeting, is louis sullivan. he took notes on the meeting. and what happened at this meeting was they got together and said look, let us create a classical city. a white city, a common 60 foot cornice line. classical details throughout. and they all agreed unbelievably. you get a bunch of architects together, and they agreed on this. at the end of the meeting, this man over here. which is a gustavus. -- which is augustus. what did gus do here in town? the adams memorial. gus, another eminent american sculptor walked over to burn up and grabbed him by the hand and said, look here old fellow, do
you realize this is the greatest meeting of artists since the 15th century? in other words, what happened back in florence and rome was now being reincarnated here in the united states. so what you have -- these are a couple of shots. here is a statue of the republic by daniel chester french. some shots around the best. what this was was we were trying to show those damn europeans that we can do it too. the first of the world fairs was in london, the crystal palace. actually prince albert was very much behind this. the huge, crystal building. this is where people came and showed their stuff. this is where you brought your plows, your engines, your art, and there were many other
world's fairs. another one that was inspiring what is going on here is the 1889 paris world fair. we actually had tried a world fair back in 1876 in philadelphia. the centennial. and it is rather interesting to read the commentary on the world's fair. because it was assumed, and of course this is american exceptionalism and so forth, by gosh, this is a world's fair that is going to really be it. there is the building of it. one of the buildings. however, as the world's fair opened and after it closed, it is rather interesting in the
op-ed pieces that appeared in "harpers" and so forth it appears we missed. we missed. we didn't really quite show it. the burden was really on in this 1893 that we would really show the world that we have arrived. that we are there. that we are on the same level as those countries that have all of that culture and all of that civilization back in europe, that we have it here. it is also worthwhile to note that of course there were foreign pavilions like the japanese pavilions on the left. other states put up pavilions. can you tell me which state did this? on the right? this is the first mount vernon repo. the first of many. this is the virginia state building. there was a group of ladies from
richmond who got together, because virginia state government is always pretty worthless and they could never get it together. [laughter] dr. wilson: this is interesting from this identity point of view. on the left is the california state building, which is a take on spanish missions. this is supposedly a genuine example of early kentucky architecture. [laughter] dr. wilson: and that is the daniel boone after. -- boone out there. let me tell you, it is over doing what the past is. over doing what the past is. the point i'm trying to make is that there is a shift going on in american taste towards the idea that we have to get up there with europe. yes, we have some history here. but what you we really have as
far as great architecture? so what you begin to see, and here in washington d.c., you can see the buildings beginning to creep in. the patterson house on the dupont circle. down a bit further, this is thomas nelson page's house. thomas nelson page a very important writer, historical novelist and so forth. which is different here. this is, what, a sort of renaissance-y type of thing where this is federal architecture that has gone on steroids. sort of a little bit overdone. you also begin to get the shift in public buildings. and the corcoran gallery of art -- we will not go into that
story right now. by ernest flagg. the old carnegie library -- this shows, this reorientation that is very, very much taking place in american architecture. one of the things that is important is that many of the architects who did this attended school in paris. they went to paris and studied at the echole de art, at the school of fine arts. american painters and sculptors went there as well. there is a shift that went on in this country. we are still english in many many ways, but artistically paris is the world center of art. so if you are really going to do this, you are going to have to
have a little bit of that parisian type of background. study at the echole le bozart, it was free to anybody, as long as you could pass the test and get in. it becomes a big thing for americans to go over. another example, and of course this could go on for hours with examples to put in, is the mcmillan commission for michigan. the senate commission of washington, d.c. park, charles mckinnon was a member of this along with frederick olmsted junior and daniel burke of chicago. it's took many years - it took many years for the lincoln memorial to be finished. it did not turn out quite exactly like this. in other words there is a spark going on in the air, sometimes
called "city beautiful" or the urban art movement. but for us this idea -- but very much this idea that we have got to be able to do this. another going inside, another important influence -- there were a couple of books, but in particular, this book here is the most important. "the declaration of houses," as you can see, authored by edith wharton. published by charles scribner's sons in new york in november 1897. i am showing you the table of contents. this is just a portion of the contents. this book, this is edith
wharton's first published book. she has done a couple of poems a few short stories, nothing else. this is her first published book. edith wharton will go on to become one of the great american writers of all time. ogden cogden junior -- ogden codman junior, this is him at age of 16. this is a picture taken in paris with the backdrop of two of his closest friends who were the architect of this house. they were very friends. and indeed they were all known as the colonial trinity.
the other thing is edith wharton is relatively young at this time, still finding her way. it does get a clue, and if you read any of her novels, look at the setting. it is important where things take place in it, that this is a very important element in trying to understand her writing. and while i can't prove it, is very almost 100% that the anderson's knew edith wharton. that they were all working in the same social circle in boston, new york, and so forth. she was part of the old elite. codman was part of the boston brahman group. you have isabel, so there is a type of exception.
-- a type of connection. finally to note that the manuscript on this was approved by charles mckim. edith was a good friend of mckim. she actually helped him found the school of architecture in rone, still existing today. -- american school of architecture in rome, and is still there today. one of the things she wanted to do in the book --and i should note, w before c, wharton before c. i can tell you, having a last name with "w", when it appears before the earlier alphabet, it means that you are the one that did the primary writing in the book. in any event, what they wanted to do was to clean out all of
this junk in american houses turn it back to some of the basic principles of design. she does apologize for the illustrations. because primarily they are french and italian illustrations. she says there are good american examples that come from a colonial period. but that but we have got to get rid of all of this horrible clutter and junk that we have used. that is her mother's house in new york. [laughter] dr. wilson: this is not in the book, but i put it in. this is the type of furniture they called the upholsterer's nightmare. and they want to get rid of that. and want to turn back to the well-designed furniture of good proportions of the past. and so they do show a variety of french furniture, other types of interiors.
and one of the interesting things as you look at the illustrations, as i say she does apologizes and says that she wishes she had more money for illustration, but that there is a clearing away. yes, here we are. we are in mantua. there on the left, there is the grand triana at versailles. there is this clearing away. and looking at the different parts and so forth and the way that the whole thing ought to be designed. this brings us to the architects of this house. herbert w. brown and arthur little. let me say that not all of the information that one would want is available. there are a bit of mysteries about both of them, and i will come back to part of that in half a minute.
arthur little -- brown and little are both boston upper class, brahmans, born on beacon hill in that area. arthur little in 1877 did one of the very earliest books that examined early american architecture. early american architecture wasn't a concern of anybody. he is one of the very earliest people that goes out with sketches. this is his book in 1877 "early new england interiors." he attended mit school of architecture. then he traveled abroad. with mr. brown, it is a little unclear whether he did attend mit, but he does travel abroad. he is in paris. whether he is a member of the echole des beaux-art, is
unclear. the exact date they team up is unclear. there are a couple different dates when they are out there. they begin to do houses such as this, the salem house. it is a sort of a federal revival. this is arthur little's own house. again, in this federal revival type of style. this is the one photograph that historic new england was able to find for me. this is him back here. i should say that this is his sister and younger brother, and that neither little or brown ever married. or they might have what you call a boston marriage. but in any event they do team up with a team of architects. here are a couple of examples of their work in the back bay section of boston. if you are not familiar, this is
an area that was landfilled in the late 1850's. different streets, these are both on commonwealth avenue. you get the elite putting up houses. here on the left, what stylistically is the call list. maybe a little bit of a sort of federal but also a sort of renaissance. this is a at an english and revival type thing. one house that they did that really gained them tremendous fame that they are designing for the elite is this house here for a family farm. it is a gigantic house. a simply gigantic house. it is a georgia revival. this is practically next door to lars anderson's house.
and so it is right next door. the anderson house is gone today, the carriage houses the only thing left. -- house is the only thing left. this is undoubtedly where these connections begin. working to build a house here in washington, d.c.. it becomes little and brown together. this is a footnote, but i thought this was interesting. for what you can see afterwards, if you walk out this door right here, this is a house that brown and little restored up in south berwick, maine. this is just over the border of new hampshire. kate chopin, the great american writer lived in this house. brown and little restored this house. in some sense, they sort of overdo it.
that is why i am putting this gable in. nothing like this would appear back in 1787. what is fascinating about this restoration is that -- this is a mural done by a man by the name of george. it is a mural of substantial architecture. just rock -- walk outside right here. not the same artist, but the same idea. i am trying to suggest there are different ideas sort of infiltrating here, certainly with the anderson's when you come to this house. so finally, we are here. and there is the photograph taken by mr. withey. he was a draftsman in the little and brown firm. he did a lot of supervision and took this photograph.
here they are right there. here is page one of about seven pages out of the building looks -- build books on historic new england. this shows it here, the honorable lars anderson, house and stable, washington, d.c., the different dates. the house structural worth $343,945. the interior is $245,000. gives you a clue as to what is going on. furniture $11,000. total cost of this house is about $624,122.04. they say it is rather interesting, unfortunately not all of the information is here
but some information about the light fixtures and all of this. this comes around the question -- okay, here we are at the house -- what is it? and over time, as was noted when the house was dedicated in 1905, one of the washington newspapers said it was an example of a florentine village. other people have said it is a little bit of english baroque. another term that is sometimes used is the beaux-arts style. one problem is is that there ain't a beaux-arts style. at the golden beaux-arts -- echolle des beaux-arts you weren't taught a specific sort
of style. to identify this as one particular origin, i think is a bit inaccurate. what little and brown are up to here are taking the principles of classicism, but creating something that is new and different, something that is not an imitation of a house in paris or london. or this down in florence. also what is very fascinating -- this is the entry hall. he is now sitting outside, but this is the way the entry hall used to be. lafayette is there right now instead of washington. but this is the entry hall after the society of cincinnati took it over. you think about you walk in, and what are you greeted with?
you turn, or you come into here and look up there, and look around, you begin to see that you have an extraordinary range of cultures from all over the world that are brought together in the house. it isn't just simply one culture. there are many different elements from the past as well as the present. that are brought together. if you turn around and look at those columns, or you can see them right there. those are italian baroque. those are the sorts of things that you see in st. peter's in rome. it is a combination of many, many, many different cultures that are brought in.
this is the english drawing room upstairs, back then. i have to say that i don't think edith wharton would have like this very much. and i doubt that brown and little would have liked it at all. this looks to me like the anderson's just brought their furniture in and plunked it down. this is certainly not what they wanted. but of course this is the way it looks today. the french drawing room, then and now, as you can see, it is very much in the same style. the choir stall out in front -- italian, classical. classical. used here. here is the dining room. and those murals in maine that i
mentioned, mr. bowbray did these out on the porch. my point is here that what we have is that the andersons were creating what, a museum. yes, it was a house for showing off and certainly for celebrations and so forth, but i think there is an underlying message that was going on. that is that we are trying to bring all of the different cultures of the world together in one place. and so with that, i will stop and take any questions that anybody has. thank you. [applause]
dr. wilson: question? go ahead. >> how comfortable are you with the term beaux-arts as a architectural style? dr. wilson: the question was how comfortable mi with the term beaux-arts is an architectural style. i am not comfortable with it at all. [laughter] dr. wilson: as i have said, and i don't have time to go into the beaux-arts, but yes, you learn classicism, but you learn the other styles as well. the students that produced the designs there, in studios and so forth, are in all sorts of styles. medieval, romanesque, all sorts. not just one style was being taught. the were being taught -- they were being taught certain principles about organization,
about about procession through the space, about relationship with interior spaces to the exterior forms, but it was not a style. but beginning in the 1880's -- excuse me, 1980's into this country, when there was a sort of recovery of this architecture and the discovery that so many of these architects went to the beaux-arts, were connected with it, the term has caught on over here. the french don't like it at all i can tell you that. they do not see it as a term. i am not trying to say there is no beaux-arts influence. but as a style, this has got a lot of things going on. >> did little and brown designed the interiors to the house? or did they employed decorating firms of new york and paris? dr. wilson: you will have to talk to some of the curators here.
from evidence i have seen in the bill books, they were certainly in charge of this, but it gets down to certain levels of detail on who is exactly doing what. and so forth. little and brown were interior freaks of the worst order. i cannot conceive that they didn't have an overall control on this. but once again, when you get down to certain sorts of things, the andersons would have their hand in it too, importing goods that they want it gets a bit mixed up. little and brown were very well-known for doing fancy houses and doing the interiors. that was very much a part of it. other questions? yes. >> i was wondering what the skill set was of the workers.
were some of them europeans were they specialist that came from boston, or particular techniques about working with wood or marble or steel? dr. wilson: the question is, what were the skill sets of the workers on this. from what i can read is that for instance the marble was all provided by elmsley, which was a major marble producer who imported marble from italy. and so they were certainly doing this. caldwell and company were some of the major light fixture people in the country at the time. and they did that. and all of the bronze work was done by john williams and company, which was a major new york firm that did some of the very finest ironwork in the country. so that is where that sort of
stuff is coming from that. the actual, some of the murals, these wonderful trompe ds l'oeil murals in this room right here. you should take a look at them they are absolutely beautiful. they were done by two italians. there are certainly people coming from abroad who are doing the work. but at the same time, there had developed at this point in time some very skilled americans who could do this. as far as i can find, i have not found a list of all the workers that were doing this. >> you referenced articles at the time when the house was finished. i am curious -- did it inspire other houses in terms of its
decorating style. in some ways you referenced mcmansions today -- was the general public recoiling at the access end of the -- access and the disparate styles? can you speak to that? dr. wilson: there were certainly tensions that did exist. the question was about the reception of the house at the time, and how it was received. it was, i think, universally recognized by architects as one of the best works done in washington dc. now, of course, washington d.c., as you all know, supposedly has no culture or anything to it. and that this is being put up here is an apt indication that -- henderson is a local boy to some degree but at the same time it was an attempt to bring culture here. one of the things i have discovered over the years is
that this idea that washington d.c. had no culture, what the heck is henry adams coming down for? our myths about washington don't quite meet up with the reality. but as far as anti-the house not particularly that i have seen in anything on this. there is certainly a group of individuals who do think there ought to be such a thing as income tax, which finally does come into being but it is, what, 15 years after this house or something like that. in general, there wasn't too much of a concern. there have been a concern -- there had been a concern earlier, as i mentioned, in 1890-1891 to pass a bill in congress absolutely nowhere -- congress that got prohibiting any house over a quarter of a million dollars. i have not seen much against
this. because i think this idea of an american of renaissance did capture the public. and that you are getting those libraries such as the carnegie libraries, which is for the public. and so there is something that is out there. the cities are being improved, but attempts at improving the city, through the city beautiful. there is on one level, a slightly left wing type of improvement that is part of this. >> hi. so you have on your slide the 1902-1905 period. is that when it was constructed? dr. wilson: yes. >> ok, so the andersons only lived in the house for a small period of the year. and you showed the stable in brookline, but do you have any images of the house in massachusetts?
or how does this one compare to that? dr. wilson: that was his wife's family's house. that was there. that was not like this. it was much more -- i did not bring any along with me, but it was very much more of what we might call "victorian." in a sense. no, that was his wife's family's house. and i have forgotten exactly when it was torn down, at least 50 years ago. something like that. theirs to lose the stable which is the -- there still is the stable which is the car musuem there. it was practically next door to that one house i showed you. i suspect that is where some of the ideas came from. from the state of 1902-1905, there were changes that went on the house, for instance the
murals up on the hallway upstairs were not completed until 1909. other things were being brought in. and i think it could be said that the anderson's were collectors. so, other stuff is moving through the house. >> were there any european critics who saw in this house any innovation? anything new or different, or did they see it as an imitation of themselves? dr. wilson: the question is, what did the europeans think of this? i have not been able to channel anyone from that point in time to figure out what exactly they thought. there was, i think it is safe to say, a certain skepticism on the part of some of the europeans about what these damn americans are doing. that they are trying to outdo us in this game.
and that they really ought to be pushing towards something more original, such as the three-named guy out in chicago. keep in mind this house is going up at the same time frank lloyd wright is doing his work in chicago. there were some europeans that kid perceive that that was -- that didn't see that that was something more innovative. but alternatively, for instance, this shows how complicated these things get -- the first english school of architecture is at liverpool university was based upon it the american model of an architecture school, which was copied from the french. but the english would never go directly to france. there is about, what, 10,000 miles between the two countries.
but no, the english there is evidence, nothing specific in the house, that the englishman who saw this american renaissance going on, and thought they were transforming their culture in a substantial way. that's it? [laughter] [applause] host: thank you, dr. wilson. if you are interested in seeing the house, we offer guided tours tuesday through saturday from 1:00 until 4:00. it is open to the public and free. also if you are not on our mailing list and would like to be added, you can fill out the form you found on your chair, or see me afterwards. thank you all for attending and good night. [applause] [captions copyright national
cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> you are watching american history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like asuncion -- us on facebook. >> monday night on "the communicators," we spoke with three members of congress with communication interests. al franken, bob goodlatte endorsements to -- and doris. >> i believe that if comcast bought time warner cable it would be too big of a company. it would have led to higher prices for consumers, less choice. and if it is even possible worse service. >> we are working on something
important to technology companies dealing with privacy and protection of civil liberties, legislation dealing with the nsa and the foreign intelligence surveillance act court dealing with the revelations about the gathering of telephone metadata. this bill that passed the house with a bipartisan vote, about to bring it up again bans metadata collection and storage. >> if you saw the net neutrality debate also, that was unbelievable in the sense that people understand that the internet should be free. and there should not be people who get faster access or not. when that occurred, that whole energy that happened with that with chairman wheeler, because
of the overturning of the open internet order, when he had to have a new proposal up there when you just ended that there might be paid prioritization -- when he just hinted that there might be paid prioritization allowing the internet provider to the end-user. that they may have to pay for faster speeds or whatever. 4 million comments? that was unheard of. >> monday night at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators" on c-span two. >> tonight on c-span's "q&a," washington reporter walter pincus on the situation in the middle east and his opinion of the invasion of iraq. walter: one of the things about the bush administration and paul wolfowitz never claimed to be an expert on the middle east and iraq and proved it in history
has proven it, is that -- and history has proven it, is that we look at things from our own point of view and get deceived by it. you can go the anon, a great example of the first time we did it openly. but we have a history of thinking people are like us. the world is different. particularly in the middle east, it is a totally different culture. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> welcome to topeka. with help from our communications cable partners, we will explore the history of kansas's capital city. coming up, her