Past Events

Architectural Literacy

A Course in the Classical Language of Architecture

St. John's Episcopal Church
3240 O Street NW
Washington, DC 20007

Although Washington, D.C. boasts one of the finest assemblages of classical architecture anywhere, most people miss the richness of these splendid buildings because they don’t know how to “read” them. Using numerous examples, this course will explore many little noticed features of classical buildings in the District. This in-depth understanding of our classical heritage will appeal to architects, interior designers, contractors, remodelers, realtors, and architectural history buffs.

Prior to the course, in collaboration with the L’Enfants of the WMA ICAA, a classical architecture scavenger hunt will be held in which participants will seek out examples of classical forms from a list of thirty items published on the L’Enfants Facebook page at the beginning of April. The subsequent lecture will illustrate these forms and explain with illustrations the ancient sources of the forms and details and show where they have been employed in mostly well-known buildings. Participants of the scavenger hunt will be invited to share with the audience other examples of these thirty elements that they may have found during the hunt, using their personal photographs, sketches, or notes. At the end of the lecture, the person who was able to compile the most complete list of items from the scavenger hunt will be presented with a prize.

It is intended that this lecture and related extracurricular exercise will serve to expand the architectural literacy of the participants, creating a better awareness of the rich vocabulary of the classical language. It will also enhance their ability to “read” classical architecture not only in the district, but anywhere.

About the Instructor: Calder Loth is a Senior Architectural Historian at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art Advisory Council.

Participants will earn 2 AIA/CES LUs.

Cost: $40 ICAA Members and employees of ICAA Professional Member Firms / $20 Students and L’Enfants / $60 General Public
Image courtesy of Calder Loth.