Charles Bulfinch was an American architect who was well known for the buildings that he designed. His work still exists to the present day and provides architecture students with learning points about how buildings were designed during his time. His style of architecture was the Federal style. In this style of architecture, buildings were designed with domes, ornaments and columns. The designs that Bulfinch created throughout his life were well known because of their simplicity and balance.
Bulfinch was from the United States of America. He is considered to be among the first architects born on American soil. During his time, most buildings were designed using the Federal style. A close look at buildings designed during the specific period of 1780 to 1830 reveals that the buildings were built with a touch of Greek and Roman influence in them. This was a move that was intentional for the designers at that time (Hughes, net). Therefore, the classical buildings designed in the American Republic had domes, columns and had a solid structure. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the popular design of buildings during Bulfinch’s time influenced how he designed buildings. His works followed the style that was popular at that time. His buildings were similar to the other buildings designed during his time. He, of course, added his twist to his buildings.
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Bulfinch used the materials that were available to him at that time. The buildings that he designed used local materials, and the finished product was a beautiful structure. Some of the materials used to make his buildings were porous sandstone that was sourced locally (Facts, net). He used the materials like rice glue and casein to create the white colour most of his buildings are well known for. The form of his designs was simplistic yet elegant. He incorporated much of Greek and Roman architecture into his work creating grand structures that had domes and columns.
Bulfinch worked on several notable buildings that can still be found around the country. The most famous building that he worked on was the Capitol building. He did not work on the whole building. He simply completed the central part of the building and its wings. True to his style, he added a dome to the building; a clear indication of the Greco-Roman influence in his work. Another notable piece of his work was the memorial column that was the first monument to remember the Revolution. These works feature solid shapes that are similar to the fashions of Greek and Roman construction in the past. The Massachusetts State House is another exemplary work that he worked on. It features common Greco-Roman features like a dome and columns.
Bulfinch is famous for his creative work in the area of architecture. His contribution to the design of buildings at his time makes him a notable person. For instance, he designed the rotunda at Capitol Hill according to his own design despite using the designs of his predecessors to complete its construction. His work on the Capitol Hill helped make him a hard name to forget in history (Mifflin, 162). His contribution to the Federal era of architecture in the United States is notable, and some of his works are valuable relics of an era that is past. His influence on architects in the present day is very much present. His major influence is the use of simple designs to create spacious places where people can work and live.
- Facts, A. (2017). “Charles Bulfinch.”
- Hughes, C. J. (2010, June). “Architectural Digest.”
- Mifflin, J. (2013). Building Victorian Boston: The Architectuer of Gridley JF Bryant. Journal of Massachusetts 41(1) , 161-164.