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512 BC
Darius the Great began constructing the Persian city of Persepolis. Construction lasted nearly 150 years. In 330BC the army of Alexander the Great burned it to the ground.
Links: Iran, Persia, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
221 BC
220
A section of the Great Wall was built during the Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) dynasties in northeastern Jilin province. In 2009 the Xinhua news agency reported the discovery of this section, 11km (6.7 miles) further east than what was previously thought to be the wall's terminus.
Links: China, Architect, Archeology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
28 BC
In Rome the mausoleum of Emperor Augustus (d.14AD) was built.
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9 BC
The Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace), ordered by Augustus Caesar, was constructed in Rome. In 2005 the Museum of the Ara Pacis opened in Rome.
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578
The family business Kongo Gumi was founded in Japan by a Korean in Osaka to build Buddhist temples. The company continued to flourish in 2010 as general builder.
Links: Japan, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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594
In Japan wood for the five-storey pagoda of the Temple of the Flourishing Law in Nara prefecture was felled about this time. Construction of the temple is believed to have begun soon after. In 2016 it was one of the world’s oldest wooden buildings.
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691
Muslims built the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. It contained inscriptions that later were held as the 1st evidence of the Koran.
Links: Israel, Palestine, Architect, Islam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
825
The Buddhist temple of Borobudur on the island of Java was completed about this time under the supervision of an architect named Gunadharma. The site was abandoned after 100-200 years. In 1814 British Gov. Thomas Stamford Raffles was advised of its location and dispatched an expedition to locate and excavate the legendary monument.
Links: Indonesia, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1093 Aug 12
In England the foundation stone for Durham Cathedral was laid down. The main chapel was completed in 1175. It served as the seat of the Bishop and the church of the Benedictine monastery of Durham.
Links: Britain, Architect, Religion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1194
The French cathedral at Chartres was mostly destroyed by fire. The Sancta Camisia relic survived intact and the cathedral was rebuilt in 29 years. In 2008 Leo Hollis authored “Universe of Stone: Chartres Cathedral and the Triumph of the Modern Mind.”
Links: France, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1220
In France the main structure of Chartres cathedral was completed. In 2008 Philip Ball authored “Universe of Stone: A Biography of Chartres Cathedral.”
Links: France, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1446
In Scotland Sir William St. Clair, a grand master in the Knights Templar, founded the Rosslyn Chapel. It was built in the shape of a cross in the Pentland Hills outside Edinburgh. It became famous as part of the Dan Brown’s 2003 thriller “The Da Vinci Code.”
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1475
1509
Italian architects invited by Ivan III built the Kremlin Cathedrals of the Assumption and the Archangel.
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1491
In Russia the Spasskaya Tower was built in Moscow. It was designed by Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solairi, who was hired by Ivan III. In 1935 the Soviet government installed a red star instead of a two-headed eagle atop the 233-foot Red Square tower.
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1527 Dec 6
Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici (1478-1534) as Pope Clemens VII (1523-1534) fled to Orvieto in Umbria. In order to ensure a water supply Pope Clemens VII had a well dug by architect-engineer Antonio da Sangallo the Younger of Florence. St. Patrick’s Well was 45 feet wide with 496 steps leading down 175 feet.
Links: Italy, Vatican, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1561
The Basilica of St. Basil in Moscow, begun in 1555, was completed under the reign of Ivan the Terrible to celebrate the conquest of the Khanate of Kazan.
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1600
1750
The Baroque Era in music, as practiced by its greatest figures, has pronounced mannerist qualities: mysticism, exuberance, complexity, decoration, allegory, distortion, the exploitation of the supernatural or grandiose, all commingled. The baroque saw the rise of four-part harmony and the figured bass, in which numerals indicated the harmonies to be used. In 1968 Claude Palisca authored "Baroque Music." The Baroque style (1620-1680) extended to art, architecture and theater, represented by a spirit of opulence, drama and sensuality.
Links: Artist, Theater, Architect, Classical Music     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1605
1610
French King Henry IV and his minister, the Duc de Sully, built the Place des Vosges, originally called the Place Royale, in the Marais district of Paris.
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1605
French King Henry IV established a building code that set architectural themes and specified that pavilions had to be owned by a single family.
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1614
Inigo Jones (1573-1652), British architect, traveled to Italy and bought a trunk full of Palladio’s architectural drawings. In 1894 they ended up at the Royal Institute of British Architects.
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1632 Oct 20
Sir Christopher Wren (d.1723), astronomer and architect, was born. He designed the current St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Links: Britain, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1657
Pope Alexander VII entrusted Italian Baroque master Gian Lorenzo Bernini with building the colonnade surrounding St. Peter’s Square. A restoration project was lauched in 2009. In 2012 the Vatican sought funds directly from pilgrims, stamp collectors and tourists to pay for the ambitious restoration.
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1675 Jun 21
Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) began to rebuild St Paul’s Cathedral in London, replacing the old building which had been destroyed by the Great fire. St Paul’s Cathedral was dedicated in 1708 but work continued.
Links: Britain, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1683
Guarino Guarini (b.1624), Italian architect, writer, mathematician and philosopher, died in Milan.
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1688
The Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church in North America, was built in Quebec City, Canada.
Links: Canada, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1697
The Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden, burned down. It was rebuilt in Italian Baroque style with 608 rooms.
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1708 Oct
London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was completed. The "topping out" of the cathedral (when the final stone was placed on the lantern) took place. The cathedral was declared officially complete by Parliament on 25 December 1711 (Christmas Day). In 2008 Leo Hollis authored “The Phoenix: St Paul’s Cathedral and the Men Who Made Modern London.”
Links: Britain, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1711 Dec 25
London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was declared officially complete by Parliament. In fact construction was to continue for several years after that, with the statues on the roof only being added in the 1720s. In 2008 Leo Hollis authored “The Phoenix: St Paul’s Cathedral and the Men Who Made Modern London.”
Links: Britain, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1714
In Northern Russia the Church of the Transfiguration was built by the Kizhi community on an island on Lake Onega. The wooden church with 22 onion domes was built without nails.
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1736
Filippo Juvarra (b.1678), Italian baroque architect, died in Madrid.
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1748 Apr 12
William Kent (b.c1685), English sculptor and architect (Kensington Palace), died. Kent introduced the Palladian style of architecture into England with the villa at Chiswick House.
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1771 Apr 29
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli (b.1700), Italian architect, died in St. Petersburg. He was born in Paris and spent his entire career in Russia. His work included the Winter Palace (1754-1762) in St. Petersburg, which later became the Hermitage Museum.
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1783
English Architect Thomas Leverton (1795-1885) designed the fanlight window above an entry in London’s Bedford Square.
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1791 Mar 29
Pres. George Washington and French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant examined the site along the Potomac River that would become the US capital. Maryland and Virginia had ceded land to the federal government to form the District of Columbia. Chosen as the permanent site for the capital of the United States by Congress in 1790, President Washington was given the power by Congress to select the exact site—an area ten-miles square, made up of land given by Virginia and Maryland. Washington became the official federal capital in 1800. In 2008 Fergus Bordewich authored “Washington: The Making of the American Capital.”
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1798
The Massachusetts State House was built in Boston on land owned by patriot merchant John Hancock, It was designed by Charles Bullfinch (1763-1844), who later designed the US Capitol in Washington.
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1806
In Baltimore, Maryland, ground was broken for a cathedral designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Bungles and war delayed dedication until 1821. In 1937 Pope Pius XI elevated the cathedral to a basilica.
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1807 Aug 18
Robert Stevenson (1772-1850) began work on the 117-foot Bell Rock lighthouse at the mouth of Scotland’s Firth of Forth based on a proposal he submitted in 1800. The lighthouse began operating on Feb 1, 1811.
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1809 Mar 27
Georges-Eugene Haussmann (d.1891), French town planner, was born. He designed modern-day Paris.
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1811 Feb 1
Scotland’s Bell Rock lighthouse, at the mouth of Scotland’s Firth of Forth, began operations. Robert Stevenson (1772-1850) had begun work on the lighthouse in 1807.
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1824
The Second Bank of the United States, established by federal charter in 1791, was completed in Philadelphia by William Strickland. It was modeled after the Parthenon. From 1841-1934 it served as a Custom House. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1939 and in 1974 became the home of the Peale portraits. The renovated museum reopened Dec 1, 2004.
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1829 Oct 16
In Boston, Mass., the Tremont House, designed by Isaiah Rogers, opened as a hotel and continued to about 1895. The four-story, neoclassical building was the first modern hotel in America.
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1834 Jul 4
NYC Mayor Cornelius W. Lawrence presided over the laying of the cornerstone for the Astor House hotel, designed by Isaiah Rogers. Construction took four years and cost around $400,000.
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1836 Jun 1
In NYC the doors of the luxurious Astor House hotel opened to the public. It was a near copy on a grander scale of the earlier, fashionable Trement House in Boston, also designed by Isaiah Rogers.
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1836
In France the medieval timber roof of the Chartres cathedral burned. Architect J.B. Lassus replaced it with an innovative roof of iron.
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1836
Augustus Pugin (1812-1852), English Gothic architect and designer, authored “Contrasts,” the first ever architectural manifesto.
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1837
In London construction began on the new Palace of Westminster. Architect Charles Barry and his assistant A.W.N. Pugin had won the open competition for the design.
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1839
Construction began on Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England. The country house in the Jacobethan style was remodeled and largely rebuilt for the third Earl by Sir Charles Barry and featured a park designed by Capability Brown. In 2010 it became the main filming location for the British television period drama Downton Abbey.
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1847 May 1
The cornerstone of the Smithsonian Institute was laid in Washington, DC. The building was designed by James Renwick Jr.
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1850
The Willard family acquired a 4-story hotel in Washington DC and turned it into the 100-room Willard Hotel at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. In 1901 it was replaced by an opulent 389-room Beaux-Arts building. In 1968 it was closed and scheduled for demolition. In 1986 it re-opened following a $73 million restoration.
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1852 Sep 14
Augustus Pugin (b.1812), English Gothic architect and designer, died. He had just this year helped oversee the completion of the new Palace of Westminster and sketched a design for the clock tower shortly before his death. In 2007 Rosemary Hill authored “God’s Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain.
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1852
J.P. Morgan’s NYC residence was completed on the corner of 37th St. and Madison Ave.
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1853 Jun 29
Napoleon III met with Georges-Eugene Haussmann to outline plans for the “strategic beautification” of Paris and assigned him to modernize the city. For the next 17 years Haussman, as prefect of the Seine, transformed Paris. He is responsible for the tree lined grand boulevards, the Bois de Boulogne, several railroad stations, the aqueducts, and a tourist friendly sewer system. Haussmann employed one Parisian in five and financed his projects using private capital raised with bonds. The project forced some 200,000 residents from their homes. He used surpluses in his operational budget to cover deficits in his capital budgets. The debts paralyzed the city until the Gaullist era.
Links: France, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1853
Sarah Losh (b.1785), English architect, died. In 2012 Jenny Uglow authored “The Pinecone: The Story of Sarah Losh, Forgotten Romantic Heroine – Antiquarian, Architect and Visionary.”
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1853
Joseph J. Atkinson, a brick contractor, built a 4-bedroom house at 1032 Broadway. It was designed by William Ranlett and remodeled by Willis Polk in 1893. It survived the 1906 earthquake and fire.
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1860
The Parc Monceau in Paris was taken over by the state to enable Baron Haussmann to complete the Boulevard Malesherbes.
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1862
In San Francisco the Pioneer Woolen Mill, later part of Ghirardelli Square, was designed by Swiss-born architect William Sebastian Mooser. Uniforms for Union soldiers were manufactured here during the Civil War. The brick building replaced the original wood frame mill which was built in 1858 but soon destroyed by fire.
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1868
In Montevideo, Uruguay, the Mercado del Puerto, a wrought-iron prefab shipped from England, was erected to feed stevedores and other laborers.
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1868
The St Pancras station opened in London. It was known as the “Cathedral of the Railways” and for a time was the largest enclosed space in the world.
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1870
The Equitable Life Assurance Building was completed at 120 Broadway in New York City, NY. At 130 feet (40 m), it is considered by some the world's first skyscraper and was the first office building to feature passenger elevators.
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1875
In Paris, France, the first stone was laid for the Sacre Coeur basilica in Montmartre.
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