10 Buildings That Changed America

Designed by Thomas Jefferson to resemble a Roman temple, the Virginia State Capitol marked the beginning of the American tradition of modeling government buildings on Roman and Greek temples.

Our State Capitol is among the buildings surveyed in 10 Buildings That Changed America, a cross-country journey to ten influential works of American architecture that changed the way we live, work and play, premiering Sunday, May 12 at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS.

Written and produced by Dan Protess and hosted by Geoffrey Baer, the program was shot on location and features rare archival images, distinctive animation, and interviews with some of the nation’s most insightful historians and architects, including Frank Gehry and Robert Venturi.

Other buildings include the glorious Trinity Church, designed as “an envelope” for the voice of Rector Phillips Brooks (best known today as the writer of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”), and the Highland Park Ford Plant, designed by Jewish architect Albert Kahn, whose partnership with Henry Ford flourished despite Ford’s anti-Semitic writings.

“You may not have heard of all of these ten buildings, but their influence is all around you,” says Baer. “There’s a good chance that these revolutionary works of architecture inspired your local city hall or library, the mall where you shop, the office building or factory where you work, and maybe even your own house,” he added.

10 Buildings That Changed America is a cross-country journey that takes viewers inside these groundbreaking works of art and engineering and reveals the shocking, funny, and even sad stories of how these buildings came to be.

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