Inspirational Architectural Treasures and Travel 

While many of us are currently limited in the places we can visit, we thought we’d take a virtual trip.  Here are some architectural treasures that are soaked in history and culture. Hopefully one day soon, we can visit in person!

Bermuda

With borders open to tourism, Bermuda is credited as one of the safest islands to visit and has implemented a number of health protocols to keep travelers safe.

Exploring around the island, you’ll encounter many impressive houses and buildings, some of which were built as far back as the 1600s. 

Exploring St. George’s – On the East End, explore the historic Town of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was founded in 1612.  It’s the oldest English settlement in the New World.  Here, you can wander narrow, cobblestoned streets with names such as Old Maid’s Lane, Printer’s Alley and Featherbed Alley.  This part of the island is known for its British colonial architecture.

  • Unfinished Church – Dramatic archways and weathered grey stone contrast against vibrant tropical foliage at the Unfinished Church.  The gothic church was conceived as a replacement for St. Peter’s Church, which had been badly damaged by a hurricane.  Due to funding problems, parish infighting and yet another damaging storm, construction was never completed.  Now the picturesque ruins can be visited at no charge.
  • St. Peter’s Church impresses with its limestone walls, beautiful belfry and shapely windows.  The steps leading up to the 400-year-old church are one of the most photographed sights on the island.  Inside, its original Bermuda cedar beams, chandeliers and 1615 Communion table create a spiritual ambiance.  In 2012, Queen Elizabeth named it “Their Majesties Chappell,” a designation first used for this house of worship back in the 1690s.
  • Bermuda Beacon: Gibb’s Lighthouse – The towering Gibbs’ Hill Lighthouse in Southampton Parish, completed in 1846, stands tall as one of the oldest cast iron lighthouses in the world.  The metal is watertight and weathers well, even in a salt-air environment like Bermuda’s.  Climb 185 steps to a viewing area at the top and soak up the panoramic view. 

 Arizona

Arizona’s architectural landmarks span the centuries—from pre-Columbian culture to baroque, modern to whimsical—and many are either National Historic Landmarks or on the National Registry of Historic Places.

  • Montezuma Castle National Monument – Discover this historic five-story Native American dwelling carved out of an ancient limestone cliff with twenty rooms.  Begun during the twelfth century, it took about three centuries to complete.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright – In 1937, Wright bought 640 acres at the base of the McDowell Mountains, intent on building a winter home, studio and architecture school.  His Taliesin West in what is now Scottsdale grew to be an organic desert compound, with angular buildings constructed of native stone, concrete and redwood beams.  The visitors’ center offers numerous tours, including night-time views and walks to desert shelters designed by student apprentices.

Maryland

  • Baltimore City Hall – The Baltimore City Hall is home to Baltimore’s Mayor’s office and the City Council of Baltimore.  It also houses various city departments such as the Comptroller’s office. The Baltimore City Hall is constructed in a Neo-Baroque style of architecture.  The building was built in the 1800s and needed renovations in the 19th century.
  • Everyman Theatre – Everyman Theatre acquired a shuttered building from the early 1900s that was transformed into a modern venue by architects Cho Benn Holback & Associates.  The lobby, for example, features sleek angled curves that play against the classic frame of the restored façade, and the 250-seat theatre is a box-like structure inserted into the historic shell.  Along with the refurbished Hippodrome Theatre and the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, Everyman has played an important role in the revival of downtown Baltimore’s Westside, a formerly deteriorated arts district.  Its critically acclaimed resident ensemble performs classic and contemporary works like August: Osage County.

While the ongoing pandemic can make it difficult – if not impossible – to see the most remarkable architecture the world has to offer, the Internet makes it easy to travel virtually from the comfort of your own home.  The structures listed here were just a small sample of the architectural wonders out there to see – now fire up the computer and get exploring!