"Make no little plans" : Daniel Burnham's design for Union Station

Blanton, Mary Alison Stone, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia
Wilson, Richard, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia

This thesis focuses on Burnham's design for Union station and the area surrounding it, including the Plaza and the City Post Office. It attempts to look at the station in plan (site), elevation (design), and perspective (context) in order to understand the building's significance to the Plan of 1901 and the City Beautiful movement in Washington, D.C. While information regarding the Chicago World Columbian Exposition of 1893, the City Beautiful movement, and the Plan of 1901 is presented, their discussion is limited to their relation to Burnham and his design for Union Station. Many aspects of these topics and many influential people keenly involved in their development have not been thoroughly discussed.

Burnham's unquestioning embrace of the American Renaissance is recognized and discussed, but not judged. The characteristics of Burnham and the sentiments of the American Renaissance were mutually beneficial, each serving to advance the other. Burnham was inherently an "organization man," quick to recognize the advantage of combining talents and working with others to reach a common goal. He thrived in the era of organizations, commissions, and collaborations that characterized the American Renaissance. Burnham's specific talents were his "largeness of vision" and his organizational and communicative skills. The creation and completion, both artistic and political, of union Station, the Plaza, and the City Post Office, stands as a tribute to those talents.

MARH (Master of Architectural History)
Burnham, Daniel Hudson -- 1846-1912, Union Station (Washington, D.C.), Railroad terminals -- Washington (D.C.) -- History, Railroad stations -- Washington (D.C.) -- History, Historic buildings -- Washington (D.C.), City planning -- Washington (D.C.), Railroad stations -- Washington (D.C.), Washington (D.C.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: