The Nation Experiences Tragedy in 1881 August 14 2015

This is the sixth installment in our series of posts comparing significant events from a year in United States history with a few of our unique architectural plans from the same period.  1881, the topic of this installment, subsequently marks the sixth year of the American Architect and Building News' existence.

Click on the pictures to find the plans below in our store!

While 1880 was an election year in the United States, the newly elected president James A. Garfield wasn't inaugurated until early 1881.  On the night of March 5, 1881, the National Museum in Washington, DC held an "Inaugural Reception & Promenade Concert" to celebrate the event, as depicted in beautiful detail on the plan below.  The museum, designed by Cluss & Schultze, hosted a number of important political events for the nation's capital.  However, the night's celebrations would prove to be short lived.  Garfield would be shot in July of 1881 at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C and succumb to the wound's infection in September of the same year.

National Museum, Washington, DC, 1881, Cluss & Schultze


On September 5, 1881, the Thumb peninsula of Michigan was the victim of one of the worst fires of the period.  Over a million acres were destroyed and 282 people were killed in less than a day.  The fire was caused by a combination of factors, the most important being the era's damaging logging techniques that took place throughout the area.  A short ways south in Detroit (which was luckily just out of the fire's range), this gorgeous residence was designed by prominent architects Mason & Rice for an unknown client.  

Design for a Residence , Detroit, MI, 1881, Mason & Rice