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Va. Capitol makes list of influential U.S. buildings

Thursday - 4/12/2012, 5:13pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia State Capitol is ready for its national television close-up.

Thomas Jefferson's Classical Revival style design is set to appear on a PBS special "10 Buildings That Changed America" slated to air early next year.

"The Virginia State Capitol really started the tradition in this country of government buildings looking like Roman and Greek temples," Geoffrey Baer, the program's host, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch (

The TV crew filmed around the Capitol on Wednesday after collecting footage of Monticello and the University of Virginia, some other examples of Jefferson's architectural work. The crew filmed key elements of the Capitol, including its rotunda and a feature that gives a glimpse behind one of the walls to the building's skeleton.

Ten buildings were selected in consultation with architectural historians and others. Baer said the sites on the list had to have had a powerful influence on the environment and "the way we live." Consideration also was given to other criteria, such as not having more than one building in a city and including a representation of different periods in architectural history.

The state Capitol that was first occupied in 1788 has influenced scores of other buildings, from the U.S. Capitol to banks across the country. It is home to the oldest continuous, English-speaking lawmaking body in the New World.

Other buildings to be featured in the program include Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Trinity Church in Boston, Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House in Chicago, and the Seagram Building in New York.

The buildings are not ranked in order of importance, and Baer said it would be impossible to pick the 10 most important buildings in America.

"It's 10 interesting buildings, with 10 good stories, in 10 different cities," he said.



"10 Buildings That Changed America:"


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,

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