Trump Signs Executive Order Mandating Classical Architecture As Default Style For Federal Buildings

President Trump signed a new executive order on Friday that was released on Monday that mandates that new federal buildings be constructed using classical architecture absent of “exceptional factors” necessitating a different style.

“New Federal building designs should, like America’s beloved landmark buildings, uplift and beautify public spaces, inspire the human spirit,  ennoble the United States, command respect from the general public, and, as appropriate, respect the architectural heritage of the region,” the order from the White House states.

The order highlights the cultural heritage of architectural structures modeled after ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome, whose influence can be seen throughout the rest of Western history and invokes their adoption by the founding fathers in the most well known buildings in the nation’s capital.

“President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson consciously modeled the most important buildings in Washington, D.C., on the classical architecture of ancient Athens and Rome,” the order reads. “They sought to use classical architecture to visually connect our contemporary Republic with the antecedents of democracy in classical antiquity, reminding citizens not only of their rights but also their responsibilities in maintaining and perpetuating its institutions.”

In October, a Harris Poll commissioned by the National Civic Art Society found over seventy percent of Americans preferred traditional architecture for U.S. courthouses and federal office buildings.

Trump’s order also establishes the “President’s Council on Improving Federal Civic Architecture,” chaired by the Commission of Fine Arts, to guide implementation of the president’s directive. The council will be dismissed on Sept. 30th, 2021, unless extended by the president.

The executive order will also require design input from the general public and future staff of federal buildings before choosing a design.

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