"I had originally trained to be an architect, and in 1950, after college graduation, I went to Europe to attend the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Two of my favorite subjects in studying architecture were design and the history of architecture. My architectural training prepared me to be an architect, but because of my camera I have ended up interpreting other architects' work instead of designing my own. Still, many of the same principles apply: shadow and light, perspective, textures, shapes, relationship of elements, and fundamentally making order out of chaos.
During my time in Paris, and simultaneous travels around Europe during that year, I was introduced to architectural realities that I had only studied about in the history books, and I developed an appreciation for the beauty of architecture produced through the ages that has grown and matured ever since.
The Beaux-Arts method in Paris was the foundation of the study of architecture in an academic setting. It was founded on the principle that Greek and Roman architecture had stood the test of time, and classical architecture was the epitome of beauty.
When George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were planning the kind of country America was to be, they decided to base it on the Greek and Roman political systems. As they and Pierre L'Enfant meticulously planned the city of Washington, it was designed to reflect the architectual glories of Greece and Rome. They wanted nothing to do with monarchistic England, and its Georgian architecture. The architecture of official Washington reflects what the Founding Fathers envisioned, and later the Beaux-Arts taught. Although the Capitol reflects the various architects who designed it over a hundred year period, it still has a remarkable unity - due to the respect each of those architects paid to classical architecture. No photographer with an ounce of poetry in his soul could turn back from what this city affords."