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Rubio, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Beautify Federal Architecture

Jun 13, 2023 | Press Releases

America’s founders intended for Washington, D.C. to be a classical capital city. Most Americans also prefer traditional building designs over modernist ones. However, since the 1950s, federal buildings have been constructed with modern architecture counter to both the founders’ vision and the public’s preference.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues introduced the Beautifying Federal Civil Architecture Act to make classical and traditional architecture the preferred architectural style for certain federal public buildings.

  • “Federal buildings physically embody our system of government and its institutions. Federal buildings should therefore reflect our government’s dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability while inspiring civic pride. I am proud to introduce the Beautifying Federal Civil Architecture Act to restore the tradition and beauty that our nation’s federal architecture has lost.” – Senator Rubio

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Mike Lee (R-UT) are original cosponsors.

  • “Washington, D.C. is home to a beautiful array of classical and traditional buildings with architecture that has stood the test of time. It’s time to right the ship when it comes to styling federal buildings, and have Congress declare what the Founding Fathers intended: that classical and traditional architecture should be the blueprint of all federal government buildings.” – Senator Braun 
  • “Our Founding Fathers intended for our nation’s capital and public buildings around the nation to create civic pride, and we should continue this tradition by ensuring that courthouses and public spaces inspire public confidence, rather than wasting taxpayer dollars on unattractive buildings that citizens dislike.” – Senator Hagerty

U.S. Representative Jim Banks (R-IN) introduced companion legislation in the House.

This bill is endorsed by the National Civic Art Society.

  • “The National Civic Art Society strongly supports the Beautifying Federal Civic Architecture Act. It is crucial that the design of federal buildings reflects the preferences of ordinary Americans–namely, that such buildings be beautiful, uplifting, and designed in a classical or traditional style. Whereas the current government process for choosing building designs involves zero input from the community, this legislation democratizes design by requiring that there be substantial input from the general public. We applaud Senator Rubio for his leadership on this important issue.” – Justin Shubow, President of the National Civic Art Society and former Chairman of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.