Heavenly Stone Masons
Medieval masons created almost magical architecture with their magnificent mastery of stone and geometry.
The Troubling Legacy of North America’s Oldest Brick House
Bacon's Castle in Virginia is a microcosm of major trends in U.S. history and culture.
The Style that Went Around the World
Most Gothic architecture was built in the 19th and 20th centuries when the medieval style underwent a global revival. Now, Gothic is trending again.
How to Read Stained Glass Windows
Stained glass windows, one of the most durable types of art, have long imparted both powerful religious and secular messages.
Saint Sulpice Church - Paris’s Temporary Cathedral
Saint Sulpice Church in Paris has a turbulent history dating to the 7th century. Today, it is Paris's temporary cathedral amidst the pandemic.
The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone, which revolutionized the study of Egypt and ancient languages, continues to court controversy today.
Comeback of the Courtyard House
The pandemic, soaring cost of housing and environmental concerns are renewing interest in courtyard houses, albeit on a miniature scale.
Rebuilding after 9/11
Remembering September 11th has been a national opportunity to evaluate the past and move on with the long messy process of rebuilding.
Versailles’ Checkered Legacy
Versailles has an image of lavish opulence under the Sun King, Louis XIV, but the palace also has a history of revolution and American ties.
Gothic Architecture - Imagining Infinity
Gothic architecture has been called both magnificent and monstrous. We examine why.
The Booming and Broiling Southwest
The American Southwest is the fastest growing region in the United States, but also the hottest and most arid.
Japan’s Golden Pavilion
The Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan, is evidence of Japan's aesthetic balance of restrained simplicity and bursts of opulent grandeur.
Why is Washington, D.C. so Roman?
The U.S. capital has more Roman-style architecture than almost any major city. We explore why.
The Panthéon of Paris
The Panthéon in Paris, France's national mausoleum, embraces the contradictory themes of the nation's turbulent history.
A Classical Chinese Garden
Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Ore., was built by artisans from the garden city of Suzhou, China, to demonstrate the basic elements of Chinese gardens.
Duke’s Beautiful Campus, Academic Excellence and Mixed Legacy
Duke University's Gothic architecture and academic excellence alongside its mixed historical legacy makes it a microcosm of the American South's historical dilemmas.
Qing Ming Painting Resonates Over Centuries
China's most famous painting captured traditional life, the traces of which have survived into modern times.
We take a look back at a remote Chinese village that is now a crowded tourist destination.
China’s Stone Scriptures
Thousands of Buddhist scriptures carved in stone and buried for centuries are among China's greatest cultural treasures.
Resting Place of Kings
France's dazzling royal necropolis, the Basilica of Saint Denis, is also the birthplace of Gothic architecture.
The Racism of Confederate Statues
The racist past associated with the Confederacy and Confederate monuments has a complex history.
A Tale of Two Roman Cities
The amphitheaters, military garrisons, forums, trade and craft shops of two Roman colonial cities have emerged from the dust.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London, enduring symbol of the British monarchy, combines royal pageantry with warfare, court intrigue and executions.
Paris’s Oldest Food Market
Rue Montorgueil in Paris began as a village street with a medieval church and food market. It has retained that character.
Meditation and Japan’s Rock Garden
Meditation is the theme of the Ryoanji dry rock garden. Find out why the garden inspires meditation and how to meditate.
Sustainable Tourism for Holidays
Packing for travel this holiday season should include a primer on how to be responsible, sustainable tourists. Here it is.
New Orleans - Exuberant Hybrid
New Orleans's hybrid culture is the result of its 300 years as the gateway to trading networks of the Mississippi River.
Wolf in Ship’s Clothing
The picturesque town of Bristol, Rhode Island, once was a slave port and home of the nation's leading slave traders, the DeWolfs.
China's Oct. 1 celebration of 70 years of Communist rule centers on Tiananmen Square, one of the world’s most controversial places.
What is the Louvre?
The former palace, the world's largest museum, music video and fashion show venue, and global brand has never been more cool.
Britain and Greece’s Parthenon Dispute
What are the chances that two men from one family set off international disputes by carting off treasures from Greece and China?
Giant Buddha, Giant Hall
An emperor built a giant Buddha to unify his struggling country, as the center of a network of Buddhist temples throughout Japan.
Japanese Design Past and Present
Architect Kengo Kuma's village at the Portland Japanese Garden blends modern architecture with traditional Japanese design.
The World Mourns Notre Dame
Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, France's national cathedral, was badly damaged in a fire.
Battle of the Samurai
Osaka Castle marks the site of an epic samurai battle and one of the most important turning points in Japanese history.
Memorial to Once-Forgotten People
A moving monument and burial ground in Manhattan comemorates enslaved people who once made up more than a third of New York City.
Scaffolding the World
Finding a historical site shrouded in scaffolding is disappointing, but it is a valuable tool for preserving the world's heritage.
A Palace to Remember
Visible traces of the Heijō Palace, Japan's palace from which the emperor ruled in splendor, were gone, until the site was restored.
Building an Arch and Cabinets
To carve space for our office out of a larger living space, we built an arch and cabinets out of old reclaimed beams.
Retreat by Design
What makes a retreat restful and soul restoring? A former imperial retreat in Kyoto, Japan, gets retreat design just right.
Elements of a Japanese Garden
Imagine you're sitting in Los Angeles traffic on a hot day. Take a break and head for a cool green oasis - Suihoen Japanese Garden
China’s Walled Cities
Only scattered remnants survive of the many walled cities that once defined the Chinese empire.
The Round Door Arrives
The Thoughtful House's round door has arrived and been installed. Our video and blog celebrate round architecture.
California’s Danish Village
Solvang, California's Danish village, is the perfect place to take an afternoon stroll and enjoy pastries and art galleries.
The Land of Junipero Serra
Junipero Serra's "sainthood" is controversial, but the extent of his cultural impact on California is indisputable.
Excavation of The Thoughtful House
This story begins with a hole in the ground - a nasty, dirty, wet hole.
Why Isn’t Every Town Like Carmel?
Carmel, California, demonstrates how design, planning and environmentalism can enhance a small town.
Construction begins on The Thoughtful House after four years of planning and preparation.
Charleston, South Carolina, is one of America's most beautiful and heartbreaking cities.
Enhance your life and dig deeper with apps and books
Beating Non-food Inflation
With annual inflation at seven percent, we look at how you can save money on non-food items and services.
How to Fight Inflation of Food Prices
Inflation, health concerns and climate change are at the top of the news. Wise food shopping and consumption can help with all three.
Toward Touchless Technology
The global pandemic is transitioning us from touch to touchless technology.