Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture


Sexton, Kim

Committee Member/Reader

Erdman, Kimball

Committee Member/Second Reader

Smith, Carl


The grounds of the Palace of Versailles and the urban fabric of Washington, D.C. are monumentally scaled, richly mythologized landscapes of power. Through massive baroque geometries, both sites impress order on the vastness of space, reframing it for the glory of their respective creators. Within these grand spaces, symbolism and iconography provide narratives of conquest, violence, glory, and fear. Stories of seemingly immortal men emerge from classical traditions of architecture and sculpture. Louis XIV and the presidents and war heroes of the United States have become god-heroes in bronze and stone, presiding over palatial grounds and public space as if they never died. That an absolutist monarch and a republic would use such similar tools of power appears incongruous, but the irony fades in light of their shared aspirations for imperial domination.


National Mall, Baroque gardens, Public space, Political design, Cultural power