The building had one thing going for it: absolute solidity. Unlike today’s mirrored palaces, you suspected that a fellow could kill himself if he ran at it head-first fast enough.

Look at those columns: purely decorative, but impressive. And gloomy. Perhaps that’s why this style doesn’t grab me; it seems dark and oppressive, rather than magisterial and uplifting. Was there nothing about this building that was light and delightful?

Well, yes. But you'll have to wait.