Architecture is the designing of buildings within cultural, social and historical constraints prevalent at the time of construction. American architecture experienced an influence of different styles and as a result today is a complex summation of multiple traditions and techniques.
When the first European immigrants entered the new continent, the Native Americans already had their architectural traditions in the forms of tipi, longhouses and pueblos. The immigrants followed with their own building standards of the countries they had come from but by the 18th century the rule of reason and practical planning took over. The mid-19th century saw stylistic Romantic period revivals of Grecian and Gothic forms. This was also the period for rapid urbanization and construction of row houses, multifamily tenements, lodgings, and the architectural innovation of the period: the skyscrapers. The first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1884 and the first modern architect and designer of these early towers was Louis Sullivan. His most talented student was Frank Lloyd Wright, spawning a generation of followers.
By the 1930s, with the emigration of European architects to America before World War II, architecture underwent an oblivious shift to an austere and functional approach referred to as International design. The post war era saw a sudden shift in the reversal of architectural designs, with skyscrapers touching unprecedented heights, buildings displaying new colors and ornamental motifs, and motivating an innovative breed of architects willing to experiment with designs and elements. The architectural design and style of the 21st century has no boundaries, ranging from Mediterranean, French country chateaux, Modern glass and wood designs, Victorian or English Tudor, Florida and Villa estates, castles, Georgian mansions, and skyscrapers. The love of open greens made architecture turn outwards, with landscape architecture concerning itself with the design of outdoor public and private spaces.
Practical experience coupled with architecture courses offered by colleges and schools is helping to open up avenues for the fascinating career of architecture.