GrammarPhile Blog

Structures and Public Places

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Mar 6, 2012, 5:30:00 AM

Our client documents often have names of famous places incorrectly presented. This week's post covers how to properly punctuate names of places and structures. Names of buildings, architecturally or historically significant houses, thoroughfares, monuments, and the like are capitalized. An introductory the, even if part of the name, is not capitalized in running text.

  • the White House
  • the Capitol (as in the building in which Congress meets)
  • the Mall (Washington, D.C.; London)
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Chrysler Building
  • the Pyramids (but the Egyptian pyramids)
  • the Sphinx
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa

Such terms as avenue, boulevard, bridge, building, church, fountain, hotel, park, room, square, street, or theater are capitalized when part of an official or formal name. When the plural form is used before or following more than one name and constitutes, albeit in the singular, part of each name, the term is capitalized. Standing alone, such terms are lowercased.

  • Scopes Planetarium; the planetarium
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Carnegie and Euclid Avenues
  • Fifty-seventh Street
  • the Oval Office; the president's office
  • U.S. Route 66; U.S. Routes 1 and 2; Interstate 95; an interstate highway
  • Times Square
  • Westminster Abbey


  • the ducal palace
  • Winchester cathedral
  • a temple of Venus
  • the Lateran palace

Source: The Chicago Manual of Style


Topics: capitalization

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