There is one reason why the classical styles acquired such stability: they enshrined an idea of legitimacy. Gradually their forms and details came to have a permanent meaning and could therefore be relied upon to convey their messages without the benefit of words, and in a serene and genial idiom that mitigated the urgencies of city business. A classical doorway does not need the sign marked ENTRANCE; the classicial steps need no supplement of words to attract the attention and the movement of those who walk on them. The use and meaning of a building were laid before the public in a series of visual cues that both expressed and endorsed the common understanding of the purposes of civic life.
- Roger Scruton, "Why Lampposts and Phone Booths Matter"