History of the United States Capitol: A Chronicle of Design, Construction, and Politics (Senate Document)

History of the United States Capitol: A Chronicle of Design, Construction, and Politics (Senate Document)

Language: English

Pages: 516

ISBN: 0160508304

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This beautifully illustrated publication describes the architecture and history of the United States Capitol. It measures 12 x 10 in. 

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annoying to the House of Representatives in the south wing, which had only nine rooms available for committee use. Bulfinch designed a temporary wooden structure a hundred feet long, forty-two feet wide, and ten feet high containing twelve rooms and a passage; he estimated that it would cost $3,634, which Congress readily granted. One hundred thousand dollars was also appropriated to begin the center building.18 It was the most flush day in the history of the Capitol’s accounts in the twenty-five

chamber depicted in the “conference plan” of 1793. Jefferson envisioned the ceiling with tapering skylights like the ones he admired at the Paris grain market. ground floor, yet were high enough to block some of the light to the “oven.” Lenthall added a roof lantern to help compensate for the loss. He also relaid the floor to accommodate the 142 members of the Eighth Congress. Stout braces were installed to shore up the walls, which threatened to collapse under the weight of the roof. In all,

convened. Why the south wing remained unfinished was the main topic of Latrobe’s letter. Despite a painful and dangerous illness he believed his duties had not been neglected due to the hard work of his zealous clerk, John Lenthall. As much work was done to finish the south wing as could be done, and no amount of money or manpower could have done more. He regretted that anything he might have said during the last session was construed as a pledge to finish the hall. Latrobe apparently forgot his

Latrobe removed the timber floors and laid stone or brick floors on new vaults carried by the old walls. The coved ceiling and wooden skylight over the oval stair hall were removed and replaced by a “solid brick cupola . . . crowned by a lantern light.” (Considering the president’s silence, the lantern presumably could not be seen from the outside.) The weak, decayed principal staircase was merely propped up for the time being.109 What little was done to the north wing in 1807 was just enough to

straight. Latrobe’s prize “corn cob” columns were also spared. The incendiaries concentrated their efforts on the principal rooms and did minimal damage to lobbies, halls, and staircases, which were, after all, their escape route out of the wreckage. Still, the British undertook their mission thoroughly and professionally. At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, troops continued their trouble making. Around 11 o’clock in the evening, the President’s House was burned. The torch was put to the War

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