The Capitol Dome

Winter 2015-16

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34 first planned with Latrobe in the 1810s to decorate the walls of the "grand Vestibule," as Latrobe called the rotunda, seemed to bridge the gap by depicting real American events with actual people. Had Latrobe stayed to complete the Capitol it would have been a very different work of architecture than the one com- pleted by Charles Bulfinch in the mid-1820s. e direction of its character as the repository of American history might have been expressed more allegorically as a continuation of Western European traditions rather than via its evolving colonial identity under Bulfinch. PAMELA SCOTT is an independent scholar who has been researching, teaching, and writing about Washington's architectural, planning, and landscape histories for the past thirty-five years. Her 1995 book Temple of Liberty: Building the Capitol for a New Nation was the catalog for the Library of Congress exhibit of the same name to commemorate the Capitol's bicentennial. 1. Pamela Scott, "Stephen Hallet's Designs for the United States Capitol," Winterthur Portfolio 27 (1992): 157. Latrobe retained Hallet's Capitol draw- ings among his own papers; in 1872 his son sent them to Architect of the Capitol Edward Clark (Office of the Architect of the Capitol, Letter Book 5, Letters Sent, 30 Dec. 1869 to 18 Oct. 1872). 2. Benjamin Henry Latrobe to om- as Jefferson, 21 May 1807, in John C. Van Horne and Lee W. Formwalt, eds., e Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (3 vols., New Haven, CT, 1984-88) 2:428. 3. e fundamental history of Latrobe at the Capitol is Jeffrey A. Cohen and Charles E. Brownell, e Architectural Drawings of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (2 vols., New Haven, CT, 1994) 2:344-424 (first building campaign) and 2:577-637 (second building campaign). For a suc- cinct overview of how the politics of the day affected Latrobe at the Capitol, see William C. Allen, History of the United States Capitol (Washington, DC, 2001), pp. 49-123. 4. Philotechnis, "Architectural," [Washington, DC] Daily National Intel- ligencer, 20 Nov. 1816. 5. Cohen and Brownell, Latrobe Drawings 2:418. 6. George Washington, "Farewell Ad- dress to the People of the United States," 19 Sept. 1796 and Jefferson to the Repub- licans of Essex County, Massachusetts, Notes Fig. 20. Latrobe's surviving Eg yptian Revival columns combined Ameri- can tobacco leaves, the anthemion of Greece, and the lotus flower of Eg ypt. Fig. 21. Latrobe designed the shas and bases of his columns in his Library of Congress in the Eg yptian manner, now recycled as fireplace mantels. AUTHOR (BOTH)

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