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Designing the Capitol: 1803-1814

Exterior of the Original Capitol

Exterior of the Original Capitol

Washington, DC
Saturday, March 29, 2014

Architect Richard Chenoweth chronicles Benjamin Latrobe and President Jefferson’s efforts and disagreements over constructing the first U.S. Capitol building. When completed in 1811, Jefferson called the Hall of the House of Representatives the "finest room in the world."  No detailed visual record of the finished project exists, but using period drawings, letters between Latrobe and Jefferson, and original construction documents from the Library of Congress, Chenoweth has creates a virtual tour of the Hall of the House of Representatives and the Capitol exterior before the building was burned by the British in August 1814.

Chenoweth’s computer-graphic simulation was supported by two fellowships from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, who hosted this hour-long event. 

Updated: Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 1:31pm (ET)

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Washington Journal (late 2012)