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Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 221
Location: London

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pierre-Charles L'enfant (1754-1825) designed the streets of Washington DC.
Ouote:- From web-site of American Treasures of the Library of Congress.
L'enfant was born in france and educated as an architect and engineer.
Caught up in the spirit of the American Revolutionary War, he came to America at the age of twenty-two and served with honor as an officer in the Corps of Engineers of the continental army.
On September 11th 1789, he wrote to President George Washington in order" to sollicit the favor of being employed in the business of designing the new city.
At this early date, L'enfant already perceived" that the plan should be drawn on such a scale as to leave room for that aggrandizement & embellishment which the increase of wealth of the Nation will permit it to persue at any period however remote.
An Act for the establishing the tempory and permanent seat of the Government of the Government of the United States was signed into law on july 16th 1790.
After giving cursory consideration to other locations, George Washington selected a site for the seat of government with which he was very familiar- the banks of the Potomac River at the confluence of its Eastern Branch, just above his home at Mount Vernon. Selected by Washington to prepare a ground plan for a new city.
l'enfant arrived in georgetown on March 9th, 1791, and submitted his report and plan to the President about August 26th, 1791.
it is believed that this plan is the one that is preserved in the Library of Congress.
After showing L'Entant's manuscript to Congress, the president retained custody of the orininal drawings until December 1796, when he transferred it to the City Commisioners of Washington D.C.
On 11th November 1918, during the Armistice, (laying down of arms that concluded World War One), the map was presented to the Library of Congress for safekeeping.
In 1991, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the plan, the Library of Congress, in cooperation with the National Geographic Society, the National Park Service, and the United States Geological survey, published an exact-size, full-color facssimile and a computer- assisted reproduction of the original manuscript plan. These reproductions are the Library's first facsimiles to be based on Photography and electronic enhancement technology. During this process, it was possibly to record faint editorial annotations made by Thomas Jefferson, which are now virtually illegible on the original map.
So probably Jefferson did help L'Enfant with suggestions!
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 3508
Location: New Jersey, USA

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Monk,

Thanks for the information. I still can't recall where I got the idea that Jefferson did the planning. Washington DC is a well-designed city and Jeferson was an archtect. Anyone would want credit for its design not that TJ ever took credit. Thanks for setting the record straight.

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Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1639
Location: California, USA

Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to Regulus, BB just put out this months starlight newsletter, and regulus is featured, thought it might be of interest.

you can find back issues and sign up for her monthly news letter at

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