The Best Laid Plans: Capitol Crossing Restores L’Enfant’s Vision of "Federal City"

by Karl A. Higgins, III, P.E., Chief engineer and senior vice president for ECS Mid-Atlantic, a subsidiary of the ECS Group of Companies, in Chantilly, Va., khiggins@ecslimited.com,
, D.GE

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2021, Vol. 25, Issue 6, Pg. 32-39


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: In 1791, President Washington appointed French engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant to plan Federal City — today’s District of Columbia. L’Enfant’s methodical design called for the center of the city to be the U.S. Capitol located on Jenkin’s Hill (Capitol Hill today), with numerical and alphabetical streets radiating outward across four quadrants (e.g., northwest, southeast). For more than 150 years, the city’s layout adhered to L’Enfant’s plan.

Subject Headings: Government buildings | Federal government | Urban and regional development | Urban areas | High-rise buildings | Numerical methods | Streets | District of Columbia | United States

 

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