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tv   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Washington D.C.  CSPAN  April 3, 2016 11:00am-12:47pm EDT

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the capital city, including the aqueduct bridge over the potomac river. this was hosted by the smithsonian associates. it is one hour and 45 minutes. mader program tonight is possible by generous underwritingby the reva and david logan foundation. they have enabled us to bump up our curriculum in that area. we have not offered a lot of local d.c. programs. so thank you very much. if you're not a member of this missoni and associates, your membership and your donation -- of thelp bring sony and associates, your member -- of the smithsonian associates, your membership and donation support help brings these programs.
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our guest is pamela scott. you may have attended her bus tour about the mcmillan association. she literally wrote the book about the army corps of engineers here in washington. pam scott. [applause] ms. scott: thank you. i am pleased to be here tonight and to see such a huge crowd. it is amazing there are so many people interested in such an everyday -- an erudite topic. i am going to tell you a great deal that you did not know about what the army corps of engineers has done in washington and is still doing. ps recognizes as their l'enfant.
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here you see him as a lean soldier in 1783. then as a plump, disgruntled , trying to get from congress of the money he was owed for the work he did in d.c. the part you need to understand a littlenfant is prehistory about the end of the revolution. in 1783, 17 84, when it was all winding down, there was a great deal of discussion about whether there should be a standing army in america after the war was over. the decision was that there would not be any. they would be the marine corps associated with the navy that would guard the waterways, the
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borders, from attack. served the men who had in the engineers during the revolution, both americans and europeans, wrote outlines of what they thought the corps of engineers should be. in this new world without an army. was the one that was most comprehensive. this and sent it to congress december of 1784. what was unusual about his outline was that it was what he plan for a neutral power that must be ready for war.
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that was the corps of engineers was going to be doing in the future was basically developing the infrastructure of the country, where the waterways would be used for transportation, largely. where canals had to be built. where rivers had to be surveyed. he included this -- the fifth item down -- architecture. that engineers should be able to .esign not just military forts they should have a general understanding of architect ure. when jefferson founded the military academy at west point in 1802, this outline was the basis for the curriculum. today, it is extraordinarily difficult to be accepted to either west point or annapolis.
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they are very competitive. from day one, the top graduates werest point automatically assigned to be the corps of engineers. they had no choice about it. that apparently is still true today. group of only a select men, but the selection of the best of those men go into the corps of engineers. i have met two of the chief engineers. i can say they are very impressive people. they were the thinkers. they were people who had the big idea but also had a grasp of how to command men and how to detail and command how people were going to work together. washingtonse, in plan asn the l'enfant
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the basis of our city, and it truly is. it was designed by l'enfant during the spring and early summer of 1791. do -- to design a city where foggy bottom is today. hubrishis vision and his that suggested to washington that the entire landscape, which ,as a naturally fortified area between the eastern branch in georgetown, should be seen as a site for a visionary city. and his design, he said many times, was that he was following
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about washington's wishes what the capital city should be. that it should reflect the union of the states under a central federal government. i will be showing you images and giving you information i have not yet published but is in the works. one of these is on the upper left. map that he's commissioned to show a change that was made from what the proprietors were originally shown as the map of the city by washington. the change took place from l'enfant's thinking until it was engraved in the spring of nine -- of 1792. because it is located in such a critical place, it is interesting to see that what l'enfant intended was that there three-prongednch
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ateet arrangement, familiar versailles and also in 17th and 18th century planning, and that of streets would converge on the white house. that was taken away -- there is nothing written about it i can find -- but it was taken away probably because it was too much associated with monarchical government in france. the images on the right were in the george beck 1790's. the top is from the heights of georgetown down the potomac towards the eastern branch. the one on the bottom is from where thepoint, arsenal was, towards where the white house is located.
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the importance of the development of the waterways in and of the control the army corps of engineers had over that branch of hydraulic engineering was very important of their rolening in washington. left, i have pointed an arrow at a causeway island in the an center towards the virginia shore built in 1810. was the advising engineer. it was done by private interests in georgetown. they found it was going to help
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dredge the georgetown waterfront to keep the waterways open. top, you see the rebuilding of fort washington and replaced fort warburton was attacked, of course, during the war of 1812 by the british. was there before the attack and afterwards. inwas also on the mall august of 1814, taking care of the wounded veterans. while the architect of the capital and the head of the patent office was standing on the steps of the patent office and saying to the british, englishmen?"e you
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he gets the credit of saving the patent office. been woundedhad himself in the revolution and walked and was in pain for the rest of his life, which i believe is the source of his personality. --let mettom left, in go back a moment. in 1813, congress created the bureau of topographical engineers. with surveyinged the seacoast, the rivers, and the interiors, where the rest of the engineers were involved in building forts in various locations. captain, inble,
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buildingin charge of the washington aqueduct bridge that went from north of to the virginia shore. you see it in the print. from the canal is going across the top of the aqueduct bridge. was one of a series of bridges that the engineers were involved in and was of particular importance because of its ingenuity of construction. here are a couple of the accompanying drawings in the report. i will be showing several images that were made by the corps. they are all taken from their annual reports.
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these are illustrations of what the reports were all about. one of the things that were not well known is how much the corps of engineers collaborated with private architects and engineers to create the infrastructure, not just in washington but in other places as well. left, then the upper architect of the capitol, also a well-trained engineer and he was 1842 by jefferson in hired to build the navy wall drydock and tempering washington, sos there would be enough water in the eastern branch to float
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ships in the drydock. his report was that the canal ofuld, long the side pennsylvania avenue, all the way across and around. that did not happen. but in this 1815 drawing in the solution to a his serious problem, which was what was called the "low-lying grounds," the famous washington swamp. salt-water tidal area. he proposed, as city engineer, to build a picturesque bond at the foot of capitol hill. see, there are water canals coming into it. that this was a way of solving floods whenever
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there were heavy rains. tibertural flow of the creek was to come down 2nd street, across them all, and go into the eastern branch. this was a way to control that in a natural setting. you may be able to see, in the top of the image, that it has been divided into lots. this was the city's attempt to keep the federal government in 1812ngton after the war of , when congress was debating whether they would move west, basically the ohio valley. the lots northk of pennsylvania avenue, which toe designated by l'enfant
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be public reservations, and turn them into private lots and sold them. just below that image on the bottom left is a very important drawing made by l'enfant's assistant, isaac robideau, now the head of the topographical engineers. around 1820, he proposes to insert two new avenues at the head of the mall between pennsylvania avenue and maryland avenue. they were maine and missouri. between 1820tates and 1822. this was, in effect, washington's first urban development. were thenntial lots sold, as you see in the center , the names of the owners
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are there. lines here -- the two dark lines make a 'v.' those are the avenues that were at the head of the mall until the late 19th century. ,ashington's favorite engineer and a name i think is probably known most to you, was --tgomery coming in montgomery cunningham meigs. i could not find an exact quote about his personality. he combined enormous physical strength and endurance with an
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incredible mind that comprehended both the large picture and the details at once with an equally large ego. mother described him as andg very willful overbearing towards his brother at the age of 6. personality was there from the beginning. he was involved in so many projects. you'll see his name coming back again and again. of theat the top left list of the offices in charge of the washington aqueduct. time it is first legislated that what the corps of engineers is going to be doing and that there is going to
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be a line of authority with various engineers succeeding one another, taking over -- maybe an building taking over -- the washington aqueduct. a very important and important in very the early 1850's because of the poor quality of washington's water. this project outlived meigs and many others. it is still run out at river road. meigs, there's the list of engineers. huge construction project. it ran parallel to the tiber
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canal. this is running on river road, the reservoir that is now north capitol street. --e are one of the arches many of the arches you see, " inscribed. has been it is in cast iron on every step. no one was ever going to forget who did this. [laughter] ms. scott: long-term project -- theg in washington wast tower design by meigs for the georgetown library.
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invention of carrying pure water over rock creek to not have any contamination at all. nia corps of engineers' insig buildsd on the yielding at the reservoir on river road to mask the equipment used their -- used there. to go back a little, i have to go back to robert mills, the smiling gentleman in the center, who came to washington in 1800. he mentioned he saw washington
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before he died. favorite of thomas jefferson. he was an apprentice architect for the 10 years he was here. he had an interesting career in , then went to arkansas when he became the state architect and engineer, involved in canals, roads, and so forth. he returned to washington at the end of the 1820's as charles bullfinch is retiring and finishing the capitol. mills came back with the idea that he would become the ofhitect of the next wave government buildings. and he did succeed. they were the treasury building on the upper left, the colonnade
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of the east wing, the patent the upper right, which is the smithsonian art museum today. below it, the headquarters of the general post office, which .s today the monaco hotel what is extraordinary about these was their size in what similar buildings were being built in other places. these were huge. he was building to the scale of l'enfant street. he was building for permanency. he used fireproof construction. very little iron. bricks and mortar. sandstone in the
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treasury and the patent office. wing of the east patent office, which is today lincoln gallery, the four there was a change in administration. and he goes out and thomas u. walter comes in. walter you see on the left. the son of a philadelphia stonemason. intellect andqual butical stamina to meigs, not with the same kind of vast ego. men at thehe two capitol, who worked together on the extension of the capital. that meigs, the son of an army officer, from his youth, he had been part of the government. heating you how to manipulate
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-- he knewituation manipulate the whole situation. and walter, an outsider, flummoxed by the political ups and downs. , wereey, together bay ofible for the basic objects we know today. the stars on the patent office and the general post office are u.indicate it was thomas walter and montgomery meigs involved in finishing those buildings. mills wanted those jobs, but he was ousted from the public architecture with the coming of these giants, in their fields.
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at the same time that the partnership of architect walter and engineer meigs are coming together to finish the extension ofthe capital, a second set engineer partnerships are taking place in the executive department. in 1852,the creation, of the bureau of construction. it was housed in the treasury building itself. on the alexander bowman left was the corps of engineers architect in charge of that construction. and young, the architect chosen to work with him. young had built the boston customhouse and the vermont state house.
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he imported, from new england, what was called the illustration in the upper left, you can see what that meant. that meant that giant slabs of granite were used as the framing of the building. and thewere the walls frames around the windows. byy were lifted extraordinary hydraulic means that were worked out by the corps of engineers. they weighed several times. -- several tons. the lower right is of the west wing of the treasury building. everything you see there is a solid slab of granite that is raised up vertically. and walter were doing
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was building out of marble block, traditional masonry crash auction. these were happening at the same time. the south wing of the treasury, it was almost completed when the war broke out. and we know that the extension of the capitol was under way as well. meigs, who was intensely competitive with everyone but especially with fellow -- comparedelped what it cost him to build the capitol to what it was costing bowman to build the treasury holding and found he was paying, between labor and material cost and so forth, he was paying twice as much to build the capit ol.
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becauseritated him, here is another engineer besting him in terms of know-how. 1845, the smithsonian castle is begun. , the son and brother of engineers, won the with his european picturesque revival of medieval architecture. left ise on the lower not well known, but it is important, because it is something that is not evident from most of the pictures we see of the smithsonian, nor from looking at a.j. downing's design for the mall, made to complement renwick's building.
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that image on the left show something crucial to the design of both. that is that the south side of the mall was 40 feet above sea level. the north side of the in between was rolling landscape. thatriginal landscape downing enhanced in his design was not the flat level mall that we know of at all. it was undulating in all directions. drawing made by aj downing is in the library of congress. it's in very poor condition.
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they made a copy of it. here,s the one you see that's the one you see reproduced because the corps of engineers took it upon themselves to observe this important part of history. was in charge of construction for most of the building of the castle even though he was young and inexperienced. problems inots of 1853, captain barton alexander of the core was called in the general in charge of the corps of engineers was on the committee for the
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smithsonian institution. when the construction problems were emulating it, they brought in the engineers. the lecture hall you see is the only visual evidence of what pardon alexander did. eight team 55,d he rebuilt many of the interiors to make them fireproof. originalruction of the was faulty. just so you have a clear understanding of the capital's is anion, the upper left image of the capital that was finished in 1829. the dome finished in 18th work.
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-- 1824. it was already wrecking sized that it was too small. the country was growing too rapidly and there was not enough room for the house of representatives and members of the senate are in -- senate. drawing.t is in 1845 that proposes adding new house and senate wings laterally against the original house and senate wings of the original holding. here, this is a design that he made. the major change that walter
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corridorso have between the old and new. this would give a more three-dimensional character and a hiatus between totally different interior types of spaces. as the 1872 level photograph shows, you can see the extensions completed. it is only 17 feet from the street here. that led to the extension of the capitol grounds one more time. they were extended five times. now meigs and walter worked
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amicably for quite some time. authority wasnal initially that walter was in charge of construction and meigs was in charge of the engineering. think, in 1853, franklin pierce transferred the construction of the capital to the war department. was in the ascendant and walter was now working for him. designedt that he had ol thatrts of the capita
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attributed toly him. theas the architect of capitol, he designed it. drawings, there is only one photograph, it shows something the result of recent research. it's interesting to me that a lot of american history that is being done in depth now is coming from the descendents of the people who were involved. of robert poole, a baltimore foundry men who worked for amicably with meigs three or four years in casting
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the columns that you see here. everything that you see here brackets these great that put the new dome out over this mirroring together of decorative and structural iron elements that are then bolted together was walters great contribution to the advancement of iron as an important architectural building material. what was unusual about these columns, it was originally intended that the book go out onto that balcony and walk all the way around the capital.
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what robert poole did and the documentation does not clarify whether it was his idea or 'idea or ifwas meigs they arrived at it together, these were the first columns to be cast vertically rather than horizontally in beds of sand, which was the traditional way from the beginning of the casting of iron architecture. this goes back into the early 18th century. vertically was intended for a couple of reasons. every other column was an event
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for the smoke of fireplaces in the rooms of the capital. it carried theo water down into ground level. these, the idea lawso accommodate without to accommodate those two situations. it had all of its difficulties and robert poole was unable to meigso the weight that had specified. cast, he wouldo lose two out of every three they were around 12,000 pounds per
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column. he did not just cast the columns, he cast all of the structural work. the descendents of robert poole will publish a book in the next couple of years. there is some interesting between the private contractor and meigs working together. just the engineer dealing with all of this kind of problem. -- he was in charge of the decoration of the interior of the capital he dealt with
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constantine over meaty -- to do the attendance theis on revival in agriculture committee room. this is where he had his office. most of it was in the pompeii in style. it changed the direction of it was an extensive icon auger feed. ofh the cotton coming
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american history is cast in allegorical ways that was in typical to the thinking of many americans about creating our own culture. meigs meigs dealt with thomas crawford who lived and worked in rome about the changing design of the statue of freedom. this is getting down to the level of history that i find interesting rather than the big picture. you see people solving everyday problems. ways that are unique to their personalities. the day after the firing of fort engineerse corps of officers and men along with
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other members of the military aqueduct bridge. the water was no longer flowing through it. it had a roadbed put in. they begin building the fortifications to protect the city should it be attacked. in chargeard of building a ring around d.c. and into maryland. he published that map in 1865 at the end of the war. showsp image on the right fort stevens. fort stevens was the northernmost fort in the whole system.
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the most vulnerable because it was on the turnpike road that already existed that went to rockville. it was from that road that washington was attacked at that fort. that is open fort to the public and has been restored. i am showing you a series of images of the camp's. there were many prints made of the forts themselves and the batteries. the forts themselves have been studied in great details by benjamin franklin cooling. i forgot to put that on your
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bibliography today. thene has really studied camp's where the volunteers are coming in and leaving all the time. here is capsee carter. this is just north of the white house. every few months, a new contingent of army officers and men came to serve as lincoln's guard and they camped between the white house and meridian hill. i'm sorry, that was cap wrightwood. there is cap carter.
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there was a war on the west side of the presidents house. it's very -- there that you can find a historic quote. the corner of lafayette square where the house was taken over by the provost marshal, all of buildings were built for various army officers. across the street would've been the white house. away was a mountain
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of straw and hey to feed the horses. imagine what the center of washington was like at this time. in 1865, the army did not move out all wants. they moved out gradually. they had been cut down. roads were muddy and they had deep galleys in them. they were a different width than the axle lanes of your standard wagon. forroads could not be used
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any normal use when the army left. disastertremendous when it happened to the city during the war. two years later, congress established another arm of the corps of engineers. it was specifically for washington. ofwas the offices in charge the buildings and grounds and public parks in the national capital. was nathanncumbent daniel michael are at his first order wasgressional to find a healthier place for the presidential mansion.
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overcrowding during the war meant no central sewage system. and rivers were polluted. during the war because of the fort and the fact that so many people were back and forth, they discovered the county outside the city of washington. you call it countryside. the air was clear. interest innewfound living in the country. 's job was tohler find a new presidential mansion.
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they were taught a thing or two about drawing thanks to west point. decisionght, his final was the new presidential mansion should be north of the capital near where the soldiers home was built. it was to be on the land , the farm. this decision to build and create this new arm of the corps of engineers in charge of public buildings and grounds have long-term effects in terms of the interaction of the engineers with the architects who were designing the buildings. graduatedcoln casey
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first in his class at west point. in 1896, his obituary was on the front page of the new york times. the washington national monument was begun by private citizens and carried on until construction was top -- stopped in 1854. the certificates for this robert society showed mills's original design with a base that was to be 100 feet tall and 250 feet in diameter.
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no money was to be taken from the government. the fallback position when they were not raising the $6 million that they needed was to have a stepped pyramid leading up to the opening. after the monument had been rustic caning for more than two decades, casey was put in charge of completing it. and 84.etween 76 changing the design of very little in introducing cast-iron in innovative ways.
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he was the master constructor among the corps of engineers officers in washington. buildings that he completed after they were begun by architects supervising construction of their own holdings but running into trouble as private individuals were the navy building designed and theed the mullet library of congress. they were german-americans who won a competition mullet -- he was the supervising architect of the treasury. of thes the successor port of construction.
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it is that combination of engineer and architect in the treasury department who builds all of the courthouses, custom houses around the country. that's one line of what's happening. was abrary of congress congressional project. with casey work during a long. -- time of construction. cut the construction considerably. he gave back to the government i did not select the images. the corps of engineers has an
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amazing library of the construction of the buildings they have been involved in. they document almost monthly is been achieved in that time. what casey did at that time was , because the stepped pyramids he filled in the base, the pair middle base. he covered it with concrete. just.y, it was this was extremely controversial.
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since ives went with the confederacy, he was not believed. it went forward. the navy building, mullet was in charge of the south facade which is here. to the eastd around
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thisacing the white house, was between casey and nathaniel michler. he put two layers of stone on it. babcock was associated with the corruption of the grant administration. wash and onions loved him because he made all the public parks very habitable. he brought birds in, put iron seats in. landscape them. he was tinged with the owner of corruption. the great boast of the corps of engineers was that it was
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disinterested. when other cities are going ,hrough political corruption the corps of engineers are doing that work without keeping meticulous records and coming in under budget. mark of different distinction that the core had during this time nationwide. photograph that shows the complexity of building they are of building, using the equipment. the library of congress working
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with bernard green who was a civil engineer, casey oversaw the construction. he thought of the interior decoration, the mirror lists and the sculptures, that is part of what he was doing as the architect. he was held in high esteem i congress and it all blew over. in 1871, congress passed legislation for what it called a territorial government. washingtone city of
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and the county of washington, the part that went to the district, became one city, one legal entity. there was a board of three different individuals. one was a democrat, one was a republican, and the third was alexander shepherd. he was most powerful because he ran the board of public works. years, there was an enormous debt. he accomplished a great deal. we showed the water mains and the gas lines and be doing all
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of the streets after the war. rebuild alitz to modern city on the ruins of a war-torn city. the costs went way over what congress had any idea they were going to pay for. there was an open sewer along constitution avenue that had never really functioned as it was intended to function. congress shut them down. shepherd went to mexico. in 1874, congress established a
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permanent territorial government with the three people running it , a major in the corps of engineers. 1874 and 1967, the de facto mayor of washington was a member of the core of engineers. -- corps of engineers. everything you think about a you misspoke -- municipal government doing to run a city was done by these three men. they were in charge of the physical development of the city. this is a little understood aspect. it's incredibly crucial for the development of washington.
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it has been studied to some extent. the reports that they wrote, the maps they made detailing what they were doing over an incredible document. created, thehis is office is called the engineer commissioners of the district of columbia. they continued to make the same kinds of map that was done under the original government. map is a cartographic called a schematic map. data is compiled in a visual way. it's easy to understand. instance, on the right are that were pavements
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done in 1893. the colors of the maps are the different materials that had been experimented with throughout this time, different paving materials on the streets. some worked in some didn't and they were replaced. the complexity of what's going on in the city, the streets were being done and parking was being done alongside them. that is in the sense of parks. roads,trees inside the but the sidewalk in the roadway. in that area went the new gas lines, the new water lines, etc.. thatis an infrastructure is put together at the same time.
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the image on the left of the street trees, this is considered one of the most astonishing aspects of what the territorial governments did. 90 differentd species of trees in the streets of washington. this is the 1880 map. some of the images of what those streets look like, the upper thatis the ginkgo trees were planted north of the mall along 12th street. on the right is the 1400 loch of h street downtown. best were considered the downtown streets. for both enough shade
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windows of buildings and also the streams. the foliage allowed for the circulation of air. the big problem with keeping these trees alive were the gas mains running under their roots and beside their roots. instance,er left for chestnuts are a native american species that no longer exists. that's another long story. there were five blocks of this kind of continuous street tree. washington was known as the city of living green because of this. it was an amenity not intended
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to be so much as beautiful as it was, it was intended to solve the problems of the dust and the mud in the heat. it was a human health issue. just after the civil war begins the pleura for asian of the sale of arms outside florida avenue. there were four new suburban developments. thee was no regard for existing streets within the city that were attached to it. these were called the misfit subdivisions. you could not get from one to the other. ae corps of engineers began
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huge effort that lasted until the 1930's. instituted a permanent system of high-rise -- highways 'sere pierre charles l'enfant planet was carried forth into the entire county. it was in enormous undertaking. the corps of engineers had to deal with all of the changing of streets, or streets had to be new ones. this is just one of the early maps that gives you 1886 and what was an idea required close to the city. it was not such a serious problem outside the city.
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the engineers beat -- maintain the schools. they mapped their locations and decided where they would go in terms of population density. notice they are blue and red. that map is 1907 on the left. right is athe valuation of our real estate property. was theer the color higher the value of housing, real estate property. this is the kind of data that can be found there that they the as they planned
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creation of a modern city. they worked closely. the commissioners worked closely with the other members, each of of city its own line function that had to be dealt with. they worked with the health officers. the map on the left is lung disease in 1891. a largeosis was killing amount of the population. it was very important to trace it where these instances were occurring. the red circle, squares, and x's for the populations.
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this was part of the problem in one of the reasons that led to the expansion of the city. it was the unhealthy aspect of living in the city. in 1894, a mapde showed the public pumps associated with the water system they had put in during the previous two decades where there were public pumps to get water. they have circles around them. they have dates beside them. there was a replacement of public pumps with the introduction into water in private houses. this is an extraordinary resource. it's important to also
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understand the range of what the tops of engineers was doing make washington a modern city. another category of engineer that was created was the district engineer, washington district. their job was specifically to deal with the problem of the potomac river. there were three canals. it was connected to the washington city canal. this connected to the hydra
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canal. the city canal was an inland waterway. silt in the bed of the potomac filled up on the outside of that inland waterway and river and ships could not -- there was no channel for ships to go to georgetown. engineers, theof district engineers undertook a multiyear roger. it was called the reclamation of the potomac flats. this was an important political issue because when land was 1790's,ly sold in the
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certain wards had water rights. they had to write -- the right to build public wards. what did they own was the big question. legal case.a huge at whatok for a moment , he was in charge of the reclamation of the potomac. he created the washington channel. this was for private shipping.
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all of the mod and so forth that he claimed. notice the shape of the title basin. it was not designed to be a pretty place to go paddle boarding. it was an engineered solution on how to never dredge the potomac again. the two bridges you have all foundcross have been he blocks that open and close. there is an inlet bridge and an outlet bridge.
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tide andforce of the the shaping configuration of all of this meant the potomac has never needed to be dredged again. part of that was the creation not just of the extension but also the creation of the point. white wast have known called haynes point. what the commissioners did when they laid out the streets was they named them after themselves. you know the name of that place. point, it's now going to be developed.
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it's it water level. at water level. in 1900, and army engineer who was the engineer commissioner and i forgot to tell you that group of army engineers who were engineer commissioners were the military attaches to the president. it was a very elite group. that meant they ran all the functions of the white house. all the parties. the mets would be introduced to the president.
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it was all run by these commissioners. bingham wasodore the commissioner of public buildings and grounds. 93.eld that position until he proposed additions to the white house. he was a great friend of the who was mrs. taft at this time. solution ine is his 1800 of what to do with that new of the washington monument. that was to create large public parks for recreation use. these long straight drives that people could really let it go. they can head out up broad creek
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park. during the 1890's, senator james mcmillan of michigan had come to washington and he was the chairman of the senate committee on the district of columbia. involvedt, he had been in the creation of all of the infrastructure of modern detroit. he brought that knowledge to washington. he worked very carefully with the engineers as they worked out all of the infrastructure of washington. -- 1900, he said the bones are there. now let's make it beautiful. he hired daniel burnham from
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chicago who had been in charge of the world's fair, daniel the yorkired firm.ectural they hired olmsted. he was the designer of central park. they were the commission of fine arts, the senate parks commission. the commission of fine arts in 1910. that's getting ahead of the story. in 1901 andr plan 1902. to takea visionary plan what was now a victorian brick era where itodern was to be a white neoclassical city based on the architecture
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of the capital in the white house. they ended up with five crucial points. three of them were already there. the capital was the white house. they had a new monument. this was the monument to ulysses s grant. the monument here was to abraham when compared it's a long story. they did away with grant and his sculpture ended up the foot of the capital. they ran out of time. recreationto be holdings.
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becamee roosevelt president when mckinley was assassinated. move at it.ajor inn the engineers came conflict with the architects. just to give you one example, throughout the 19th century, the engineers had worked with private engineers to create bridges from arlington to washington that would have drawbridges. they were to keep the shipping lanes to georgetown opened. this was the victorian version. this was their neoclassical version.
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this was the best engineering solution to bring and connect the cemetery to washington's downtown streets. the commission of fine arts that was created in 1910 to carry out the commission favored the commission,e park it was a low roman aqueduct bridge. seriousame to a very conclusion in 1921 and 1922. is there an image over there? his name is colonel cheryl. he was from north carolina. held as his position, he was secretary of the commission on fine arts, he
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was the man who ran the office in the meantime. time, he was the executive officer for the arlington memorial bridge. army, he was in favor of this at the same time he is the secretary of the commission of fine arts. a third position he held concurrently was the liaison between the secretary of war, president harding, and charles moore. he was the liaison between them. finally, he was an officer of the robert e. lee memorial highway that wanted to bring memorial bridge is to be the
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robert e. lee memorial bridge and to come from arlington into downtown washington. there was a conflict of interest. when theset happened ,ifferent parts of the city they are all working together. he lost a lot of political. the firm of the designer of the mall was his successor. i have to speed along here. i'm going to show you one more thing and then cut it short.
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in 1905, the district engineer was spencer cosby. guysar they chose these who dealt directly with the president. they based it on being handsome. he had a diplomatic career as well. right, this is his for developing this vast new land along the waterfront of this new made earth. edge, i'm sorry. you can see all of these spots.
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proposing that they be planted with cherry trees. gift of the city of tokyo to the city of washington. it has a long and interesting history. with mrs. taft, he arranged the ceremony for the planting of the first cherry trees. this was right here. we think of the cherry trees as the beginning of a tradition. it's the end of a long tradition of planting the streets of washington with trees. left is the contribution, the speedway.
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originally, it was for horses and buggies. highwaye a long wide where horse races and car races took place and west thome park. i told you you would learn things. 1931 on the left, they led the royal family on a trip to washington to view the cherry blossoms. the picture in the middle is 1925. you see sporadically how the trees are. many of them have died out. in 1925, the japanese made additional gifts of trees. , in honor ofright
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the 100th anniversary of commodore matthew perry's opening of american trading in japan gave the gift of a 17th century japanese lantern. the pink ones that you see where the yoshimoto trees. they were the original ones that survived. they had guessed it had to be destroyed because they had insects. today, japanese tourists come to washington in great numbers at this time of year because the display of cherry trees is much greater than it is now in japan. service is shoots of trees and
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sending them back to japan. i have one more thing, and then i will let you go home. the trim and renovation of the white house was done by the corps of engineers working the construction. the architect was lorenzo winslow whose entire education was via textbooks. he was a self-taught architect who. he never attended architect school. and 1952, the interior of the white house was gutted. andything was taken down then replaced. the only thing that went back was a little bit of the
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roosevelt room. which atand balcony this time was considered , a terrible thing to do to the white house, but truman did. go to the white house today, i don't know if they still tell you, this is the work of lorenzo winslow, and untutored architect, but was all by a and put together major general and his corps of engineers officers. you see that there is a tremendous impact of the corps of engineers. this is a map they made earlier of all the sites in washington where the corps of engineers have had influence.
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sent this image of the current chief engineer, lieutenant general -- meeting to giving a copy of the book the saudi arabian prince khalid. he was in saudi arabia to discuss with saudi engineers, flood control which is a worldwide concern among all engineers. the government printing office bookstore, they do not have any more copies of the book, but probably the easiest way to get a digital the u.s. armyto corps of engineers digital library site and look up capital
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engineers and you can download a digital version. thank you, you have been very patient. [applause] [inaudible] >> he signed the original design, peter charles mom phone -- he said all of his official
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correspondence, p charles -- i have collected all of his papers and have just done a mega-assay for the library of congress, which has not one but two originals. i found one document where he signed it pierre and that is home, to his family. he himself chose to become americanized. reason that hee was called to rub 19th century that0th century p.m. was to denigrate him. , verys really crazy difficult engineer, to make him out as a caricature of a difficult henchman, especially where time of the plan
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later historians in the middle of the 20th century said that the senate part -- senate park commission plan was based on versailles. it was not, it was based on the city of paris. that, as didy felt the frenchman, all of the pierre's who went marching home again, or sailing home in 1780 or, that they had one freedom or america. he felt that the french aspects of his plan were perfectly justified for that reason, that he had been an army engineer, fighting for american freedom
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along with many other people. he himself called himself here. i think he was known to his friends as charles. there is one letter from james after he goes through another terrible cycle in his life. jobing him, offering him a teaching at west point, and he's is the letter, id or charles -- he starts the letter, my dear charles. i don't know how it happened. he signed either p charles or he signed officially, he always signed peter charles.
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every memorial to congress, the map it self, as peter charles. [inaudible] >> 1967. between 1874 and 1967, a major in the corps of engineers and it was a stepping stone for them, they would hold those positions for five or six years and then move up and become a kernel and go on to some health, but this was a plum position that taught engineering an organization at west point and also how to
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deal with all the political factions and problems that are -- that exist in every city. the fact that they held meetings , weekly, sometimes daily with the representatives of the neighborhood associations which blew up in the late 19 fate -- centuries as the neighborhoods have their own identity and their own separate problems, those never been associations dealt with the district built for it was them, that is where their offices were. . >> one comment is that you 's design forpierre player atnd in major
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the time was thomas jefferson who was an ambassador who paris and i think that probably suited his aesthetic as well. abouted to ask a question your images, where they primarily from the engineering photo library and the library of congress and a third thing i would like you to comment on is, in a separate thing, a midnight raid, i'm going to cost the street at some street which is where the old -- railroad .tation was with the core involved in that -- it has been described as stealthily done, the update of
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the railroad line. you had two>> questions and i couldn't hear clearly what the first one was. the photographs, you will find them in most of the books -- on the bibliography that i gave you. the commissioner's maps which are wonderful, if you can find them intact, they were published on newspaper, the newspaper paper, theythin were folded up many times and put in books of government printed documents and just the process of unfolding them, they have disintegrated in the collections in many of the institutions in washington.
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i do know that the historical society has a complete set of them disk bound so that you can use them there. the geography and map division has several of them, but it does not have a complete collection. the u.s.ve access to congressional serial set that is proquest, they have much better interfaces and access to government printed documents than the library of congress website. the set that they used to digitize was complete and pristine -- so all of the maps and images can be andloaded through that site in fact, you just need to find them because every year, the
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department annual reports ran findhere -- so you have to the right volume to get to. try the law library at the library of congress, low toh they are very serve the volumes that have these mass just because they are so fragile. the next question had to do with thatailroad across the law whereis one of the major the senate park commission planned for the mall to get the .ailroad off the mall
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the story was that daniel burnham went to alexander is at and told him we are making a plan in which your railroad station has -- but the reality is that alexander rolled -- owned the two railroad lines they came in to washington. fromrom baltimore came in the northeast and came up right where union station is, now. what was the baltimore and the public and the other one was the baltimore and the ohio -- one was the baltimore and the potomac and the other was the baltimore and the ohio. he wanted to consolidate them until late -- into a single railroad that he called union station.
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burnham this is where you will put my new railroad station. it is a long story and i gave a theyon this in chicago and nearly threw me out of the auditorium. the victorian railroad going across the mall and its affect on the city, there is an excellent article in washington history about that if you do not know that article. i would suggest that you find it. washington history is online now through j store, but takes the whole history of that, of what happened. it is too long and complex to go through, tonight. >> thank you so much for being here.
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[applause] i will put in a plug for the historical society of washington, d.c.. they're the ones that publish washington history and have a lot of resources if you want to check them out. >> you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on face at c-span history. >> all weekend, american history tv is featuring long beach california, we recently visited many sites showcasing the city's history. you can learn more about long
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beach history right here on american history tv. >> this is why the where -- where sites in southern california which has a continuous his area more than 1500 years. if you follow the chain of occupancy, you are looking at the development of southern california. the site is important to the people because it is where -- their god dissent from heaven, gave the law to the people and ascended back to heaven, so it is considered sacred. many of the people who received

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