Born in 1754, Pierre Charles L'Enfant is best known for designing those roadways of circles and spokes, a 1791 master plan that transformed a patch of swamp and farmland to what we now know as the capital of the United States. Before that, however, the egalitarian 22-year-old L'Enfant left his native France to fight for American independence with George Washington. After being a brevet major in the U.S. Army, L'Enfant rose to captain in the U.S. Engineers Corps. He was an established engineer and architect when at age 37 L'Enfant presented President Washington with the Plan of the City Intended for the Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States.
Even today, much of Washington DC with its wide boulevards and public squares follows L'Enfant's original concept. But was L'Enfant's design egalitarian or occultic? You decide, but at least give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Today, August 2, is his birthday.
- U.S. Capitol Building
- The White House
- History of the National Mall in Washington DC
- Washington DC Photos
Sources: Arlington National Cemetery website; The Revelation website; A Brief History of Pierre L'Enfant and Washington, D.C., Smithsonian.com [websites accessed July 30, 2012]. PHOTO: Oil on Canvas portrait of Pierre Charles L'Enfant by Allyn Cox in the Cox Corridors, Hall of Capitols, Eastern North-South Corridor of the Capitol courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol, Washington, DC.