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Tomb of Pierre Charles L'Enfant
Photo of the table-like stone tomb of Pierre Charles L'Enfant overlooking the city he planned.

Pierre Charles L'Enfant Tomb in Arlington Cemtery overlooking the city he planned, Washington, DC.

Photo ©2011 dctim1 (Tim) CC BY 2.0 on flickr.com

Pierre Charles L'Enfant was born in Paris, France, August 2, 1754. As a young man he fought in the America Revolution with George Washington. L'Enfant became a captain in the U.S. Engineer Corps. Shortly after his 37th birthday in 1791, L'Enfant presented President Washington with a Plan of the City Intended for the Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States.

L'Enfant died and was buried in Maryland on June 14, 1825. By an act of Congress, his remains were reinterred at Arlington Nation Cemetery in April 1909.

About L'Enfant's Tomb:

  • Designed by William Welles Bosworth (1869-1966)
  • A gift of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Dedicated in May 1911
  • Constructed of four marble slabs, the top slab being supported on six marble posts. The posts are 1 foot 8 1/2 inches tall and are 6 inches in diameter at the widest point.


  • The base is 10 feet 10 inches by 6 feet 11 1/2 inches by 11 inches deep
  • The second slab is 8 feet 4 inches by 4 feet 4 1/2 inches by 7 inches deep
  • The third slab is 7 feet 4 inches by 3 feet 5 inches by 5 inches deep
  • The top slab is 7 feet 6 1/4 inches by 3 feet 7 1/4 inches by 6 inches deep

Tomb ornamentation includes corner oak leafs, scalloped edging, and a carved image of L'Enfant's plan for the layout of Washington, D.C.

Sources: Arlington National Cemetery website and Smithsonian Institution Art Inventories Catalog website [accessed July 30, 2012]

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