Building America

Building America The Life of Benjamin Henry Latrobe

Hardback (24 Jan 2020) | English

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Synopsis

An English émigré who became America's first professional architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe put his stamp on the built landscape of the new republic. Latrobe contributed to such iconic structures as the south wing of the US Capitol building, the White House, and the Navy Yard. He created some of the early republic's greatest neoclassical interiors, including the Statuary Hall and the Senate, House, and Supreme Court Chambers. As a young man, Latrobe was apprenticed to both a leading architect and civil engineer in London, studied the European continent's architectural and engineering monuments, worked on canals, and designed private houses. After the death of his first wife, he was bankrupt and emigrated to the United States in 1796 to restart his career. For the new nation with grand political expectations, he intended buildings and engineering projects to match those aspirations. Like his patron Thomas Jefferson, Latrobe saw his neoclassical designs as a way to convey American democracy. He envisioned his engineering projects, such as the canals and municipal water systems for Philadelphia and New Orleans, as a way to unite the nation and improve public health. Jean Baker conveys the personality of this charming, driven, and often frustrated genius and the era in which he lived. Latrobe tried to establish architecture as a profession with high standards, established fees, and recognized procedures, though he was unable to collect fees and earn the living his work was worth. Like many of his peers, he speculated and found himself in bankruptcy several times. Building America masterfully narrates the life and legacy of a key figure in creating an American aesthetic in the new United States.

About the Publisher

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Our products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum, and we aim to make our content available to our users in whichever format suits them best.We publish for all audiences–from pre-school to secondary level schoolchildren; students to academics; general readers to researchers; individuals to institutions. Our range includes dictionaries, English language teaching materials, children's books, journals, scholarly monographs, printed music, higher education textbooks, and schoolbooks.

Book information

ISBN: 9780190696450
Publisher: OUP USA
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 720.92
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: x, 286
Weight: 588g
Height: 164mm
Width: 243mm
Spine width: 21mm