Seat of Empire: Planning Washington, 1790–1801

Washington, D.C. was the result of political compromise and artistic imagination. In 1792, George Washington charged French-born architect Peter L’Enfant with a momentous task: to envision the capital of a new nation from a swath of private properties and plantations at the confluence of two rivers. Seat of Empire: Planning Washington, 1790–1801 presented historical maps and related images that told the story of this early experiment in urban design that shaped the landscape of our nation’s capital.