Benjamin Henry Latrobe: The Man Who Built America

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Benjamin Henry Latrobe: The Man Who Built America, Above & Below Most know Benjamin Henry Latrobe as America’s first professional architect, and the designer of the US Capitol. What many do not know is that among his several architectural achievements, this man also developed a fresh water system in early urban areas from Philadelphia to New Orleans. Biography/Background: Latrobe was born May 1, 1764, near Leeds, England. He attended Moravian schools as a child and later went on to be educated in England and Germany. In school he became fluent in many languages and familiarized himself with the classical arts. In 1783, Latrobe traveled around France and Germany, where he found himself fascinated by the use of classical architecture. Latrobe studied engineering under the well-known English civil engineer, John Smeaton in 1787. Pursuing his interest in architecture, he went on to study under London architect, Samuel Cockerell. (Peale “Benjamin Henry Latrobe”) Latrobe emigrated in 1795, to begin a new life in America. The young nation provided him with the perfect opportunity to apply his architectural ideas to the real world. (Benjamin Henry Latrobe: Biography) 3:51 “He came with an architecture at the moment America needed an architecture, with forms that seemed congenial to the American character”-Michael Lewis, Art Historian Career: He began his American career in Norfolk, Virginia where he designed a number of houses, and was one of the architects who worked on the

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