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"Rich in period detail thanks to Kapsch's extensive use of original documents, drawings and illustrations, and cost data for context, Building Washington is a fascinating look at the creation of the seat of our democracy."

"Kapsch, a historian of engineering, focuses principally on the decades between the passage of the Residence Act of 1790, which selected the site for the new nation's capital, and the repair and reconstruction efforts that followed the burning of public buildings by British troops in 1814. The narrative centers on the transition from an eighteenth-century mode of construction led by "gentleman planters" to one orchestrated by professionally trained "architect-engineers." Along the way, Kapsch examines the supply chains, building techniques, financial expedients, and political wrangling that went into making the city."

"Building Washington is a meticulously detailed account of the early construction of the capital city... The work will provide a treasure trove for research specialists in engineering and construction practices of the early republic and an informative reference work for enthusiastic Washingtonians."

"This groundbreaking book skillfully traces the physical development of Washington during its earliest years. Robert Kapsch deftly examines a variety of archaic construction activities while also describing the human and financial difficulties that tormented the project from the start. These are rarely told and compelling stories."

"What makes a city? Its people? Its natural surroundings? The civic pride of its residents? Whatever it is, Building Washington, by the extraordinary historian Robert Kapsch, is monumental. This compendium is overwhelming. It reads like a historic novel, is impossible to put down, and is an education in itself."

"Encompassing the architecture, construction, and labor history of the city of Washington and its public buildings, bridges, and military defenses from 1790 to 1840, Building Washington is a richly researched and detailed account of these complex projects. Robert Kapsch brings new insights to the history of the city’s construction."

"Robert Kapsch hits another home run with his latest book. A masterful work, Building Washington is diligently researched and woven into a readable narrative documenting the difficulties in designing and constructing our nation's capital, something we easily take for granted. Kapsch's unique background as both an engineer and historian adds valuable insight as he traces the evolution of the architect-engineer in the early nineteenth century, documenting the three challenging building periods of a grand vision that has given us the iconic buildings and structures we know and cherish. As a DC native, I especially appreciate this book."

Building Washington
Engineering and Construction of the New Federal City, 1790−1840
Publication Date: 15 May 2018
Status: Available
Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Page Count: 384 pages
Illustrations: 38 color illus., 83 b&w illus.
ISBN: 9781421424873