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March 2005
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FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED
Raising the Roof


An uncapped Capitol building sprawled across its Washington, D.C., site in 1860. Its original copper-clad wooden dome, a fire hazard, had been removed four years earlier to be replaced by what to this day remains one of the world's largest cast-iron domes.
 
The outbreak of the U.S. Civil War just months after this picture was taken halted projects across the city, but the Capitol construction continued—"a sign," Abraham Lincoln said, "we intend the Union shall go on." Lincoln's own life ended before construction did, and he lay in state beneath the dome's unfinished ceiling in 1865. The dome interior was completed a year later, and in 1874 Frederick Law Olmsted was hired to landscape the Capitol grounds.
 
—Margaret G. Zackowitz





March Flashback
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