Overbeck Lecture

Looking at L’Enfant Plan in a New Light

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Capitol Hill residents live every day with the physical interpretation of L’Enfant’s 1791 plan for the City of Washington: the broad avenues ending in vistas, the hill that provides an overlook to the rest of the city’s monumental core and the open green spaces that offer respite from streets lined with buildings. Recently, Don Hawkins, architect and historic cartographer, had the opportunity to look at the original pencil-drawn plan under varied light and scanning conditions. That experience has led Hawkins to consider the plan more as an expression of Hamilton’s federalism than as a document of French city and garden planning. Hawkins will be sharing his insights and research on the L’Enfant Plan and other aspects of early Washington during the Ruth Ann Overbeck History lecture on Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m. at Hill Center at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Don Hawkins is an architect, an urban designer and a life-long Washingtonian with an interest in the city’s early history. He lectures frequently on the subject and his maps, essays and reviews appear in Washington History magazine and other publications. Admission is free, but a reservation is required at hillcenterdc.org or by calling 202-549-4172.