Past Events

The Congressional Library: From Conception to Completion

Tour of the Library of Congress

Saturday, February 4, 2017
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20540

The Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building is an outstanding example of mid- to late- nineteenth-century Beaux Art architecture. This tour of the building will concentrate upon the relationship between the original 1873 Smithmeyer and Pelz design and the changes to that design which took place as the building evolved from conception to completion in 1897.

Our focus will be two-fold: upon the building itself and upon how conceptual themes were integrated into the decorative schemes of the building we see today. We will examine construction photographs, reproductions of some of the original architectural drawings, and the decorative elements of the building – the sculpture, mosaics, and painting — to show how they were selected, arranged, and repeated deliberately to convey the purpose of the Library in the cultural and political environment of late nineteenth-century America.

The tour will include a brief talk outlining research opportunities provided by the Library’s unparalleled resources. The tour will be led by Thomas Hoban. A member of the ICAA, Mr. Hoban is a retired college professor and attorney currently living in Washington, DC. He has been a docent at the Jefferson Building for over five years and for the last three years has conducted a seminar on the architecture and art of the building for docents.

Cost: $10 L’Enfant, $20 Members, $30 non-member