National Geographic : 1964 Jan
No President took greater delight in plan ning the Capitol than did Thomas Jefferson. The amateur architect of Monticello often favored his own ideas over protests of the professional, Benjamin H. Latrobe, who had become the second architect of the Capitol. When the Hall of Representatives was under construction in the south wing between 1804 and 1807, Jefferson insisted on wedge shaped skylights in the domed roof. Latrobe built it to allow for his own idea-a windowed tower in the center. President Jefferson sub stituted small square skylights. "You and I are both blockheads," Latrobe once wrote his building superintendent, John Lenthall. "Presidents and Vice Presidents are the only architects and poets for ought I know, in the United States." But Latrobe fully appreciated the brilliant mind of Jefferson, by whom, as he put it, "no field of art or science has been unexplored." And Jefferson greatly admired Latrobe's de sign for the House Chamber, with its 22 Corinthian columns carved by the imported Italian artists Giuseppe Franzoni and Gio vanni Andrei. "I considered you the only person in the United States," Jefferson wrote Latrobe, "who could have executed the Representative Chamber, or who could execute the middle building on any of the plans proposed." Flame and Smoke Cloud Sky in 1814 To residents of Washington, the War of 1812 had seemed at first a remote and largely naval conflict. Then the victorious British were swarming into the undefended city and threatening the Capitol, before its Celebrated for fine food, the Senate Restaurant serves 550 to 600 persons a day. Bean soup has been a menu "must" since 1907, when Minnesota's Senator Knute Nelson intro duced it, with endorsement by the Senate Rules Committee. Another specialty is flaky crusted Senate apple pie. Members of the Senate's Post Office and Civil Service Com mittee confer over coffee. Left to right: Frank Carlson of Kan sas, Olin D. Johnston of South Carolina, and Mike Monroney of Oklahoma.