“Plan, shewing the alterations proposed in the principal Story of the North Wing of the Capitol,” by B. Henry Latrobe, watercolor and ink on paper, 1806
In November 1806 Latrobe finished a comprehensive scheme for rebuilding the north wing, which had fallen into disrepair despite being only six years old. He wanted to remove the rotting floor joists and to lay new masonry floors on solid brick arches and vaults. This method of construction would render the wing sturdy and fireproof.
The plans would be carried out by demolishing some old floors, columns, and walls (indicated in blue) and building new interior supports for the complicated structural system that Latrobe had devised. No alterations to the exterior would be necessary. Work began in 1808 but only the eastern half of the wing had been reconstructed before it was heavily damaged by the Fire of 1814.
Architect of the Capitol