"Plan of the Principal Floor of the North Wing of the Capitol," by B. Henry Latrobe, watercolor and ink on paper, 1806
In November 1806 Labrobe 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.
This plan is for the second or principal floor, which contained the Senate Chamber and the Library of Congress. The plan also includes an early idea for the Rotunda with monumental niches and curving stairs leading to the ground floor; neither of these features was constructed. 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