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OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION

Title: United States Capitol Dome Drawings

Collection Date(s): 1855-1862

Extent and Forms of Material: 0.3 cubic foot (1 box)

Creator: Thomas Ustick Walter

Abstract: The collection consists of 146 salt-paper prints (structural and decorative details) of the United States Capitol Dome, between 1855 and 1862. Dimensions range from 6 ¾” x 9 ½” to 17 1/8” x 10”.

Repository: Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.archivescenter@si.edu 202-633-3270 www.americanhistory.si.edu/archives

Collection Number: AC1010

Processing Note: Kendra Ciccone (intern), April, 2010; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.

 

INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION

Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation: Title and date of item, United States Capitol Dome Drawings, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXXX

 

IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION

Administrative/Biographical History: The United State Capitol dome is situated above the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The Capitol dome was designed by Thomas Ustick Walter (1804-1887), the fourth Architect of the Capitol. Walter was responsible for adding the north (Senate) and south (House) wings and the central dome of the Capitol from 1854 to 1866. The original dome, built in 1824, was made of wood. It was considered a fire hazard and was not big enough to complement the Capitol building’s growing size.

Scope and Content: The collection is comprised of 146 salt print photographic copies of original drawings of the United States Capitol dome. Salt print paper was the first and most common photo paper between 1839 and 1860. The prints document both structural and decorative details of the dome. The prints are arranged in chronological order.

System of Arrangement: This collection is arranged into one series.

Series 1, United States Capitol Dome Drawings, 1855-1862

Acquisition Information: This collection was purchased in 1984 by the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, National Museum of American History (then called the National Museum of History and Technology), from Walter Grossman.

Custodial History: Transferred in 2007 to the Archives Center from the Division of Work and Industry (formerly the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering).

Existence and Location of Originals: The original drawings exist in the Office of the Architect of the Capitol. See: http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/dome.cfm.

Access Points:

Subject/Names:
United States Capitol--Washington, D.C.
Walter, Thomas Ustick

Subject/Topical:
Architecture – Washington (D.C.)
Domes

Geographic:
Washington (D.C.)

Form/Genre:
Copy photographs
Salted paper prints

Occupations:
Architect 

CONTAINER LISTING

 

Box

Folder

 

 

 

Series 1, United States Capitol Dome Drawings, 1855-1862

1

1

Elevation of new dome, 1855
001

 

 

Section of new dome, undated
.002

 

 

Elevation of dome of U.S. Capitol, 1859
.003

 

 

Section through dome, 1859
.004

 

 

Skeleton of new dome, 1859-1860
.005

 

 

Sketch showing the relative elevations of the designs for the new dome, 1860
.006

 

 

Foundations of base of dome, 1860
.007

 

 

Plan of base of dome, 1860
.008

 

 

Untitled, 1860
.009

 

2

Plan of base of dome, 1860
.010

 

 

Plan of dome, undated
.011

 

 

Plan of base of dome, 1859
.012

 

 

Plan of dome showing ceiling of peristyle and horizontal cast iron cross braces, 1858-1860
.013

 

 

Plan of dome top of peristyle showing wrought iron tie plates, 1857-1860
.014

 

 

Key of windows in colonnade of dome, undated
.015

 

 

Panel in ceiling of colonnade of dome, 1855
.016

 

 

Balustrade over columns of dome, undated
.017

 

3

Stylobate of dome, undated
.018

 

 

Details of interior of new dome, undated
.019

 

 

Brackets to support wall and columns of dome, undated
.020

 

 

Details of peristyle of dome, undated
.021

 

 

Details of peristyle of dome, 1857
.022

 

 

Details of drum of dome, 1857
.023

 

 

Base of dome, 1857-1859
.024

 

 

Details of peristyle of dome, 1857
.025

 

4

Details of peristyle of dome, 1857
.026

 

 

Details of peristyle of dome, 1857
.027

 

 

Details of peristyle of dome, undated
.028

 

 

Pilaster capital, 1857
.029

 

 

Details of architrave, 1857
.030

 

 

Details of main cornice, interior order of dome, 1857
.031

 

 

Detail of key of windows, interior of dome, 1857
.032

 

 

Details of floor plates under colonnade of dome, 1857
.033

 

5

Plinth of columns for peristyle of dome, 1857
.034

 

 

Pillars in pilasters of drum of dome, 1857
.035

 

 

Plans of bottom flanges pillars, drum of dome, undated
.036

 

 

Cross braces between pillars in drum of dome, 1857
.037

 

 

Cross braces between pillars in drum of dome, 1857
.038

 

 

Elevations of connecting plates in pillars of drum of dome, 1857
.039

 

 

Cross braces between pillars of drum of dome, 1857
.040

 

 

Pillars in drum of dome, undated
.041

 

6

Cross braces connecting the entablature of the peristyle with the drum of the dome, 1857
.042

 

 

Peristyle of dome, undated
.043

 

 

Details of dome, horizontal and vertical cross braces, undated
.044

 

 

Details of dome, inner vertical cross braces, undated
.045

 

 

Details of dome gutters over peristyle, 1857
.046

 

 

Details of dome, floor plates and balustrade on top of peristyle, 1857
.047

 

 

Plan and elevation of connecting plates, undated
.048

 

 

Bottom plate under interior balustrade, 1857
.049

 

7

Cross braces to connect the inner and outer entablature of dome, 1857
.050

 

 

Cross braces to connect the inner and outer entablature of dome, 1857
.051

 

 

Plan of bottom flanges, 1857
.052

 

 

Cross braces to connect inner and outer entablature of dome, 1857
.053

 

 

Details of dome, plates over windows in drum, 1857
.054

 

 

Details of dome, horizontal section through drum, 1857
.055

 

 

Console under windows, colonnade of dome, undated
.056

 

 

Details of colonnade of dome, 1857
.057

 

8

Exterior and interior architraves over pilasters, 1858-1860
.058

 

 

Section through stairway in drum of dome, undated
.059

 

 

Doors in drum leading to floor of peristyle, 1858
.060

 

 

Face plates of base, 1858-1859
.061

 

 

Supports of face plates of base of dome, 1858-1859
.062

 

 

Podium of dome, 1859
.063

 

 

Podium of dome, 1859
.064

 

 

Stairway beginning at floor of peristyle, 1858
.065

 

9

Section of plan of stairway, in drum of dome, 1858
.066

 

 

Carriages stairway, in drum, 1858
.067

 

 

Carriages stairway of drum, 1858
.068

 

 

Carriages stairway in drum, 1858
.069

 

 

Details of windows in peristyle of dome, 1859
.070

 

 

Details of second story of dome, 1860
.071

 

 

Ribs of cupola, first section, 1860
.072

 

 

Exception in first section of main ribs, 1860
.073

 

10

Details of cupola of dome, 1859-1860
.074

 

 

Development of stairway through ribs of cupola, 1859-1860
.075

 

 

Dome of U.S. Capitol key of windows in second story, 1860
.076

 

 

Ribs of cupola, third section, 1859-1860
.077

 

 

Ribs of cupola, second section, 1859-1860
.078

 

 

Brackets attached to main ribs, 1859-1860
.079

 

 

Ribs of cupola, fourth section, 1859-1860
.080

 

 

Horizontal braces between main ribs, 1859-1860
.081

 

11

Section showing one of the main ribs, 1859-1860
.082

 

 

Development of stairway through ribs of cupola-upper part, 1860
.083

 

 

Exception in first section of main ribs, 1860
.084

 

 

Ribs of cupola, fifth section, 1859-1860
.085

 

 

Ribs of cupola, sixth section, 1859-1860
.086

 

 

Boiler iron tie plate, 1859-1860
.087

 

 

Diagonal tie rods between main ribs, 1859-1860
.088

 

 

Ribs of cupola, seventh section, 1859-1860
.089

 

12

Main Ribs of cupola, eighth or upper section, 1859-1860
.090

 

 

Curved ribs of cupola with their stays and braces, 1859-1860
.091

 

 

Details of floor of tholus, 1859-1860
.092

 

 

Tholus on dome of United States Capitol, 1859
.093

 

 

Section of tholus, 1859
.094

 

 

Untitled (tholus), undated
.095

 

 

Curved ribs of cupola with their stays and braces, 1860
.096

 

 

Details of roof of cupola, 1859-1860
.097

 

13

Details of roof of cupola, 1859-1860
.098

 

 

Receding panels around dome above peristyle, 1860
.099

 

 

Details of cornice of second story, undated
.100

 

 

Ornament of pilasters of dome, undated
.101

 

 

Pilasters of dome, second story, undated
.102

 

 

Details of paneling above peristyle, undated
.103

 

 

Capital of pilasters of dome second story, 1860
.104

 

 

Details of trusses to support base of dome, 1860
.105

 

14

Details of roof of cupola, 1860
.106

 

 

Details of roof of cupola, 1860
.107

 

 

Demonstration of main rib, 1860
.108

 

 

Front elevation of brackets above cornice of second story, 1860
.109

 

 

Ornament at spring of cupola, 1860
.110

 

 

Sections of ornament at spring of cupola, 1860
.111

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda rosette below first panel, undated
.112

 

 

Details of inner dome, 1860
.113

 

15

Ceiling of rotunda, one half of first panel, 1860
.114

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda, lower horizontal band, 1860
.115

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda rosette, below second panel, 1860
.116

 

 

Details of upper part of cupola, 1860
.117

 

 

Horizontal braces between main ribs, 1860
.118

 

 

Balustrade at top of inner dome, 1860
.119

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda, one half of second panel, 1860
.120

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda, third horizontal band, undated
.121

 

16

Ornament on top of inner dome, 1860
.122

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda, second horizontal band, 1860
.123

 

 

Guiloche at top of Ceiling of Rotunda, undated
.124

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda, one half of fourth panel, undated
.125

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda, one half of fifth panel, 1860
126

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda, fourth horizontal panel, 1860
.127

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda rosette above fifth panel, 1860
.128

 

 

Railings across windows in stairway of dome, 1860
.129

 

17

Railings across windows in stairway of dome, undated
.130

 

 

Details of columns of tholus, 1861
.131

 

 

Details of base of tholus, 1862
.132

 

 

Details of peristyle of tholus, 1862
.133

 

 

Capital of columns of tholus, 1862
.134

 

 

Pedestal of statue, 1862
.135

 

 

Design of scaffold around peristyle of dome, undated
.136

 

 

Sketch of proposed hoisting arrangement, undated
.137

 

18

New dome derrick, undated
.138

 

 

Temporary roof over rotunda, 1855
.139

 

 

Untitled, undated
.140

 

 

Details of stylobate of dome, 1857
.141

 

 

Railings across windows in stairway of dome, 1860
.142

 

 

Details of ceiling of rotunda ornament at spring of inner dome, undated
.143

 

 

Details of rib to support ceiling of dome, undated
.144

 

 

Side elevation of brackets above cornice of second story, 1860
.145

 

 

Ceiling of rotunda rosette below third panel, 1860
.146

http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/dome.cfm (accessed on April 9, 2010)

 

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Revised: August 26, 2010