Illustration of how the Captiol would have looked in 1803. Image credit: "Visualizing Early Washington DC" by Dan Bailey and Lindsay Schroader

Envisioning Early Washington

November 11, 2008
On November 11, 2008, digital graphics expert Dan Bailey presented an illustrated lecture of his 3-D animations of Washington, DC as it would have appeared around 1812, just before the British invasion.

The Overbeck lecture audience included eight or more previous speakers, and the event turned into a kind of seminar on the challenges of mapping and picturing the early city based on sketchy and often inaccurate contemporary depictions and eye-witness accounts. Bailey, created his "best guess" glimpse of early Washington by collaborating with architectural historians, cartographers, engineers and ecologists familiar with the District's history and early topography.

Bailey served as director of the Imaging Research Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and has won numerous awards for his films and animations, which have been included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris. A pilot of his visualization of early DC was exhibited at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore in the spring of 2008, and received extensive attention in a August 31, 2008 Washington Post Magazine article by Scott W. Berg.

Past Lectures