L'Enfant's Grand Avenues

September 9, 2008
On September 9, 2008, author Scott W. Berg described Pierre L'Enfant's critical role in the creation of the federal city, his stormy relationships with his patrons and overseers, and his fall into obscurity after others took over the execution of his ideas and significantly amended them.

Berg is the author of a L'Enfant biography, Grand Avenues, which traces the Frenchman's artistic and professional roots in 18th century Paris, his service in the American Revolution under General George Washington, and his brief and troubled commission to create the basic layout of a new capital city. Among other insights, Berg offered a description of L'Enfant's plan to assign the squares and circles that appear at avenue intersections around the city as home bases for the individual states of the union.

Berg has taught nonfiction writing and literature at George Mason University and is a frequent contributor of articles on historical subjects to the Washington Post.

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