Calendar of Events
Oculus Book Talk: Guy Gugliotta, Freedom's Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil WarAIA CES: 1.5 LUs
When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM MONDAY, MARCH 12
Where: At The Center
Guy Gugliotta will present his book Freedom's Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War.
The modern United States Capitol is a triumph of both engineering and design. From the nine million pound cast-iron dome to the dazzling opulence of the President’s Room and the Senate corridors, the Capitol is one of the most renowned buildings in the world. But the history of the modern U.S. Capitol is also the history of America’s most tumultuous years. As the new Capitol rose above Washington’s skyline, battles over slavery and secession ripped the country apart. Ground was broken just months after Congress adopted the compromise of 1850, which was supposed to settle the “slavery question” for all time. The statue of Freedom was placed atop the Capitol's new dome in 1863, five months after the Battle of Gettysburg.
In Freedom’s Cap, the award-winning journalist Guy Gugliotta recounts the history and the broader meaning of the Capitol building through the lives of the three men most responsible for its construction. We owe the building’s scale and magnificence to none other than Jefferson Davis, who remained the Capitol’s staunchest advocate up until the week he left Washington to become president of the Confederacy. Davis’s protégé and the Capitol’s lead engineer, the Army Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, became Quartermaster General of the Union Army and never forgave Davis his betrayal of the nation. The Capitol’s brilliant architect and Meigs’s longtime rival, Thomas U. Walter, defended slavery at the beginning of the war, but eventually turned fiercely against the South. In impeccable detail, Gugliotta captures the clash of personalities behind the building of the Capitol and the unique engineering, architectural, design and political challenges the three men collectively overcame to create the iconic seat of American government.
Guy Gugliotta covered Congress for The Washington Post for six years and for the last five years has been a freelance writer. He has written for The New York Times, National Geographic, Wired, Discover, and Smithsonian. He is the coauthor of Kings of Cocaine.
Free for AIA members - RSVP using the form to the right
$10 for non-members - PURCHASE A TICKET
Organized by: AIANY Oculus Committee and the AIANY Historic Buildings Committee.
Oculus Book Seller: McNally Jackson Books | 52 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012 | 212.274.1160
About Oculus Book Talks:
Each month, the AIA NY's Oculus Committee presents a Book Talk at the Center for Architecture. Each Oculus Book Talk highlights a recent publication on architecture, design, or the built environment--presented by the author. The Book Talks are a forum for dialogue and discussion, and copies of the publications are available for sale and signing.
2012 Book Talk Series:
Monday, January 9, 2012: Grahame Shane, Urban Design Since 1945
Thursday, February 9, 2012: Charles Bloszies, Old Buildings, New Designs: Architectural Transformations
Monday, March 12, 2012: Guy Gugliotta, Freedom's Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War
Wednesday, April 4, 2012: Alexandra Lange, Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities