In 1791, Pierre Charles L'Enfant was hired as city planner of what would become Washington, D.C. However, after little more than a year, L'Enfant was dismissed after a dispute erupted involving the destruction of a mansion on Capitol Hill belonging to wealthy landowner Daniel Carroll that interfered with L'Enfant's vision of what would become our nation's capital. The original city surveyor, Andrew Ellicott, and his assistant, Benjamin Banneker, were asked to carry out the construction of the city using the L'Enfant Plan.
The story of the construction of the capital of the United States is just one item covered in The A to Z of Washington, D.C.. This volume, unlike many others, is a guide to the whole city, not simply the glamorous parts. It examines the city from its inception to the present, showing how Washington grew - at times according to official plans, but more often sporadically as things worked out. And it focuses not only on the elite but Washingtonians of many different races, religions and classes. They all have their place in the chronology, the introduction, and the exhaustive dictionary.
"The authors...have done an admirable job of distilling the enormous and increasing volume of information on Washington's people, places, and events into a practical handbook [which] should evolve into an appreciated resource for Washington's residents and students." -H-Net Reviews
"...general readers likely will find it a browser's delight." -ARBA