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 Alexander Ralston

Alexander Ralston

Birth
Scotland
Death 5 Jan 1827 (aged 55–56)
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Burial Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Plot Section 3, Lot 30
Memorial ID 3028 · View Source
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Architect, Civil Engineer. He is remembered as a co-architect for the US Capital in Washington DC and the design for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. He started his career working for the Baron of Roslin in Scotland prior to immigrating to the US after the American Revolutionary War. In 1791 he assisted French architect Pierre L'Enfant in laying out the city plan for Washington DC. Prior to 1815 he relocated to southern Indiana and settled on a homestead, leaving the east coast partly because of his involvement with former US Vice President Aaron Burr and the Burr conspiracy to create an independent nation in North America. In 1820 he was hired by Christopher Harrison, the state commissioner overseeing the survey of Indianapolis, and charged with helping to survey the city. With co-surveyor Elias Pym Fordham, he was later commissioned by the Indiana General Assembly to develop a city plan for the new state capital of Indianapolis, which was accomplished in 1821. His original plan called for a city of only 1-square-mile, with a Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, and the original site of the Governor's mansion (built in 1827), at the very center of the city. His design borrowed heavily from the city plan of Washington DC. Construction on Indianapolis soon began, with most of his plan being implemented by 1850. Although the city has subsequently expanded far beyond his original conception, the downtown area remains virtually unaltered from his original plan. He died at the age of 55 or 56 and was originally interred at Greenlawn Cemetery (now defunct) in Indianapolis but in 1874 his remains were moved and reinterred in the city's Crown Hill Cemetery.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 6 Jun 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3028
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alexander Ralston (1771–5 Jan 1827), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3028, citing Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .