Benjamin Henry Latrobe


Benjamin Henry Latrobe Famous memorial

Pudsey, Metropolitan Borough of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Death 3 Sep 1820 (aged 56)
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
Burial New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
Memorial ID 604 View Source

Architect. He is credited with being America's first professional architect and engineer. He immigrated to America in 1795. After designing Philadelphia's first water system, Latrobe went on to design or consult on more than 60 private homes in America, as well as dozens of public buildings. Only three of Latrobe’s designed residential homes have been preserved and remain in the entire country. He was the architect commissioned to repair the White House after the British army burned it during the War of 1812. Appointed architect of the United States Capitol building by President Thomas Jefferson, he designed the south wing as well as rebuilt the interior of the north wing after the British burned the structure during the War of 1812. He designed the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States, a Baltimore landmark now considered his masterpiece, the Basilica of the Assumption. He designed all of the monuments in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., as well as the Decatur House in Washington, D.C., the Pope House in Springfield, Kentucky, and the "Adena" in Chillicothe, Ohio. The city of Latrobe, Pennsylvania was named after him. Traveling to the Mississippi Delta, he was requested by the federal government to design much-needed lighthouses, but his designs failed to be too heavy for the soft, sandy soil of the region, thus the first lighthouse toppled to the ground eight days after construction was finished. Need and opportunity would lure Latrobe to New Orleans, where in the midst of his work, he would die in a yellow fever epidemic. His remains, along with those of hundreds of other victims of the epidemic, were simply picked-up from his hotel by the "dead wagon" and taken to a common lye pit for burial. His influence survived him through his work and he is credited with introducing the Gothic and Greek revival styles of architecture to the country.

Bio by: Paul S.


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 604
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1 May 1764–3 Sep 1820), Find a Grave Memorial ID 604, citing Saint Louis Cemetery Number 1, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .