Capitol Hill Restoration Society

Overbeck Lecture- Looking at L’Enfant Plan in New Light

Posted on October 13th, 2017

On Monday, November 13, 2017, 7:30 p.m. – Capitol Hill residents live every day with the physical interpretation of Peter L’Enfant’s 1791 plan for the City of Washington: the broad avenues ending in vistas, the hill that provides an overlook to the rest of the city’s monumental core, and the open green spaces that offer respite from streets lined with buildings. Over the decades many have studied the L’Enfant Plan and its early modifications. Recently, Don Hawkins, architect and historic cartographer, had the opportunity to look at the original pencil-drawn plan under varied light and scanning conditions. That experience has led Hawkins to look at the plan in a different light – more as an expression of Hamilton’s federalism than as a document of French city and garden planning. Hawkins will be sharing his insights and research on the L’Enfant Plan and other aspects of early Washington during the Ruth Ann Overbeck History lecture on Monday, November 13, 7:30 p.m. at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Don Hawkins is an architect, an urban designer, and a life-long Washingtonian with an interest in the city’s early history. He lectures frequently on the subject and his maps, essays, and reviews appear in Washington History magazine and other publications. As always admission is free but a reservation is required due to limited seating. To register, go to or simply call 202-549-4172. Even organizers suggest that all guests arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the event. Seating will begin at 7:00 for those who hold reservations. Available seats will be released to guests on the wait list beginning at 7:15 p.m. If you hold a reservation and find that you cannot attend, please let them know at: