The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera
OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Creator: Thomas Ustick Walter (1804-1887)
Title: Architectural Drawings
Dates: ca. 1857-1863
Acc. No.: 66x100, 79x260-.274
Quantity: 15 items
Location: Photos: 18 D 3; originals: Map case 6, drawers 7-8
Walter was an architect, best known for his work on the domes and wings of the
United States Capitol. He was the oldest
son of Joseph Saunders and Deborah Wood Walter, born in
In 1824, after
marrying Mary Ann Elizabeth Hancocks, Walter joined his father in the construction
business as a master bricklayer. He also
began attending the
professional design was for a church in
his designs for the Capitol extension in December 1850. He moved to
Walter was an
organizer of the American Institute of Architects and served as its president
from 1876 to 1887. From 1835, he was a
member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and from 1839 he was
a member of the American Philosophical Society.
Walter was the author of A Guide
to Workers in Metal and Stone, published in 1846, and (with J. Jay Smith) Two Hundred Designs for Cottages and Villas,
also published in 1846. Walter’s first
wife died in 1847, but married Amanda Gardiner in 1848. He had met Amanda at the church to which they
both belonged; Walter was a devoted church member for his entire life. Altogether, he had twelve children. After many successes, but also many vicissitudes
and financial setbacks, Walter died in
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The collection consists of thirteen drawings for
the alteration to the dome of the United States Capitol, a photograph of an
iron foundry, and a drawing labeled "
thirteen drawings for the alteration to the dome of the Capitol, a photograph
of an iron foundry (a sign on the building names it Iron Foundry and Machine
Shop, Janes and Kirtland), and a drawing labeled "
The items are arranged by photographic accession numbers.
Purchased from Timothy Trace.
RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS
Photographs of original documents must be used. The collection requires conservation treatment before physical access can be granted to the originals.
and professional papers of Thomas Walter are located at The Athenaeum of
United States Capitol (
Architecture - Designs and plans.
Gothic revival (Architecture)
Domes - Design and construction.
Architecture - Details.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
Location: 18 D 3 [photos that are to be used]; Map case 6, drawers 7-8 [originals – not to be used]
79.260 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
"Stairway to Top of Dome"
copied from original by B.B. Freud, Jr.
No. 2068, duplicate of No. 2065
The top half is an elevation of a circular staircase as fitted with supports made of metal. The stairs are solid and the supports of the railing are an "x" shape. The bottom half shows a grid for a platform with small drawings of cross sectional joints.
79.261 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
"Stairway to Dome"
No. 2057, duplicate of No. 2060, Scale 1 inch to a foot
Drawing shows a side of a staircase. It has landings, with seven steps between each landing. The supports of the railing have a "t" shape with floral details at the cross. The plans for stairs are shown in cross section; there are diagrams of platforms.
79.262 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
"Details of Floor
of Tholus Dome of
No. 1924 duplicate of No. 1919
Drawing shows support plates and beams for the floor. There are small drawings of cross sections of joints.
79.263 Drawing, Ink on linen
"Design for Railing Old Hall of Representatives"
The upper half depicts two sets of identical columns and railing, except the first column in the first drawing is three times as thick as the second column. Egyptian Revival acanthus leaves are shown. The right is labeled "section thro' column base." The lower half consists of designs for the flooring using various scales.
79.264 Drawing, Ink on linen
Elevation of Door
signed by Walter, "Ex. U.S.C."
No. 1718, duplicate part of No. 1090
The top shows an elevation of a door with an arched cross section. The middle displays a plan of a door jamb. The bottom shows the detail of the decoration of the jamb.
79.265 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
"Central Park Bridge 27 (crossed out and 28 written in pencil)
Scale 2 feet to 1 inch
The drawing is of a support for a bridge in the Gothic Revival style. Three gothic arches meet at the base. Only simple structural supports are shown.
[note: According to Eric Delony of the National Park Service, the drawing of Bridge 28 was not done by Walter. It is consistent with all the other drawings for this work done by Calvert Vaux. The drawing may have been acquired by Walter from the Cornell Iron Works.]
79.266 Scrap, mounted
"Details of Dome Doors in Drum East and West Leading to Floor at Peristyle"
signed by Walter, M.C. Meigs copy of original
The drawing shows joints and supports for doors. The doors are topped by arch windows separated by Corinthian pilasters. It is an inside view of what appears to be pocket doors.
79.267 Scrap, mounted
"Compliments Cha. E. Chase,
The drawing shows the inner structure and outer shell of the peristyle with a fluted Corinthian column and Corinthian pilaster. The arch has a decorated panel. Brackets are used for support above the door and below the column.
79.268 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
"Details of Dome Floor Plates and Balustrade on Top of Peristyle"
No. 1612, duplicate of No. 1556
The drawing shows the plan of balustrade joints and brackets in the shape of spindles. The illustration gives the number of each piece needed for construction.
79.269 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
"Brackets attached to Main Ribs to Support the Face Plates of the Exterior of IInd Story - Dome of the U.S. Capitol"
W.B. Franklin, Cap. Top.
Different cross sections and elevations of joints and side views of supports are presented in this drawing.
79.270 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
copied from the original by B.B. Freud, Jr.
No. 2071, duplicate of No. 2054
The drawing illustrates how iron supports over 18.5 feet long are joined to support the statue. Decoration resembling bundles of wheat is shown for the sides of the supports. An aerial view of the joinery is shown at the bottom of the drawing.
79.271 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
No. 2061, duplicate of No. 2044
A sheet illustrating the joints for the ring of the dome partially covers a drawing of the details of supports for the dome.
79.272 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
"Cast Iron Laths
for Plastering of Canopy over Rotunda, Dome of
The drawing displays nine laths and the center lath. The number of pieces required for contstruction and their dimensions are given. The drawing shows how the lathes fit together.
79.273 Drawing, Ink/Wash on Heavy paper
W.B. Franklin, Capt.
No. 2020, duplicate of No. 2018
The drawing shows the detail of the balustrade, plans and sections of joints, and details of several brackets. A listing of the piece numbers for construction is included.
79.274 Photomechanical reproduction
Iron Foundry and Machine Shop of the firm Janes and Kirtland is depicted. It is a two story brick building with arched windows on the second floor. There are stone lions at the front door; two men are posed with the lions.