Walter, Thomas Ustick

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b. 4 September 1804 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
d. 30 October 1887 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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American architect, best known for his construction of the great iron dome of the United States Capitol in Washington.
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Much of Walter's work was in neo-classical style, of which the Founders' Hall at Girard College in Philadelphia, built 1833–47, is a fine example. On the exterior this is a large-scale Corinthian temple of peripteral octastyle form. Inside, Walter showed his awareness of modern needs with his brick fireproof vaulting. In 1851 Walter was appointed by President Millard Fillmore as Architect to the Capitol in Washington, DC, to enlarge the building to accommodate the greater needs of the day. Between this time and 1865 Walter extended the side wings considerably to provide more space for the House of Representatives and the Senate and, to balance the composition of this much longer elevation, built a new great dome. In style, the dome and drum resemble those of Wren's St Paul's Cathedral in London, but the scale is much greater and the internal construction largely of cast iron: internally the dome measures 98 ft (29.9 m) in diameter and has a total height of 222 ft (67.7 m).
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Founder American Institute of Architects 1857; President from 1876.
Further Reading
M.Whiffen and F.Keeper, 1981, American Architecture 1607–1976, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT.
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Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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