endI am writing this just a few hours before liftoff (hopefully), the very last day of my two months in Washington. I haven’t yet counted up the numbers of pages of notes and scanned documents that I have gathered in the five libraries and archives that have been the sites of my research, but I’m sure they number in the thousands.  And then there are a lot of photos too, and general memories, of the great extracurricular events that I’ve enjoyed here.  Given a hasty scan of my pictures and files, I know I amassed and ingested a load of information on mid-nineteenth century architectural practice, especially as it relates to the construction of the Capitol dome, as well as wringing Washington dry of my favored recreational activities.  With some certainty I am willing to name the two greatest revelations of these two months as: the Benjamin Brown French papers (Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress) and the crème brûlée donut (Astro Doughnuts, 13th & G).  Thanks, Washington: although it’s been, almost daily, wicked cold with a chance of bureaucratic cloudiness, it’s also been illuminating, and delicious.

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