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Arts & Culture

Benjamin Latrobe: America's First Architect

Portrait of Benjamin Henry Latrobe by Rembrandt Peale, c. 1815. The life of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the creator of the first uniquely "American" architecture, was a series of creative triumphs, personal tragedies and constant re-invention.
Courtesy Maryland Historical Society
Portrait of Benjamin Henry Latrobe by Rembrandt Peale, c. 1815. The life of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the creator of the first uniquely "American" architecture, was a series of creative triumphs, personal tragedies and constant re-invention.

Airs Monday, August 9, 2010 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Noted architecture critic Paul Goldberger hosts this documentary biography of Benjamin Latrobe, the creator of the first uniquely "American" architecture. Latrobe's tumultuous life was a series of creative triumphs, personal tragedies and constant re-invention.

The film features computer-generated animation, interviews with architects and historians and location shooting as Goldberger explores Latrobe's life, from his early years in England to his immigration to the young republic and his work on such iconic buildings as the U.S. Capitol, the White House and the Baltimore Basilica.

Ode To Benjamin Henry Latrobe