By JOHN Y. COLE
In an all-day program on Nov. 14, historians, craft workers and the general public paid tribute to the foresight and skills of the people who planned, designed, built and renovated the Jefferson Building.
An overflow crowd in the Mumford Room enjoyed "Book Palace of the American People: The Art and Architecture of the Library of Congress's Jefferson Building," a symposium sponsored by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Seven speakers presented illustrated talks about the building's construction, architecture, murals, sculpture and decoration. Four of the presenters (John Y. Cole, Thomas P. Somma, Richard Murray and Barbara Wolanin) contributed to the new book about the Jefferson Building recently published by W.W. Norton, as did luncheon speaker Henry Hope Reed. The other speakers (C. Ford Peatross, Frances M. Brousseau and Janet Marstine) also presented new research and insights about the Jefferson Building. The proceedings will be published by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society as a volume in its series on the art and architecture of the Capitol.
After the symposium, participants moved to the Jefferson Building for tours of the building, to view the exhibition "The Thomas Jefferson Building: Book Palace of the American People," and to see "Crafting the Book Palace: Masters of the Trowel Trades," a demonstration of the building crafts of the Jefferson Building sponsored by the American Folklife Center, the Center for the Book and the International Masonry Institute. The demonstration, open to the public, featured modern and historic tools and materials used by craft workers in the construction and renovation of the building. Presentations were made by Don Fuller (marble mosaic setting), William "Butch" Rovder (stone carving) and Tom McQuaid (terrazzo work).