Libraries and Schools in 1888 August 31 2015

This is the thirteenth installment in our series of posts comparing significant events from a year in United States history with a few of our unique architectural plans from the same period.  1888, the topic of this installment, subsequently marks the thirteenth year of the American Architect and Building News' existence.

Click on the pictures to find the plans below in our store! 

The Library of Congress was first conceptualized by James Madison in 1783, but didn't begin to resemble the majestic research facilities we know now until over a century later.  The first of these buildings to be constructed was Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, DC.  Though construction on the building didn't begin until 1890, by 1888, plans were already in full-swing for the building. Below is an early original of Paul J. Pelz and John L. Smithmeyer's plans for the Jefferson Building, which looks fairly close to the final version of the building that we know today.

Library of Congress Building, Washington, DC, 1888, Smithmeyer & Pelz


On January 12, 1888, the Midwestern states were hit by an extreme blizzard seemingly out of nowhere.  Dubbed the "Schoolhouse Blizzard", it sprang up on the afternoon of a relatively warm day and hit with such severity that 235 people were killed, many of them children on the way home from school.  In Minnesota, one of the states hit worst by the blizzard, this hotel at Little Falls would have been right in the epicenter of the storm.  It's beautifully detailed plan was designed by architects Gilbert & Taylor.

Ground Floor Plan of the Hotel in Little Falls, Little Falls, MN, 1888, Gilbert & Taylor