Unpolished Potomac Marble

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Potomac Marble:
History of the Search for the Ideal Stone

The destruction of Washington in 1814 by the invading British challenged President James Monroe and architect Benjamin Latrobe with the task of rebuilding the edifices which had been destroyed. As symbols of the aspirations of the republic, the chambers of the House and Senate had to be more than functional—they had to be beautiful. The building material they discovered and used to beautify the new Capitol was Potomac marble.

Historian Paul Kreingold details Latrobe’s and Monroe’s search for the ideal stone and their fight to use it to rebuild the chambers of the House and Senate.

About Paul Kreingold

Paul Kreingold is a thirty-nine-year resident of Leesburg, Virginia, where he and his wife have raised two children. He is the former president of the Banshee Reeks Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists, and the conservation director of the Izaak Walton League, Loudoun County Chapter.

His interest in geology and history dates back to his college days, but after a long career in computer system design, he has devoted his time in the last five years as a researcher and educator.

Besides public lectures throughout Loudoun, Montgomery and Frederick Counties, Kreingold regularly leads “expeditions” to the rediscovered Latrobe Potomac Marble quarry along the beautiful Potomac River.