History of Cartography

Urban and Regional Historic Maps

3711.3 - Mapping the capitals Washington D.C., Adelaide and Canberra: the topographical genius of L’Enfant, Light, and the Griffins

Monday, July 3
4:50 PM - 5:10 PM
Location: Hoover

The capitals of Washington D.C., Adelaide and Canberra demonstrate rare rapport between the genius of place and plan with each city specifically designed for its site. Pierre Charles L’Enfant, William Light, and Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin melded their respective urban layouts with topographical features, respecting landscape and recognising and incorporating natural advantages. The designers of Washington D.C. and Canberra benefited from site selections, surveys and mapping executed by others. Uniquely, South Australia’s Surveyor-General William Light was personally responsible for site selection, design of the District and City of Adelaide, and the survey of his Plan, as well as being the South Australian Colonization Commissioners’ ‘Leader of the First Expedition’, captaining the survey vessel Rapid on its voyage from London to Australia and carrying out maritime exploration and survey on arriving in South Australian waters. Comparison of the designers’ works highlights the many roles in which Light was employed, and the greater difficulty of his tasks of exploration, discovery, and preparation of the first maps and plans for the District of Adelaide, unlike Washington D.C. and Canberra whose localities had already been mapped and occupied prior to the planning of those capitals. Each plan represents a work of genius, however Light’s Adelaide, planned on site in 1837, is arguably the greater achievement, surmounting greater difficulties in the several tasks of substantially greater complexity.

Kelly Henderson

Independent Researcher
South Australia

Kelly Henderson BSc, Grad. Cert. Telecom. is a former councillor (2002-2009) and life member of the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia (RGSSA), former Chairperson (2004-2009) of the RGSSA Geographical Heritage Committee; an associate member of Australia ICOMOS; a past President (2010-2012) of the Adelaide Park Lands Preservation Association Inc, and Editor (2012-2014) of the Adelaide Park Lands News.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Kelly Henderson

Mirela Altić

full professor, chief research fellow
Institute of Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia

Mirela Altić is a chief research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb, Croatia. In the Department of History, University of Zagreb, Dr. Altic holds the rank of full professor and lectures on the history of cartography and historical geography. Besides her specialization in South Eastern and Central European map history, last few years she publishes extensively on the Jesuit cartography of Americas and conducts research in European and American archives and libraries. She is the author of twelve books, numerous scholarly papers and a contributor to The History of Cartography Project.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mirela Altić


Assets

3711.3 - Mapping the capitals Washington D.C., Adelaide and Canberra: the topographical genius of L’Enfant, Light, and the Griffins



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Mapping the capitals Washington D.C., Adelaide and Canberra: the topographical genius of L’Enfant, Light, and the Griffins