This lithograph of the White House by Augustus Kollner was based on a watercolor painting. The view is of the White House from Pennsylvania Avenue and it was done during James K. Polk's presidency (1845-1849).
This watercolor by artist George Munger depicts the burned-out shell of the White after it was destroyed by British troops on August 24, 1814. The painting shows the once elegant and imposing house standing alone in the landscape, a vivid reminder of the destruction and that the capital city was still in its infancy. A curious element of the work is the S-curved shape above the near corner of the roof. It is believed to be part of metallic conductor that encircled the roof that functioned as lighting protection system.
This map showing the plan for the city of Washington, D.C. was published by John Reid in 1795 and based upon the famous L'Enfant-Ellicott plan published by Thackara and Vallance in 1792. President George Washington asked French-born architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant to design the new capital. L'Enfant developed plans for the city, but his refusal to cooperate with the president’s commissioners led to his dismissal in February 1792. The Commissioners of the District of Columbia began implementation of the plan under the direction of surveyor Andrew Ellicott. Renewed interest in beautifying the nation's capital in the early 20th century, however, led to the revival of L'Enfant's vision, especially his plan for creating cardinal features in the city with the Capitol and White House connected by "by a grand avenue four hundred feet in breadth, and about a mile in length, bordered by gardens, ending in a slope from the houses on each side." This vista was the inspiration for McMillan Plan's park-like means of communication between the legislative and the executive branches which became the National Mall.