Date added: 3 Jun 2015
Pierre "Peter" Charles L'Enfant (August 2, 1754– June 14, 1825) was a French-born American architect and civil engineer best known for designing the layout of the streets of Washington, D.C., the L'Enfant Plan.
L'Enfant was recruited by Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais to join in the American Revolutionary War in the American colonies.
He arrived in 1777 at the age of 23, and served as a military engineer in the Continental Army with Major General Lafayette. Despite his aristocratic origins, L'Enfant closely identified with the United States, adopting the name Peter.
He was wounded at the Siege of Savannah in 1779, but recovered and served in General George Washington's staff as a Captain of Engineers for the remainder of the Revolutionary War. During the war, L'Enfant was with George Washington at Valley Forge. While there, the Marquis de Lafayette commissioned L'Enfant to paint a portrait of Washington. L'Enfant was promoted by brevet to Major of Engineers on May 2, 1783, in recognition of his service to American liberty.
After the war, L'Enfant designed the badge of the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of former officers of the Continental Army, shaped as an eagle, at the request of Washington. He was sent to France to have insignias made for members of the Society, a group of veterans of the war.