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Washington  DC


Sept. 22-27, 2004

Capitol     White House     Supreme Court     Washington Monument     


The Capitol                                       

The Capitol of the United States crowns Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and houses the legislative branch of government, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate. The 1792 competition for its design was won by Dr. William Thornton, a gifted amateur architect, with a Palladian-inspired scheme featuring a central shallow-domed rotunda flanked by the Senate (north) and House (south) wings. President George Washington laid the cornerstone in 1793, but construction proceeded slowly under a succession of architects, including Stephen Hallet (1793), George Hadfield (1795-98) and James Hoban (1798-1802), architect of the White House, who completed the Senate wing in 1800. Benjamin Latrobe, a major architect of early 19th-century America, took over in 1803; by 1811 he had renovated the Senate wing and completed the House wing. The Capitol was burned by British troops in 1814; in the following year Latrobe began its reconstruction and redesign. Charles BULFINCH, the brilliant Boston architect who succeeded him in 1818, completed the building, with only slight modifications of Latrobe's master plan, in 1830.




The Capitol     


The Capitol     



The White House 



The Capitol     



The Washington Monument                                         

Designed by Robert Mills (b. Charleston, S.C., Aug. 12, 1781, d. Mar. 3, 1855) in 1838, to follow the form of an Egyptian obelisk, it rises more than 168 m (550 ft) above the city and is the largest masonry structure in the world.

Mills achieved national prominence after being appointed (1836) architect and engineer to the federal government, in which capacity he designed this monument to the first president of the United States, George Washington.

The actual construction of the monument began in 1848 and was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after the architect's death, due to lack of funds and the intervention of the Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble (visible approximately 150 feet up) clearly deliniates the initial construction from its resumption in 1876. It is generally considered fortunate that the Greek Doric rotunda Mills planned for the base of the monument was never built.




Washington Monument                                         



Andrew Jackson 



Supreme Court    



Sherman Monument 



Entrance to Treasury Building   



Located between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., the dramatic and somber Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in November 1982. The privately financed monument was officially accepted by Pres. Ronald Reagan on Nov. 11, 1984, when he signed a document transferring the memorial to the U.S. Park Service. The V-shaped memorial consists of two 250-ft walls of polished black granite sloping to the ground from an apex of 10 feet. The walls are inscribed with the names of the more than 58,000 U.S. men and women who were killed or missing in the Vietnam War. Privately funded through the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund headed by Jan Scruggs, the memorial was designed by Maya Ying Lin, a Yale architecture student whose design was chosen over 1,421 others submitted in the public competition. To ease a controversy aroused by the nontraditional appearance of the memorial, a sculpture of three servicemen and a flag were placed off to the side.

There is a directory (the names on the wall are in chronological order of death) and from 8am to midnight there is always someone there to talk to and help locate a particular name. Flashlights are provided in the pm.




Situated on the South side of the Tidal Basin, in West Potomac park, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is one of the cities most picturesque landmarks. Dedicated in 1943, on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth, this simple circular classical white marble monument is in keeping with a style much favored by the third U.S. president, architect, scholar and political thinker. At its center, a towering 19-foot bronze portrait statue (the plaster one, in position until after WWII, is in the basement, too large to be removed intact) stands on a 6-foot pedestal. Panels are inscribed with excerpts of Jefferson's writing, including one that best sums up the man: "I have sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." The view from the steps is magnificent, especially at night when a halo of blue light crowns the structure. Cherry blossom season (March/April) bestows added beauty to the site. Park rangers give 15-minute talks several times an hour.


The building (archtect: Henry Beacon) was constructed in the style of a classical greek temple with 36 columns meant to represent the Union at the time of Abraham Lincoln's death .

On the North wall, the 16th president's second inaugural address; on the South wall the Gettysburg address. Above the statue the words: "In this Temple, as in the hearts of the people, for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever".