Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Project365: Day 262 - Washington DC - Day 3

Brittany's office helped us contact the office of Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, who in turn was wonderfully helpful in arranging for Brittany and I to take two very excellent tours while in DC. The first of these tours was of the United States Capitol Building. Tours of the building are open to the general public, but when you arrange for a tour through your state legislators you get a much more personal (read: not in a group of 25 other tourists) tour led by one of their office interns.


Capitol Rotunda

Both houses of the legislature were in a lunch recess when we were on our tour, but we were still able to go see the House of Representatives chambers from the viewing gallery. Apparently the Senate gallery is only open to the public when the Senate is actually in session, but the House gallery is almost always open for viewing. Only members of the press are permitted to bring cell phones, cameras, and other media devices into the chambers so, sadly, I was not able to get any photos of the House gallery.

East Capitol Plaza

After our Capitol tour, we wanted to go see the Library of Congress as well. On our way we passed in front of the Supreme Court Building, designed by another of my favorite architects: Mr. Cass Gilbert. If you're a Minnesotan, he designed your State Capitol building as well.

Supreme Court

The Library of Congress Jefferson Building was spectacular. Though, once again, the most impressive spaces (the actual library collection and the exhibit of Thomas Jefferson's personal library collection) do not permit photography. Nevertheless, I was able to make a few photographs of the amazing, ornate detail in the public lobby.

Library of Congress - Jefferson Building 1

Library of Congress - Jefferson Building 2

Continuing with the architectural theme of the day, we spent the afternoon at the National Building Museum. The building was impressive, the museum was not. Many of the exhibit spaces were "in transition" for new displays, so there was not a lot to see there. Except for this enormously awesome atrium.

National Building Museum

After the Building Museum, we went back to the hotel and rested for a few hours before heading to dinner and our evening plans: the Monuments at night.

The strongest memories I have of visiting DC almost a decade ago were of visiting the monuments and memorials at the west end of the National Mall at night. Now seeing them again as an adult, I realized why those memories stayed with me. This time, however, I had a camera.

Flowers for the Fallen

Vietnam War Memorial


Washington Monument, from the Lincoln Memorial


Lincoln Memorial

FDR Memorial

FDR Waterfall

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Jefferson Reflected

Jefferson Monument

And for those of you, like Brittany, who think I don't take enough photos of people, here is a photo of Brittany and I on the steps of the Jefferson Monument at the end of our night tour.

On Jefferson's Steps

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