Sunday, September 20, 2009

Washington D.C.

Recently I went on a trip to Washington D.C.  It amazed me how all the architecture there stood out.  We were there for a week and yet it felt like we needed a month before we could have a remote chance of truly appreciating D.C. 

In constrast to Colorado, when you walk down the street in D.C. there's so much to see.  More than anything I was fascinated by the architecture.  The detail and design that went into these buildings was impressive.

Pictures of the National Archives

The National Archives is pretty much the nation's storehouse for important documents.  Established in 1934 by Congress, the National Archives houses some of the most important documents pertaining to the United States. Some of these documents include the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights.

These two pictures are of the National Gallery of Art. West Building (1941) is on the left, East Building (1978) is on the right.  The West Building is made of pink Tennessee marble and was designed by architect John Russell Pope.  This is a neoclassical style, similar to the Pantheon in Rome.  The East Building on the other hand is sharply geometrical, designed by I.M. Pei.

Picture - entrance of the west building
When I walked into the west building, I found it to be incredible. The tiles in this room are blue with flecks of black and grey.  With the high rise columns and tile, it was majestic. 

Some of the art displayed in the West Building include scultures and paintings from European artists from the medieval period to the 19th century.  For example: Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh, and Leonardo da Vinci.  (Wiki)
In contrast to the west building, the east building wasn't as impressive to me.  Art seemed to be randomly displayed.  However, the layout of the floor plan was fairly interesting.  I didn't get to see much of the East Building.  The East Building focuses more on contemporary and modern art.

Another piece of architecture designed by John Russell Pope, the Jefferson Memorial was constructed also using a neoclassical style.  The building was completed in 1943.  It's composed of circular marble steps and a circular collection of Ionic columns. (Wiki)

Washington National Cathedral
Church of neogothic design, 6th largest in the world, second largest in the U.S.
Construction lasted 83 years, having been finished in 1990.
This was my favorite piece of architecture in D.C.  The building to me resembles a crystal chandalier.
All the details put into this building make it a beauty from any angle.

World War I Memorial.  Designed by Frederick H. Brooke in association with architects Horace W. Peaslee and Nathan C. Wyeth in 1931.  This was built to commemorate the 26,000 soldiers from Washington D.C. who served in World War I.

The interior of the World War 1 Memorial.