DC Tour

This is a brief summary of my tour of DC on Feb 1-3, 2001. There are a lot more pictures than the ones linked here,
These are just some highlights (read: the only pictures that came out well). Enjoy.

Day 1

Masonic Temple

  • [PIC] Portion of large mural in lobby depicting the laying of the cornerstone for the capitol building
  • [PIC] The masonic emblem upside down from a staircase landing
    Observation Deck
  • [PIC] View of Old Town from Observation Deck (MD tree-bank seen on horizon)
  • [PIC] View of front lawn (and masonic emblem) from observation deck.
  • [PIC] Some sunlight breaking through the clouds
    Fifth Floor
  • [PIC] A mural of workers carrying keystone
  • [PIC] Another mural
  • [PIC] Arc(h?) of the Convenant replica
    Fourth Floor (Cryptic Room)
  • [PIC] Semi-optical illusion of being in a crypt
  • [PIC] A mural
  • [PIC] A mural of an overseer evaluating a design
  • [PIC] Another mural
    Seventh Floor (Altar of Templar)
  • [PIC] A stained glass window
  • [PIC] Another stained glass window
    Washington Museum
  • [PIC] A statue of GW (get used to them)
  • [PIC] GW’s last will and testament as printed in a period newspaper
  • [PIC] GW’s family bible (or so I’m told)
    Shriner Stuff
  • [PIC] A moving shiner parade thingy. Kinda cute. Almost.
  • [PIC] A mural inspired by the costumes inspired by near-eastern dress (Left portion)
  • [PIC] A mural inspired by the costumes inspired by near-eastern dress (Center portion)
  • [PIC] A mural inspired by the costumes inspired by near-eastern dress (Right portion)

Day 2

Supreme Court

  • [PIC] Front of Supreme Court building (all marble)
  • [PIC] Lobby, (kinda dark but impressive), all marble as well (almost everything is made of marble)
  • [PIC] Staircase down to basement level. All marble. Note the handrails carved out of marble but inset into the wall. Very nice detail. Also, brass door at end of staircase.
  • [PIC] Status of John Marshall that was being moved into the display area in basement level

Union Station

  • [PIC] A Christoper Columbus statue in front of Union Station
  • [PIC] A hallway just in front of the building before entering (perpendicular to the doors)
  • [PIC] A decent shot of the (real 24k) gold trim in the ceiling
  • [PIC] An eating area on a raised platform in the main lobby. Note the gold trim in the ceiling

Capitol Building

  • [PIC] The model from which the mold for the statue at the top of the
    main dome of the capitol was made. Replete with symbolism. Indian fethers, laurel, sword, etc.
  • [PIC] Brumidi hallway. Done mostly in fresco’s by Brumidi as his sentence after appealing to the Pope in Italy. Was sent to US to paint instead of jail.
  • [PIC] A beautiful cast brass railing. Note the interlocking marble steps.
  • [PIC] One of the medallions in Brumidi hall. They are painted when a significant event happens in our country. In this case, the landing on the moon in 1969. Also figured on another medallion is the 1986(?) Challenger explosion.
  • [PIC] The basement under the main dome. All the marble columns support the majorit of the weight (and there are quite a few). GW was supposed to be buried in this room and there is a place in the center that was reserved. Instead there is just a large medallion now.
  • [PIC] A large brass door very similar to the ones found in the Vatican and in Venice donated by Italy. The panels depict the history of slavery.
  • [PIC] A close up of one of the panels. In this one, a slave auction. The tushy on the young slave towards the bottom right is rubbed for good luck, so that’s why it’s shinier
  • [PIC] The fresco(?) on the inside of the main dome. in the center of the inner circle is GW (pick in color) surrounded by 13 women representing the 13 colonies. Directly on either side of him are two male figures whose identities I don’t know.
  • [PIC] Panning down from the dome, is a painting (not engraving) in greyscale of the history of the US. Starting with an eagle at just left of center of this picture, working towards the right starting with Columbus and the Indians, coming full circle around the dome, ending up with the Wright brothers and the first flight
  • [PIC] Panning down some more, some more paintings, inset into the marble wall with a decorative frame. A very nice design. The paintings are oil on canvas.
  • [PIC] This is the room where congress originally met (or maybe it was
    the second place, I have pictures of the first one that came out poorly). On the floor there are special tiles to mark where
    the desk of specific congressmen were (Lincoln, etc).

  • [PIC] Panning a little higher in the same room, there is a smaller dome.
  • [PIC] In the same room, a clock above a marble doorway. This clock is an original from when the congress actually met in this room.
  • [PIC] This is jus a closeup of the work at the top of the marble
    columns. Picture was taken on third floor heading towards the House gallery.
  • [PIC] Standing on the 2nd floor towards a landing heading towards the third floor. I forget what war the painting depicts but it is extremely large. Everything you see in the pictures is a deep purple/red marble. Very gorgeous.
  • [PIC] This is a hallway as we are heading out towards the street. I thought it was a very nice hall, flanked by statues of congressfolk.

Library of Congress

  • [PIC] This is a fountain (all fountains shut off in winter) of Neptune
    at the front of the library. Note the horses on either side which have normal upper bodies but fish-like lower bodies
  • [PIC] This is the main lobby of the library. The reading rooms aren’t open to visitors, but this is the visitor entrance area. Everything in here is marble except for the ceilings which are usually mosaics. To the left and right are marble staircases with beautiful marble work on the rails.
  • [PIC] A shot of one of the staircases. The railing is the largest piece of carved marble in the world (there are two, one for each side). I could be slightly mistaken on the ‘largest piece’ title. It’s the largest something or other.
  • [PIC] That’s the ceiling. Stained glass and everything else is mosaics.
  • [PIC] Another sample of mosaics on the ceiling. This is one of many panels in a hallway. Just to the left you see names that were relevant to this discipline. In the middle (John) Marshall, Chief Justice of Supreme Court.
  • [PIC] A nice shot of marble walls and a painting (not sure if it’s
    fresco or not) above it. Off the sides you can see where the mosaics start
  • [PIC] This is a bad shot of the marble floor in the main lobby. The squares contain zodiac symbols which is the only place I saw them in all of DC. In the center there is a medallion of a compass (which is actually pointing north correctly)
  • [PIC] Another bad shot of the floor on the main lobby, but i think it gives really good context. In the center of the green circle is the compass medallion.
  • [PIC] Heading up a staircase to the visitors area of the main reading room (which is basically a glass skybox) is an amazing mosaic of Mierva. As always a lot of symbolism. The spear pointed down, the shield on the ground, the (hardly visible) scale and snake dress (look towards the chest area), the scroll that listst all of the discipline. The statuette is also something important that I can’t remember.
  • [PIC] Finally, the main reading room. A jaw dropping piece of work. It is octogonal with 8 white statues at the top of each column (three can be seen here). Each status represents a discipline. To either side of the statue is a smaller bronze statue of a real person who contributed significantly to that discipline. Everything from the white statues down is marble. Lots of imported yellow and red marble from europe and africa. Absolutely breathtaking. Also, the windows are two layers of frosted glass, so as to reduce the glare inside the reading room both for reading comfort and damage control of documents.
  • [PIC] This is a great shot of the top of the dome for the main reading room. Each of the figures there represence a country (written to the side) that the artist felt most contributed to the evolution of our culture. Along with each person on the ground is a set of tools relevant to their contribution (eg, Germany with the Gutenberg press). Each figure does have a pair of wings which interlock which is yet more symbolism. In the centere there is a donut hole leading up to a little tower-dome thing.

Day 3


  • The bastards at the whitehouse don’t allow photography inside, which is just as well, since it’s not a very exciting tour. Basically they show you a handful of rooms decorated pretty hideously (relatively speaking) and painted obnoxious colors, like green. However, here are a couple of pictures from the outside of the building.
  • [PIC] This is the place where people used to get dropped off. Now it’s
    just a walking area where people get herded along.
  • [PIC] A shot from further away. Notice the beautiful day I got.
  • [PIC] Further, and further, and further.

Walking Around

  • [PIC] We went to a very cool building that had very modern architecture. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the front or inside of it, but as we were walking out, I saw this and couldn’t resist a picture. It’s very European looking and that is another building that it shares this plaza with. Very pretty.
  • [PIC] This is the building we were inside of, but this is the back of it (again, from the plaza)
  • [PIC] Inside of said building, there was a piece of the Berlin wall. It was pretty neat to see after hearing so much about it.
  • [PIC] This is the “Old Post Office” As it’s labeled. It’s a mediocre picture because the sun was out in full force so I had to hide it behind the tower in order to get even this barely decent shot.
  • [PIC] Ye olde FBI building. Ph34r. Note the FBI police cars parked out front.
  • [PIC] Why if it isn’t the IRS building. Say cheese.
  • [PIC] Just in case you don’t believe me, that sign says “Internal
    Revenue Service Building”. As if they’re providing a public service. Thanks guys! :)
  • [PIC] I forget what museum this is. The entire thing is made of pink marble. This is one side of the building, we will see the other side shortly. For our purposes, we will call it Museum X.
  • [PIC] The lobby of Museum X has this interesting opening that looks up at the second floor. Again, all pink marble.
  • [PIC] Standing in the lobby there are two doorways to either side. Yes, even more pink marble. And very nice double height ceilings.
  • [PIC] As illustrated here.
  • [PIC] So we walked to the end of Museum X, then tooko an escalator down underneath it. We are now walking to Museum Y by underground passage. Here we have a fountain that runs right up against the window. Very impressive.
  • [PIC] Here we are in Museum Y (which might be museum of modern art). This is an extremely large woven piece, as evidenced vy the height of person standing beneath it (coincidentally, my tour guide).
  • [PIC] I thought that piece was interesting enough to warrant a picture of the description.
  • [PIC] Here we have exited Museum Y and are looking at Museum X! Those glass pyramid things are actually skylights to the underground passage way, and the fountaing towards the right is the same fountain we saw from underneath!
  • [PIC] Here we are between Museum X and Y looking up the street. I thought it was very scenic. Again, it was a fantastic day.


    Navy Memorial
  • [PIC] Navy Memorial from slightly afar.
  • [PIC] Navy Memorial. On the ground in front of you you see a large circular plaza, and very subtle is the outline of Antarctica, South America, and further up, North America. The breaks in the tiles seem to form meridian lines.
  • [PIC] Still at Navy Memorial, bronze carvings of different aspects of navy life. These are each contributed by a different artist and are all very well done.
  • [PIC] The Archives. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The archive knows.
    Korean Memorial
  • [PIC] Here we have the platoon of soldiers, each different representing different cultures involved with war, and different aspect of it (there is a pilot in the group). These statues are made of stainless steel which is extremely heavy. All of fictional people except for the one closest to the camera (off towards the right between tree and lamp post).
  • [PIC] These had to have cement foundations poured so they wouldn’t sink into the ground. They are masterfully sculpted and their ponchos are very very well done. The shiny stuff you see in the ground are marble slabs.
  • [PIC] An unattributed quote. This is part of the meditation area/fountain which I thought was very peaceful (I assume even moreso when the fountain is running).
  • [PIC] Said fountain. It is circular except for a missing slice which is where that person is walking. The qoute is on the far side of the wall.
    Lincoln Memorial
  • [PIC] All marble. Surprise. This is a replica of the Parthenon in Greece except for the above recessed part. So it’s not a perfect replica. In that dark area is Mr. Lincoln. I wish I could take a straight picture.
  • [PIC] I don’t know who the freaks are. They snuck in. However, for those who don’t know what to get me for Christmas, obviously a tripod is in order (joking).
    Vietnam Memorial
  • [PIC] This is a statue that represents the culstures that fought in the vietnam war. Here we have caucasian, Black and Hispanic.
  • [PIC] A small portion of the entire wall, this is almost at the tallest part.
  • [PIC] Now getting farther away from it.
  • [PIC] Something for the ladies of the Vietnam. Three female nurses and a wounded soldier.
    Rosevelt Memorial
  • [PIC] The entrance to the Rosevelt Memorial, which is very peaceful and
    very modern looking and at the same time very classic. (I’m aware that makes no sense.)
  • [PIC] This is the second or third term I believe. The rocks to the
    left represent something that has crumbled. Among the rocks the words “I hate war.” are written but broken up. To the right
    is a waterfal, and straight ahead is the famous sculpture of Rosevelt and his dog.
  • [PIC] And a closeup therof.
    Jefferson Memorial
  • [PIC] The Jefferson Memorial from across the tidal basin
  • [PIC] Again from across the basin but we’re getting close (past the Rosevelt Memorial)
    Washington Monument
  • I probably took about 100 pictures of this monument, but here are some of the better ones.
  • [PIC] Shot of the monument as we headed for Jefferson Memorial
  • [PIC] This is a beautiful shot of the Washington Monument from the top of the Lincoln Memorial. Korean Wall is to the right, Vietnam to the left.