U.S. Department of the Interior Museum
The U.S. Department of the Interior Museum educates the public and DOI employees about the current missions and programs of the Department of the Interior, the history of the Department, and the art and architecture of its headquarters building in Washington, DC.
The Interior Museum acquires objects appropriate for promoting understanding of the Department's activities. The Museum holds these objects in trust and provides access to them for use in supporting the missions of the Department through the documentation, preservation, and management of our collections in ways that enhance their long-term availability for these purposes.
The U.S. Department of the Interior Museum was created by Interior Secretary Harold Ickes to help the American taxpayer understand the work of the Department. In 1935, Ickes appointed Carl Russell from the National Park Service museum division to head the museum committee charged with developing and designing the exhibits. Russell immediately gathered a staff of curators, model makers, artists, sculptors, and others to begin work on the Museum.
The construction of the Main Interior Building provided an opportunity for the new Museum and it was given one floor of an entire wing. The space was not originally intended to be a museum gallery, a challenge for the museum committee, which had to work around a long narrow wing with low ceilings and several load bearing columns.
A curator was assigned to each of the Department’s bureaus. Together these teams developed the exhibits featuring objects, photographs, maps, watercolor illustrations, and interpretative panels. Silhouettes cut from zinc to illustrate the work and mission of the Department were installed in some of the lighting coves above the exhibits.
The museum opened on March 8, 1938 and featured 1,000 objects in 95 exhibits. Secretary Ickes held a formal invitation-only party to open the museum on that day, the party also commemorated the 89th anniversary of the first day in office for the Department’s first secretary, Thomas Ewing. The Museum opened to the public the next day and was an immediate success with 3,000 to 4,000 people visiting the museum monthly.
U.S. Navy Memorial
The United States Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 7th Street Northwest and 9th Street Northwest in Washington, D.C., honors those who have served or are currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine.
The National Park Service, through its National Mall and Memorial Parks administrative unit, provides technical and maintenance assistance to the foundation. The memorial is adjacent to the Archives station and the National Archives building.
Associated with the Memorial is the Naval Heritage Center. The Heritage Center is open 362 days a year, closing only on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
The bronze and marble Ulysses S. Grant Memorial by Henry Merwin Shrady is located by the reflecting pool at the east end of the National Mall, west of the United States Capitol. Its central figure depicts the Civil War general (and future president) seated and still on horseback, as was his custom while observing a battle; bronze reliefs on the marble pedestal show infantry soldiers on the march. Four bronze lions around the pedestal impart a sense of strength and dignity. At the ends of the monument, groups of soldiers and horses appear in tumultuous action, with cavalry at the north and artillery at the south. Measuring 44 feet high and occupying a marble platform over 250 feet long and 70 feet deep, the monument is the largest statuary group in Washington, D.C.; the sculpture of Grant is among the largest equestrian statues in the world. The Congress authorized the creation of the memorial in 1901. Twenty-three sculptors competed for the commission, which was awarded to the relatively unknown Henry Merwin Shrady (1871–1922). A former law student and businessman, Shrady had taught himself to sketch and sculpt, initially by studying animals at the Bronx Zoo. To ensure the accuracy of the Grant Memorial, he studied Civil War history, equipment, and uniforms; joined the New York National Guard; and consulted many war veterans and others who had known the general—including his own father, who had been one of Grant’s physicians. The memorial was completed in 1920; sadly, the sculptor died 15 days before its dedication in 1922. Shrady’s partner in the project was New York architect Edward Pearce Casey (1864–1940), who is also represented in Washington, D.C., by the Taft Memorial Bridge, DAR Constitution Hall, and the completion of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building.
United States Botanic Garden
Steeped in history, rich with tradition, the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and to earth's fragile ecosystems.
More than 200 years ago, George Washington had a vision for the capital city of the United States that included a botanic garden that would demonstrate and promote the importance of plants to the young nation. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. Since 1934, it has been administered through the Architect of the Capitol.
The Garden has been recognized as a museum and is accredited by the American Association of Museums. This accreditation is a widely recognized seal of approval that recognizes a museum's commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.
The USBG is dedicated to demonstrating the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological importance of plants to the well-being of humankind. The USBG promotes botanical knowledge through the cultivation of an ordered collection of plants; presenting displays of plants, exhibits and educational programs to the Congress and the public; and, fostering sustainability and plant conservation.
For the 21st Century, the U.S. Botanic Garden has committed itself to sustainability, educating the public about ways to live by supporting the interconnected web of life that is the environment, and in particular, by nurturing the plants that support the life on our planet. Learn more about the USBG's sustainability efforts through our short film America's Sustainable Garden: The United States Botanic Garden. With the continued support of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Botanic Garden is committed to serving the American people. Just as our forefathers recognized the role of plants in the future development of the fledgling nation, there is even greater need today to renew our understanding of the importance of plants to the well-being of our citizens, our nation and the world. It is hard to imagine a more important mission.
United States Holocaust Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is the United States' official memorial to the Holocaust. Adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the USHMM provides for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. It is dedicated to helping leaders and citizens of the world confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.
With an operating budget of just under $78.7 million ($47.3 million from Federal sources and $31.4 million from private donations) in 2008, the Museum had a staff of about 400 employees, 125 contractors, 650 volunteers, 91 Holocaust survivors, and 175,000 members. It had local offices in New York, Boston, Boca Raton, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.
Since its dedication on April 22, 1993, the Museum has welcomed nearly 30 million visitors, including more than 8 million school children. It has also welcomed 91 heads of state and more than 3,500 foreign officials from over 132 countries. The Museum's visitors came from all over the world, and less than 10 percent of the Museum's visitors are Jewish. Its website had 25 million visits in 2008 from an average of 100 different countries daily. 35% of these visits were from outside the United States, including more than 238,000 visits from Muslim-majority countries.
The USHMM’s collections contain more than 12,750 artifacts, 49 million pages of archival documents, 80,000 historical photographs, 200,000 registered survivors, 1,000 hours of archival footage, 84,000 library items, and 9,000 oral history testimonies. It also has teacher fellows in every state in the United States and has welcomed almost 400 university fellows from 26 countries since 1994.
Researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have documented 42,500 ghettos and concentration camps erected by the Nazis throughout German-controlled areas of Europe from 1933 to 1945.
Entrance is free however you will need a ticket. Go online or box office at the museum the day you intend to visit. Subject matter may be strong for young children.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national memorial in Washington, D.C. It honors U.S. service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam/South East Asia, and those service members who were unaccounted for (Missing In Action) during the War.
Its construction and related issues have been the source of controversies, some of which have resulted in additions to the memorial complex. The memorial currently consists of three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is the best-known part of the memorial.
The main part of the memorial, which was completed in 1982, is in Constitution Gardens adjacent to the National Mall, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, and receives around 3 million visitors each year. The Memorial Wall was designed by American architect Maya Lin. The typesetting of the original 58,195 names on the wall was performed by Datalantic in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2007, it was ranked tenth on the "List of America's Favorite Architecture" by the American Institute of Architects
The Washington Monument is the most prominent structure in Washington, D.C. The 555-foot, 5-1/8" marble obelisk honors the nation's founding father George Washington, who led the Continental Army to victory, and then became the nation's first president under the Constitution. Tickets are required to visit the interior of the Washington Monument
Washington National Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, operated under the more familiar name of Washington National Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church located in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Of neogothic design closely modeled on English Gothic style of the late fourteenth century, it is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, the second-largest in the United States,and the highest as well as the fourth-tallest structure in Washington, D.C. The cathedral is the seat of both the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and the Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, Mariann Edgar Budde. In 2009, nearly 400,000 visitors toured the structure. Average attendance at Sunday services in 2009 was 1,667, the highest of all domestic parishes in the Episcopal Church that year.
The Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, under the first seven Bishops of Washington, erected the cathedral under a charter passed by the United States Congress on January 6, 1893. Construction began on September 29, 1907, when the foundation stone was laid in the presence of President Theodore Roosevelt and a crowd of more than 20,000, and ended 83 years later when the "final finial" was placed in the presence of President George H. W. Bush in 1990. Decorative work, such as carvings and statuary, is ongoing as of 2011. The Foundation is the legal entity of which all institutions on the Cathedral Close are a part; its corporate staff provides services for the institutions to help enable their missions, conducts work of the Foundation itself that is not done by the other entities, and serves as staff for the Board of Trustees. In 2011, the Cathedral was named the recipient of a $700,000 matching grant limited to preservation work as part of the Save America's Treasures program, a public-private partnership operated by the nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation using federal funds that must be matched by private dollars.
The cathedral stands at Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues in the northwest quadrant of Washington. It is an associate member of the Washington Theological Consortium. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2007, it was ranked third on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800.
Today, the White House Complex includes the Executive Residence, West Wing, East Wing, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—the former State Department, which now houses offices for the President's staff and the Vice President—and Blair House, a guest residence.
The Executive Residence is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. The term White House is often used as a metonym for the Executive Office of the President of the United States and for the president's administration and advisers in general, as in "The White House has decided that....". The property is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park. In 2007, it was ranked second on the American Institute of Architects list of "America's Favorite Architecture".
Women in Military Service for America Memorial
The Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) is memorial established by the U.S. federal government which honors women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The memorial is located at the western end of Memorial Drive at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, in the United States. The structure in which the memorial is housed was originally known as the Hemicycle, and built in 1932 to be a ceremonial entrance to the cemetery. It never served this purpose, and was in disrepair by 1986. Congress approved the WIMSA memorial in 1985, and the Hemicycle approved as the site for the memorial in 1988. An open design competition was won by New York architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi. Their original design was leaked to the public, and caused significant controversy. Two years of fund-raising and design revision followed. A revised preliminary design was approved in July 1992, and the final design in March 1995. Ground was broken for the memorial in June 1995, and the structure dedicated on October 18, 1997.
The memorial is notable for its successful mixing of Neoclassical and Modern architecture. The memorial largely retained the Hemicycle, but added a widely praised skylight on the Hemicycle terrace that incorporates not only memorials to servicewomen but also acts as a transition to the memorial below. Construction of the memorial, however, generated a lawsuit when a nearby pylon (part of the gateway to the cemetery) was damaged. Raising funds to pay off the construction