Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, folk art, and decorative arts from the colonial period to today—offer an unparalleled record of the American experience.

Highlights Lunder Conservation Center; Luce Foundation Center for American Art, a public study center with more than 3,300 artworks to explore; Kogod Courtyard with free, public Wi-Fi internet access

Published in Historical Attractions
Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Smithsonian Institution Visitor Center

The Smithsonian Institution Visitor Center was the first Smithsonian building, designed by architect James Renwick, Jr., whose other works include St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, also in Washington D.C. James Renwick designed the Castle as the focal point of a picturesque landscape on the Mall, using elements from Georg Moller's Denkmäler der deutschen Baukunst.

The building is completed in the Gothic Revival style with Romanesque motifs. This style was chosen to evoke the Collegiate Gothic in England and the idea of knowledge and wisdom. The façade is built with red sandstone from the Seneca quarry in Seneca, Maryland in contrast to the granite, marble and yellow sandstone from the other major buildings in Washington, D.C.

The main Smithsonian visitor center is also located here, with interactive displays and maps. Computers electronically answer most common questions. A crypt just inside the north entrance houses the tomb of James Smithson.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

St. Matthew's Cathedral

The Saint Matthew Cathedral church and parish is named for Saint Matthew the Apostle, the patron saint of civil servants, recognizing all those who serve in the municipal, state, and national governments and the many international organizations located in the metropolitan area. The church is the seat or cathedra of the Archbishop of Washington.  As the Mother Church of the archdiocese, it plays a major role in the Catholic life of the nation’s capital.

The funeral Mass for President John F. Kennedy was celebrated in the Cathedral on November 25, 1963 with many international heads of state and governments in attendance. In 1979, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in the Cathedral during his visit to the United States. Annually, on the Sunday before the first Monday in October when the Supreme Court of the United States begins its regular term, a special Mass is celebrated praying for the Holy Spirit to guide all those who are members of the legal profession. Known as the "Red Mass" in reference to the vestment color, the Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, the President's Cabinet, diplomatic corps, local municipal, state and national government leaders, and sometimes the President of the United States join the celebration.

Located just off the intersection of Connecticut Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue, and M Street in Northwest Washington and about four blocks from the White House.

Published in Attractions
Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00

Strathmore Music Center

Strathmore is a cultural and artistic venue and institution in North Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Strathmore was founded in 1981 and consists of two venues: the Mansion and the Music Center.

The Strathmore arts complex is connected to an upper floor of the parking garage at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Washington Metro station via an elevated pedestrian walkway, the Carlton R. Sickles Memorial Sky Bridge, named after late Congressman Carlton R. Sickles. The complex is thus accessible for patrons coming from Washington, D.C., as well as the northern part of Montgomery County, Maryland via the Metro rail system

Published in Attractions

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (on the building itself called the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts, and commonly referred to as the Kennedy Center) is a performing arts center located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. The Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, produces and presents theater, dance, ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music, in addition to multi-media performances for all ages.

It is the busiest performing arts facility in the United States and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly two million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 20 million more. Now in its 41st season, the Center presents the greatest examples of music, dance and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliate, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Center's achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in over 200 theatrical productions, dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.

It represents a public-private partnership, since it is both the nation's living memorial to President John F. Kennedy and the "national center for the performing arts," which includes educational and outreach initiatives, almost entirely paid for through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.

Designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, it was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain and is administered by a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution. It receives federal funding each year to pay for the maintenance and operation of the building.

Published in Attractions
Friday, 22 November 2013 00:00

The National Civil War Life Museum

The National Civil War Life Museum is a step back in time to the days of the Civil War. With more than 2,000 exhibits on display, anyone visiting the museum will feel what it was really like to have not only fought in the war, but to have lived during the time of the war.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Theodore Roosevelt Island

In the 1930s landscape architects transformed Mason’s Island from neglected, overgrown farmland into Theodore Roosevelt Island, a memorial to America’s 26th president. They conceived a “real forest” designed to mimic the natural forest that once covered the island. Today miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands honor the legacy of a great outdoorsman and conservationist

Published in Historical Attractions
Friday, 22 November 2013 00:00

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, is also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and has never been officially named. The Tomb of the Unknowns stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.

The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. The six wreaths, three sculpted on each side, represent the six major campaigns of World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words:

Published in Historical Attractions
Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Tudor Place House & Garden

Tudor Place is a Federal-style mansion in Washington, D.C. that was originally the home of Thomas Peter and his wife, Martha Parke Custis Peter, a granddaughter of Martha Washington. Step-grandfather George Washington left her the $8,000 in his will that was used to purchase the property in 1805. The property, comprising one city block on the crest of Georgetown Heights, had an excellent view of the Potomac River.

Published in Historical Attractions
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 00:00

U.S. Capitol Historical Society

The United States Capitol Historical Society is a nonprofit and nonpartisan educational organization created in 1962 to promote the history of the Capitol and Congress, USCHS serves as an informational and educational resource for its members and the general public.

The Society was established in 1962 as a private non-profit organization. Founded through a bipartisan effort by Congress, the society's creation was spearheaded by its first president, Representative Fred Schwengel of Iowa. The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. They have an Oral History collection at the Library of Congress.