Monday, April 12, 2010

Capitol Columns

I escaped the heat of the city this past weekend for the spring greenery of the National Arboretum. One of the more interesting installations in this large park are the original 22 (out of 24) sandstone Corinthian columns from the East (entry) portico of the Capitol Building.The columns began life in 1828, quarried from Aquia Creek in Virginia and then sent on a barge to the construction site of the capitol where they were carved.
In 1958, the columns were removed from the Capitol building in an effort to complete and perfect the original design. These columns witnessed the history of our country.
In the 1980s, a group of conservators gathered and raised money to erect the columns as a memorial in the National Arboretum.The columns rest perched on a small knoll in a 20 acre clearing. In beautiful weather, such as we had this weekend, families bring picnics and relax in their stately shadow.
Stone saved from the renovation of the Capitol was used to create a base on which to walk and create a fountain at the base of the columns (which you can see on the lower right, above).
Patron's names were carved into this salvaged marble: one of the more famous names we saw was Katharine Graham, of Washington Post fame.
Next time you are in DC, take the time to visit the beautiful National Arboretum - a piece of the country right in our Nations Capital.
More information on the Capitol Columns online HERE.


Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

More of those beautiful blossoms! If I am ever lucky enough to visit DC, this place will defo be on my list of places to go to.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget to go back to the Arboretum the last weekend in May to see the spectacular 8 acre herb garden and as you enter through the rose garden, containing the old fashioned roses that bloom only once a year (Bourbons, Chinas, Damasks, etc) count your lucky stars that you live in one of the most beautiful cities on earth! Missing Washington - can you tell?

pve design said...

If one of my sons ends (lucky enought) up in a college nearby - then I will have a lot of places to visit that you are always so wonderful to share with each of us!

Karena said...

Stefan I am amazed at the columns, what beautiful historic imagery!!

Art by Karena

I have a fascinating interview with artist Robert Anders up on my site.

victoria thorne said...

Ahh! I miss this beautiful city (and the people I love that are there . . . )

Thanks for another gorgeous slice of home!

24 Corners said...

Never knew such a thing existed, how fascinating & beautiful, thanks for enlightening me. Visiting DC was a life changing experience and one that I will always treasure. So happy to have another amazing site to discover, learn about and explore when I visit next.

Anonymous said...

What great artefacts and what an inspiring way to use them.
Its like coming across a bit of ancient Rome in the states.
I am guessing that the play of shadows across the ground will be amazing.
Thanks and best wishes

The Down East Dilettante said...

Such a stirring sight...and so incredible that they were saved. I came across an 1870's stereo view card just the other day, showing these columns in place...with not a person to be seen in front of the capitol. How things change.

The Down East Dilettante said...

P.S., just to do that thing I love of tying all the degrees of separation together, did you know that Mrs. Garrett, who saved the columns, also was the long time owner of the lovely French style house in Kalorama, designed by Paul Cret, that you posted a few weeks back?

Kwana said...

Thanks for these beautiful and breezy pics.

maison21 said...

who knew? absolutely lovely. thanks for the tour!

Janet said...

I really do love those columns! Stanking so starkly in the landscape.

La Petite Gallery said...

Thank you, Thank you Thank you.
This was so interesting, I didn't
know about the Columns,Beautiful.

Have a wonderful Day.