Mom and I went to the top of the Empire State Building (102nd floor!) on Saturday morning. As you can well imagine, I took A LOT of photos. This is one of my favorites. So far…
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Two days until Inauguration! Because I am not insane, I have no plans to attend this year. It was an amazing (and cold) experience in 2009, but I swore I wouldn’t go to another one until a (not batshit crazy) woman was elected president. (Hillary 2016?!) Because of this oath to myself, I decided to wander around for an hour or so today to experience some of the exitement, without all the security and crowds.
The National Capitol Columns began their life on the East Portico of the Capitol in 1828. They were quarried from sandstone near Aquia Creek in Virginia and were barged to Washington in the early days of our country, before the familiar Capitol dome was completed. Their stay at the Capitol was to be limited by an oversight. The dome of the Capitol, completed in 1864, appeared as if it was not adequately supported by the columns because the iron dome that was ultimately built was significantly larger than the dome that the designer envisioned. An addition to the east side of the Capitol was proposed to eliminate this unsettling illusion, but it was not constructed until 1958. They found their new home at the National Arboretum in the 1980s. While 22 of the original 24 columns stand in the Ellipse Meadow, the remaining two rest at the summit of Mount Hamilton, inside the arboretum’s Azalea Collection. Both are cracked in half and neither have a base or capital.
Atlas is a bronze statue in front of Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, New York City, across Fifth Avenue from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The sculpture depicts the Ancient Greek Titan Atlas holding the heavens. It was created by sculptor Lee Lawrie with the help of Rene Paul Chambellan, and it was installed in 1937.
The sculpture is in the Art Deco style, as is the entire Rockefeller Center. Atlas in the sculpture is 15 feet tall, while the entire statue is 45 feet tall, as high as a four-story building. It weighs seven tons, and is the largest sculpture at Rockefeller Center. The North-South axis of the armillary sphere on his shoulders points towards the North Star as seen from New York City
Don’t know if you heard or not, but we had an earthquake yesterday.
It was my first ever. I could have gone my entire life without that particular experience.
This is my office building. See that floor way at the top? (In my defense, 10 stories is pretty big by DC standards.) That’s where I was when it hit. Of course, I had absolutely NO clue what it was when it happened.
My thoughts, in order:
1) Seriously large train (there are train tracks right behind the building and I’m used to the entire building bouncing when a train goes past several times a day).
2) Train derailment.
3) Oh shit, they’ve bombed the Capitol (which is about four blocks away) and we’re all going to die.
Earthquake was not even on my radar.
It should be pretty interesting tomorrow when the train goes by, the building starts bouncing and I freak out momentarily.
Can we never do this again, please?
I went exploring in my hometown for a little over the weekend. I found a lot of interesting architectural bits on the old buildings. My favorite find, however, was this ghost sign from the old McCrory’s 5 & 10 store. I had never seen it before. The store is now long gone, but I remember it fairly vividly from my childhood.
Cool extra bit of information – my paternal Grandmother met my Grandfather while she worked at that store. It was shortly after he returned from World War II. She used to play records for him in the store. I don’t know all the details, but I know at one point he asked to walk her home after work one night and it caused quite the stink with her family. Oh times they have changed!
Today is the 2nd Annual Wear Green In Support of Agriculture Day! I’m wearing green!
My mom and I visited the Homer Laughlin China Company in Newell, West Virginia on Wednesday. What an awesome place. I went anticipating awesome Fiesta dishes and ended up finding a very cool building to photograph as well! I’m happy to say I came home with lots of fun Fiesta dishes and several photos! I can’t wait to go back again (when it’s warmer) and explore further!
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).
As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the co-founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for a quarter-century and was the precursor of the modern-day Democratic Party. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789–1793) and second Vice President (1797–1801).
A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
The Pennsylvania Capitol dome in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania rises 272 feet. This vaulted dome weighs 52 million pounds and was modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The roof is composed of green glazed terra cotta tile.
The Capitol was designed in the American Renaissance style by Philadelphia architect Joseph Huston (1866-1940) who envisioned the building as a “Palace of Art.” Built and furnished at a cost of $13 million, the Capitol features paintings, stained glass and furnishings by some of the best artisans of the day.
The building incorporates various Renaissance designs in some of its largest rooms: Italian in the House Chamber, French in the Senate Chamber and English in the Governor’s Reception Room. It also reflects Greek, Roman and Victorian influences in its art and ornamentation. Throughout the building, Huston blended the various styles with motifs featuring Pennsylvania’s achievements in labor, industry and history, making the Capitol uniquely American. It’s five-story exterior is faced with handsome Vermont granite.
“Commonwealth” by sculptor Roland Hinton Perry, is a female figure representing Pennsylvania. Placed at the top of the Capitol dome on May 25, 1905, the gilded bronze statue stands 17 feet, 8 inches tall. The figure holds the mace of statehood in her left hand and extends her right hand in benediction. “Commonwealth” was restored in 1997-1998 and returned to her rightful place at the Capitol’s peak on September 12, 1998.