George Washington: 25 Great Projects You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself)
Many countries start from a core that includes the most populous city, such as London in England or Rome in Italy. But the United States proposed a revolutionary idea.
No nation perhaps had ever before the opportunity offered them of deliberately deciding on the spot where their capital city should be fixed. Such capitals are, in a sense, public art. Brasilia is an example. When the former capital, Rio de Janeiro, had become too populous and also perhaps vulnerable being on the coast. Brasilia, located on a high plane in the middle of the country, has the distinction of being the first city designed to be view from the air. The capital is built the shape of an airplane. Since precedent exists for locating a capital in a location chosen for its special purpose of governing a nation, should this idea help nations whose capitals are threatened by dangers of destruction?
Recently, Japan has been troubled by earthquakes that may eventually threaten its capital, Tokyo. Mexico already has taken the step of establishing a Distrito Federal DF. Therefore, it would be possible to move the governmental functions to a safer location? What about Haiti? Many believe the collapse of the government buildings in the recent earthquake slowed down disaster response.
Architect Norman Foster worked on the new capital, Astana, inspiring citizens from many different religions to be portrayed together in the Pyramid of Peace. Washington, D. Will the new National Mall extend the tradition? An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States. Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that a district of territory, not exceeding ten miles square, to be located as hereafter directed on the river Potomac, at some place between the mouths of the Eastern Branch and Connogocheque; be, and the same is hereby accepted for the permanent seat of the government of the United States.
Provided nevertheless, that the operation of the laws of the state within such district shall not be affected by this acceptance until the time fixed for the removal of the government thereto, and until Congress shall otherwise by law provided…And be it further enacted, that on the first Monday of December next, all offices attached to the seat of the government of the United States, shall be removed to…the city of Philadelphia…and be it further enacted that on the first Monday in December, in the year one thousand eight hundred, the seat of government…shall be transferred to the district and place aforesaid.
Approved July 16, II, Congressional Record, Ch. Capitals as Public Art: One of the purposes of a capital is the representation in art, architecture and landscape design, of the virtues and values of the nation.
Monuments inspire. Open spaces allow for gatherings whether in support or protest. In , a joint committee of Congress, chaired by Senator James McMillan of Michigan, the idea of a great mall was conceived. Daniel Burnham, whose success in the Chicago Exposition brought in a new era of architecture and public-space planning, joined the team.
The United States is presently seeking proposals for a redesign of the National Mall. The results of the design competition will be announced in November of What should the new mall look like and why? The statue was lifted into place atop the dome in , its final section being installed on December 2 to the accompaniment of gun salutes from the forts around the city. The work on the dome and the extensions was completed under the direction of Edward Clark , who had served as Walter's assistant and was appointed Architect of the Capitol in after Walter's resignation.
In , the Italian-born artist Constantino Brumidi finished the canopy fresco, a monumental painting entitled The Apotheosis of Washington.
The Founding of Washington D.C., United States
The Capitol extensions were completed in Clark continued to hold the post of Architect of the Capitol until his death in During his tenure, the U. Capitol underwent considerable modernization. Steam heat was gradually installed in the Old Capitol. Between and , the marble terraces on the north, west and south sides of the Capitol were constructed. As part of the grounds plan devised by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted , these terraces not only added over rooms to the Capitol Building but also provided a broader, more substantial visual base for the building.
On November 6, , a gas explosion and fire in the original north wing dramatically illustrated the need for fireproofing. The roofs over the Statuary Hall wing and the original north wing were reconstructed and fireproofed, the work being completed in by Clark's successor, Elliott Woods.
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In the space in the west central front vacated by the Library of Congress was converted to committee rooms. During the remainder of Woods's service, which ended with his death in , no major structural work was required on the Capitol Building. The activities performed in the building were limited chiefly to cleaning and refurbishing the interior. David Lynn , the Architect of the Capitol from until his retirement in , continued these tasks.
Between July and January , the corroded roofs and skylights of both wings and the connecting corridors were replaced with new roofs of concrete and steel, covered with copper. The cast-iron and glass ceilings of the House and Senate chambers were replaced with ceilings of stainless steel and plaster, with a laylight of carved glass and bronze in the middle of each.
The House and Senate chambers were completely remodeled, improvements such as modern air conditioning and lighting were added, and acoustical problems were solved. During this renovation program, the House and Senate vacated their chambers on several occasions so that the work could progress.
The next significant modification made to the Capitol was the East Front extension. This project was carried out under the supervision of Architect of the Capitol J. George Stewart , who served from until his death in Begun in , it involved the construction of a new East Front 32 feet 6 inches east of the old front, faithfully reproducing the sandstone structure in marble. The old sandstone walls were not destroyed; rather, they were left in place to become a part of the interior wall and are now buttressed by the addition.
The marble columns of the connecting corridors were also moved and reused. Other elements of this project included repairing the dome, constructing a subway terminal under the Senate steps, reconstructing those steps, cleaning both wings, birdproofing the building, providing furniture and furnishings for the 90 new rooms created by the extension, and improving the lighting throughout the building. The project was completed in Following the appointment of George M.
Electronic voting equipment was installed in the House chamber in ; facilities were added to allow television coverage of the House and Senate debates in and , respectively; and improved climate control, electronic surveillance systems, and new computer and communications facilities have been added to bring the Capitol up to date. The Old Senate Chamber , National Statuary Hall , and the Old Supreme Court Chamber , on the other hand, were restored to their midth-century appearance for the nation's Bicentennial celebration.
In , work began on the strengthening, renovation and preservation of the West Front of the U. Structural problems had developed over the years because of defects in the original foundations, deterioration of the sandstone facing material, alterations to the basic building fabric a fourth-floor addition and channeling of the walls to install interior utilities , and damage from the fires of and and the gas explosion.
To strengthen the structure, over 1, stainless steel tie rods were set into the building's masonry. More than 30 layers of paint were removed, and damaged stonework was repaired or replicated.
Ultimately, 40 percent of the sandstone blocks were replaced with limestone. The walls were treated with a special consolidant and then painted to match the marble wings. The entire project was completed in , well ahead of schedule and under budget. A related project, completed in January , effected the repair of the Olmsted terraces, which had been subject to damage from settling, and converted the terrace courtyards into several thousand square feet of meeting space.
As the U. Capitol Building entered its third century, restoration and modernization work continued under the guidance of Alan M. Hantman's retirement in Major projects included conservation of the Rotunda canopy and frieze and the Statue of Freedom, creation of murals in three first-floor House corridors, and replacement of worn Minton tiles in the Senate corridors.
Permanent television broadcasting facilities were installed in the Senate Chamber , and the subway system linking the U.
George Washington: 25 Great Projects You Can Build Yourself - Carla Mooney - Google Llibres
Repair and restoration of the House monumental stairs was completed in A program of barrier removal begun in the s continues in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. I would have had so much fun using the make your own activities in the classroom. I guess I will just have to focus my teaching skills on my own children instead:. As a mom and former history teacher I highly recommend this series.
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