48 Assorted images from Washington DC, including the White House, the Albert Einstein,
Japanese American, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorials, the Sherman Monument,
the Supreme Court, Union Station, Great Falls Park, the Spirit of Haida Gwaii and others.

While some of the images are displayed with Title Bars, the available images
from Washington DC were prepared without Title Bars (available upon request).

Click an image to open a larger version.
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The United States Capitol Building        The National Mall

Washington Monument, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials

Assorted Washington DC     Arlington National Cemetery


Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Washington DC Collection where a Gallery can be selected.


Direct Links:

United States Capitol Building      National Mall Memorials

Assorted Washington DC

Smithsonian Institution             Arlington National Cemetery


White House 2463

The White House, South Lawn and the South Lawn Fountain at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The White House was designed by James Hoban, an architect who was brought to Philadelphia
(the temporary capital) by George Washington in 1792 after Washington had seen his work on the
Charleston County Courthouse, South Carolina. Hoban won the President’s House competition with
a Neo-Classical design that was built on a site selected by Washington from Aquia Creek sandstone
 between 1792 and 1800 and painted white. President George Washington oversaw the construction
 of the White House, but never lived there. The first President in residence was John Adams in 1800.

When Thomas Jefferson moved into the White House in 1801, he and architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe
built the two colonnades, which were originally meant to conceal the stables and exterior storage facilities.
Since then, each President has made some alteration or addition to the White House. In 1814, it was set on
fire during the Burning of Washington by the British, gutting the interior and charring the exterior. It was rebuilt
under the direction of James Hoban, and President Monroe moved back into the unfinished house in 1817.
The South Portico seen above was completed under Monroe’s administration in 1824, the North Portico
was built under Andrew Jackson in 1829. The West and East Wings were added in the 20th century.


White House 2473

The White House, South Lawn and South Lawn Fountain. Note the Secret Service watchman atop the roof.

Until the end of the Civil War, the White House was the largest residential house in the United States, but by
1902, crowding within the executive mansion caused Theodore Roosevelt to have all work offices moved to
the newly completed West Wing (Executive Office Building). The East Wing was added in 1942, primarily
to cover the underground bunker (now the Emergency Operations Center). The wings are connected to
the White House by Thomas Jefferson’s colonnades. During construction of the second floor balcony
over the South Portico (shown above) during President Truman’s administration, it was discovered
that the years of poor maintenance and general decay had caused serious stress to the building,
and Truman’s letters home stated that the unusual popping and creaking sounds made him think
that the White House was haunted. Truman had engineers examine the White House, and they
determined that it was standing only “from force of habit”. Between 1949 and 1952, the interior
was completely gutted, reinforced foundation support columns were poured to support exterior
walls (providing space for the two sub-basements), and steel framework was installed to replace
the original timber frame. The public spaces were reconstructed to generally resemble the original
rooms, with replicas of the original trim and architectural details and restored fixtures and ornaments.


White House 5083 16x9

The South facade of the White House, South Lawn, and South Lawn Fountain.

No substantial architectural changes have been made to the White House since the Truman restoration,
but in 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy oversaw a major redecoration of the interior to restore the Truman-era
decor and furnishings, which had mostly used modern fabrics and casual reproductions of period pieces.

Jacqueline Kennedy created the White House Historical Association to publicize the heritage of the mansion
and get it declared a museum to help preserve it, and created a Fine Arts Committee to accept gifts of antique
furniture, and enlisted the aid of Henry Francis du Pont, an expert and collector of Federal-period furniture whose
extensive Delaware estate (Winterthur) was recognized as the premier museum of American Decorative Arts. He
collected artifacts for the White House, finding many pieces which had once been used in the executive mansion.
Jacqueline Kennedy also enlisted Stephen Boudin of the Parisian House of Jansen to assist in the decoration.
Boudin redecorated the state floor rooms and the West Wing, including the Cabinet Room and Oval Office,
but work was not yet completed when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in November 1963.


Albert Einstein Memorial 5098


Albert Einstein Memorial 5102

The 12 foot tall bronze statue of Albert Einstein at the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue.
The 4 ton sculpture, created by Robert Berks in 1979, was based upon a bust he sculpted from life in 1953 at
Einstein’s home in Princeton, New Jersey. Einstein is seated on a three-step Mount Airy white granite bench
at one end of an emerald-pearl granite dais from Larvik, Norway embedded with 2700 stainless steel studs,
which represent the location of astronomical objects (sun, moon, planets, galaxies, quasars and stars) that
were present in the sky at noon on the day the memorial was dedicated (April 22, 1979). The memorial
is in an elm and holly grove in the southwest corner of the Academy grounds, near the National Mall.


Albert Einstein Memorial 5112

In his left hand, Einstein holds a paper with mathematical equations which summarize his three most
important scientific contributions: Photoelectric Effect, Theory of General Relativity, and Equivalence
of Energy and Matter. Three of Albert Einstein’s quotations are engraved on the back of the bench.

Einstein appears to be making eye contact with a visitor who stands directly in front of the statue.


Albert Einstein Memorial 5130

The distinctive unfinished surface of Robert Berks’ monumental statue of Albert Einstein at the
National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. Robert Berks made a career out of creating
this sculpture of Einstein, begun in 1953 when he had a two-day sitting with the physicist at his
home in Princeton, NJ. After working for a year and creating hundreds of sketches, Berks had
an 8-inch model, the original head of which he claimed that Einstein “loved”. It took 24 years
to find a home for the full-sized sculpture at the Academy of Sciences. The creation of the
sculpture took over a year and the assistance of 1000 people, sometimes 25 at a time
working 15-hour days. Berks first scaled up the 8 inch model to 6 feet, then made the
12 foot final work. The casting of Berks’ clay model (using 6000 pounds of clay on a
steel and aluminum mesh frame) was executed by the Modern Art Foundry in NY.


Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Washington DC Collection where a Gallery can be selected.


Direct Links:

United States Capitol Building      National Mall Memorials

Assorted Washington DC

Smithsonian Institution             Arlington National Cemetery


Federal Reserve Washington DC 5135

The Mariner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue houses offices of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board. Paul Philippe Cret designed the stripped-down Classical building, dedicated in 1937.


Old Executive Office Building 5089

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building (the Old Executive Office Building) is one block west of the White House. Built between 1871 and 1888 in French Second Empire style, it originally held the Departments of State, War and the Navy.


Acacia Griffin Jones-Day 5403

One of two enormous Griffins guarding the entrance to the old Acacia Life building (now Jones-Day).
The Griffins were mythological creatures who guarded the treasures of Scythia. These were designed
by Edmond R. Amateis, who also designed the bronze doors on the West Facade to the US Capitol.
The Neo-Classical Art-Deco building was built in 1936 by the designers of the Empire State Building.


National Archives 5340


National Archives 5373

The National Archives building (Archives I) north of the National Mall on Constitution Avenue holds the
original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, along with
numerous other documents such as the Emancipation Proclamation, Louisiana Purchase Treaty, etc.
John Russell Pope designed the building in 1933 (he also designed the Jefferson Memorial and other
buildings in Washington such as Constitution Hall and the National Gallery of Art, as well as numerous
public buildings in New York City and elsewhere, and stately homes for families like the Vanderbilts).

The pediment over the south portico “Recorder of the Archive” was created by James Earle Fraser,
designer of the famous Indian Head (Buffalo) Nickel, the Navy Cross, and numerous public monuments
and architectural sculptures such as Contemplation of Justice at the Supreme Court building (below).


Supreme Court 5209

The Supreme Court building was designed as the last project of prominent architect Cass Gilbert, who
died a year before it was completed in 1935. Built in marble from Georgia, Vermont, Alabama and Spain,
with Corinthian columns from the Montarrenti quarry near Siena, Italy. The West facade, shown above, has
an ornate facade with the inscription “Equal Justice Under Law” and a pediment sculpture by Robert Aitken
representing Liberty seated on a throne guarded by figures who represent Order and Authority. On each side
are metaphorical figures representing Council, Past Research and Present Research, modeled after Chief
Justices Hughes, Marshall and Taft, Secretary of State Root, the sculptor Aitken and the architect Gilbert.


Supreme Court 5219

Seated on a pedestal left of the West Facade is the sculpture Contemplation of Justice, by James Earle Fraser.

The Supreme Court first met in New York City when the earliest US government was located there, then moved to
Philadelphia along with the government and met in Independence Hall before moving to Old City Hall (1791-1800).
When the government moved to Washington DC, the Supreme Court had no permanent home until 1810, when the
Court moved into the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the North Wing of the US Capitol, previously the lower half of
the Senate Chamber, abandoned when Benjamin Latrobe completed the Old Senate Chamber upstairs in 1810.
When the Senate outgrew this chamber and moved into the new Chamber in the expanded Senate wing in 1859,
the Supreme Court moved into the Old Senate Chamber, where it remained until 1935. William Howard Taft, the
27th President (1909-1913) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1921-30), the only man to have held both
offices, was determined that the Supreme Court should have its own space. They were working in constricted
rooms in the Capitol, had the Library in the basement, and occasionally had to borrow rooms from the Senate.
Chief Justice Taft was the driving force behind the appropriations in Congress and was made Chairman of the
Commission, controlling it through other members of the commission (his friends from the House and Senate).

Several Supreme Court Justices expressed displeasure with the new building and especially the courtroom.
Statements such as “grandiose” and “bombastically pretentious” were heard, and one Justice said that the
Justices were like “nine black beetles in the Temple of Karnak” and that they should “ride in on elephants”.


Supreme Court Contemplation of Justice 5218

Contemplation of Justice, by James Earle Fraser (1935).

James Earle Fraser was commissioned to create the two sculptures alongside the steps of
the Supreme Court building’s West Facade, Contemplation of Justice and Authority of Law.
James Earle Fraser sculpted the National Archives south pediment “Recorder of the Archive”,
the Indian Head Nickel and the Navy Cross, as well as monuments and architectural sculptures.

Fraser described the Contemplation of Justice as “a realistic conception of what I consider a
 heroic type of person, with a head and body expressive of the beauty and intelligence of justice.”

A book of laws supports her left arm and a figure of blindfolded Justice is in her right hand.


Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Washington DC Collection where a Gallery can be selected.


Direct Links:

United States Capitol Building      National Mall Memorials

Assorted Washington DC

Smithsonian Institution             Arlington National Cemetery


Prologue FDR Memorial 2832


Prologue FDR Memorial 2836

“Prologue”, the wheelchair sculpture in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, by Robert Graham (2001).
The FDR Memorial is beside the Cherry Tree Walk, at the edge of West Potomac Park by the Tidal Basin.

When the Memorial was dedicated in 1997, there was controversy due to the designers deciding against
depicting Roosevelt in his wheelchair. The statue unveiled at the dedication showed him in a chair which
was obscured by a cloak. The sculptors added casters to the back of the chair, making it a symbolic
wheelchair, but this did not appease the protesters. The National Organization on Disability’s Alan
Reich raised money for over two years to fund an additional statue that clearly showed Roosevelt
in a wheelchair like the one he actually used. President Clinton dedicated the life-sized bronze
 statue by the renowned California sculptor Robert Graham in January 2001. Robert Graham
made his reputation with hundreds of nude figures and groupings in the 1970s and 1980s,
and he also created monumental sculptures, beginning with the ceremonial gateway for
the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics at the Coliseum. He created the Joe Louis Memorial,
Duke Ellington Monument, the Charlie “Bird” Parker Memorial and other monuments.

Replicas of the statue are used as the United Nations Disabilities and Rights Award.

Images of several of Robert Graham’s nude sculptures are on the LA Public Art page.


Japanese American Memorial 5405


Japanese American Memorial 5409

“Golden Cranes” by Nina Akamu (2000), at the Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II.

The Japanese-American Memorial is located in the northwest corner of Upper Senate Park. It was designed
by Davis Buckley and Nina Akamu to commemorate Japanese-American veterans and those who gave their
lives fighting in World War II, and the more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans who were sent to internment
camps, including Nina Akamu’s grandparents (her mother’s father died in an internment camp). Engraved
on semi-circular walls behind the sculpture are names of the ten internment camps, along with names of
over 800 Japanese-Americans who died in World War II. Nina Akamu’s bronze sculpture rises from
five rough rocks in the center of a pool. Japanese Cranes are depicted with their wings vertical :
one wing reaching towards the sky and the other towards the earth. The two birds press their
bodies together while attempting to escape from the entangling strands of the barbed wire.


Spirit of Haida Gwaii 5380

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Black Canoe, in the courtyard of the Canadian Embassy.

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii was sculpted by the Haida artist Bill Reid. Created as a 1/6 scale clay model
in 1986, it was scaled up to a full-size clay model in 1988, then the full-size plaster maquette was created.
The sculpture was commissioned by Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson, designer of the new embassy in
Washington DC, who asked Bill Reid to think about a sculpture for the courtyard. Reid’s concept was for a
canoe filled with mythological creatures. The bronze casting was made in 1989 at the Tallix Foundry in NY.
It was given a glossy black patina to mimic the appearance of polished argillite, and was installed in 1991.

A second casting with a green patina to mimic the dark emerald green jade of British Columbia
was commissioned for the Vancouver Airport and called The Jade Canoe. It was installed in 1994.
The reverse side of the Canadian Journey series of $20 banknote featured the Spirit of Haida Gwaii.


Spirit of Haida Gwaii 5382

The Haida cedar dugout canoe contains 13 figures:

The steersman is Raven, the trickster of the Northwest Coast in the mythical pantheon of the Haida.
In front of Raven is the human oarsman “The Ancient Reluctant Conscript”, the professional survivor.
Perched in the center is Wolf, his hind claws in the Beaver’s back and biting the wing of the Eagle,
who retaliates by biting the paws of Grizzly Bear in the prow of the canoe, looking back at the past.
Below the Eagle, the Frog, as intermediary between the land and the sea, peers over the gunwale.

 On the other side of the sculpture, Bear Mother, the human wife of Grizzly Bear, sits with their cubs
Good Bear and Bad Bear between them; next is Beaver, uncle of Raven, who hoarded all of the fresh
water and fish in the world; Dogfish Woman, the shapeshifter, who is part human and part Dogfish Shark
with a hooked beak and gill-slits on her cheek; and hidden below Raven’s tail is the Mouse Woman, who
is a traditional guide for travelers between the human and non-human mythological realms of the Haida.


Spirit of Haida Gwaii 5385

The robed Shaman Chief “Kilstlaai” stands in the middle of the Spirit of Haida Gwaii holding a staff
which is carved with portraits of the Seabear and the Raven, and topped with a Killer Whale. At the
far left is the Raven, below his bill the Wolf bites the wing of the Eagle. On the right is Grizzly Bear.


Sherman Monument Peace 5066 M

The General William Tecumseh Sherman Monument, guarded by Soldier sculptures, showing the
east side with the Peace sculpture group, Missionary Ridge bas relief and Commander medallions.

The William Tecumseh Sherman Monument is a complex including sculptures, bas reliefs and an
equestrian statue of General Sherman located one block east of the White House in Sherman Plaza,
the northeast corner of President’s Park. The 1895 design by Carl Rohl-Smith was highly controversial.

Rohl-Smith, who had built an excellent reputation with his bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin in front of
the Electricity Building at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition (lost after the Exposition),
and subsequent sculptures and bas reliefs, entered the competition for the Sherman Monument in
1895. National Sculpture Society sculptors Daniel Chester French, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and
John Quincy Adams Ward agreed to judge the submissions, which were exhibited to the public.
Rohl-Smith’s submission generated the most public approval, but he came in near last in the
judging by the NSS Committee, who created a short list of four of the 23 submissions. The
Memorial Commission overruled the NSS Committee and chose Rohl-Smith as winner.

The Sculpture Society was incensed, and protested the results both to the Society of
the Army of the Tennessee (who were sponsoring the Monument) and to the Press.
Several newspapers jumped into the conflict, including the New York Times, and the
Senate, who covered 2/3 of the necessary funds, enacted legislation to investigate the
Awards process. The Senate debate emphasized their deep distrust of “the art experts”.
Rohl-Smith was accused of using political influence to win the commission (which he was
quick to deny). After two months the Sculpture Society dropped their protest of the award.


Sherman Monument Artillery 2487


Sherman Monument Cavalry 2490

The corner sculptures of the Artillery and Cavalry Soldiers, one of which was done by Sigvald Asbjornsen.

Carl Rohl-Smith did not live to complete the Sherman Monument (he died in Copenhagen, August 1900).
He had contracted malaria in 1896, a real problem in Washington and elsewhere in the South. Before the
discovery by Sir Ronald Ross in 1897 that the mosquito transmitted the previously unknown parasite, and
the eradication between 1947-51, many died each year in Washington DC from malaria. Rohl-Smith went
 to Europe for the summer and returned to work in the fall, but another attack of malaria kept him from work
on the Sherman statue until 1898. By 1900 he had completed and erected the pedestal and three Soldiers.
His continued ill health caused by malaria contributed to his death from Bright’s Disease (kidney nephritis).

Although the government declared the contract null upon his death, the Memorial Committee allowed his wife
and assistant to oversee the completion of the monument. Rohl-Smith had completed three of the four Soldiers
at the corners of the monument, part of the bas-relief panels, and made sketches of the War and Peace groups,
the equestrian statue and the medallions. The Danish sculptor Sigvald Asbjornsen sculpted the War group and
completed the fourth corner statue (either the Artilleryman or the Cavalryman). Lauritz Jensen of Copenhagen
sculpted the equestrian statue, put finishing touches on the bas-relief panels, and made the Eagle Badge
of the Army of the Tennessee. Carl Bonnesen of Denmark sculpted the Peace group based on work by
Stephan Sinding (who fell ill). Theo Kitson sculpted the double-medallions of the Corps Commanders.
The monument was worked on by a diverse group of sculptors, only one of which was in the contest.


Sherman Monument Cavalry Peace 5068


Sherman Monument Engineers War 5072

At left is the Cavalry Soldier, the Peace group, and the Battle of Atlanta and Missionary Ridge bas reliefs.
At right is the Engineers Soldier, War group, and Sherman by the Campfire and Battle of Atlanta bas reliefs.

Battle of Atlanta depicts Sherman and his staff listening to cannon fire from his headquarters at Howard House.
Missionary Ridge shows Sherman waiting for Gen. Thomas to move on the center while troops fight on the ridge.
In Sherman by the Campfire, General Sherman is shown walking by the fire, deep in thought, while his men sleep.
The fourth bas-relief (March Through Georgia) shows the men singing while easily traversing the enemy territory.


Sherman Monument Infantry War 2494

The equestrian statue of General Sherman reviewing troops, the War group, bas reliefs, medallions and Infantry Soldier.


Sherman Monument Infantry War 5078

Detail of the Infantry Soldier, the War group, and the March Through Georgia and Sherman by the Campfire bas reliefs.

The two sculpture groups on the monument are allegorical depictions of War and Peace. Illustrating Sherman’s
epithet that “War is Hell”, the western group shows War as an older woman tearing her clothing and the ties that
bind her, trampling the body of a dead soldier lying at her feet while a vulture behind her and another at her feet
spread their wings menacingly over the dead man. A cannon mouth can be seen below the dead man’s left leg.
The Peace group on the eastern side depicts a young woman naked above the waist with the flowering branch
of a fruit tree in her hands. On her left, a nude young girl tends to a wounded boy in tattered pants (representing
the strong caring for the weak), and on her right a young nude boy is shown sitting in the grass, feeding a bird.


Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Washington DC Collection where a Gallery can be selected.


Direct Links:

United States Capitol Building      National Mall Memorials

Assorted Washington DC

Smithsonian Institution             Arlington National Cemetery


Union Station Vaulted Loggia 2517


Union Station Loggia Centurions 2520

The vaulted loggia at Union Station, with Centurions by Louis St. Gaudens (1914).
These statues are alternately described as centurions and legionnaires, depending on
the source. Ten are located in the loggia arches, and 36 are on ledges over the Main Hall.

Louis St. Gaudens was the brother of renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (he changed his
name to differentiate himself from his brother). St. Gaudens also designed The Progress of Railroading,
six granite statues over the Triumphal Arch leading to the loggia. The statues are reminiscent of the Dacian
Prisoners over the Arch of Constantine in Rome, which was the model for the Triumphal Arch at Union Station.
The six statues represent Archimedes (Mechanics), Ceres (Agriculture), Apollo (Imagination and Inspiration),
Themis (Freedom and Justice), Thales (Electricity), and Prometheus (Fire). Designed in 1908, the granite
statues were cut by Andrew E. Bernasconi, a master Italian stonecutter, between 1909 and 1911.


Union Station Vaulted Loggia 5412

The vaulted loggia at Union Station. The Beaux-Arts architecture of Union Station
was inspired by a number of architectural styles. The Classical exterior and main facade
were inspired by the Arch of Constantine, the vaulted loggia and interior vaulted spaces were
inspired by the Baths of Caracalla and Diocletian in Rome. Union Station is at the intersection of the
grand avenues designed by Pierre L’Enfant, and when it opened in 1907 it brought all of the railroads in
Washington DC under one roof. It is one of the largest railroad stations in the US, and at its height during
World War II it handled over 200,000 passengers every day. The Grand Concourse, 760 feet long and
130 feet high, remains one of the largest public spaces which was ever constructed in the US. When
it opened, Union Station was the largest train station in the world, and covered more space than
any other building in the US. Union Station was designed by architect Daniel H. Burnham.


Union Station Vaulted Loggia 2579


Union Station Vaulted Loggia 2581

The vaulted loggias linking the end pavilions are covered with fireproof Guastavino tiles. The design was
derived from the Court of Honor of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where Daniel Burnham
was Director of Works and Coordinating Architect. In 1903, when he was selected as the Union Station architect,
Daniel H. Burnham had just completed the Flatiron Building in New York City, a ground-breaking skyscraper
created in the Beaux-Arts style which was designed as a wedge-shaped vertical Renaissance palazzo.


Union Station Central Vault 2576

The 96 foot high gilded coffered barrel vault in the Main Hall waiting room. The 120 foot square
Main Hall (or Head House in railroad terminology) features egg and dart molding and gold leaf.
More than 70 pounds of gold leaf was used during the restoration of the Main Hall in the 1980s.


Union Station Centurions 5417

The Main Hall is guarded by 36 Centurions (or Legionnaires depending on the source) designed by
Louis St. Gaudens. The sculptures stand on the balcony ledge and were hollow-cast in plaster with a
sand finish. The statues were originally cast as partial nudes, but railroad officials felt that the public
might have been offended and ordered that shields be strategically placed to cover the short tunics.

Centurions were officers in the Roman Army or Navy who commanded a century
(100 men, composed of 80 legionnaires and 20 non-combatant support personnel).


Union Station Mall Shops 5427

An extremely difficult exposure of the Grand Concourse shopping mall, shooting into the light.

The former Grand Concourse and the periphery of the Main Hall were converted to a shopping mall
during the restoration of Union Station in the late 1980s. The cavernous Grand Concourse is no longer
entered by trains, but now houses 210,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants. The food court
retains the original arches under which trains were parked, and the original track number markings.


Union Station Coffered Ceiling 2547

The gilded coffered ceiling of the Grand Concourse at Union Station. The 760 foot long, 130 foot high
Grand Concourse was said to be the largest single room in the world at the time of its construction. The
Concourse was originally a two level structure with trains entering on the ground floor. As part of the 1980s
reconstruction, a mezzanine level was built, creating a third level which expanded the available retail space.


Union Station Coffered Ceiling 2545


Union Station Coffered Ceiling 2550

The expansive gilded coffered ceiling of the Grand Concourse at Union Station is an awe-inspiring sight.


Union Station Coffered Ceiling 5426

The gilded, coffered ceiling of the Grand Concourse at Union Station.

The Train Concourse on the lower floor was the site of the Pennsylvania Railroad Train Wreck of 1953,
when the brakes failed on the Federal Express (no. 173) from Boston to Washington on January 15, 1953.
A flaw in the design of the fourth coach car (#8865) allowed the handle of the angle cock valve of the air brake
system to come into contact with the frame, closing the valve. This meant that the engine could only control the
brakes of the first three coaches. The brakes worked through Baltimore, but when the train applied its brakes
to decelerate coming into Union Station, only the first three cars worked. The last few miles were on a slight
downgrade, reducing braking efficiency, and the train was on track 16 (the central track on the platform).

When the train came into the station, it was still going 35-40 mph, smashing through the bumper and
entering the concourse. 2.5 million pounds of train barreled through the Stationmasters office, then it
demolished a newsstand and careened over the cement floor before it broke through the floor into the
baggage and mail rooms below. The locomotive broke through the floor inches before crashing into the
crowded waiting room beyond the concourse. Only 87 people were injured (43 requiring hospitalization
and only 6 required overnight stays in the hospital), but remarkably no one was killed. The wreck was
only five days before the Inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Union Station was returned
to operation in only three days. The wreck inspired a similar scene in the 1976 film Silver Streak.


Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Washington DC Collection where a Gallery can be selected.


Direct Links:

United States Capitol Building      National Mall Memorials

Assorted Washington DC

Smithsonian Institution             Arlington National Cemetery


Great Falls Park Potomac River 4867

A languid area in Great Falls Park near the Patowmack Canal, which was built with partial funding from
George Washington to bypass the five falls on the Potomac River in Virginia. The construction of the
Patowmack Canal began in 1785 and was one of the first known examples of the use of blasting powder
(at the time, essentially gunpowder) being used for engineering purposes in the world. George Washington
wanted the Potomac River to be navigable as far as the Ohio River Valley, as it was the shortest potential
route between the East Coast tidewaters and the Ohio River which gave access to the frontier, but to
make the Potomac navigable, sections had to be dredged and canals had to be built to skirt the
five falls, three of which did not require locks. Little Falls only needed wooden locks, but at the
Great Falls, the Potomac River dropped 76 feet in under a mile and required stone locks.


Great Falls of the Potomac River 4885

The Great Falls of the Potomac River is 14 miles upstream from Washington DC, and was a major
impediment to travel due to the steep fall line and the rocks in the gorge, which are often submerged.


Great Blue Heron Great Falls 4915

A Great Blue Heron watches the swirling rapids for stunned fish below the Great Falls of the Potomac River in Great Falls Park. Catching fish in this water has to be quite dangerous.


Fowler’s Toad Great Falls Park 4861 M

Female Fowler’s Toad in Great Falls Park (males are darker).


Squirrel US Capitol 5146 M

The Architect of the Capitol introduced squirrels to the grounds at the end of the 19th century.
The population grew rapidly, and soon Federal staff and Senators began lobbying for shelter
boxes to help them survive the winter months. These shelters were built in the Capitol Shops
and were built from the early 1900s until the 1950s, after which the squirrels made their own.

The Grey Squirrels (and their Black Squirrel cousins) are all over Washington now, and in some
areas, such as on the Capitol Grounds and Lafayette Square, the squirrel density is astounding.


Squirrel US Capitol 5161


Squirrel Filibuster US Capitol 5162

An Eastern Grey Squirrel filibusters in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington DC.


Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Washington DC Collection where a Gallery can be selected.


Direct Links:

United States Capitol Building      National Mall Memorials

Assorted Washington DC

Smithsonian Institution             Arlington National Cemetery


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Click the Display Composite above to visit the Washington Monument, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials page.


Click the Display Composite above to visit the National Mall page.


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Arlington National Cemetery page.


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