United States Capitol
The Nation’s Capital stands at the heart of our system of representative government. It is the focal point of the American ideals of freedom and opportunity- proof in marble, stone and partisan debate, of the capacity of citizens to join in the adventure of governing themselves. Symbolic themes turn up in structural and decorative details designed as part of the very fabric of the building. From the start, Washington was set apart for the special purpose of serving as the seat of government. Plans for the Federal City was drawn out by Pierre Charles L’Enfant with buildings and key axial visual avenues. The McMillan Plan at the beginning of the twentieth century reiterated the same principles put forward by L’Enfant, while also calling for construction of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Nat’l Cemetery and the Arlington Bridge, as well as server key connecting federal buildings sited around several central green spaces. With creation of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1926, further advancements occurred and in 1952, the NCPPC was given charge for planning and the orderly development. More than a century and a half of interaction between man-made plans and a unique natural setting has produced a modern Capital with the timeless beauty of rise and river, street and circle, dome and diagonal, monument and mall that piques one’s imagination.