Author Archives: Rick

Sometimes attractions are in the bank

You can’t miss the gigantic vault door in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Washington Convention Center on 9th and F Sts. N.W. The one-time home of Riggs Bank was built in 1891. It was quite the place with vaulted … Continue reading

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The Hiker welcomes you to Arlington National

The memorials start long before entering the gates of Arlington National Cemetery. Just after leaving the Memorial Bridge is “The Hiker.” World War II soldiers were called G.I. Joes and World War I predecessors were Doughboys. The Spanish-American War fighters … Continue reading

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Remembering Audie Murphy at Arlington National Cemetery

It’s amazing how yesterday’s heroes are today’s forgotten ones. It happens all the time in society. Singers and actors once all the rage now draw blank stares from teens. Sinatra – is that a first or last name? So it … Continue reading

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Reagan welcomes you to National airport

I still think it should be called (George) Washington National Airport. Indeed, there’s a sign on the north side that still says so. But lawmakers renamed it Reagan-Washington National Airport in 1998. That name lasted five minutes as many now … Continue reading

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Figure for Landscape makes you figure it out

This is not a Henry Moore piece despite being next to two of the British sculptor’s works on 7th and Jefferson N.W. But, it’s the next closest thing as fellow Brit Barbara Hepworth’s “Figure for Landscape” follows Moore’s 20th century … Continue reading

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Marker gives a new meaning to ‘Anchors away’

Navy commodore George Francis Cutter and his wife Mary Louisa Cutter rest in the rear of Arlington National Cemetery. The Section 1 memorial has an anchor atop a rocky memorial. It’s one of the more unusual markers in the cemetery … Continue reading

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Who’s who at Korean War Memorial

There are 19 soldiers at the Korean War Memorial. They look much alike to the average civilian. For a long time I relied on military members on my tours to teach me who was who largely based on headgear. But … Continue reading

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JFK bust just one example of Berks’ excellence

My favorite sculptor around town is Robert Berks, which saddens to think we never met before he died in 2011. But, as they say, his work lives on. My favorite Berks’ work among 17 in the Washington area is his … Continue reading

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Finding my name on the Vietnam Wall, sorta

It wasn’t quite spelled the same way and the middle initial was different, but seeing Richard A. Snyder on the Vietnam Wall while looking for someone’s friend made me pause. I wondered who this Richard A. Snyder was on panel … Continue reading

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Spanish American War nurses remembered

The large granite boulder remembers the nurses of the Spanish America war, which was the first to have nurses organized by the military. The Maltese cross, symbol of The Society of Spanish American War nurses, sits high on the marker … Continue reading

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Arlington National Cemetery’s old amphitheatre and rostrum

Before the Memorial Amphitheatre by the Tomb of the Unknowns opened in 1921, this small amphitheatre behind the gardens of Arlington House served as the main gathering place. Built in 1868, the circular colonnade was once filled with vines. The … Continue reading

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Adams Memorial proves haunting in a graveyard

You will stop. Stare hard. Start to feel the grief. It’s an amazing memorial — the Adams Memorial. Located in Rock Creek Cemetery (though this photo is of a copy at the American Art Museum) is a bronze marker dedicated … Continue reading

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Scott: best general of whom you’ve probably never heard

The legend says all statues face the White House. It’s not true, though this one does. Gen. Winfield Scott’s statue lies in the three-sided circle of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Aves. and 16th St. N.W. just blocks from the White … Continue reading

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First U.S. president rests high on the hill

Leaving the Gaylord National Hotel in Oxon Hill, I point to a lonely tree above the rising MGM Grand casino and parallel to the beltway and say, “That’s where the first president of the United States is buried.” Wait, isn’t … Continue reading

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Fort Lincoln Cemetery: Defending Washington during Civil War

    Two cannons rest amid earthworks in Fort Lincoln Cemetery just past the city’s eastern border, remnants of the Civil War defense. Ironically, they’re only a couple hundred yards from the Battle of Bladensburg in 1814 where the British … Continue reading

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Cross of Sacrifice at Arlington National Cemetery

It’s often called the “Canadian Cross” but technically the large cross behind the Tomb of the Unknowns and near the memorials to astronauts is called the “Cross of Sacrifice.” The bronze sword atop the 24-foot gray granite cross was dedicated … Continue reading

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Take a long look at America and War and Peace

Some artwork only requires a moment’s attention to grasp its focus. America and War and Peace will take awhile. Located by the John F. Kennedy Center entrance, the bronze series of panels 16 feet long was a gift from Germany … Continue reading

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Daniel Webster offers the highest of relief panels

Normally, the high relief art complements the statue, but the two beneath the statue of Daniel Webster are the coolest ones I’ve seen around town. They are nearly lifelike, showing none of their 110 years. The scene in the front … Continue reading

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Down by the old, old, old spring house

  It is a house of mystery. Well, at least a spring house of mystery. In nearly the middle of Ft. Lincoln Cemetery is a spring house believed to be one of the older structural relics of the American colonization … Continue reading

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Capitol pediment: The Progress of Civilization

The Senate portico’s eastern front (facing the sunrise) is about America and its conquests. Frankly, the Capitol pediment pretty easy symbolism to decipher. According to James M. Goode’s fine book “Washington Sculpture,” the woman in the middle is America standing … Continue reading

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