Tag Archives: Washington D.C.

Lafayette – the Frenchman that Americans loved

The General Marquis Gilbert de Lafayette was a key figure in American winning its independence. Lafayette blocked the escape route of the British ships at Yorktown, thus forcing Gen. Cornwallis to surrender to George Washington. Lafayette stands atop a marble … Continue reading

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Native Washingtonian 101 – It’s “War-shington”

Want to sound like a local? Here’s the first clue – we say “War-shington.” Yes, we sneak an “r” in there. I don’t know why. It’s not because this town makes war on other countries. It’s just something we say … Continue reading

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A 3D map of town at your feet – Freedom Plaza

Freedom Plaza may be filled with skateboarding teenagers, lost tourists or protestors, but the Pennsylvania Ave. near 14th St. N.W. median is also a map of town’s original plan. The L’Enfant Map detailing the 1791 plan by Washington’s first city … Continue reading

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Save George Washington, get a statue – Casimir Pulaski

Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski was a Polish count who came to America to fight for freedom. He once saved George Washington’s life, but is best known for teaching American troops the discipline needed to fight the mighty British troops. Pulaski … Continue reading

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Sphere No. 6 is . . .

Sphere No. 6 is: a) What was left of the Death Star after Luke Skywalker blew it up. b) The remnants of Earth after a nuclear explosion. c) A bronze sculpture by Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro. d) I have no … Continue reading

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Lunar Bird makes your imagination soar

Like many things in the Hirshhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden, Lunar Bird is a bit of a mystery. The best guess is it’s an imaginary bird with a symbol of the moon for a head, small wings and thick legs. A … Continue reading

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Mountain and Clouds will blow your mind

My first thought when entering the lobby of the Senate Hart Office Building – was it this big piece of junk? A few minutes later when viewing it from the seventh of nine floors, my second thought – Oh, I … Continue reading

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Who’s the boss? Why ‘Boss’ Shepherd, of course

George Washington may be the father of our country and namesake for the our town, but Alexander Robey Shepherd, better known as “Boss Shepherd,” is considered “The Father of Modern Washington.” Shepherd actually stopped an 1870s movement to relocate the … Continue reading

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Horse and Rider trots along

It looks like me ready to fall off, but sculptor Mario Marini’s Horse and Rider is considered an example of a man in control. Sure, if you say so. The seven-foot tall sculpture outside the Hirshhorn Museum is another of … Continue reading

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Second to none: the Second Division Memorial

Between the White House and the Washington Monument, the Second Division Memorial on Constitution Ave. approaching 17th St. is another overlooked sculpture. It’s something people just pass by. The memorial commemorates the U.S. Army’s Second Division’s dead during World War … Continue reading

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Juarez points the way

My first thought was “Oh great, another person telling me which way to go.” But as I sat at a red light near the Watergate I realized here was another of the Latin American liberators. Former Mexican President Benito Juarez … Continue reading

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Jack Swigert – an American hero

Combat pilot, test pilot, astronaut and elected to Congress – it was quite a life for John Leonard “Jack” Swigert, Jr. A bronze statue of the Colorado Congressman-to-be stands in the Capitol Visitors Center. Made by George and Mark Lundeen, … Continue reading

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Oscar A. Strauss Memorial Fountain at Reagan Building

The Oscar A. Strauss Memorial Fountain at the Reagan Building along 14th St. N.W. was 20 years in the making. It was time well spent. Strauss was a German immigrant in the 1850s who become one of the top U.S. … Continue reading

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Did the Truth set her free?

Born into slavery in 1797, Isabella Baumfree was the first of 13 siblings to be sold at auction at age nine. There would be four more owners over the next two decades. Finally, after an owner reneged on a promise … Continue reading

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Bullfinch Gatehouses now protects Ellipse

The Bullfinch Gatehouses certainly get around. Now at Constitution Ave. and 15th and 17th Streets, the two gatehouses were once on the western edge of the U.S. Capitol grounds from 1828-74. Named for Charles Bullfinch, a prominent Boston architect before … Continue reading

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By the shores of gitchigoomie

Maybe it’s ironic that the man who wrote “Paul Revere’s Ride” is remembered in the middle of a busy intersection. A bronze statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is at Connecticut and M Sts. N.W., one of the busier crossroads in … Continue reading

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Lincoln and Lee – the myth and photo

OK, let me mess with your mind. One of the stories of the Lincoln Memorial is Robert E. Lee is in the back of Abe’s hair looking at the Southern general’s mansion across the river. It makes for a good … Continue reading

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Whooping Cranes bring wilds to downtown

Walking down 16th & O Sts. NW, I was drawn to an unexpected one-acre park where a stainless steel sculpture of two 12-foot tall whooping cranes draw you in. Wait . . . what? Kent Ullberg created the cranes in … Continue reading

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Where Bex eagles soar

John “Black Jack” Pershing Park has it all. A statue of the famed World War I general. A waterfall not seen from the street that gives it a hidden oasis feel. And, an American eagle statue on the corner of … Continue reading

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The Watergate Steps to nowhere along the Potomac

It was supposed to be a staircase to heaven, but turned into a  helluva waste. The Watergate Steps between the Potomac River and the Lincoln Memorial was built in 1932 as part of the Arlington Memorial Bridge complex. According to … Continue reading

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