Category Archives: Monuments and Statues

Admiral still leads way for Peru

Entering the Peruvian embassy on 17th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW means getting by Miguel Grau first. The magnificent bust of the country’s person of the past millennium dominates the doorway. There wasn’t room to put it elsewhere and what the … Continue reading

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More than a pile of rocks

The grounds of the Organizational States of America are filled with artwork. One looks like a pile of rocks. That’s because it is. According to a nearby marker, the stones are an Inuksuk — “A northern stone land marker used … Continue reading

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Witherspoon caught at crossroads

Sometimes, the busiest venues can be the worst places to honor past Americans with statues. John Witherspoon is along Connecticut Ave. and N St. N.W. on a spit of land barely big enough for the 10-foot statue high atop a … Continue reading

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John Paul Jones still fighting

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Statue of Dr. Philip Jaisohn looks like the real thing

Many statues kinda, sorta, maybe look like the person. Given many of the subjects are long dead, it’s not always easy to know how striking the likeness may be. But outside the South Korean Embassy along Massachusetts Ave. is not … Continue reading

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Hahnemann: Hero of Homeopathy

No way you know what this monument is unless you’re a pharmacist. Wandering in Scott Circle where Massachusetts Ave. and 16th St. N.W. meet is one of the widest monuments away from the mall. Four bas relief panels each four … Continue reading

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The General and the White House

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Modern Head requires standing still to catch meaning

I walked past Modern Head several times and didn’t see him. I took this photo and still didn’t see him. But once I looked at the photo in the right angle — there he was. Wow, it sure took me … 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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Cuban Friendship Urn – we’re friends again

Now that the U.S. has restored relations with Cuba after a half century of the Cold War, the Cuban Friendship Urn reminds us of a time when we were friends. Actually, U.S.-Cuban relations are a little complicated. The USS Maine … Continue reading

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Boy Scout Memorial combines past and present

The Boy Scout represents the aspirations of all past, present, and future Scouts throughout the world. He carries a staff that has been taken from the male figure’s branch of peace. The scout wears the traditional uniform of the group … Continue reading

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Gold thieves — beware the griffins

Plenty of treasure hunters come to Washington looking for riches, but the guardians are always there to protect our gold. Two Acacia Griffins protect the Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Building at 51 Louisiana Ave. N.W. in the shadow of the … Continue reading

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Plenty of grief has come from Adams Memorial

This is a story that can feel personal. Of death and despair. Mark Twain and mistakes. When you find the statue made by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the middle of Section E of Rock Creek Cemetery, hidden within a tall square … Continue reading

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Handscaping U.S. Capitol grounds was visionary

Give Frederick Law Olmsted credit — he didn’t miss a thing. When landscaping the U.S. Capitol grounds in 1874, Olmstead wanted to create things that were both aesthetic and functional. The walls were low so the public could see over … Continue reading

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A window underseas – World War II Submarine Memorial

It is a window to nowhere and to the seven seas. The World War II Submarine Memorial honoring those who served in the “Silent Service” faces the U.S. Navy Memorial near the Lone Sailor statue. The stained-glass window with a … Continue reading

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Cupid’s Garden crosses many paths

I’ve driven by this sculpture countless times, but usually at breakneck speed coming down the hill on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington trying to make the light. Finally, I was walking nearby so I had to see it up close. I … Continue reading

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It’s a regular Tool De Force

  It looks like odd tools in my collection, and it is. Tool De Force is a 12 1/2-foot sculpture at the National Building Museum representing some of the tools used in the industry. It was donated to NBM by … Continue reading

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The other Taft – Robert A. Taft Memorial

Everyone knows my distant cousin William Howard Taft, the 26th U.S. president and the fattest person to ever serve in the White House. Figure I’d inherit that bloodline. But few remember his son Robert A. Taft whose accomplishments earned an … Continue reading

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The general of them all – Alexander Macomb

It’s not often you’ll see a monument with Greek, Roman and Egyptian markings, but Gen. Alexander Macomb’s 14-foot marker at Congressional Cemetery has them all. The general is surrounded by four lions paws. A sword for his military career, cross … Continue reading

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Rock Creek Cemetery markers for memories

Wandering through Rock Creek Cemetery is a lesson is historic architecture. It’s probably the best cemetery in Washington for angels alone. The rich and famous from former Washington territorial mayor “Boss” Shepherd to president Teddy Roosevelt’s iconic daughter Alice are … Continue reading

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