Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Winter Trip to DC


My trip to the USA in December 2010 would not be complete without a quick tour at the nation's capital. I was determined to see the historic structures DC is famous for. The 5-hour bus trip from New York to DC in a freezing winter night was all worth it. Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are in the District, including the Congress, President, and Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, which are primarily situated on or around the National Mall.

Washington Monument
Trivia:
By law, Washington's skyline is low and sprawling. The federal Heights of Buildings Act of 1910 allows buildings that are no taller than the width of the adjacent street, plus 20 feet (6.1 m). Despite popular belief, no law has ever limited buildings to the height of the United States Capitol or the 555-foot (169 m) Washington Monument.


Great view of the Washington Monument

 Washington, D.C., is a planned city. In 1791, President Washington commissioned Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant, a French-born architect and city planner, to design the new capital. The L'Enfant Plan featured broad streets and avenues radiating out from rectangles, providing room for open space and landscaping.  He based his design on plans of cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Karlsruhe, and Milan brought from Europe by Thomas Jefferson in 1788. L'Enfant's design also envisioned a garden-lined "grand avenue" approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) in length and 400 feet (120 m) wide in the area that is now the National Mall.

The National Archives

US Capitol Building

The White House

Lincoln Memorial Building

DC Train Station

Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

Smithsonian Museum