World War I Memorial, Washington, DC
Iraq War Memorial, Washington, DC
Afghanistan War Memorial, Washington, DC
Open thread–have at it!
These photos were taken during our trip to Washington, DC, for the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally last October. In researching the Department of Commerce building, I was surprised to find that, not only is the National Aquarium housed in the building’s basement, but the building is also home to the White House Visitors Center. Had we been aware of that, we might have stayed the second day as we had originally planned – as it was, we were both so tired and the streets outside the hotel were so noisy, we left that night. If we get to visit DC again, we’ll certainly plan our sightseeing better than we did our rally trip.
According to Wikipedia:
“The Department of Commerce was established after President William Howard Taft signed legislation creating the department on his last day in office, March 4, 1913, splitting the former Department of Commerce and Labor into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor…”
“In 1928, Congress authorized the purchase of land in what is now known as the Federal Triangle for departmental offices. The authorization was part of a wave of government construction; the 1926 Public Buildings Act permitted the government to hire private architects for the design of federal buildings, which led to large-scale construction of public buildings, including the development of the 70-acre (280,000 m2) Federal Triangle site between the Capitol and the White House. Soon afterward Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon and the Board of Architectural Consultants, composed of leading architects and headed by Edward H. Bennett of the Chicago architectural firm of Bennett, Parsons, and Frost, developed design guidelines for the site. Under Bennett’s direction, each member of the board designed one of the buildings in the Federal Triangle complex to “provide each government agency or bureau with a building that would address its functional needs, while combining the individual buildings into a harmonious, monumental overall design expressive of the dignity and authority of the federal government…”
“…Construction began on October 4, 1927, when Herbert Hoover was the Secretary of Commerce, and the cornerstone was laid on July 10, 1929, early in Hoover’s presidential term. The building was completed in 1932; at that time, it was the largest office building in the world. The building was renamed after Hoover in December 1981 by act of Congress. U.S. Representative Arlan Stangeland of Minnesota co-sponsored the bill and asked the House of Representatives to “pay tribute to this great Commerce Secretary,” making no mention to [sic] Hoover’s presidency, which was marked by the beginning of the Great Depression. Democratic Representative John G. Fary of Illinois, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds brought the bill up for consideration as a favor to Republicans. An aide was quoted as saying, “He was a little concerned what some people might think of him bringing up a bill to honor Herbert Hoover in the midst of a Republican recession.” The building was officially dedicated as the Herbert C. Hoover Building on April 25, 1983…”
Discover more here.