Historical Places Around The World

Historical Places Around The World

Construction System: Masonry Cut Stone

Fact: At 555 feet tall, the highest all-masonry tower in the

world. It is 55 feet wide at the base.

Alone among the Founders of the United States George Washington earned the title “Father of his Country” in recognition of his leadership in the cause of American independence. Washington defined the Presidency and helped develop the relationships among the three branches of government. He established precedents that successfully launched the new government on its course. Washington remained ever mindful of the ramifications of his decisions and actions, for he was a consummate statesman. With this monument, the citizens of the United States show their enduring gratitude and respect.

Completed in 1885 after nearly 40 years of toil, the 555-foot, 5 and 1/8-inch Washington Monument was the world’s tallest structure for five years, when it was surpassed by Paris’ Eiffel Tower. It remains the world’s tallest freestanding masonry structure, constructed entirely of stacked granite and marble blocks with no metal structural supports. The only metal portion is the uppermost tip — a 100-ounce pyramid of aluminum, which in the 1880s was, considered such a rare and precious metal that it was exhibited at Tiffany’s jewelry store in New York before installation. Federal law ensures that the monument will always be the tallest building in the nation’s capital.

The National Park Service began an 18-month project to restore the Washington Monument in late 1997. Congress chartered an official nonprofit group — the National Park Foundation — to enlist the financial support of a number of private corporations, including Discovery Communications. By early spring 2000; workers took down the metal scaffolding that covered the monument during the restoration, signaling the end of work to the outside of the monument. Special scaffolding had to be used during the outside phase of the process to avoid drilling holes into the granite and marble blocks. The special scaffolding was designed to push against the building, much like a rubber band wrapped around a block of stone. The scaffolding was made from 37 miles of aluminum tubing, and 1.2 acres of polyester fabric covered the surface of the monument. Since the completion of the restoration process, the Washington Monument today is open for tours daily and a remarkable sight.

Location: San Francisco, California

Construction System: Steel FrameCables

Context: Structural Modern with some

Fact: One of the longest bridges in the world, It is a powerful human structure

beautiful in it’s natural location.

The Golden Gate Bridge links San Francisco with Marin County in absolute splendor. The bridge is one of the architectural marvels of the Twentieth Century and a testament to human strife, as it was constructed during the years of the Great Depression. For years, the Golden Gate Bridge held the title as the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Before its completion in 1937, the bridge was considered impossible to build, due to persistently foggy weather, 60-mile-per-hour winds, and strong ocean currents, which whipped through a deep canyon below. In fact, the bridge is commonly known as the “Bridge that couldn’t be built.” Despite these unforgiving natural elements, the bridge was constructed in a little more than four years. The total cost was $35 million. The total length of the bridge spans 1.2 miles. Eleven men lost their lives during the construction of the bridge. Even today, the massive spans of the bridge are often shrouded in fog. The bridge sways 27 feet to withstand winds of up to 100 miles per hour. International Orange was the color chosen for the bridge because it blended well with the natural surroundings of the bridge. The two great cables extending from the bridge contain 80,000 miles of steel wire, which is enough to circle the equator three times. The concrete poured to cement the bridge into the stormy waters below could have also been used to pave a five-foot sidewalk from New York to San Francisco.

The bridge is nothing short of a powerful force meant to combat nature. The two towers of the bridge rise an impressive 746 feet, which is 191 feet taller than the Washington Monument. Today, pedestrians and bicyclists are still allowed to cross the bridge on pathways with breathtaking views of the city, Alcatraz, and the Marin Headlands. The first exit of the Marin side of the bridge is Visa Point, which provides a magnificent view of the San Francisco skyline. Nevertheless, the best way to view the bridge is to walk across. This usually takes about an hour.

Location: Liberty Island, New York, New York

Building Type: Monumental StatueObservational Tower

Construction System: Iron Frame, Copper Cladding

Climate: Temperate Island Urban-Waterfront

Context: Neoclassical Realistic Sculpture

Fact: An inspiring symbol of America, it was given as a gift

from France in honor of the first centennial of the United States.

“The Statue of Liberty National Monument officially celebrated her 100th birthday on October 28, 1986. The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States over one hundred years ago in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship.

“Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design a sculpture with the year 1876 in mind for completion, to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. The Statue was a joint effort between America and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly here in the United States. However, lack of funds was a problem on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile in France, Bartholdi required the assistance of an engineer; Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) was commissioned to design the massive iron pylon and secondary skeletal framework which allows the Statue’s copper skin to move independently yet stand upright.

The story of the Statue of Liberty and her island has been one of change. The Statue was placed upon a granite pedestal inside the courtyard of the star-shaped walls of Fort Wood (which had been completed for the War of 1812.) The United States Lighthouse Board had responsibility for the operation of the Statue of Liberty until 1901. After 1901, the care and operation of the Statue was placed under the War Department. A Presidential Proclamation declared Fort Wood (and the Statue of Liberty within it) a National Monument on October 15, 1924 and the boundary of the monument was set at the outer edge of Fort Wood. In 1933, the care and administration of the National Monument was transferred to the National Park Service. On September 8, 1937, jurisdiction was enlarged to cover all of Bedloe’s Island and in 1956, the name of the island was changed to Liberty Island. On May 11, 1965, Ellis Island was given to the National Park Service and became part of the National Monument.

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Monticello is the autobiographical masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson, designed, redesigned, built, and rebuilt for more than forty years. Jefferson described the house as his “essay in architecture,” but today it is recognized as an international treasure. Monticello is the only house in America on the United Nations’ prestigious World Heritage List of sites that must be protected at all costs.

Visitors today often think of Monticello as an architectural masterpiece, as the site of some of the most beautiful gardens in America, or as a historic monument to Thomas Jefferson. Monticello was, however, not just a house, but a farm and a plantation. The Monticello plantation of 5,000 acres, with its four farms, was a center of agriculture and industry, and was home not only to the Jefferson family, but also to workers, black and white, enslaved and free. On the quarter farms of Shadwell, Tufton, and Lego — as well as the home farm on Monticello Mountain — 130 enslaved African Americans raised crops and tended livestock, made nails and barrels, cloth and carriages. They helped to build the house, constructed many of its furnishings, and cultivated the gardens.

Thomas Jefferson wrote “the greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” The gardens at Monticello were a botanic garden, an experimental laboratory of ornamental and useful plants from around the world. At Monticello, Jefferson cultivated over 250 vegetable varieties in his 1000-foot-long garden terrace and 170 fruit varieties in the eight-acre fruit garden, designed romantic grottoes, garden temples, and ornamental groves. He enjoyed taking visitors on rambling surveys of his favorite “pet trees.” Thomas Jefferson was crazy about gardening. Montecillo is open weekly for tours.

Construction System: Granite Sculpting

Fact: Represents first 150 years of America

Mount Rushmore memorializes the birth, growth, preservation and development of the United States of America. Between 1927 and 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the 60-foot busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 150 years of American history. Visitors to the memorial come primarily to view the granite sculpture itself, but also of interest is the Sculptor’s Studio built under the direction of the artist, Gutzon Borglum, in 1939. Unique plaster models and tools related to the sculpting process are displayed there.

Recently, ten years of redevelopment work culminated with the completion of extensive new visitor facilities. These include a new Visitor Center and Museum and the Presidential Trail, a walking trail and boardwalk providing spectacular close-up views of the mountain sculpture.

The memorial serves as home to many animals and plants representative of the Black Hills of South Dakota. The geologic formations of the heart of the Black Hills region are also evident at Mount Rushmore, including large outcrops of granite and mica schist.

Construction System: Burial Ground with White

Fact: America’s largest national burial ground with more than 600 acres of landscaped hills. Among the thousands of white headstones are the graves of President John Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, world champion boxer Joe Louis, America’s most decorated soldier, Audie Murphy and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The cemetery sets upon the site of the Custis-Lee estate (Arlington House) the home of Robert E. Lee at the time of the outbreak of the civil war.

Once the home of Robert E. Lee, Arlington is now the final resting-place of the nation’s honored dead and a place of memorial to them and all others who have fought for the United States. Here rest in honored glory, four soldiers, known only to God, at the Tomb of the Unknown. Each one is from each of the wars of the 20th century: World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In their honor a soldier, in dress blues, constantly paces. Each of these men, these unknowns, represents all those who gave their lives, fighting for their nation.

As each soldier was interred here, he was awarded the nation’s highest medal of bravery as a token of the sacrifice he and those he represented had made for our nation. Not far from the tomb of the unknowns, beside an eternal flame, rests an emblem of an American generation, President John F. Kennedy, his wife, and their children; all who are buried here. Near his brother’s grave is the grave of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. A simple cross and a Government stone mark his grave. Facing it is fountain and marble wall with portions of speeches he made carved on it. A short distance from the Tomb of the Unknown, are two special markers: to the left: the Challenger Memorial, to the right: a memorial to those military men who lost their lives trying to rescue the hostages in Iran. Beyond the Challenger Memorial is the Memorial to the Battleship Maine. In 1898, the Spanish-American War started with the explosion of the battleship Maine while is was anchored in Havana, Cuba. Not all memorials at Arlington are made of bronze or marble, some are living, like a memorial to those who as prisoners-of-war, died on death marches. Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public during daylight hours and, it has no admission fees.

Architect: Lawrence and George Washington

Building Type: Large House, Estate, Mansion

Construction System: Wood Timber frame and Wood Siding

Context: Rural Estate, Georgian Neoclassical

Fact: Home and Estate of George Washington, First President of the United

George Washington, first President of the United States of America, inherited Mount Vernon from his half brother Lawrence Washington in 1754, and built his own additions over the next roughly 30 years. In 1860 the estate was purchased by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, who maintain it as a historical site open to the public.

Overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria, (Fairfax County) Virginia, south of Washington, D.C.; is Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. The tomb (built 1831–37) of George and Martha Washington and the graves of other members of the family are also located on the grounds of the estate. A National Historic Landmark, George Washington’s estate and gardens, Mount Vernon, is set on 40 wooded acres. The house was built by the Washington family about 1735, and was Washington’s home from 1747 until his death in 1799. Lawrence Washington, George Washington’s half brother, built the house in 1743. It was named for Admiral Edward Vernon, Lawrence’s commander in the British navy. George Washington inherited it in 1754. The structure was enlarged several times between 1759 and 1787. The home is a wooden structure of Georgian design, two and one-half stories high, with a column portico and subsidiary buildings surround it. The estate also contains wide lawns, and fine gardens. The estate was purchased in 1860 by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (organized 1856), who serve as its permanent custodian. The mansion has been restored, with much of the original furniture, family relics, and duplicate pieces of the period based upon Washington’s detailed notes.

Architect: Thornton-Latrobe-Bulfinch

Building Type: National Government Center

Construction System: Stone Bearing Masonry, Cast Iron Dome

Fact: Meeting place of the U.S. Congress, the national assembly of the United

States of America, consisting of the House of Representatives and the

The Capitol of the United States crowns Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and houses the legislative branch of government, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate. The 1792 competition for its design was won by Dr. William Thornton, a gifted amateur architect, with a Palladian-inspired scheme featuring a central shallow-domed rotunda flanked by the Senate (north) and House (south) wings. President George Washington laid the cornerstone in 1793, but construction proceeded slowly under a succession of architects, including Stephen Hallet (1793), George Hadfield (1795-98) and James Hoban (1798-1802), architect of the White House, who completed the Senate wing in 1800. Benjamin Latrobe, a major architect of early 19th-century America, took over in 1803; by 1811 he had renovated the Senate wing and completed the House wing. The Capitol was burned by British troops in 1814; in the following year, Latrobe began its reconstruction and redesign. Charles Bullfinch, the brilliant Boston architect who succeeded him in 1818, completed the building, with only slight modifications of Latrobe’s master plan, in 1830.

By 1850 it had become necessary to enlarge the building, and the Philadelphian Thomas U. Walter was commissioned to design and build the enormous (214-m/702-ft by 107-m/350-ft) present Capitol. Grandiose new House and Senate wings of white marble in Greek Revival style were added to the old sandstone building by 1859. Walter’s awesome (82-m/270-ft) cast-iron dome, topped with Thomas Crawford’s colossal (6-m/19.7-ft) statue, Armed Freedom (1855-62), was completed in 1863. The east front was extended 10 m (33 ft) in 1960 and faced with a white marble copy of the original sandstone facade. The interior of the Capitol is elaborately decorated with a profusion of statuary, murals, frescoes, and mosaics by such artists as Horatio Greenough, Randolph Rogers, and John Trumbull.

The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. It has housed the meeting chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives for almost two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.

Building Type: War Memorial, Monument

Construction System: Cut Stone Masonry

Context: Powerful Evocative Minimalist Monument

“As you descend the path along the wall and reach this angle, you realize that one wing of the black wall points straight at the tall, white Washington Monument a mile or so off, and the other at the Lincoln Memorial, visible through a screen of trees about 600 feet away. In making this descent you feel you’re entering a cloistered space, set off from the busy surroundings. Streets and skylines disappear to leave you alone with the wall and its names. Then, as you pass the angle and begin to climb, you feel yourself emerging again into the world of noise and light after a meditative experience.

“At close range, the names dominate everything. . . . The name of the first soldier who died is carved at the angle in the wall, and the names continue to the right in columns in chronological order of date of death, out to the east end where the wall fades into the earth. The names begin again, with the next soldier who died, at the west end, where the wall emerges from the earth….”

Quotes From: Robert Campbell, “An Emotive Place Apart,” A.I.A. Journal, May 1983, pp. 150-1

Each half of the wall is 246.75 feet long, combined length of 493.50 feet. Each segment is made of 70 panels. At their intersection, the highest point, they are 10.1 feet high; they taper to a width of 8 inches at their extremities. Granite for the wall came from southern India.

The wall contains 58,175 names (as of October 1990). The largest panels have 137 lines of names; the smallest panels have but one line. There are five names on each line. The names (and other words) on the wall are 0.53 inches high and 0.015 inches deep. The Wall at times has been known to take people’s breath away. It is open to the public to view