View Full Version : Washington, D.C.

November 11th, 2005, 08:35 PM

November 11th, 2005, 08:36 PM

November 11th, 2005, 08:37 PM

November 11th, 2005, 08:38 PM

November 11th, 2005, 08:39 PM

November 11th, 2005, 08:40 PM

November 11th, 2005, 08:42 PM

Nov. 3-5, 2005

Jim Koeleman
November 12th, 2005, 06:32 AM

November 21st, 2005, 03:52 PM
very nice! thank you!

August 26th, 2006, 04:39 PM
America's most underrated city.

August 26th, 2006, 06:17 PM
America's most underrated city.

True. That is one amazing city.

October 23rd, 2006, 07:57 AM
Excellent pictures!! Brings back some memories when i visited. And I do agree that it one of the underrated cities!


October 23rd, 2006, 11:40 AM
wonderful! Thank you!

January 9th, 2007, 12:35 AM
At the Capitol, Glimpses of a Work in Progress

Doug Mills/The New York Times
A worker walks into the grand hall of the Capitol Visitor Center.
The complex is underground, but skylights will provide a view of the dome.

nytimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/07/washington/07center.html)
January 7, 2007

At more than $540 million and four years and counting, the Capitol Visitor Center is costing more and taking longer to build than anyone envisioned.

Yet when it opens to the public, the huge underground complex, which is in the final stages of construction beneath the east plaza of the Capitol, should transform the experience of the millions who each year visit what is essentially a landmark office building, but also the nation’s best-known symbol of democracy.

http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2007/01/07/washington/capitolaudioss_promo190.jpg (http://javascript%3cb%3e%3c/b%3E:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2007/01/07/washington/20070107_CAPITOL_FEATURE.html',%20'680_550',%20'wi dth=680,height=550,location=no,scrollbars=yes,tool bars=no,resizable=yes'))
Audio Slide Show
A Look at the Capitol Visitor Center (http://javascript%3cb%3e%3c/b%3E:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2007/01/07/washington/20070107_CAPITOL_FEATURE.html',%20'680_550',%20'wi dth=680,height=550,location=no,scrollbars=yes,tool bars=no,resizable=yes'))

Visitors will enter a grand hall with skylights providing a new perspective on the Capitol dome. Instead of lining up outside to await a guided tour, they will be able to stroll through interactive museum presentations devoted to the history of the building and to Congress. Two theaters will show a 12-minute orientation film.

The 580,000-square-foot extension will allow for public display of statues and artifacts now tucked away, including the catafalque that held the coffins of President Abraham Lincoln and other figures.

An exhibition hall will include a hands-on model of the dome and recognize the slave labor used in the Capitol’s construction.

The center will also include a restaurant for up to 600 people and more than two dozen bathrooms, amenities currently in short supply.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
The main entrance to the 580,000-square-foot center.
Visitors will go from here to the security-screening area.

The long-discussed push for the visitor center gained momentum in 1998 as a way to enhance the sometimes haphazard tours and move security screening away from the immediate Capitol entrances after the shooting of two police officers. The Sept. 11 attacks gave the project new impetus, expanded its scope and drove up the cost, which includes tens of millions of dollars in security features the public will not see.

The center also has committee and conference rooms for the House and the Senate, a tunnel for truck traffic, a connection to the Library of Congress and an auditorium able to serve as the House and Senate chamber in the event of an emergency or to allow for remodeling of the traditional chambers.

The date remains in flux, but the architect of the Capitol hopes to open the center by late this year.

An army of workers is putting the finishing touches on much of the center, which will be adorned in marble, bronze and stone to keep it in character with the Capitol.

“We are not cutting corners,” said Tom Fontana, a spokesman for the project. “All these things have to be just right.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

January 9th, 2007, 12:48 AM


Aerial photo of the Capitol Visitor Center project site taken December 5, 2006:


This aerial photo was taken August 16, 2006:


"Birdseye" Rendering of East Front Plaza with Completed CVC:


This artist's rendering shows how the Capitol Visitor Center will appear when complete. The viewpoint is approximately from above the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, looking in northwesterly direction across First Street N.E./S.E. The gentle decline from street level to the entrance of the visitor center, the addition of elevators, and improvements in the ground level approach to the Capitol on the East Front plaza will make the Capitol more accessible to the public while improving both safety and security. The project also will improve the external appearance of the east approach to the Capitol.

"Hardscape" Drawing of the East Plaza above the CVC:


This view from above the east front of the Capitol shows the East Capitol Grounds after construction of the Capitol Visitor Center.

Masons have resumed setting pavers around the historic Olmsted lanterns on the East Front Plaza, November 20, 2006:


January 9th, 2007, 06:47 AM
French monumentality: Versailles meets Invalides.

May 25th, 2007, 08:10 PM
ablarc, I was looking over these photos again because I'll be in D.C. this weekend and they're making me really excited to go. It's supposed to be very hot this weekend though, so I'm sort of wishing we made beach plans instead. Oh well, I know It'll be a good time by looking at your beautiful photos of the many places I haven't seen before.
I've been to D.C. countless times for one-day marches and rallies, but never really did the tourist things!:( So, this should be fun.:) I'm staying near Dupont Circle, seems like a great place.

May 25th, 2007, 08:25 PM
Dupont Circle is the best.

Are you staying at the Tabard Inn? Atmospheric as all get-out, coz it hasn't changed in decades. To my mind, America's best hotel if you don't mind a little shabbiness. Like something you'd expect to find in Key West. Great restaurant full of Washington power types hiding out with their mistresses and live music nightly in the lounge. Like living on a cruise ship. Also: inexpensive.

More expensive but very well located and posh (nice rooms): Jury's Hotel. Irish bar on premises, courteous though slightly snooty staff --and it might have mice.

Be sure you don't miss Georgetown (not among my pics, alas) and Adams Morgan.


May 25th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Thanks for the tips;)

May 25th, 2007, 09:02 PM
I made reservations at the Carlyle Suites, says it's an art deco hotel and the room has a kitchenette which I always find helpful. I hope I made an OK choice, it was inexpensive and seemed alright from the website (fingers crossed)...

May 29th, 2007, 11:56 AM
Washington was fantastic (although unbearably hot and humid the past few days). I made it to both Georgetown and Adams Morgan, and I thought both were wonderful. I can't wait to post pictures :)

May 29th, 2007, 09:01 PM





Georgetown is lovely...






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May 30th, 2007, 01:59 AM
Hard to believe it's been so hot back east... we just got 21 inches of snow last Monday (Montana, where else...), and I don't think it's been above 50 degrees since.

Fantastic pics, though! Washington is a beautiful city, and very underrated.

May 30th, 2007, 07:34 AM
Hard to believe it's been so hot back east... we just got 21 inches of snow last Monday (Montana, where else...), and I don't think it's been above 50 degrees since.
Weather will grow increasingly aberrant for the next 100 years or more due to global warming.

Fantastic pics, though!
Amen, Midtown Guy with his usual sharp eye for composition and color.

Washington is a beautiful city, and very underrated.
Ain't that the truth.

It's still suffering from the lag effect of all those bad years of Marion Barry's mayoralty. That guy ran the city into the ground.

It's been roaring back for over a decade and folks are just starting to take notice; the parking lots have been mostly built on in recent years with predominantly handsome buildings, and that fabulous subway keeps breaking ridership record (wish it went to Georgetown, Adams Morgan and more inner city places; like BART, it's really sort of a cross between a Metro and a commuter railroad).

May 30th, 2007, 11:37 AM
ablarc, I am intrigued with the photo of the trolley traveling through construction. can you give me some info.? Thanks, Ken

May 30th, 2007, 06:31 PM
^ Washington had trolleys right through the Fifties. Like New York's they lacked unsightly overhead wires, as power came from a continuous slot midway between the rails.

The photo was taken during construction of the Dupont Circle underpass. It could be found (possibly still can?) in the window of a drugstore (I think) in Dupont Circle's northwest region.

May 31st, 2007, 11:40 AM
Nice pics, MidtownGuy! And to think that my brother works at a bank in DC. He is not too far from the Capitol Building.

May 31st, 2007, 03:48 PM
Well, we had a great time. In two and a half days we saw quite a bit and i have a few impressions I'd like to share. As I mentioned, all of my previous trips to DC were for political demonstrations, so this was a chance to visit Washington DC and experience things that evoke pride rather than outrage.
I found plenty. It's a fascinating city, and I agree with the description "underrated". I can hardly say that I saw all of it, since my limited time kept me in the NW area (Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Georgetown), the area around the Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, and around Cleveland Park to visit the Washington National Cathedral.
Downtown, the amount of monumental neoclassical buildings and marble blew me away. I never saw anything like it anywhere.
The ability to walk through the downtown area and pass from one point of interest to another was great. I just wished there were some businesses in the area from which to obtain refreshments/snacks etc. Some artfully designed kiosks with basic necessities could surely be introduced. The temperature was 99 degrees ( I kid you not), and we scurrieded like sweating roaches from one marble edifice to another without any sustenance in sight. Finally we happpened upon a mobile Chinese food vendor in a big truck parked on the edge of the street, where I found water and a big greasy egg roll to hold me over until we returned to a real "neighborhood".
Capitol Hill is currently surrounded by a messy tangle of fences, partial access roadways and parking lots that is a real hassle to navigate as a pedestrian. Then they had some ridiculous metal structure erected in front
that was festooned with hundreds of little american flags, as ugly and tacky as it gets, and evidently the set of some kind of media event(?).
It will be wonderful when the new visitor center is complete and the approach becomes less chaotic and unpleasant. After our tour of Capitol Hill, we walked to Union Station to eat in one of the many restaurants. The place is absolutely stunning! In some ways, better than Grand Central Station.
In Adams Morgan, there is a multicultural density of restaurants and nightspots that was amazing and unexpected. We ate in an Ethiopian restaurant called Meskerem on 18th St that was unbelievably authentic and delicious.
And Georgetown! Well, now I see what all the fuss is about. Something to discover around every corner. The new architecture blending in with the old in an elegant and thoughtful way with shops and restaurants of all kinds make an afternoon there really enjoyable.
The Old Post Office was one of the highlights for me. Going through the entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue to see what was inside, we happened upon one of the most marvelous interior spaces I have ever experienced, and the fact that it was narrowly saved from the wrecking ball
is mindboggling. And a familiar story.
One other thought... the Washington Metro, a wonder to behold, has those
signboards that tell you exactly how many minutes it will be before the trains arrive in the station. It was such a welcomed efficiency. When we got back to New York, we waited in the hot, stinking and corroded subway
station for what seemed like forever, and I missed those clever signs so much.

May 31st, 2007, 06:56 PM
Those are the best Washington photos I have ever seen MidtownGuy! Simply the best!

May 31st, 2007, 07:57 PM
wow, thanks.
You know, I was really envious of all the beautifully maintained Victorian houses with their nice colors. Something I don't see a lot of in New York City.

May 31st, 2007, 09:28 PM
Washington can function as Exhibit A in any discussion of North America's recent urban renaissance. It went rapidly from a national disgrace to a truly beautiful city.

June 2nd, 2007, 04:09 PM
Washington can function as Exhibit A in any discussion of North America's recent urban renaissance. It went rapidly from a national disgrace to a truly beautiful city.

I couldn't disagree more. While the thread photos are spectacular, and DC is a fascinating must-visit, I strongly disagree with this thread's general sentiments.

To me, DC is the same as it was in the 80's. It's still a Tale of Two Cities, with a shiny, sterile rich white western half and a violent, godforsaken black eastern half. The only difference is that the strong economy has shifted wealthy, white Washington east, from about 16th Street in the neighborhoods and 14th Street downtown to 14th Street in the neighborhoods and 7th Street downtown. Yes, there are some exceptions; a few blocks of Capitol Hill and around Union Station are safe and gentrified.

The rest of Eastern Washington is a no-go zone that has no equivalent in NYC. Even NYC's worst neighborhoods are not particularly risky or hostile when passing through during daytime hours. In my former job (which involved siginificant work in Southeast Washington) I experienced almost daily hostility and almost weekly scenes of violence (though overwhelmingly as an observer, not as a victim, with one exception).

Even the Western neighborhoods are eventually disheartening to an urbanite. Yes, they are very wealthy and there's lots of interesting sites, but the streetscape is sterile, the shops and restaurants are all chains, and the people are (in comparison to New York) cut from the same corporate cloth. Even beautiful Dupont circle is a disappointment once you get past the beautiful architecture. Those stores and restaurants on Connecticut Avenue are all chains (almost every last one, to a much higher degree than anywhere in NYC, even in yuppie zones like Soho and the Upper West Side) and the people are (broadly speaking) similarly bland. Georgetown is even worse. It's basically the Republican answer to Dupont Circle. Again, pretty architecture and interesting history, but don't expect the vibrancy or diversity of brownstone Brooklyn or the like.

Downtown is booming, but consists almost entirely of identical-looking bland office blocks filled with lawyers and lobbyists. Pretty drab scene compared to Midtown Manhattan or other global equivalents. And the floorplates! These squat blockbusters make for a very boring streetscape. No variety and tons of chains everywhere. Even Midtown Manhattan has lots of independent stores and restaurants on side streets. The chain store infestation only dominates the Manhattan avenues.

As for the DC Metro, it is beautiful, but it was always so. The DC subway is more like the LIRR, Metro North or NJ Transit than the NYC subway or PATH. It primarily services a weekday rush-hour suburban clientele. At other times it is dominated by tourists. The NYC subway is the primary means of regular transit for much of the city, which is very different from the DC Metro. And while DC's rail is beautiful, it is also sterile and inconvenient for most trips.

As for DC's Union Station, it is a shopping mall with a small attached train station, which is completely different from Grand Central. Like all great train stations, Grand Central has shopping and dining outlets, but it is functionally still a train station. DC's Union Station is a 100% shopping mall, with train services relegated to a modern extension in the back. The two parts are even separately owned.

Now that I've finished my long-winded rant, I must reiterate that these pics really are fantastic. DC really is a beautiful and photogenic city, though IMO(as is obvious by now) it leaves a lot to be desired, especially for urbanites.

June 3rd, 2007, 11:39 AM
^ Sounds like you had a bad experience in Washington and it colored your outlook.

June 27th, 2007, 10:08 AM
I go there from time to time and agree that the eastern part is awful and there is nothing in NYC today that looks like it. Overall the population of DC is declining.

AS for Union Station he is wrong, its a great place but not as good as Grand Central. Metro is fast and convient.

I think all Americans should visit the city once in there life

June 27th, 2007, 02:38 PM
Some of the best Washington photos I have ever seen. Thanks so much for the report. :cool:

June 27th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Some of the best Washington photos I have ever seen. Thanks so much for the report. :cool:

Looking at the photos especially the subway it made me think of how different the NYC Subway might have been had it been built deeper underground.

June 27th, 2007, 05:22 PM
^ Costs more, but probably worth it.

October 22nd, 2007, 11:53 PM

Does anyone have renderings of this project or know whether the Commission of Fine Arts approved it? I would think if this gets built, even at the smaller scale, it will become standard imaging for new summer blockbuster action movies and enter the national consciousness, plus be large enough to transform a fairly substantial portion of the worst DC neighborhoods into an Arlington, Virginia style campus for DC government people at various income levels.

Overall, I think it would be fabulous for this to get built and help end poverty in the capital plus help our country fight the bad guys, but I can't find any information on whether it got the nod to go forward.

October 23rd, 2007, 06:11 AM
That side of the anacostia river in DC is a no-mans land hence the lack of a concerted effort for development in the past save the new baseball stadium. Despite the community opposition I think the plan will go forward because of the associated high risks involved and the fact that the federal government has the freedom and money to development with no sweat off their backs...Fort DHS in the making

October 23rd, 2007, 01:37 PM
and considering the fact that an Orwellian nightmare of giant proportions will be festering in that huge new complex. Homeland Security indeed. In five years they can build a new Ministry of Truth on adjoining land. Presto, a new shadow government across the river.

October 24th, 2007, 09:27 PM
The Pentagon has the same issues with being cut off from the community, but the think tanks and contractors that surround it are integrated into th downtowns of Arlington, VA, which is prosperous. I think DHS can have the same influence on Anacostia. It won't turn it into a thriving hipster neighborhood, but it could make it a solid middle class place instead of the blighted mess that it is today.

November 23rd, 2007, 10:57 AM




These people are their own worst enemy. When sensible proposals are made that will urbanize and connect Anacostia, suburban arguments are made about short term traffic congestion and parking space loss. Sounds like they want to stay mired in suburban poverty forever.

Oh lawd, people are so ignorant about planning issues! Suburban nostrums have been sold to the public. They think it's all about driving.