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GRDadof3

Washington D.C. August 2007

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Just spent most of last week in Washington D.C. The sub-title of this thread is a play on words alluding to Washington D.C.'s building height restrictions put in place by George Washington in the 1790's, forbidding any commercial building to be taller than any of D.C.'s monuments, and then modified in the early 1900's to allow commercial buildings to be the height of the street + 20 feet. Despite a few critics, it has created an incredible urban environment almost perfect for the pedestrian. All buildings, new and old, are to a "human scale", much like its European counterparts. No dark foreboding concrete canyons like Chicago or New York. Just beautiful architecture that can be completely absorbed from across the street, and miles and miles of sidewalks, some as wide as 70 - 100 feet, to allow the pedestrian to totally engage in the urban environment. It has also created an overabundance of what can only be called architectural "cubism", where many new buildings are almost cubicle in shape (height, width and depth are almost equal).

Like much of the country's urban areas, downtown D.C. is seeing an influx of residential condominiums and apartments, and the opening of the new convention center and Verizon Center are turning downtown D.C. into a 24 hour city.

For you conspiracy buffs, Washington D.C.'s street design is said to contain many pagan and Masonic symbols, as it was designed by Pierre L'Enfant, who also designed Paris and based D.C. on ancient Rome.

http://www.freewebs.com/garyosborn/thewashingtonpyramid.htm

Welcome to Washington D.C.!

The famous Metro subway system, with its simple yet elegant uplit concrete forms present in each and every station:

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A pretty comprehensive system, it's easy to use, inexpensive, clean, quiet (much quieter than Chicago's L), and can get you to a myriad of points throughout the burrow:

http://www.dcdaysinn.com/images/map_DC_metro_lg.gif

The best place to view "downtown" D.C. is from the old Post Office bell tower. It's right on Pennsylvania Ave, and gives you a front stage view of all of downtown and South to the mall. This view is of the mainly commercial area North of the post office:

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Looking Northwest up Pennsylvania Ave. The gray Georgian structure at the end of the street is the Treasury Dept. Just beyond that is the White House. FYI: If you zoom in to the full size version of this shot, you can see secret service guys on the roof of the White House. Off to the left through the haze is Virginia:

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Looking Southeast down Pennsylvania Ave. Straight ahead is the FBI HQ.

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Looking Southeast past the mall. The construction cranes are working on the new D.C. baseball stadium in a historically rough area of town.

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Looking Southwest toward the mall and the Washington Monument. Foreground is the Environmental Protection Agency HQ:

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Looking Northwest. Foreground is downtown D.C. Background looking over Foggy Bottoms, Georgetown and off toward the Washington National Cathedral:

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Coming up, ground level streetscapes.

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Those are some cool pics. I love D.C.. My sister and her husband moved out there several years ago and my first impression while downtown was it was very European because of the lack of skyscrapers. It is definitely different, but very cool in it's own way.

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Those are some cool pics. I love D.C.. My sister and her husband moved out there several years ago and my first impression while downtown was it was very European because of the lack of skyscrapers. It is definitely different, but very cool in it's own way.

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As for a skyline, I think Washington is more distinctive with a skyline of monuments than a wall of glass towers. Call me crazy, but the height limitations were put in place in order that the monuments and other public buildings would retain a sense of majesty without being crowded out by the latest in corporate fashion. As a seat of government, it is important for Washington to retain a sense of dignity. The height limitations have also helped to create a very dense city, something rather lacking in all but the biggest American cities (with a few notable exceptions, of course).

As for the pictures, were these taken from the Roof Terrace at the Hotel Washington? Nice shots indeed!

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As for a skyline, I think Washington is more distinctive with a skyline of monuments than a wall of glass towers. Call me crazy, but the height limitations were put in place in order that the monuments and other public buildings would retain a sense of majesty without being crowded out by the latest in corporate fashion. As a seat of government, it is important for Washington to retain a sense of dignity. The height limitations have also helped to create a very dense city, something rather lacking in all but the biggest American cities (with a few notable exceptions, of course).

As for the pictures, were these taken from the Roof Terrace at the Hotel Washington? Nice shots indeed!

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Great Photo tour!!! We don't see that many DC photo's on here. I have been here a year now...maybe I will add some of my pictures :)

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I like the style of this complex, with the Navy Memorial fountain out in front. Couldn't determine the age:

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Looking through the plaza to the National Museum of American Art:

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Now moving toward the Verizon Center, 7th Street (bar district) and Chinatown.

This is a fairly new "flatiron" building near New York and 9th:

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I like the transparent glass on this one:

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CUBES ALL AROUND!!

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More new and old:

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Chinatown lies in the area near H and 7th, and is punctuated with its giant archway (apparently the largest Chinatown archway in the U.S.), and this very well placed mixed-use development that includes retail, a Lucky Strike, movie theater, and offices/condos:

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This is that same complex from the ground floor looking South down 7th (toward the Verizon Center Arena):

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More of 7th Street:

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On a HOT summer evening (heat index was 105):

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I guess this area was pretty downtrodden up until a few years ago.

The Verizon Center (notice the utter lack of any parking lots or giant setbacks, and a continuation of the the area's ground floor retail? :thumbsup: )

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Looking West on F Street near the National Building Museum:

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The very cool National Building Museum (for you architecture and building buffs):

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Inside the massive atrium of the National Building Museum:

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Now back on the Metro and off to the White House and Washington Monument areas. That stop would be the Farragut Square area, where Connecticutt and K Street intersect. A very bustling area of downtown with not a lot of tourists (but plenty of homeless in the park).

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Looking NW up Connecticut:

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Farragut Square has that "bustle" down pretty well:

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A lot of beautifully preserved architecture around the White House:

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The amazing Executive Office Building next to the White House:

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The Willard Intercontinental Hotel at the corner of Pennsylvania and 15th:

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Looking East toward the capital down Pennsylvania (yes, we've come full circle, that's the old post office again about 1/2 way down on the right hand side):

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More coming up...

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More of the Willard (I love the architecture):

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No photo tour of D.C. would be complete without the White House:

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Gotcha. That's the Red Cross HQ. :thumbsup:

Here's the White House, hidden deep in a grove of trees really only visible from a small spot on (the now closed off) section of Pennsylvania Ave and on the opposite side near the Elipse and E Street.

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Looking NE up New York Ave from Pennsylvania/White House area:

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Hotel Washington:

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The Hotel Intercontinental foreground and the Treasury Dept background:

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Various government buildings along Pennsylvania:

The J Edgar Hoover FBI building:

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The massive DOJ complex:

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IRS complex (also massive):

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Department of Commerce:

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Archives:

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Beautiful tree canopies along Pennsylvania:

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Coming later, the mall, Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial...

Thanks all for the compliments! :thumbsup:

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This thread got me wanting to visit D.C.

Most definitely! My wife and I have been talking about taking the train up there from Charlotte and seeing these pictures just makes that trip move to the top of our list. It is very rare to see pictures of DC and even rarer to see such a beautiful iteration of them! Thanks so much for sharing so many of the wonderful shots you took!

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Most definitely! My wife and I have been talking about taking the train up there from Charlotte and seeing these pictures just makes that trip move to the top of our list. It is very rare to see pictures of DC and even rarer to see such a beautiful iteration of them! Thanks so much for sharing so many of the wonderful shots you took!

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