DC Heritage Trails: Make No Little Plans: Federal Triangle Heritage Trail:
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TRFTRI_170920_02.JPG: Make No Little Plans
Federal Triangle Heritage Trail
You are standing in the Federal Triangle, a group of buildings whose grandeur symbolizes the power and dignity of the United States. Located between the White House and the Capitol, these buildings house key agencies of the U.S. Government.
The Federal Triangle is united by the use of neoclassical revival architecture, drawing from styles of ancient Greece and Rome that have influenced public buildings throughout the ages. Although each structure was designed for a specific government department or agency, they all share limestone facades, red-tiled roofs and classical colonnades. Their architectural features, following traditions of the Parisian School of Fine Arts (Ecole des Beaux-Arts), illustrate each building's original purpose. Most of the Federal Triangle was constructed between 1927 and 1938. However, the Old Post Office and the John A. Wilson Building survive from an earlier era, while the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center was not completed until 1998.
In 1791 Pierre L'Enfant designed a city plan for the new capital in Washington under the direction of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The L'Enfant Plan overlaid broad avenues on a street grid with areas reserved for prominent buildings and parks. This area originally followed L'Enfant's vision as a center for businesses serving the municipal and federal governments. By the time of the Civil War (1861-1865), it had become a hodgepodge of boarding houses, stables, and light industry. This disarray, and the growing need for government office space, led to calls for redevelopment. In 1901 the Senate Park Commission, known as the McMillan Commission, created a new plan for Washington's parks and monumental areas and redefined the Triangle as a government center. In 1926 Congress authorized a massive building program that drew inspiration from classical architecture to create today's monumental Federal Triangle.
Make No Little Plans: Federal Triangle Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, D.C. Walking Trail. The self-guided, 1.75-mile tour of 16 signs offers about one hour of gentle exercise. Its theme comes from "Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood. Make big plans," attributed to visionary Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, chair of the McMillan Commission.
For more information on Federal Triangle buildings, please visit www.gsa.gov. For more information on DC neighborhoods and walking tours, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
Make No Little Plans: Federal Triangle Heritage Trail is produced by the U.S. General Services Administration in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation and Cultural Tourism DC.
TRFTRI_170920_07.JPG: The Department of Justice building replaced the buildings at right that once served the wholesale and retail market district here. Around 1920, truck drivers for the Piggly Wiggly modern grocery store chain posed by their trucks on C Street at 10th Street. Behind them is the 11th Street (eastern) side of the Old Post Office.
TRFTRI_170920_08.JPG: Make No Little Plans
Federal Triangle Heritage Trail
14 Equal Justice Under the Law
The roots of America's top law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, reach back to 1789. That year the first Congress created the Office of the Attorney General to prosecute lawsuits in the Supreme Court and advise the President and the Cabinet on matters of law. In 1870, after the Civil War spurred an increase in lawsuits, Congress created the Department of Justice to address the increasing demands on the attorney general's office. The Department's modern mission is to enforce the laws and defend the interests of the United States, protect the American people against terrorism and other threats to national security, prevent and control crime, seek just punishment for those who break the law, and ensure equal justice for all citizens.
For the Department's first permanent home, Philadelphia architects Clarence C. Zantzinger and Charles I. Borie, Jr., showcased bold yet elegant Art Deco ornamentation. The 20-foot-high night doors just ahead and most of the building's decorative fixtures are made of aluminum instead of traditional bronze. Colorful mosaics by Washingtonian John Joseph Earley adorn entranceway ceilings. C. Paul Jennewein designed 57 interior and exterior sculptural pieces, including the spectacular Art Deco torchières lighting the entrances.
Inside the building are distinctive 1930s-era murals illustrating how law and justice improve American life. Painter George Biddle, one of the artist, had persuaded his friend and schoolmate President Franklin D. Roosevelt to fund public murals. Roosevelt's New Deal went on to commission important works of civic art throughout the Federal Triangle and the nation.
The building was named the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in 2001 to honor the slain former attorney general.
TRFTRI_170920_11.JPG: The panel, left, shows tired, worn, urban factory workers in an unjust economic system.
TRFTRI_170920_14.JPG: Upper left, happy Americans benefit from the economic prosperity of a just society.
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2017 photos: Equipment this year: I continued to use my Fuji XS-1 cameras but, depending on the event, I also used a Nikon D7000.
Trips this year:
(April) a 48-hour jaunt for a Civil War Trust conference in Pensacola, FL,
(June) an 11-day trip built around the Civil War Trust annual conference in Chattanooga, TN including sites in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee,
(July) the annual San Diego Comic Con trip with a sidetrip to sites in Arizona,
(August) a family reunion in The Dells, Wisconsin including sites in Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin,
(October) the Civil War Trust Grand Review in Fredericksburg, VA, and
(December) a two-day jaunt to New York City.
For some reason, several of my photos have been published in physical books this year which is pretty cool. Ones that I know about:
"Tarzan, Jungle King of Popular Culture" (David Lemmo),
"The Great Crusade: A Guide to World War I American Expeditionary Forces Battlefields and Sites" (Stephen T. Powers and Kevin Dennehy),
"The American Spirit" (David McCullough),
"Civil War Battlefields: Walking the Trails of History" (David T. Gilbert),
"The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956 — Khrushchev, Stalin's Ghost, and a Young American in Russia" (Marvin Kalb), and
"The Judge: 26 Machiavellian Lessons" (Ron Collins and David Skover).
Number of photos taken this year: just below 560,000.