I'd have visited and paid more attention to the buildings in my pictures if I'd known that the Representatives, members of the lower chamber of US Congress lived and worked there. The edificies didn't look special, rather modest.
Despite location on the Capitol Hill it's off the beaten path as the buildings are missed by most non-American visitors, I am sure. Although I was told that many Americans go to these buildings to see their Senator or Representative. It is here that they can get a pass to the House of Representatives or to the Senate. Especially if they want their Congressmen to know how they feel on any issue, they go there to tell them. Well, I didn't see crowds that day. Don't they have any reason to complain or just prefer to use more sophisticated and technologically advanced methods to influence their polititians?
We, a group of VT-ers: Kathy, Urszula, Chris, Nat and I, had seen information sign for visitors about Cannon House Office Building but the Capitol police car blocking 1st St. attracted us more being a perfect background for our pictures. And I didn't figure out what House Office Building meant.
We walked westwards along Independence Avenue looking at 3 long, monumental House Office Buildings (HOB):
1. The Cannon HOB - the oldest congressional office building completed in 1908 in not my favourite Beaux Arts style;
2. The Longworth HOB completed in 1963 in the Neo-Classical Revival style with an impressive portico topped by a pediment looks similar to the buildings of the National Gallery of Art and the Jefferson Memorial;
3. The Rayburn HOB completed in 1965 in the classical style with a white marble facade above a pink granite base.
The only part of the buildings open for visitors is located in the Cannon HOB (entrance on the NW corner) but I missed it. There is an impressive Rotunda and the Caucus Room to see in the building.
This building should be seen mainly for its majestic interior. The pillars are among the largest interior pillars in the world. This building has often been used for Presidential inaugural balls. They also have a nice gift shop.
Get off the Metro at Judiciary Square, go north one block to F street, and the building will be to the west, just a block or so.
Just across from the Treasury Department is a beautiful red brick and sandstone building in the Queen Anne school of design. Built is 1888, this five-story structure has been expanded three times (1916, 1925 and 1985). Tenanted by National Savings for 108 years, the building now houses a SunTrust bank branch and offices.
The Octagon is the oldest museum in the United States dedicated to architecture. Constructed between 1799 and 1801, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and opened to the public as a museum in 1970. Situated on a triangular lot, no one is sure how the six-sided structure came to be called The Octagon.
The Decatur House, named for it's original resident, naval hero Stephen Decatur, is one of the oldest surviving homes in DC and one of only three surviving residential buildings built by Benjamin Latrobe, the father of American Architecture. It's proximity to the White House made this a very desirable address, it was the first and last private residence on Lafayette Square.
After Decatur was killed in a duel, his widow was forced to rent the house, among it's famous tenants were Henry Clay and Martin Van Buren.
The house is currently undergoing work to restore to it's original condition but you can join one of the guided tours and learn a bit about the famous residents. Entrance to Decatur House is free although they will gladly accept donations. Be sure to look for the parquet floor with the seal of California that was added by the Beale family, the final residents.
I asked our guide about the bricked in windows on the front of the house thinking that perhaps they also had a window tax like in London but she said that they were bricked in to cover chimney flues and that Latrobe had wanted the house to be symmetrical, not with protruding chimneys. She also added that in those days there was a tax on the number of rooms and even small closets were taxed which may explain the lack of closets in older homes (including mine!!!).
Closest metro: Farragut North
Located at 748 Jackson Place NW, just north of the White House on Lafayette Square
If you want to visit your representative, his (or her) office might be in the Rayburn building (a site map is at the URL given below). According to their website:
"The Rayburn building is a modified H plan with four stories above ground, two basements, and three levels of underground garage space. A white marble facade above a pink granite base covers a concrete and steel frame. One hundred sixty-nine Representatives were accommodated in three-room suites, with modern-for-the-time features such as toilets, kitchens, and built-in file cabinets; nine committees were also moved to this building. Amenities include a cafeteria, first aid room, Library of Congress book station, telephone and telegraph room, recording studio, post office, gymnasium, and facilities for press and television. A subway tunnel with two cars connects the building to the Capitol, and pedestrian tunnels join it to the Longworth Building."
Location: Southwest of the Capitol on a site bounded by Independence Avenue, South Capitol Street, First Street, and C Street, S.W.
Date Occupied: February 1965
I had to take a picture of this particular government building for the Environmental Protection Agency, my father and husband both worked for the EPA Region 5 in Chicago. The federal government agency buildings in Chicago aren't nearly as grand as the ones in Washington DC, in fact I think the black boxy steel and glass buildings in Chicago are some of the ugliest in the city.
You can see most of the EPA flag with the agency seal on the right side of the photo.
The Hay-Adams Hotel, located just north of Lafayette Square and the White House, takes it's name from John Hay (Sec. of State) and Henry Adams (author and descendant of Pres. John Adams and Pres. John Quincy Adams), both of whom had homes on this site. Those houses were razed in 1927 and the Hay-Adams Hotel was built and opened in 1928.
Many famous guests have stayed here- Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Sinclair Lewis and Ethel Barrymore. And the ghost of Henry Adams' wife is said to still be hanging out on the 4th floor.
Nice court to visit for those interested in Law.
Lecture in court C every hour on the half hour 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. when court is not in session.
Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m
Metro: Capitol South, Union Station
This is Federal Reserve. I call it Greenspan House. Some say it's more powerful than the White House because when Greenspan speaks the whole world listens when Greenspan acts the whole world shakes. He recently raised interest rate by 1 basis point.
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