The mall is where it's at! And I don't mean the shopping mall. It's the very large, grassy area with some reflecting pools between the Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial. Top sights are all along and within its boundaries - some Smithsonian Museums, the National Gallery of Art, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Washington Monument.
This is also the place where many demonstrations take place, as it's right in front of the Capitol Building, so be prepared.
What a wonderful place to bring the whole family. So many wonderful facts and artifacts. I think everyone will recognize something in here that onced touched their lives in one way or another. Great exhibits!!
Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed December 25. Admission is free. Summer hours: from May 28-Sept. 6, 2004, the museum will close at 6:30 p.m. daily.
To my friends from overseas, no, this isn't some decadent three-storey shopping centre replete with Benettons, Victoria's Secrets and Banana Republics with parking as far as the eye can see.
The National Mall is green space in between many of Washington, DC's major must see activities. It forms the shape of a cross. Starting in the east is the Capitol Building. As we go west there is the Washington Monument. At its westernmost point, there is the Lincoln Memorial. Directly south of the Washington Monument is the Jefferson Memorial. Completing the cross is the northernmost point which is the White House. In between on either side of the Mall are the museums of the Smithsonian Institution.
Just between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument stop for awhile and take in the view.
This is the east-looking view down the national mall towards the Washington Monument and the US Capitol. The geese seem to love this spot also!
I bet you can tell I was just driving by when you look at this picture of the National Gallery of Art? Too bad all those poles & signs are in the way. Haha, next time I'm going inside!
The National Gallery of Art houses one of the finest collections in the world illustrating major achievements in painting, sculpture, and graphic arts from the Middle Ages to the present.
The Washington monument is an easily spotted landmark to find the National Mall. No, this mall isn't for shopping - well you can shop there - but it is for museums and history. The mall extends from the US capitol building to the Washington monument, but most people think it includes the land that extends past this and to the Lincoln Memorial (actually named Constitution Gardens). Between the Capitol and the Washtington Momument you'll find most of the famous DC museums. Between Washing and Lincoln Memorial you'll find what I affectionately call war memorial row. The region is just part of the 1000 acres of national park-land in the DC area! The wide expanse of land is used for touring, recreation, and even protests.
During my short visit, they were setting up for a National Bookseller's event, the Peace Vigil, AND the World Bank Protest - all of which were to take place at some point in the mall! Watching all this activity made my proud to be an American, as I know not every country allows it's citizens to protest against governmental policies and processes. It also made me glad that I wasn't planning on being in town during all of this hubabaloo in the upcoming days :)
Well, if you've seen the Lincoln Memorial with the Reflecting Pool, or the World War II Memorial, or the Washington Monument, you've seen a large part of the National Mall. It is a big strip of land that extends from the Capitol in the East to the Lincoln Memeorial in the West. A large part of it between the Washington Monument and the Capitol is still empty, creating a green space for outdoor events and festivals.
What's so great about the National Mall from a tourist's point of view is that some Washington D.C.'s greatest museums and fine galleries are located along it between the Capitol and the Washington Monument, so once you get to that part of the Mall, you get easy access to:
On the Northern side:
National Gallery of Art
National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of American History
On the Southern side:
Freer Gallery of Art
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Smithsonian Castle and information centre
National Museum of African Art
Arts and Industries Building
Air and Space Museum
American Indian Museum (opened in 2004)
If you visit one of these museums (having entered from the other side), be sure to go around it to take a look at the National Mall.
A few of our most famous and popular landmarks are in various stages of construction/renovation. You will notice scaffolding.
1. Washington Memorial- closed since the 2011 Earthquake, crews will erect scaffolding around the entire exterior of the Monument to seal cracked panels and reinstall a lightning protection system. Expected completion 2014
2. Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool- The pool was drained to fix leaks, install filtration and widen the sidewalks. Reported this week that algae was growing in the reflecting pools, therefore, they are going to take more time to make sure the chemicals they use are right. Dont dip your feet in the reflecting pool. The Reflecting pool will be emptied and cleaned for a bit longer (updated October 2012).
3. The National Mall- installation of drainage to protect from flooding. Expected completion January 2013.
4. US Capitol- Expected completion September 2012. There is scaffolding around the dome skirt to fix water damage. Crews are repainting and sealing.
5. US Supreme Court- The west front of the building has scaffolding for cleaning and repairs. No specific date given for completion, but should be fairly soon as they have been at it for a year.
6. White House Visitor Center- Will close for renovations until October 2013. A temporary facility will be opened in the meanwhile.
7. National Museum of American History- West wing of the building will be undergoing renovation. Popular exhibits will be relocated for display.
The National Mall is the large, grassy, open area between the Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial. This area include many of Washington DC's most famous attractions including the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, many of the largest Smithsonian Institution museums, the US Capitol building, the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial and the United States Botanic Garden. New additions to the Mall that are under development include the National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as the Martin L. King Monument.
The idea for the national mall was proposed in L'Enfant's original plan for the city, but it underwent many changes before reaching its current design. Leading up to the 1900s the mall housed the city's main train station, and later it had barracks for soldiers defending the city. In 1901 the Mall underwent its largest changes with tons of fill used to extend the mall to the Lincoln Memorial and to created the Tidal Basin.
The mall is the site of numerous famous events in American history such as Martin L. King's "I have a dream" speech and Presidential inaugurations. Every day you will see thousands of joggers, and people playing baseball, rugby, soccer, and kickball on fields around the edges of the mall.
The National Gallery is divided between two buildings: The East Wing houses 20th Century art and the structure is modern; The West Wing houses pre-20th Century art and the structure is classical. In between, underground, are museum shops and a cafe. There is a very cool fountain window (water runs down against the glass from the plaza above) and a "people mover" walkway.
The permanent collections are lovely and there are almost always visiting exhibits. Check the website (not the same as Smithsonian's) to see what's on view while you're here, and be sure to note if you will need to get tickets and/or stand in line. The museum, like the others here, is free--but some special exhibits have a fee or are so popular you must get a pass for a timed visit.
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