Theme Week Washington, D.C. – The White House

31 March 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  14 minutes

© Matt H. Wade/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Matt H. Wade/cc-by-sa-3.0

The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. The term White House is often used as a metonymy to refer to actions of the president and his advisers, as in “The White House announced that…”. The residence was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban in the Neoclassical style. Construction took place between 1792 and 1800 using Aquia Creek sandstone painted white. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the house in 1801, he (with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe) added low colonnades on each wing that concealed stables and storage. In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed Executive Residence in October 1817. Exterior construction continued with the addition of the semi-circular South portico in 1824 and the North portico in 1829.   read more…

United States presidential election of 2016

9 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial Reading Time:  15 minutes

© Lipton sale/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Lipton sale/cc-by-sa-3.0

In the face of the 18-month presidential election campaign, which more and more degenerated into the mud fight, not only the Americans will be happy about the fact that at least this very inglorious episode has now been surpassed. The US voters initially elected the electors of choice in their federal state. On 19 December 2016 the so-called Electoral College will officially elect the new president. The inauguration of the president of the United States will take place on 20 January 2017. Until then, Barack Obama fortunately remains still US President.   read more…

Theme Week Washington, D.C. – President’s Park

30 September 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  10 minutes

President's Park with White House © Ad Meskens/cc-by-sa-3.0

President’s Park with White House © Ad Meskens/cc-by-sa-3.0

President’s Park, located in Washington, D.C., encompasses the White House, a visitor center, Lafayette Square, and The Ellipse. President’s Park was the original name of Lafayette Square. The current President’s Park is administered by the National Park Service. The White House Visitor Center is located in the north end of the Herbert C. Hoover Building (the Department of Commerce headquarters between 14th Street and 15th Street on Pennsylvania Avenue NW). Since September 11, 2001, the visitor center no longer serves as a starting point for those going on a reserved tour of the White House. The various exhibits provide an alternative visitor experience for those who did not schedule a tour. The themes of the six permanent exhibits are First Families, Symbols & Images, White House Architecture, White House Interiors, Working White House, and Ceremonies and Celebrations. Other exhibits change throughout the year.   read more…

Theme Week Washington, D.C. – Georgetown

15 April 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Healy Hall at Georgetown University © Daderot

Healy Hall at Georgetown University © Daderot

Georgetown is a historic neighborhood, commercial, and entertainment district located in northwest Washington, D.C., situated along the Potomac River. Founded in 1751 in the Province of Maryland, the port of Georgetown predated the establishment of the federal district and the City of Washington by 40 years. Georgetown remained a separate municipality until 1871, when the United States Congress created a new consolidated government for the whole District of Columbia. A separate act passed in 1895 specifically repealed Georgetown’s remaining local ordinances and renamed Georgetown’s streets to conform with those in the City of Washington. Georgetown is home to the main campus of Georgetown University. Many D.C.’s politicians and lobbyists are at home in Georgetown.   read more…

Theme Week Washington, D.C. – Blair House

17 October 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  4 minutes

© SchuminWeb/cc-by-sa-2.5

© SchuminWeb/cc-by-sa-2.5

Blair House is the official state guest house for the President of the United States. It is located at 1651–1653 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., opposite the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, off the corner of Lafayette Park.   read more…

Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.

3 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

Watergate complex © Tim1965

Watergate complex © Tim1965

The Watergate complex is a group of five buildings next to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the United States. The Watergate superblock is bounded on the north by Virginia Avenue, on the east by New Hampshire Avenue, on the south by F Street, and on the west by the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway. It is in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood overlooking the Potomac River, next to the Kennedy Center and the embassy of Saudi Arabia. The nearest Metro station, 0.4 miles distant, is Foggy Bottom-GWU. Covering a total of 10 acres (40,000 m2), the buildings include:   read more…

Theme Week Washington, D.C. – Library of Congress

12 March 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries Reading Time:  7 minutes

Thomas Jefferson Building © Carol M. Highsmith/cc-by-sa-3.0

Thomas Jefferson Building © Carol M. Highsmith/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, the de facto national library of the United States of America, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in four buildings in Washington, D.C., as well as the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, it is one of the two largest libraries in the world by shelf space and number of books, the other being The British Library. The head of the Library is the Librarian of Congress, currently James H. Billington.   read more…

Theme Week Washington, D.C.

27 November 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  7 minutes

Lincoln Memorial by night © flickr.com - CrashingWaves/cc-by-2.0

Lincoln Memorial by night © flickr.com – CrashingWaves/cc-by-2.0

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, “the District”, or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country’s East Coast. As permitted by the U.S. Constitution, the District is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States Congress and is therefore not a part of any U.S. state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the preexisting settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria; however, Congress returned the Virginia portion in 1846. Named in honor of George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. Congress created a single municipal government for the whole District of Columbia after the American Civil War.   read more…

The Smithsonian Institution

17 August 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  5 minutes

National Mall with 9 of the 14 Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C. © flickr.com - Smithsonian Institution/Carl Hansen

National Mall with 9 of the 14 Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C.
© flickr.com – Smithsonian Institution/Carl Hansen

The Smithsonian Institution, established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” is a group of museums and research centers administered by the United States government. Originally organized as the “United States National Museum,” that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967. Termed “the nation’s attic” for its eclectic holdings of 137 million items, the Institution’s Washington, D.C. nucleus of nineteen museums, nine research centers, and zoo—many of them historical or architectural landmarks—is the largest such complex in the world. Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Maryland, New York City, Virginia, Panama and elsewhere. The Institutions’s thirty million annual visitors are admitted without charge; funding comes from the Institution’s own endowment, private and corporate contributions, membership dues, government support, and retail, concession and licensing revenues. Institution publications include Smithsonian and Air & Space magazines.   read more…

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