Capitol Columns

I escaped the heat of the city this past weekend for the spring greenery of the National Arboretum. One of the more interesting installations in this large park are the original 22 (out of 24) sandstone Corinthian columns from the East (entry) portico of the Capitol Building.The columns began life in 1828, quarried from Aquia Creek in Virginia and then sent on a barge to the construction site of the capitol where they were carved.
In 1958, the columns were removed from the Capitol building in an effort to complete and perfect the original design. These columns witnessed the history of our country.
In the 1980s, a group of conservators gathered and raised money to erect the columns as a memorial in the National Arboretum.The columns rest perched on a small knoll in a 20 acre clearing. In beautiful weather, such as we had this weekend, families bring picnics and relax in their stately shadow.
Stone saved from the renovation of the Capitol was used to create a base on which to walk and create a fountain at the base of the columns (which you can see on the lower right, above).
Patron's names were carved into this salvaged marble: one of the more famous names we saw was Katharine Graham, of Washington Post fame.
Next time you are in DC, take the time to visit the beautiful National Arboretum - a piece of the country right in our Nations Capital.
More information on the Capitol Columns online HERE.

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