During my recent trip to the Washington DC area to visit friends, and I was reminded that the city’s original architects set out to design the US capital to intimidate and impress. I visited the Smithsonian’s house for American art and portraiture. It was fantastic, and not just for the art inside. Check out those tall, imposing doric columns.
Wandering around the area, there were more stately and grandiose buildings in every direction (including the US Capitol building where Congress sits), laid out on wide avenues. Throw in a multitude of fascinating war memorials, and it’s like taking a tour of the last 200 years of US history. Or a walk through a film set. (I think perhaps I’ve seen too many Hollywood movies.)
Though I usually prefer to spend my time in areas outside of DC’s downtown – Alexandria’s Old Town or Georgetown, for example – there’s something pretty compelling about the grandeur of DC buildings and monuments. Historical and impressive.