Of Books and Buildings

After spending the morning with aunt C, we are again off to see a bit more of the city.

We start at the Library of Congress.

For the past few days we have been debating whether it is really the National Archives I remember so fondly or whether I am actually thinking of the Library of Congress. Lane is convinced it is the latter. This is the test.

As we step through security I am convinced it was the Archives I remember.

Not that the Library of Congress isn’t interesting. There aren’t a lot of exhibits up right now, but the main building is really lovely, from the skylight high above our heads to the inlay floors beneath our feet.
From the Library of Congress we make a quick hop over to the National Building Museum.

The museum is housed in the old Pension Bureau building, a lumbering brick pile with a frieze of civil war units marching around the building. (The Pension Bureau being the administrator of the veteran’s pension program after the civil war.) It is a great structure.

The museum itself focuses on architecture and construction (including construction materials), with a bit of land use and urban design thrown in for good measure. It is probably the closest thing to a general “land use planning” museum there is in the U.S., so I consider this “my” museum and try to get here whenever we are in town.

Now we have fit it into our rather tight schedule because it has an exhibit on traditional African architecture. The places featured in the exhibit are all fascinating. Now I want to see them all for myself! There are just too many things to see in the world – I’ll never get to them all no matter how hard I try, but at least shows like this give me a peek.

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