Nice Washington DC photos

March 24th, 2012

A few nice Washington DC images I found:

Washington DC: Department of Treasury – South Wing
Washington DC
Image by wallyg
The United States Department of the Treasury Building, at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, is the third oldest building in Washington, dating from 1836. Robert Mills was commissioned to design the T-shaped Greek Revival building after the two previous structures had burned down.

The Department of Treasury, established by an Act of U.S. Congress in 1789 to manage the revenue of the United States government, prints and mints all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint. Alexander Hamilton, of whom a statue stands on the south wing, was sworn in as the first Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789.

The Department of Treasury moved into a porticoed Gregorian-style building, designed by George Hadfield in 1800 when the federal government moved from Philadelphia. The structure was destroyed by the British in 1814, but rebuilt by James Hobson. It was again burned, this time by arsonists in 1833, with only the fireproof wing left standing.

Three years later, on July 4, 1836, Congress authorized construction of a new East and Center Wings. The most architecturally impressive feature of the Mills design is the 341-foot long colonnade of thirty 36-foot tall columns carved out of a single block of granite. The material for the original Wing was Acquia Creek freestone, which was largely replaced with granite in 1908. The interior design of the east and center wings is classically austere, in keeping with the Greek Revival style.

In 1855, Congress granted authority to extend the building. Construction of what is now the South Wing was begun in July 1855 and completed and occupied in September 1861. Construction started on the west wing in 1855 and was completed and occupied in 1864. The preliminary design of the wings was provided by Thomas Ustick Walter, but construction began under the supervision of Ammi B. Young and from 1862 until 1867 by Isaiah Rogers. While the exterior of the building was executed along the lines of the original Mills wings, the interiors of the later wings reflect changes in both building technology and aesthetic tastes. Iron columns and beams reinforced the building’s brick vaults, and the architectural detailing became much more ornate, following mid-nineteenth century fashion.

The final addition came in 1867 in the form of the North Wing, which displaced the Department of State Building. Designed by Alfred B. Mullett, the wing contains the Cash Room, opened in 1869 as the site of Ulysses S. Grant’s Inaugural Ball. It is a two-story marble hall in which the daily financial business was transacted. The Attic story, now the Treasury Building’s fifth floor, was added in 1910. A statue of Albert Gallatin, the 4th and longest serving Secretary, sits on the North Patio.

The stone used in the South Wing, the West Wing and the North Wing, was quarried on Dix Island, near Rockland, Maine, and transported in sailing vessels. The facades are adorned by monolithic columns of the Ionic order, each 36 feet tall and weighing 30 tons. Each column cost ,000. There are 18 columns on the west side and 10 each on the north and south sides..

Lafayette Square Historic District, roughly bordered by 15th and 17th Sts. and H St. and State and Treasury Places, exclusive of the White House and its grounds, covers the seven-acre public park, Lafayette Square, and its surrounding structures including the Executive Office Building, Blair House, the Treasury Building, the Decatur House, and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Department of Treasury National Register #71001007 (1971)
Fifteenth Street Historic District National Register #84003900 (2006)
Lafayette Square Historic District National Register #70000833 (1970)

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