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The National Capitol Columns are a monument in Washington, D.C.'s National Arboretum. It is an arrangement of twenty-two Corinthian columns which were a part of the United States Capitol from 1828 to 1958, placed amid 20 acres (8.1 ha) of open meadow, known as the Ellipse Meadow.
The columns were quarried from sandstone near Aquia Creek in Virginia and transported to Washington on a barge. Old identification marks from the quarry are still visible on some of the stones.
They were originally built as part of the east portico of the Capitol in 1828, long before the familiar Capitol dome was completed. However, when the dome was completed in 1866, it appeared inadequately supported by the columns, because the iron dome was significantly larger than the dome that the designer envisioned. To correct this visual illusion, an addition to the east side of the Capitol was constructed in 1958 and the columns were removed.
During the 1980s, Arboretum benefactor Ethel Garrett took up the cause of establishing a permanent home for the columns. Russell Page, a landscape designer and close friend of Garrett's, visited the Arboretum in September 1984, only months before his death. He determined that the east side of the Ellipse Meadow would be an ideal location, as the columns would be in scale with the more than 20 acres (8.1 ha) of open meadow available at the site.
The columns were relocated to this site, and set on a foundation of stones from the steps that were originally on the east side of the Capitol. A reflecting pool, fed by a small rivulet of water running down a channel in the steps, reflects the columns and provides sound and movement.
A capital, or top portion, of one of the columns is located elsewhere in the meadow, so that visitors can see the detail that the stone carver incorporated into the design. Acanthus leaves are clearly visible, and the many layers of paint applied while the column was in place at the Capitol are visible on portions of the stone.
Only 22 of the original 24 columns stand in the Ellipse Meadow. The remaining two columns are damaged, and rest at the summit of Mount Hamilton, inside the Arboretum's Azalea Collection. Both are cracked in half and neither has a base or capital.
The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the meeting place of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the federal district, the Capitol forms the origin point for the district's street-numbering system and the district's four quadrants.
The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army (1775–1784) in the American Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States (1789–1797). Located almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, the monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest predominantly stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches (169.046 m) tall according to the U.S. National Geodetic Survey or 555 feet 5 1⁄8 inches (169.294 m) tall according to the National Park Service. It is the tallest monumental column in the world if all are measured above their pedestrian entrances. Overtaking the Cologne Cathedral, it was the tallest structure in the world between 1884 and 1889, after which it was overtaken by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
An arboretum in a general sense is a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees. More commonly a modern arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants and is intended at least in part for scientific study.
The Wisconsin State Capitol, located in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. Completed in 1917, the building is the fifth to serve as the Wisconsin capitol since the first territorial legislature convened in 1836 and the third building since Wisconsin was granted statehood in 1848. The Wisconsin State Capitol is the tallest building in Madison, a distinction that has been preserved by legislation that prohibits buildings taller than the columns surrounding the dome. The Capitol is located at the southwestern end of the Madison Isthmus. The streets surrounding the building form the Capitol Square, which is home to many restaurants and shops.
The Wyoming State Capitol is the state capitol and seat of government of the U.S. state of Wyoming. Built between 1886 and 1890, the capitol is located in Cheyenne and contains the chambers of the Wyoming State Legislature as well as the office of the Governor of Wyoming. It was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987. The Capitol underwent an extensive three-year renovation and reopened to the public on July 10, 2019.
The Iowa State Capitol, commonly called the Iowa Statehouse, is in Iowa's capital city, Des Moines. As the seat of the Iowa General Assembly, the building houses the Iowa Senate, Iowa House of Representatives, the Office of the Governor, and the Offices of the Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State. The building also includes a chamber for the Iowa Supreme Court, although court activities usually take place in the neighboring Iowa Supreme Court building. The building was constructed between 1871 and 1886, and is the only five-domed capitol in the country.
The United States National Arboretum is an arboretum in northeast Washington, D.C., operated by the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. It was established in 1927 by an act of Congress after a campaign by USDA Chief Botanist Frederick Vernon Coville.
The Washington State Capitol or Legislative Building in Olympia is the home of the government of the state of Washington. It contains chambers for the Washington State Legislature and offices for the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and treasurer and is part of a campus consisting of several buildings. Buildings for the Washington Supreme Court, executive agencies and the Washington Governor's Mansion are part of the capitol campus.
Aquia Creek is a 27.6-mile-long (44.4 km) tributary of the tidal segment of the Potomac River and is located in northern Virginia. The creek's headwaters lie in southeastern Fauquier County, and it empties into the Potomac at Brent Point in Stafford County, 45 miles (72 km) south of Washington, D.C.
The Utah State Capitol is the house of government for the U.S. state of Utah. The building houses the chambers and offices of the Utah State Legislature, the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, the State Auditor and their staffs. The capitol is the main building of the Utah State Capitol Complex, which is located on Capitol Hill, overlooking downtown Salt Lake City.
The Nevada State Capitol is the capitol building of the U.S. state of Nevada located in the state capital of Carson City at 101 North Carson Street. The building was constructed in the Neoclassical Italianate style between 1869 and 1871. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is also Nevada Historical Marker number 25.
The Cornell Botanic Gardens is a botanical garden located adjacent to the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. The Botanic Gardens proper consist of 25 acres (10 ha) of botanical gardens and 150 acres (61 ha) of the F.R. Newman Arboretum. The greater Botanic Gardens includes 40 different nature areas around Cornell and Ithaca, covering 4,300 acres (1,700 ha).
Jefferson Pier, Jefferson Stone, or the Jefferson Pier Stone, in Washington, D.C., marks the second prime meridian of the United States even though it was never officially recognized, either by presidential proclamation or by a resolution or act of Congress.
Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum is a state-owned natural history preserve occupying 80 acres (32 ha) in the town of Rocky Hill, Connecticut. The state park protects one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. The park was created in recognition of fossil trackways embedded in sandstone from the beginning of the Jurassic period, about 200 million years ago. The facility is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Erie MetroParks was formed as the "Erie County Metropolitan Park District" in 1968 and adopted its current name in 1991. It consists of 13 individual park areas located throughout Erie County in the US state of Ohio covering approximately 3,254 acres (1,317 ha).
The United States Capitol dome is the dome situated above the rotunda of the United States Capitol. The dome is 288 feet (88 m) in height and 96 feet (29 m) in diameter. It was designed by Thomas U. Walter, the fourth Architect of the Capitol, and constructed between 1855 and 1866 at a cost of $1,047,291.
The Capitol Reflecting Pool is a reflecting pool in Washington, D.C., United States. It lies to the west of the United States Capitol and is the westernmost element of the Capitol grounds. The Capitol Dome and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial are reflected in its waters.
The U.S. Capitol Gatehouses and Gateposts — designed circa 1827 by celebrated architect Charles Bulfinch — originally stood on the grounds of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Two of the gatehouses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places in their new locations.
Aquia Creek sandstone is a type of brown to light-gray freestone used extensively in building construction in Washington, D.C. in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Quarried at Aquia Creek in Stafford County, Virginia, the stone was valuable for its ease of shaping and the quarry's proximity to the tidewater portion of the Potomac River, 45 miles south of Washington.
The New York Court of Appeals Building, officially referred to as Court of Appeals Hall, is located at the corner of Eagle and Pine streets in central Albany, New York, United States. It is a stone Greek Revival building built in 1842 and designed by Henry Rector. In 1971 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of six buildings housing a state's highest court currently so recognized. Seven years later it was included as a contributing property when the Lafayette Park Historic District was listed on the Register.
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