WASHINGTON MONUMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C. The Washington Monument Society selected Robert Mills’ design of this obelisk in 1836. I would take several decades before the monument was finally dedicated on dedicated on February 21, 1885. The monument weights over 80,000 tons. It stands just over 555 feet tall. Walls at the base are 15 feet thick. At the top, they narrow to just 18 inches. The Society ran out of money in 1854 when the monument was just 150 feet tall. Construction stalled for about 25 years. A different quarry supplied the stone. While the two types seemed to match at the time, wind, rain, and erosion have caused the marble sections to weather differently, producing the now pronounced difference in colour. It’s 896 steps to the top of the obelisk. Visitors take an elevator to the observation deck where they can survey the city from the monument’s great height.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 10-24mm lens at 15mm, f13, 1/1250 sec., ISO 640. Image by John Ecker | pantheon photography
“Four score and seven….” Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography
GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, LINCOLN MEMORIAL, WASHINGTON, D.C. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is inscribed in the limestone walls of the giant memorial to the great President. Whereas most people, particularly children, readily rush up to the statue of the seated Lincoln in the central part of the memorial, fewer people approach the powerful words carved into the southern wall. They are best read from a distance. Every so often, a child will make the mad dash to stand below the text while parents snap photos of their son or daughter below the famous text. As we all know, the speech begins with “Four score and seven years ago…” What does that mean anyhow? A score is twenty years. Four score is 80. Add seven and you have 87. America’s 16th President gave the speech on Thursday, November 19th, 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (site of the battle of Gettysburg in early July of that same year). 87 years before President Lincoln’s remarks was the year 1776.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 10-24mm at 22mm, f4.5, 1/15 sec., ISO 640, Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon Photography
JOHN F. KENNEDY LIBRARY, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Plans for the library began even before Kennedy’s untimely death. The tradition of privately paid-for presidential libraries began with the Roosevelt library. In 1961, the Kennedy administration approached Harvard University, seeking space next to its library for an eventual Kennedy library. Not long after his death, the family stated its preference that the library be the only large monument to the President. Money was raised, plans were developed and…. stagnation. After years of challenges dealing with the site— including Cambridge residents concerned about the influx of tourists, the Harvard site was abandoned in 1975. Columbia Point, on the grounds of the University of Massachusetts was then selected. Jackie Kennedy personally chose architect I.M. Pei to build the magnificent structure. What an inspired choice. The Kennedy Library opened in October 1979, more than 15 years after Kennedy’s assassination. Photo Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 16-85 AF-S, at 30mm, f10, 1/400 sec, 1600 ISO,
Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon Photography