Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Washington Arch, Washington Square, NY.

Before the Washington square was built in 1826, the area was used as a burial ground. The north side was a German cemetery, while the south side was a potter's field (a nameless burial ground). The area was later used as a public gallows and execution ground.Between 1829 and 1833, a row of houses were built at the North side of the square. The prestigious houses, built of red Brick in Flemish bond in Greek revival style, became known as 'The Row'. The entrances are flanked by Ionic and Doric columns and have marble balustrades. By the end of the 19th century, the north side continued to attract rich and leading citizens, while the south side was populated with immigrants living in tenement houses.
For the Centennial of Washington's inauguration as President of the United States a wooden Memorial Arch was constructed on the Washington Square. The arch, designed by Stanford White was so successful at the celebrations, that a marble version was commissioned. In may 1895 the final version of the 77 ft (23,4m) Washington Arch was inaugurated. The pier sculptures of Washington as general and president were added in 1916 and 1918 respectively.
Cars were allowed to drive through the arch until 1971, when the Washington square was redesigned by Robert Nichols. The square has had its ups and downs since.Especially in the 80's, when it had become a drug dealing center, the square was particularly dangerous, but it has improved since the 90's and is now a relatively safe area.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sun and the Washington Monument

The sun was almost directly above the monument when I took this picture Wednesday!
Of all the Presidents of the United States, George Washington is the most celebrated. Efforts to commemorate his legacy began during his lifetime and continue to this day. Down through the years they have taken on many forms. His leadership and service to the republic have been distinguished through the naming of the federal capital, universities, streets, counties, and a state. In addition to these honors, he had been remembered in works of art, monumental buildings, and historic preservation, involving Americans of all walks of life. But none have captured the imagination of the people world-wide like the Washington Monument.

National Archives

Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever.
Those valuable records are preserved and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family’s history, need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching an historical topic that interests you.


Do you ever wonder where those bad guys live?

The White House

While visiting Washington DC last week I had lunch with the President. You'll be happy to know that I was able to solve all global problems, negotiate a 50% tax decrease for 2007 and insure heath care for all!!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Maher's

With their daughter Bridgett home for a visit from CA here are our good friends Chris and Molly and son Neal.
Chris is the leader of Team Viagra and the brains behind our annual Christmas Tree display.

Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. Tunnel

Dedicated in June 2006 I drove through the tunnel two weeks ago while visiting Boston.
Although he never lived to see the project's completion, O'Neill -- who retired in 1987 and died in 1994 -- was instrumental at its earliest stages, battling with a reluctant Reagan Administration leery of its daunting price tag -- even when it started at just $2.6 billion.
In the end the Big Dig would cost more than $14.6 billion, transform the face of downtown Boston, replace the city's old elevated highway and unclog one of the most notorious bottlenecks in the country's interstate highway system.
"Tip helped to keep it going when he was in Congress and perhaps more significantly when he wasn't," Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said. "His memory and his lasting commitment was strong enough to help it along anyway."
The dedication ceremony gave O'Neill's friends and fans a chance to swap stories and pay tribute to a man who seemed to embody a lost political era. O'Neill famously demurred from engaging in hardball politics after hours, preferring instead to building alliances with friends, and sometimes foes.