the chorister's c

Washington detours


Museums and Monuments

last update: Tuesday, 7 March 2006

last link check: Monday 31 March 2003

The one monument that you must visit is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It is a space that can be simultaneously awe-inspiring and very personal. In the midst of the crowds, there is a peace and stillness that overcomes you. As you walk to the center of the monument's V, you drop below ground level and the black wall of names rises up above your head, and you feel an instant of terror, of humility, as you are confronted by all those names.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Constitution Avenue at 21st Street, N.W.
blueorangeFoggy Bottom

American MeridianAlso from the Foggy Bottom station you can visit what is perhaps the city's smallest monument, a plaque and a strip of granite set in the sidewalk at the southeast corner of H and 24 Sts., N.W. The stone strip establishes the American Meridian, recognized as our zero-longitude point from 1848 to 1884, before the meridian at Greenwich was accepted. The eastern and western borders of Colorado and Wyoming were established from this meridian.

I admit that the Corcoran Museum of Art seems an unlikely choice for this page. But the museum has moved to freshen up its sometimes stodgy exhibitions and holdings, having recently absorbed the avant garde Washington Project for the Arts. The Corcoran is somewhat unusual for a museum in that it has an associated College of Art + Design. The Corcoran has an extensive program of public events—lectures, concerts, trips, performances.

In the collection is a wonderful huge abstract expressionist canvas by Joan Mitchell, Salut Tom (1979), a yellow-spangled evocation of an early summer meadow and pond.


Corcoran Museum of Art
500 17th Street, N.W.
blueorangeFarragut West  redFarragut North

And if you're riding the Red Line to the National Zoo, get off at redCleveland Park and walk downhill!

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