National Building Museum

On Tuesday, May 6th, I had an interesting adventure at the National Building Museum. The main focus of this museum is architecture, although there are also fascinating displays of how Washington’s infrastructure was designed. I had the chance to take a guided tour of the building. The guide, Lloyd, talked about the man who designed the building, Montgomery Meigs. He was an engineer who had designed the city’s aquaduct system. He was also a soldier who served as Quartermaster General during the Civil War, and he attained the rank of Brigadier General in the Union Army. Meigs designed the building to be a tribute to the Union soldiers who fought in the war. There are many images of union troops, especially in the belt section of the exterior of the building. The troops represented include quartermasters, hospital corps, infantry, and sailors. No confederate troops are depicted. The structure originally served as an office for the national pension program, that provided aid for returning veterans and for widows and orphans. There were many widows and orphans, due to the high casualty rate of the Civil War.
The basis for Meigs was Italian Renaissance architecture. Very notable in this building are the tall columns. There are three types of columns in the building… Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.
All in all, it was a fascinating tour. I also had the chance to draw in my sketchbook prior to the start of the tour!

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