Washington Travel Blog› entry 25 of 66 › view all entries
December 15th, 2008 – by: Andy99
Coworkers and I paid a call on the US Capitol Visitor Center one afternoon. We were impressed by the spaciousness of the the new facility and the many interactive and historical displays.
The opening of the Visitor Center has not been without controversy. Critics have called the structure “bunker like” and disparaged that it has caused the Capitol's East Front landscaping, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in 1892, to be torn up. They have also criticized the twin elevator towers for appearing to be guard towers in front of the Capitol and making it appear a less inviting place.
Two weeks later, I found some time to visit the renovated National Museum of American History.
I was able to see the copy of the Gettysburg Address written in Abraham Lincoln's handwriting on brief display for the reopening. (This copy is the fourth copy written by Lincoln. It was copied out in 1865, two years after Gettsyburg.) There was a queue to see the document, but it moved quickly. (One boy asked his mother why they had to wait in line to see it--it could easily be viewed on the Inernet!) I was able to pause long enough at the display case to read the entire speech and found it very moving to read the familiar words in Lincoln's own hand.
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