Sunday, July 15, 2007

5 Observations on D.C.

1. Aircraft - With the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport located a couple miles south of the Mall on the Potomac's western edge, commercial planes are an almost constant presence. On the three days I was in D.C. planes took off to the north and west, flying low over the Jefferson Memorial (above), the western edge of the mall, and Arlington Cemetery. These three areas are home to monuments, places of remembrance and reverence, so I was surprised to almost always have the sound of engines overhead, be it planes or helicopters.

3. Grand Streets - Grand MetroThe streets in D.C. are extremely wide, helping to give the place its monumentality and scale that makes people feel small in the face of the government. One thing these wide streets enable are similarly grand underground stations for the Metro. Unlike many of the stations in New York that are constrained by not only street widths but other service snaking their way underground, the D.C. stations are beautifully spacious, aided by dramatic, indirect lighting illuminating the concrete vaults. Interestingly, the light levels are lower in D.C. than New York, though the feeling of security is greater, achieved via the large, open spaces.

To see the rest of this list, visit the archidose blog. It is an architectural blog.

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