Доклад: Washington DC
Министерство образования РБ
Восточно-Сибирский Государственный Технологический Университет
ПО АНГЛИЙСКОМУ ЯЗЫКУ
Founded in 1790 Washington, D.C. was designed by Major Pierre Charles
L'Enfant around 1791. It was the first American city planned for a specific
purpose. It was designed to be a beautiful city with wide streets and many
trees. The city's business is centered around the government. Another name
for Washington, D.C. is the District of Columbia. The district was originally
a 10 miles square crossing the Potomac River into Virginia. Both Virginia and
Maryland donated part of their land for the capital district. The Virginia
portion of D.C. was later ceded back to Virginia.
When Pierre Charles L'Enfant gazed northward along the banks of the Potomac
River in 1791, he envisioned a "pedestal waiting for a monument." Since that
day, Washington, DC has evolved into a fascinating, lively city combining
grand, neoclassical government buildings, monuments, memorials, museums and
the National Mall with colorful neighborhoods, art, theater, music and
Washington, DC is a powerful symbol not only of American nation but also of
democracy and freedom. The District of Columbia's neighborhoods, people,
history and culture truly embody the American Experience - from Duke
Ellington to John Phillip Sousa and from the Civil War to civil rights. Only
in Washington, DC, can visitors be inspired by touring the magnificent
Capitol Building and Washington Monument by day and be moved by taking in
magical performances by the National Symphony and world-class opera by night.
Building a capital.
Although the whole world knows Washington, DC as the capital of the United
States, the city did not exist when American became a nation in 1789. The
seat of the new government was located temporarily in New York City. A year
later it was moved to Philadelphia. When it came to selecting the place for a
permanent capital, both these cities were among those who vied to be chosen.
Some of the competing cities offered land and money as incentives. A fierce
rivalry developed between the northern and southern states over the location,
a conflict that was finally resolved by a political compromise. In exchange
for agreeing to locate the capital in the southern region, the northern
states were relieved of the heavy debts they had incurred during the
In 1790 Congress passed the Residence Act giving President George Washington
the power to select a site for a new federal district, as the then-nameless
capital was called. The Act also said that Congress would continue to meet in
Philadelphia until 1800, when the capital city was supposed to be ready for
the government to move in.
Washington's own estate, Mount Vernon, was located on the Potomac River below
the bustling river towns of Alexandria, Virginia and Georgetown, Maryland. He
was convinced that the land along the Potomac had enormous commercial
potential as a shipping center if it were linked by canal to the Western
frontier. For the site of the new capital Washington picked an area at the
junction of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers about 14 miles upstream from
A survey of the land, a "ten-mile square" which had been ceded by Maryland,
was undertaken by Andrew Ellicott with the help of Benjamin Banneker, a free
black from Maryland who was a self- taught mathematician and astronomer.
Forty boundary stones, laid at one-mile intervals, established the boundaries
based on Banneker's celestial calculations. Most of the land consisted of
floodplain, dense forest, and farmland. In order to speed development of the
city, Washington convinced a number of local landholders to donate tracts of
land for the new capital.
Washington D.C. in 20th century.
The first half of the 20th Century was an explosive time in Washington,
socially, economically, and especially culturally. Between 1910 and 1935,
many new museums and concert halls were dedicated, including the new
Smithsonian Institution building, now called the Natural History Museum, the
Freer Gallery of Oriental Art, the Folger Shakespeare Library and Theater,
and the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress. During the same time,
the Daughters of the American Revolution built Constitution Hall which is
Washington's largest concert and lecture hall, with a seating capacity of
Washington's population increased dramatically before 1950. New public parks
and picnic areas were created throughout the city. The popular summer spots
included the fashionable Meridian Hill Park, Griffith Baseball Stadium, and
the bathing beach near the Tidal Basin. By the 1920s, the Belasco Theater,
the new National Theater, and the Howard Theater all added tremendously to
the entertainment scene.
The beautification of Washington became a serious concern in the early part
of the 20th century. Japanese cherry blossom trees were planted around the
Tidal Basin. They were a gift to Washington from the people of Japan in 1912.
The National Capital Park and Planning Commission was created in 1920, and
the Fine Arts Commission was organized a few years earlier. The Lincoln
Memorial was under construction from 1915 until 1922.
America's entry into World War I changed Washington forever. With the arrival
of the government "girls", there was a great need for housing and more office
space. Temporary buildings were constructed between the Washington Monument
and the Lincoln Memorial site. They were used for 50 years, creating quite an
eye sore on the otherwise attractive landscape. There was a new mobilization
of wealth, manpower, and industry, which resulted in the establishment of new
With the arrival of the Great Depression, social life, as established in the
city during the 19th century, essentially ceased to exist by the mid-1930s.
Many of the magnificent mansions along Massachusetts Avenue were put up for
sale. The only buyers seemed to be foreign governments that needed new
quarters for their embassies. Many of these old palatial homes were converted
into both offices and residences for ambassadors.
Washington's population has always radically increased because of wars or
economic depressions. Two world wars and the Great Depression rocketed the
city into a new dimension. It emerged as a powerful and cosmopolitan
metropolis during the 1940s.
World War II transformed the nation's capital in to the command center of the
United States. For the first time since the Civil War, the city was
fortified. The population exploded to 950,000 residents. More temporary
buildings were added to the old ones near the memorials. The new Pentagon
building was suddenly alive with offices, shops, and restaurant s to serve
the 40,000 workers stationed there.
Washington in the 1940s had become a lively and exciting world center. The
new airport on the Potomac became a popular place; the main attraction was
the huge new restaurant. The opening of the National Gallery of Art in 1941
exposed a whole population to the beauties of western European masterpieces.
When the war ended, Washington began to relax a little, and feelings of
restrained optimism were combined with a sense of confidence in the future of
In the four decades following the Truman years, Washington developed into a
modern city, unrecognizable to those who knew the city before World War II. A
sense of rising prosperity came with the Republican administration under
Eisenhower in the 1950s. The new buildings in downtown Washington stimulated
rezoning of close-in residential areas for more office buildings. These
buildings were needed to accommodate the multitude of new workers in both
private and public sectors. The gorgeous old late 19th century mansions and
homes disappeared one by one as land values escalated, as the economics of
the times no longer justified their existence.
A mass exodus of Washington's white population in the 1950s was partly
because of the enticement of the suburbs. The suburbs were fashionable, the
houses were new, the schools were better, and the population was homogeneous.
School integration in the city in 1954 accelerated these changes. For the
first time, the racial balance in Washington was changing. The city had
always counted between 20 and 35 percent of its population to be of African
heritage. By 1970, that had changed to 70 percent.
Southwest Washington became part of an experiment called Urban Renewal. Some
later renamed it urban removal. Whole neighborhoods were declared slum areas.
Beginning in 1956, more than 4,500 buildings in Southwest Washington were
bulldozed. Most of these houses were considered substandard, although they
were just blocks from the Capitol. The concept of housing rehabilitation and
restoration had been dismissed without discussion. Huge impersonal federal
office buildings were built in the newly cleared areas. A freeway was
constructed through the old Southwest neighborhood. Large, mundane, but not
inexpensive, apartment complexes were constructed. The old residents were
displaced with few places to go. Communities were broken apart, their
churches and synagogues destroyed. Public housing complexes were constructed
across the Anacostia River in Southeast, and those who could not afford to
move anywhere else were relocated across the Anacostia River.
John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, caused Washingtonians to reevaluate
many of their recently conceived ideas in the 1960s. The old houses on
Lafayette Square were ready to be torn down to make way for new office
buildings. The old Corcoran Gallery across form the White House was also to
be bulldozed. A new appreciation for history, however was beginning to awaken
in a few residents. Establishing a cultural center was an idea President
Kennedy promoted. Although he did not live to see it, the Kennedy Center was
opened and dedicated to him in 1972. There seemed to be a mad rush into the
This was also the beginning of increased transportation problems in the city.
Streetcar service was ended in 1962, but the subway was not opened until 14
years later. Traffic problems escalated as more people became commuters.
Washington was deserted in the evenings. The city had few good restaurants
clubs, or theaters to attract locals to remain in town after house. By the
mid-1970s, a new generation of young, urban professionals began to make
different demands on the city. They did not want to commute; rather they
wanted to live in town and enjoy what the city offered.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s there was an influx of blacks to Washington
from rural areas, particularly the South. Some were well educated, middle-
class, professional people, but many were poorly educated, "refugees" seeking
jobs and the psychological support of others. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s
speech from the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 brought hope to blacks
who were searching for a better life. Five years later, the situation had not
radically improved, and when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, the ensuing
race riots caused suffering to both white-owned and minority-owned
businesses. By the end of the 1960s, anti-Vietnam War protestors flowed into
the nation's capital on a regular basis. Everyone seemed disillusioned with
the city. Stable communities were broken up as fear drove away some of the
last long-time residents, black and white.
By 1968, Congress granted the residents the right to vote for president and
allowed a local government to be set up. Mayor Walter Washington was
appointed as the first mayor. Later he became the city's first elected mayor.
In the elections in 1976, Mayor Washington was defeated by Marion Barry for
Democratic nomination. Barry went on to win easily in the general election.
The Smithsonian Institution expanded significantly in the 1960s and 1970s.
The National Museum of History and Technology (later renamed the National
Museum of American History) opened in 1964. In the late-1960s, Joseph
Hirshhorn gave his collection of contemporary art and sculpture to the
Smithsonian. The next decade saw the opening of the National Air and Space
Museum, The East Building of the National Gallery, as well as the National
Museum of American Art and the National Portrait Gallery. In 1987,
collections of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the national Museum of
African Art filled the new Smithsonian Quadrangle underground complex..
Millions of tourists continued to come to the city, which was becoming more
conscious of the importance of tourism to the local economy. A new convention
Center lured large groups for meetings in the 1980s. New luxury hotels
mushroomed throughout the downtown sector of the city. Neighborhoods began to
take pride in their uniqueness, offering festivals, parades, or special
Quick DC Orientation
Located midway along the eastern seaboard of the United States, south of
Maryland, north of Virginia and 233 miles south of New York City, the
Washington, DC metropolitan area refers to the District of Columbia, plus 7
Maryland counties (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Howard,
Montgomery and Prince George's), 5 Virginia counties (Arlington, Fairfax,
Loudon, Prince William and Stafford) and 5 Virginia cities (Alexandria,
Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park).
Visualize a 10-mile square (100 square miles) oriented as a diamond with top
corner pointing North. That was DC originally, created by land grants from
Maryland and Virginia, until 1849 when Virginia took back its part (the part
west of the Potomac river) spoiling the nice diamond and leaving DC with 69
of its original 100 square miles.
Washington is partitioned into quadrants, designated NW, NE, SW, and SE,
oriented with respect to the Capitol, which is a mile or so east of the
center of the (former) diamond. NW is the largest quadrant, NE and SE are
somewhat smaller, and SW is not very large at all (because Virginia took most
of it away).
In general north/south streets have number names ( "1st street") with one
sequence ascending to the east of the Capitol and another to the west,
qualified by quadrant: "3rd street SE" and "3rd street SW" are parallel and
change names to "3rd street NE" and "3rd street NW" as they change quadrants
to NE and NW (as they pass the Capitol). The White House is at 16th street
NW, and there is a parallel street (roughly) 32 blocks away, 16th street SE,
whose name changes to 16th street NE when it crosses to the NE quadrant.
East/west streets have alphabetic names, some a single letter, e.g. "A Street
NE" and some real names: states, like "Alabama Avenue SW" (actually every
state in the union is represented), as well as flowers (e.g. "Dahlia"),
institutions (" Peabody"), and mysterious entities ( "Quackenbos"). Streets
generally change quadrant designation, but not name, as they change
quadrants, and there are no parallel east/west streets with the same name.
(There are however more exceptions to than instances of these rules, and
often a street changes its name from block-to-block for no known reason. Many
so-called east/west streets run at sharp angles, radially from the Capitol,
and change direction as well as name often.)
On of the biggest barriers to navigation in DC is the disconnected streets.
New Hampshire Avenue is the most notorious. Many a naive tourist has tried to
follow New Hampshire Avenue from the North to Dupont Circle (a perfectly
logical thing to try, since Dupont Circle is formed by the confluence of
three major streets, one of them being New Hampshire Avenue). Most of these
people are still lost.
Two notable rivers help shape DC. Most notable is the Potomac (yes, the same
Potomac that George Washington threw a silver dollar across). The Anacostia
flows into the Potomac and together they form a rough "Y"; the left fork and
stem of the Y are the Potomac; the right fork is the Anacostia. The part of
DC east of the Anacostia (bounded by the Anacostia and the stem of the "Y")
is a large neighborhood known as Anacostia. Other neighboorhoods and well-
known areas -- Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill, and
"Downtown" -- are all between the stems of the "Y". The portion of the DC
diamond south/west of the Potomac, as we noted above, no longer belongs to
DC; Virginia took it back from us.
Washington DC's primary industry after the federal government is tourism.
Other important industries include trade associations, as Washington, DC is
home to more associations than any other U.S. city; law; higher education;
medicine/medical research; government-related research and publishing.
Washington, DC metropolitan area is also world headquarters for corporations
such as USAirways, Marriott, Amtrak, Gannett News, Mobil Oil, MCI
Telecommunications and the International Monetary Fund.
What does "D.C." stand for?
D.C. stands for District of Columbia. It is called District of Columbia,
because it was built on land of the Territory of Columbia, a 10 square mile
piece of land, that used to be part of Virginia and Maryland. The territory
of Columbia was named such after Christopher Columbus.
Statistics & Facts.
Official Bird is the Wood Thrush.
Official Flower is the American Beauty Rose.
Official Tree is the Scarlet Oak.
Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All).
Highest Point: Tenleytown
Time Zone: Eastern
572,059 (April, 2000)
The population of Washington, D. C. was:
1997 - 554,000
2000 - 572,059
Winter - 37 degrees F.
Spring - 56 degrees F.
Summer - 77 degrees F.
Fall - 60 degrees F.
Places of interest.
Washington DC is by far America's most majestic city. Beauty abounds here in
so many forms. It's hard to visit Washington DC without gaining inspiration
at some point, and if one leaves the city without a certain pride and
loyalty, I speculate one has missed the point and perhaps has not paid
attention at all. Washington DC is the most magnificent city in the US in
that no other city more readily and enthusiastically celebrates. . . well,
celebrates America! Sure, other cities have monuments and memorials that
evoke patriotism, like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia or the Statue of
Liberty in New York City, but only Washington DC is dominated by these icons.
You can scarcely look anywhere in D.C. and not see some monument, or gift, or
remembrance, or tribute to someone or something.
Washington is a truly remarkable city. Most cities are strewn with hundreds
and thousands of skyscraping buildings jetting non-scenically into the sky
above. You won't find that in Washington DC. There's a city ordinance that
prohibits such Goliath structures, making for a scene that resembles more a
rural theme-park than an industrial state. Supposedly, when L'EnFant laid the
plans for Washington DC, he designing it in the mold of Paris, complete with
grassy fields, long reflecting pools, and a sense of beauty that would be
lost in an urbanized relative. Unfortunately, he never saw his brilliant
plans come to pass, dying penniless and poor, in the city he loved. Some
years ago, his remains were moved to a special location in Arlington National
Cemetery. The new site lies on a hill across the Potomac opposite the
monuments, where his grave forever gazes upon his completed vision.
The largest and arguably the grandest monument in Washington DC is the
Washington monument. There aren't many places in the main portion of the
district (at least in Northwest D.C.) where you can't catch a glimpse of the
Washington monument looming somewhere in the distance. It's a marvelous site.
It's the simplicity and size that grabs you. It's not nearly as impressive from
a distance as it is when approached on foot. It's the scale that's alarming.
Giant brick-like pieces slotted together with incredible precision rising
straight to the heavens. One cannot help but wonder how the structure stays
intact so strong and so unwavering.
White House. In fact, I find it quite boring. I guess there's not much to
do over near where the White House is located. Never less, I think I'm
disinterested with the White House due to its lack of interactivity. True, it's
beautiful. True, it's the home of the president. True, it's behind a huge
electric gate that will shock the living daylights out of anyone who tries to
climb over it. Most of the other monuments you can walk in (or at least near.)
As for the White House, one can only get within a hundred yards or so and even
then one has to stare at it through steel bars. It certainly takes away from
Right next door to the White House is the United States Department of the
Treasury. This building may not be the kind of structure that grabs and
holds your attention, but I find it interesting. The US Department of the
Treasury is the same building you will find on the back of a ten dollar note
which should give it a certain degree of familiarity. Yet, it stands in
relative obscurity among the other city buildings nearby.
National Archive building. It lies halfway down the mall on a sidestreet
between the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill. The National Archive is truly
awesome. Its vaults permanently house and protect the original Declaration of
Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights among other items of interest.
These items are on display by day and are lowered into the 50-ton vault by
night. Once in the vault, they are said to be protected from vandals,
terrorists, and/or nuclear attack.
The National Archive is impressively large. I find it's massive "boxed"
structure imposing to say the least. It's even intimidating. I find it in the
same vein as a huge cage. When one sees such a cage, one can't help but
wonder what monstrosity it holds. I guess it makes a certain degree of sense
that the most important of US documents would be presented in such a way.
At the east end of the mall is Capitol Hill. The U.S. Capitol Building houses
both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. It's another huge
structure, quite typical of Washington DC. As it is with most monuments in
Washington, the approach on foot is a key element as it serves to aid the
appreciation of the monument. Many of the monuments are strategically found
on hills and therefore are much more impressive when one strolls leisurely up
to such an edifice.
The Capitol also sits behind a large reflecting pool. This is another
technique used in the district to multiply the beauty of several attractions.
The Capitol is a relaxing building. It reminds me of an upper-middle class man
on holiday. The Capitol sits leisurely spread out on a hill, overlooking the
mall area. If the Capitol had a face, I'm sure it would have a small content
In front of the Capitol are beautiful, large, shade trees and a grassy field
perfect for a picnic blanket and a lazy afternoon nap. The squirrels here are
so uninhibited, they will literally eat right out of your hands. There's a
wonderful feeling of relaxation at this site, quite a contrast to the
atmosphere usually found inside the Capitol on the floors of the House and
Senate. That's part of the irony on the Capitol building.
Across the street from the Capitol building is the Supreme Court. The
original Supreme Court is no longer in existence. The justices used to meet in
a Washington DC pub. They would sit around and hear arguments and then settle
disputes when the need arose. These were during the more informal days of U.S.
government. Eventually, someone put in the budget enough money to build a more
permanent and dignified monument to the judicial process and it stands proudly
and firmly on this site.
The Supreme Court is another very beautiful building. It's firm in its
appearance, but not harsh or overbearing. A perfect fit for what it's supposed
to represent. The summit of the front of the Supreme Court contains a
triangular arch depicting a frieze of several judges, under which is engraved
the words in bold print: "Equal Justice Under Law."
The Jefferson Memorial is one of the more unique monuments in Washington
DC. It's a small, circular, domed building with absolutely gorgeous columns and
an attractive view of the Potomac River. The Jefferson sits on the section of
D.C. known as the tidal basin that contains an inlet surrounded by the world
famous Washington DC cherry blossoms. It's a very quaint area known for it's
simplistic beauty. It makes for a nice stroll in the evening, especially in the
spring when the blossoms are in full bloom.
The Lincoln Memorial is walking distance from the Jefferson, located near
the tidal basin at the east end of the mall. Its grandeur can be especially
felt as one views it when crossing the Arlington National Cemetery Bridge on
their way into the city. It's for that reason alone that I always choose to
enter Washington DC using that particular causeway.
The Lincoln Memorial sits behind a long, rectangular reflecting pool, which
creates a most tranquil atmosphere. The Lincoln Memorial has an intriguing
sharp-cornered design with the engraved names of every state along the top
border. Unfortunately, the placid environment is squandered.
National Zoo. Lions, and tigers, and bears oh my! And giraffes, hippos,
pandas, elephants, and prairie dogs too. The National Zoological Park is
located in the northern section of Washington, D.C., approximately twenty
minutes from the National Mall by subway, on a 163 acre park. The Zoo is home
to more than 5000 animals and over 500 species of animals many of which are
very rare. Approximately twenty five percent of the animals at the Zoo are on
the endangered species list. Many of the animals in the Zoo are not exhibited
elsewhere in the United States. The Zoo is home to only Komodo Dragons in the
In addition the National Zoo has computer literate orangatangs in the "Think
Tank", a unique overhead orangatang transportation system, the Pollinarium,
dedicated to the complex interactions between plants and animals, "Amazonia",
the reptile discovery center, and more.
From the beginning of the twentieth century the USA became the world’s
leading country. Thousands of tourists visit Washington every day. People
from all parts of the US come to see their capitol, and also people all over
the world. Washington greets tourists with the Cherry Blossom festival every
spring. The pink and white blossoms of the Japanese cherry these near the
Washington Monument create a magnificent delicate picture, and you are to
visit Washington just to see it, and then all beauties of other cities will
seem to you gloomy.