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Доклад: Washington DC

Министерство образования РБ

Восточно-Сибирский Государственный Технологический Университет







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

Mount Vernon.

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

government agencies.

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

the nation.

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

holiday observances.

Доклад: Washington DC

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.

Interesting facts.

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

Average Temperature:

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

the experience.

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

United States.

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.