Class tour to the Thomas Jefferson Building, Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence document but did you know that there were four other Continental Congress members who assisted him? John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert Livingston of New York, and Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania all served with Jefferson on the Declaration Committee that was charged with putting colonial grievances into words. The document charted the course for American Independence and helped to create the United States of America.
Why take a student tour to the Thomas Jefferson Building? The building contains some of the richest public interiors in the United States, is a compendium of the work of classically trained American sculptors and painters in programs of symbolic content that exhibited the progress of civilization, personified in Great Men and culminating in the American official culture of the Gilded Age; the programs were in many cases set out by the Librarian of Congress, Ainsworth Rand Spofford. The central block is broadly comparable to the Palais Garnier in Paris, a similarly ambitious expression of triumphant cultural nationalism in the Beaux-Arts style that had triumphed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893. On the exterior, sculptured portrait heads that were considered typical of the world’s races were installed as keystones on the main storey’s window arches. The Court of Neptune Fountain centered on the entrance front invites comparison with the Trevi Fountain; its sculptor was Roland Hinton Perry. The copper dome, originally gilded, was criticized at the structure’s completion, as too competitive with the national Capitol Building.
Read more about the Thomas Jefferson Building at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson_Building and http://www.nps.gov/thje/forkids/parkfun.htm
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