Tag Archives: mural

USA 2019 – 11 Browsing in the Library of Congress in Washington DC (2019-10-26) Historic Attractions | Photo Gallery 18 MAR 2021

Standing as the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States, and billed as one of the largest libraries in the world, the Library of Congress, with its collection of millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps, and manuscripts, is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. In addition to that, thanks to the incredible history, architecture and art held within, the Library of Congress also just so happens to make for an incredible visitor and tourist experience!

Originally housed within the U.S. Capitol building itself, the ever expanding need for space for both the Capitol functions and that of the library itself, means that the Library of Congress needed to move and itself expand quite often, leading to the current state of affairs that has the de facto national library of the United States stretched across three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. as well as a conservation center in Culpeper, Virginia. The Library states that its collection is universal, and as such is not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, meaning that it includes research materials from across the world, covering more than 450 languages!

I got to visit the unmissable Library of Congress’ main Thomas Jefferson Building, the oldest of the three Capitol Hill buildings, having been opened to the public (following eleven years of construction) in 1897. Recognized almost immediately on opening as a National Monument, the Jefferson Building contains some of the richest public interiors in the United States, and is a compendium of the work of classically trained American sculptors and painters of the “American Renaissance” period. Mind you, the incredibly majestic, Italian Renaissance styled exterior is just as eye catching, especially given the wonderfully detailed The Court of Neptune Fountain bronze sculpture collection that fronts the building.

I walked to the Library of Congress via the underground tunnel that connects the US Capitol to the library, and on arrival in the building I was treated to the most incredible visual experience. Classic colour, patterns, art, and design wherever you look, from the patterned marble floors right up to the vaulted ceilings. The historic art murals are incredible to look at and move between, with so much to spot around you that you literally don’t know where to even begin looking!

The alcoves of the main hall of the library are packed with incredibly interesting displays and exhibitions of various parts of American literary history, and down the quieter halls you will find even more displays, like the one on comic book art that I stumbled upon at the end of my wanderings. Looking down on the incredible main reading room is an absolute visual treat, and it is no wonder then that there are probably more tourists taking pictures than scholars carrying out research!

Things to See in USA: Harlem Hospital Center in New York City Travel Attractions 06 DEC 2016

Hospitals don’t often make the list of buildings worth seeing when you are out in the world travelling, but the 286-bed Harlem Hospital Center in the United States of America’s iconic New York City certainly now belongs there – thanks to its striking 2012 addition, The Harlem Hospital Center Mural Pavilion.

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What sets the $325 million healthcare facility expansion apart from the rest is the very clever, block-long glass facade which is adorned with massive (60-foot tall) historically significant Works Progress Administration murals.

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The six-story, 195,000-square foot Pavilion connects two major hospital buildings, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Pavilion and the Ronald H. Brown Ambulatory Care Pavilion, creating one large, integrated campus for the 286-bed Harlem Hospital Center. The Mural Pavilion houses a number of suites to serve the hospital’s 232,353 annual outpatient visits, including the Bariatric Center of Excellence, surgical clinics, women’s imaging department, and pre-admission testing suites.

The Harlem Hospital already has a history with art, and as such the Mural Pavilion is no different, featuring a special public art gallery space to showcase the hospital’s historic Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project (WPA) murals.

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Originally created in the 1930s, these powerful artworks were the first major commissions awarded to African-American artists by the U.S. government. These works, by artists such as Vertis Hayes, Alfred Crimi, Georgette Seabrooke, Elba Lightfoot, and Charles Alston, have all now been fully restored and are on permanent display in the hospital’s Mural Gallery.

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The glass facade is of course the most striking feature of this new building, and the panels making this possible are themselves quite a feat of engineering ingenuity – after all, each panel essentially needs to solve six problems in one solution: a long-term UV stability of the image; the option to replace individual components if damaged; the ability to produce image in single glass panels up to 12’-0” long; transparency allowing daylight in, views out, and a glowing image at night; energy conserving assembly; and impact resistance.

The end result?

Something rather special.

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(Note, hospitals are intended for people who are actually sick. If you are just looking to lose weight, don’t bother them and rather just eat less. Something any health guide reviews site should be pointing out.) 

Related Link: Harlem Hospital Center | Wikipedia