Washington Post art critic ranks DC’s historic memorialsBreaking News
If the National Mall is America’s front lawn, we have some curious lawn ornaments: ghostly white temples, monolithic men, giant bronze birds of prey — not to mention acres of pools that, even in the heat of the summer, are reserved for the exclusive use of waterfowl. The neighbors must think we’re crazy!
Actually, I don’t have to guess what visitors to D.C. think because, for a few hot days, I joined them. I watched how they moved through memorials, I eavesdropped on their conversations and I chatted up anyone unfortunate enough to make eye contact with me. My goal? To rank our eight major monuments and memorials on their effectiveness. Some of these huge structures, which were built to communicate something to future generations or even future civilizations, get their message across loud and clear, while others’ statements are garbled and vague.
If my opinions seem irreverent, please remember I’m critiquing only the statues and buildings, not the people or events they were built to honor. If you disagree, that’s great. Democracy thrives on open discourse — share your thoughts in the comments section or take the poll at the end of this story.
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