Posts Tagged ‘Union Station’

2016eoy15

1 – A Metro train inbound from Alexandria to D.C. as it passes over the Potomac River

Back in May of this year I wrote a post about meeting my original goal for this blog, and what my future goals would be.  Along with that post I also published a couple of dozen miscellaneous photos that I had taken during my lunchtime bike rides, but had not previously used for other posts on this blog.  As this year is rapidly coming to an end, I decided to post some more miscellaneous photos.  So below I have included a couple of dozen more photos that I took at different times over the past year, but have not used for this blog.  Be sure to click on each of the photos to view the full-size versions.

 2 2016eoy02    3 2016eoy04    4 2016eoy10

 5 2016eoy05    6 2016eoy06    7 2016eoy09

 8 2016eoy08    9 2016eoy07  10 2016eoy44

11 2016eoy11  12 2016eoy141  13 2016eoy54

14 2016eoy13  15 2016eoy16  16 2016eoy17

17 2016eoy361  18 2016eoy26  19 2016eoy22

20 2016eoy23  21 2016eoy25  22 2016eoy21

23 2016eoy18  24 2016eoy37  25 2016eoy39
[Click on the photos above to view the full size versions]

1 – A Metro train inbound from Alexandria to D.C. as it passes over the Potomac River.
2 – A hauntingly beautiful abandoned mansion located on Cooper Circle in LeDroit Park.
3 – A demonstration by Native Americans on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial.
4 – A musician taking a mid-afternoon nap in the park at DuPont Circle.
5 – A young girl admiring a mounted Park Police officer’s horse on the National Mall.
6 – An old farmer and his family selling watermelons out of the back of a truck on Rhode Island Avenue.
7 – A bike repurposed as a planter on the front porch of a home in LeDroit Park.
8 – A book sale at Second Story Books at the corner of 20th and P Streets in DuPont Circle.
9 – A mural interplaying with the shade of the leaves of a nearby tree on Capitol Hill.
10 – The First Street protected bikeway connecting Union Station to the Metropolitan Branch Trail.
11 – A merging of protests in front of the White House and  Lafayette Square Park.
12 – A view of the Anacostia River through the thick growth of vegetation on Kingman Island.
13 – Chocolate City Bar mural in a alley near 14th and S Streets, NW
14 – Demolished buildings on 14th Street making way for new Downtown construction.
15 – A ping pong game in the Farragut Square Park sponsored by the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District.
16 – Statues outside Bar Rogue in the Kimpton Rouge Hotel on 16th Street.
17 – The former Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration headquarters building on First Street in northeast D.C.
18 – Boats docked on the Southeast Waterfront just west of the Maine Avenue Fish Market.
19 – A homeless woman who spends her days on a bench in DuPont Circle Park.
20 – A news reporter broadcasting live from in front of FBI Headquarters.
21 – Chinese zodiac signs adorn the crosswalk at 7th and H Streets near The Friendship Archway in Chinatown.
22 – A bee pollinating a flower in The Smithsonian’s Butterfly Habitat Garden.
23 – An Organic Transit ELF vehicle parked at a bike rack on the National Mall.
24 – A street musician playing for tips outside the Farragut North Metro Station during the morning rush hour.
25 – A bench with a view on the southern side of the Tidal Basin.

NOTE:  Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of my year-end collection of various photos.

FreedomBell01

The Freedom Bell

The Liberty Bell, one of the most iconic symbols of American independence, sits behind glass in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, approximately 137 miles up Interstate 95, north of D.C.  And on this lunchtime bike ride just before the Independence Day holiday weekend, I did not ride to Philadelphia to see it.  However, D.C., has a replica of the Liberty Bell.  It is named the Freedom Bell, and is located on Massachusetts Avenue near First Street, at Columbus Circle next to the massive Columbus Fountain on the plaza in front of Union Station (MAP).  And it was the Freedom Bell here in D.C. that was the destination of this ride.

The Freedom Bell was a gift to the United States, in celebration of the country’s Bicentential, from the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary. The bell weighs eight tons, and is twice the size of its more famous counterpart. The bell was cast in 1975, but had to be cast outside of the U.S. because no foundry had the capacity to cast it. So the Freedom Bell was cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, the same foundry that cast the Liberty Bell in 1752. The iron work was then completed by Fred S. Gichner Iron Works of nearby Beltsville, Maryland. Jack Patrick served as associate architect, and Allen J. Wright Associates created the post and beam support for the bell.

After the bell was completed and shipped to America, it then traveled to all 48 contiguous states aboard the American Freedom Train for the Bicentennial, starting on April 1, 1975 in Wilmington, Deleware, and ending on December 31, 1976, in Miami, Florida. The bell shared a train car with a map of the American Freedom Train’s journey and a lunar rover.

After the conclusion of the Bicentennial year celebrations, the bell was placed in storage by the National Park Service. Eventually, lengthy discussions led to an agreement that the bell would be placed at its current location in front of Union Station, which was done in 1981.  The American Legion, however, was unhappy with the bell’s placement, because they had hoped that it would be placed somewhere on the National Mall.

Today, even though the Freedom Bell sits in front of the extraordinarily busy Union Station, most passers-by are oblivious to its existence as they hustle past it to their trains.  So, maybe the American Legion was right.

FreedomBell03
[Click on the thumbnail above to view the full size photo]

The plaque that rests on the ground in front of the bell reads: “The Freedom Bell, Dedicated to The Spirit of the Bicentennial on Behalf of The Children of Our Nation, Given By The American Legion And American Legion Auxiliary, 1981.”

The National Postal Museum

The National Postal Museum

You don’t have to be a philatelist, more commonly known as a stamp collector, to appreciate today’s destination, but it helps. On today’s lunchtime bike ride I went to the National Postal Museum, located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue (MAP) in northeast D.C.’s NoMa neighborhood. The museum is across the street from Union Station, in the historic City Post Office Building that once served as the main Post Office of D.C. from 1914, when it was constructed, until 1986.

The National Postal Museum was established through a joint agreement between the United States Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution, and opened in July of 1993. As you might expect, the museum houses on of the largest stamp collections in the world. Known as the National Philatelic Collection, it was originally established at the Smithsonian Institution in 1886 with the donation of a sheet of 10-cent Confederate postage stamps. Generous gifts from individuals and foreign governments, transfers from government agencies and occasional purchases have increased the collection to today’s total of more than 5.9 million items.

In addition its vast collection of stamps, the museum also houses many exhibits and interactive displays about the history of the U.S. Postal Service as well as mail service around the world, including postal history materials that pre-date stamps. Among other various items from the history of the postal system, it also has on display vehicles such as stagecoaches and airplanes which were used to transport the mail, as well as mailboxes and mailbags, postal uniforms and equipment, exhibits on the Pony Express, the use of railroads with the mail, and the preserved remains of a dog named Owney, the unofficial Postal Service mascot. The museum also houses a gift shop and a separate stamp shop where visitors can purchase stamps and other collectibles.

The National Postal Museum receives funding through three primary sources: the U.S. Postal Service, the Smithsonian Institution’s annual Federal appropriation, and gifts from private individuals, foundations, and corporations. So for visitors, admission is free.

PostalMuseum05     PostalMuseum04     PostalMuseum03
PostalMuseum06     PostalMuseum07     PostalMuseum01

Owney the Postal Service Mascot

Owney the Postal Service Mascot

On this bike ride I went to meet a dog named Owney. Also known by the nickname “Globe-trotter,” Owney was a scruffy terrier-mix mutt, who was nation’s most famous canine during his lifetime.

Owney first wandered into a Post Office in Albany, New York in 1888, and eventually went on to become a world-travelling mascot for The U.S. Postal Service.  It is thought that Owney’s original owner was might have been a postal clerk who let the dog walk with him to work.  Then at some point, his owner moved away and Owney stayed on at the post office where he had made a number of new friends, becoming a regular fixture there. Others speculate that Owney was homeless before wandering into the post office. Whatever the case may be, once he wandered in to the Albany Post Office, Owney found himself a new home and a new family.

Owney was attracted to something about the mailbags. Perhaps it was the texture, or maybe the scent. No one really knows for sure. Anyway, he liked them so much that he would come in and make himself at home among them.  In cold weather, postal workers would even bundle him in mailbags to help keep him warm. Owney became somewhat of a guardian of the bags and the mail in them, and would not allow anyone other than mail clerks to touch or handle the bags.  In fact, Owney liked the mailbags so much that he soon began to follow them when they left Albany.

At first Owney accompanied the mail bags onto mail wagons. Eventually, he also began to follow the bags that were loaded onto the Railway Post Office trains. Owney rode the trains across the state, and eventually around the country. Then, in 1895, Owney made an around-the-world trip, traveling with mailbags on trains and steamships from the Tacoma, Washington, sailing for China and Japan and through the Suez Canal before sailing back to New York City.  He then returned to Albany. Over the next decade Owney traveled by train over 140,000 miles, following postal workers and mailbags almost everywhere they traveled.

At a time when train wrecks were all too common, no train on which Owney rode was ever involved in a wreck. So railway mail clerks considered him a good luck charm, and adopted Owney as their unofficial mascot for the next nine years. Clerks along his routes would mark Owney’s travels by placing metal baggage tags with each city’s name on his collar. Each time Owney returned home to Albany, the clerks there would see the tags and find out where Owney had been.

After a while Postmaster General John Wanamaker, who was one of Owney’s many fans, learned that his collar was weighed down by an ever-growing number of tags. So he gave Owney a vest on which to wear and display the “trophies.” Postmaster Wanamaker also declared that Owney was the Official Mascot of the Rail Mail Service.

By the spring of 1897 Owney was in poor health. He had been “retired” from traveling and was living with a postal worker in St. Louis, Missouri.  But the trains and the dog could not be separated for long, and by the summer he was again riding the rails.

On June 11, 1897, a postal worker in Toledo, Ohio was showing off Owney and his collection of tags to a local newspaper reporter. Owney, who was an old dog by then and still in poor health, was agitated and barking. He then turned and bit the postal worker on the hand.  The postal worker spread the word that Owney was mad, and the Toledo postmaster summoned the town marshall, who shot him, thus bringing a sad ending to both the life and the career of the famous little mutt.

Despite his one fatal gaff, Owney was still a beloved dog. Postal clerks raised funds to have Owney preserved, and he was given to the Post Office Department’s headquarters in here in D.C. Owney later made appearances in St. Louis at the 1904 World’s Fair, and the Post Office Department’s exhibit at the Sesquicentennial exhibit in Philadelphia, before returning to D.C.  In 1911, the department transferred Owney to the Smithsonian Institution, where he was put on display in the National Museum of American History.  In 1993 he moved to The National Postal Museum, where he has remained ever since.

After over 100 years, Owney continues to remain popular. In 2011, Owney was deemed worthy of depiction on a U.S. postage “forever” stamp. Owney has also been the main character in five hard cover books, a graphic novel entitled “The Secret Around-the-World Adventures of Owney the Postal Dog,” and an ebook entitled “Owney the Mail Pouch Pooch,” which features Owney’s theme song entitled “Owney — Tales From The Rails,” sung my country music artist Trace Adkins.  Owney also has his own blog, as well as a Facebook and Twitter pages.  Owney even has his own interactive iPhone app which can be downloaded for free at the iTunes store.

Owney can be seen on display in the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, wearing his vest and surrounded by some of the over 1,000 tags that he accumulated on his travels. Many of Owney’s tags did not survive, but museum currently has 372 Owney tags in its collections. The National Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue (MAP), next to Union Station in northeast D.C.’s Swampoodle neighborhood. The Museum is open from 10:00am to 5:30pm daily except for Christmas. And you can’t beat the price of admission – it’s free.

Owney03     Owney02     Owney05

PostalMuseum01     Owney01a     Owney0a

'Twas the Last Ride Before Christmas

‘Twas the Last Ride Before Christmas

I’m going to be taking some time off from work for the holidays, so this was my last D.C. bike ride for the year for this blog. I’m actually taking the next few weeks off because, as a Federal employee, if I do not use a specified amount of my accrued vacation time before the end of the year the government will take it away. But for this ride, I commuted to the office anyway. I then got on one of my bikes that I keep in the parking garage of the office building where I work, and spent the entire day just riding around the D.C. area to see and enjoy the Christmas decorations and holiday spirit, which can be found almost everywhere.  It was a great ride to end the year.

As I’ve stated previously in this blog, I am not a photographer. I’m just a guy that goes for bike rides on my lunch break at work, and takes a few snapshots of the places I go to and the things I see along the way. On this ride I took more photos than usual. My favorite photo (above) from this leisurely bike ride is the one of a Christmas tree and holiday wreath left at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, with the image of both my bike and The Washington Monument reflecting off the polished granite panels containing the names of the servicemen and women who were killed or classified as missing in action during the Vietnam War. The photo seems to portray at the same time both the joy of the season as well as the solemnity of the memorial.

Some of the other photos (below) which I’ve included with this blog post show several of the places which I have already visited this year and then wrote about in this blog, as well as some other places I intend to visit again and learn more about in the coming year.  You can click on the thumbnails for full-size photos.

In order, these photos show: (1) Giant wreathes hanging at the front of Union Station in D.C., one of the busiest train stations in the country. You can get a sense of the size of the wreathes by comparing them to the size of the people standing beneath them. (2) Toy soldiers standing guard at the entrance to the Old Ebbit Grill on 15th Street, D.C.’s oldest bar and restaurant. (3) Holiday wreathes on the old Sun Trust Building on 15th Street, across the street from the U.S. Treasury Department Building. (4) Holiday garlands, wreathes and bows adorning the entrance to The Historic Willard Hotel. (5) The D.C. Fire Department’s Truck No. 3 Fire Station on 13th Street in northwest D.C., which is decorated and lit up with Christmas lights. (6) The Vietnam Women’s Memorial is one of the memorials where wreathes are laid by Wreathes Across America, the group that supplies the Christmas wreathes at Arlington National Cemetery. (7) The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, with a tomb guard in the foreground “walking the mat.” The wreathes in front of the sarcophagus and graves are also part of the tribute at the cemetery by Wreathes Across America. (8) Some of the more than 230,000 wreathes at Arlington National Cemetery which adorn the rows of white marble headstones. (9) Wreathes were also placed by Wreathes Across America at gravesites at The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame. (10) The Woodrow Wilson House, the home of the only President to remain in D.C. after leaving office, is also decorated for the holidays. (11) One of the several outdoor holiday markets that spring up throughout the city in the time leading up to Christmas. This one is The Downtown Holiday Market, which is currently in its 11th year.  (12)  If you’re fortunate, you can also happen upon live musiccal performances.  This one was taking place on the sidewalk in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery between 7th and 9th Streets in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood.  (13) The Krispy Kreme doughnut shop across from The Fountain at DuPont Circle is an excellent place to stop for an early morning snack when riding around the city to see the holiday decorations, especially when the “Hot Now” neon light is lit up.  And even they decorated for the season. (14) An outdoor craft show and flea market on Capitol Hill. (15) A Christmas tree stand at Eastern Market selling fresh-cut Christmas trees. (16) The White House gates included decorative bows for the holidays. (17) The National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse at President’s Park just south of the White House. (18) The Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building grounds. (19) Festively decorated Christmas trees, like this one, could be seen in the windows of stores and office buildings on almost every block.  (20) And the final photo is of a bike-themed ornament that I saw on the Capitol Christmas Tree, which seemed too relevant to not be included in this blog post.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of you reading this, whether you are here in D.C. and anywhere else around the world, a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

ChristmasDC08     ChristmasDC20     ChristmasDC03

ChristmasDC04     ChristmasDC07     ChristmasDC22

ChristmasDC09     ChristmasDC27     ChristmasDC05

ChristmasDC21     ChristmasDC30     ChristmasDC35

ChristmasDC13     ChristmasDC23     ChristmasDC10

ChristmasDC37     NationalTree07     CapitolChristmasTree01     ChristmasDC24

CapitolChristmasTree02

The Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II

The Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II

The Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II is a memorial and monument designed by Davis Buckley and Japanese American artist Nina Akamu. It is located near Union Station and across from Upper Senate Park, at the intersection of Louisiana Avenue, New Jersey Avenue and D Street (MAP) in northwest D.C.’s Downtown East neighborhood. And it was the destination of this bike ride.

The concept for the memorial began with The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation in 1988, and legislative approval for the construction of the memorial and sculpture was passed by Congress four years later.  Groundbreaking for the memorial did not begin for another seven years. The Memorial was finally dedicated in November of 2000.

The memorial commemorates Japanese-American involvement, service and patriotism during World War II, as well as those held in Japanese-American internment camps during that time. More than 33,000 Japanese-Americans rose above adversity to serve in the military with distinction. Many did so as members of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team fighting up the rugged Italian Peninsula and across Southern France. Others were members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the Military Intelligence Service, or other units. They interrogated Japanese prisoners and translated Japanese documents in the Pacific and China-Burma-India Theaters. Over eight hundred of these loyal Japanese-Americans were killed in action serving their country.

They served despite the great irony of the U.S.’s forced confinement of more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry, many the service members’ families, who were held during the war in camps that often were isolated, uncomfortable, and overcrowded. With less than two weeks notice, and without trials, the U.S. Government forced these Americans of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes and businesses, abandoning millions of dollars in property. The refugees were then sent to large confinement sites in the western, southwestern, and southern United States, while others went to smaller facilities across the nation.

The Memorial has a series of panels that lists the names of those Japanese-Americans who gave the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the fellow citizens.  The walls of the Memorial also contain a number of relevant quotes engraved in stone , as well as information about the location of the ten internment sites during the war, and the number of those interned at the sites.

However, the central feature of the Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II is a statue depicting two Japanese cranes caught in barbed wire, on top of a tall pedestal made of green Vermont marble. Rising above the rest of the memorial, the cranes are visible from beyond the memorial walls, which symbolically celebrates the ability to rise beyond limitations. Their postures reflect one another – one wing pointing upwards, the other downwards, mirroring each other as they represent the duality of the universe. Pressing their bodies against one another and seeming to hold onto the barbed wire, the birds at the same time show individual effort to escape restraint as well as the need for communal support and interdependency on one another.

The symbolism and meaning of the Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II was perhaps best expressed at its dedication ceremony when then-U.S Attorney General Janet Reno shared a letter from President Bill Clinton, which stated, “We are diminished when any American is targeted unfairly because of his or her heritage. This memorial and the internment sites are powerful reminders that stereotyping, discrimination, hatred and racism have no place in this country.”

 

The Metropolitan Branch Trail

The Metropolitan Branch Trail

On this ride I explored the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which is an eight-mile trail that runs through the middle of D.C. (MAP), from Union Station downtown all the way to the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad Station in Silver Spring, Maryland. Seven miles of the trail are within the city limits, and one mile is in Maryland. The trail gets its name from the Metropolitan Branch Line of the B&O Railroad, which the trail parallels. It is technically considered a rail-trail conversion because a key section of the trail is on former B&O Railroad right-of-way.

The urban trail takes cyclists past graffiti, industrial sites, train tracks, a brewery, and a touch of greenery as it passes through several of D.C.’s vibrant and historic neighborhoods, including the NOMA, Edgewood, Eckington and Brookland neighborhoods. Used much more for utilitarian purposes than for recreation, the trail is an important transportation route providing connections to homes and work, as well as access to seven Metro stations, and the National Mall.

However, the Metropolitan Branch Trail currently remains unfinished.  Plans for the future include connections to the area’s trail network such as the Capital Crescent Trail, Anacostia Trails System, and integration into the East Coast Greenway.

MBT01     mbt22     MBT07

mbt21     mbt20     MBT09     MBT01
[Click on the thumbnails above to view the full size photos]

Earth Day in D.C.

Earth Day in D.C.

Over the course of exploring D.C. via bicycle over the past few years, I have seen that there are a lot of ways that people and organizations attempt to get publicity and recognition for their causes.  And a whale in the middle of Freedom Plaza in downtown D.C. (MAP) was a pretty big attempt.   The whale, a lifesize inflatable one, was dispayed in Freedom Plaza by The Great Whale Conservancy.  Understanding the size of the blue whale helps provide perspective on the size of the display.  The Blue Whale is the largest creature ever to have lived on earth.  Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant.  And their hearts, as much as a car.

The Great Whale Conservancy is a group dedicated to generating awareness, motivating the public, and steering the public’s involvement towards saving whales.   Specifically, they were calling  for ships to use alternate shipping and to reduce ship speed in the northeast Pacific, where the world’s largest subpopulation of blue whales comes to the California coast during the mid to late summer in order to feed on krill.

The Great Whale Conservancy’s publicity display was one of a number of events put on as part of a recent Earth Day celebration.   Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  The holiday was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by The Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.   Numerous communities now celebrate Earth Week, with an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.

Today is the 44th annual Earth Day, and there are a number of events and celebrations planned throughout the city.   From eco-friendly exhibits and activities to raise awareness of environmental issues located at Union Station (MAP), to annual cleanups planned at various locations along the Potomac and Anacostia River, there are enough opportunities for anyone who wants to participate in one of the organized efforts.  Fortunately, it’s also possible for individuals to do their part to protect the environment every day of the year.

 

The Washington Coliseum

The Washington Coliseum

The Washington Coliseum, originally known as The Uline Arena, is an indoor arena located at 1132 3rd Street (MAP) in the NoMa neighborhood of northeast D.C.  It is just north of Union Station, directly adjacent to the railroad tracks, and bounded by L and M Streets.  The venue once hosted the Basketball Association of America’s Washington Capitols, coached by Red Auerbach from 1946 to 1949, and the American Basketball Association’s Washington Caps in 1969-70. Over the years it also was host to many performances and athletic events of varying types, including ice skating, hockey, martial arts, ballet, music, circuses, speeches, as well as a couple of Presidential inaugural balls.  At one time, it was even used as a makeshift jail for up to 1,200 male and female prisoners arrested during protests against the war in Vietnam.  But it is perhaps most famously remembered as the venue for the first concert in the United States by The Beatles.

On February 11, 1964, less than 48 hours after their now famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Beatles arrived by train in D.C., where they were to later play before a sold-out crowd at the Washington Coliseum.  In fact, despite the fact that only a few months earlier the group had been largely unknown in the United States, the concert was actually over capacity by approximately 1,000 people according to estimates.

Before the concert, the group clowned it up during a televised press interview in the cavernous Coliseum.  When asked, “Where did you get the idea for the haircuts?” Ringo Starr responded, “Where did you get the idea for yours?”  And later, when asked what they thought of then-President Lyndon Johnson, Paul McCartney quipped: “We don’t know. We’ve never met the man.”  After a pause, he then asked, “Does he buy our records?”  Interestingly, the interview ended with John Lennon being asked if The Beatles were a fad.  He replied, “Obviously. Anything in this business is a fad. We don’t think we’re going to last forever. We’re just going to have a good time while it lasts.”

The concert was supposed to be opened by The Chiffons and Tommy Roe, but they were prevented from getting to D.C. by an East Coast snow storm that blanketed the area in over eight inches of snow that day.  Instead, the replacement acts that night were Jay and the Americans and The Righteous Brothers.  The Beatles then played for approximately 40 minutes, opening with “Roll Over Beethoven.”  Tickets to the show at the Coliseum ranged from $2 to $4. The performance was filmed and later shown in American theatres in March of 1964 as a closed-circuit video feed.  The film, entitled “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964,” has recently been released on DVD.

Even with a small stage about the size of a boxing ring, both the audience and the performers were delighted to be there. Every few songs, in fact, the band oriented their setup to face a new part of the crowd. In return, audience members squealed, screamed, and threw jelly beans onto the stage. (Earlier in the week, the Beatles mentioned their fondness for the candy in a New York interview.)

Unfortunately, The Washington Coliseum has seen better days. It was most recently used as a waste management site, and with the building falling into disrepair, the site today is used only for parking.  Despite being listed on the National Register of Historic Places in May of 2007, renovation plans for the graffiti covered building continue to languish.  But 50 years ago, the historic site hosted one of world’s best musical acts ever.

Beatles01b     Beatles01c
[Click on the thumbnails above to view the full size photos]

UPDATE:  Renovations were recently completed on the former coliseum building, which had been sitting empty and abandoned for years.  It reopened on 10/21/2016 as an REI sporting goods store.