Originally featured in our 04-08-2016 issue, Histories of the National Mall allows visitors from around the globe to learn more about the historic Washington, D.C. site.
One end of the National Mall is anchored by the Washington Monument, an immense and beautiful obelisk that has been mostly closed to the public since it was damaged by an earthquake in 2011. The Washington Monument re-opened May 12, 2016, but, in advance of that event, this website created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University with funding provided by the National Endowment from the Humanities, allows for an investigation of the Monument's history, as well as a look at other structures lining the National Mall. The website may be experienced in many different ways. Visitors have the option to begin with a map of 345 historical events related to the mall and plotted geographically. Another pathway is Explorations - almost an FAQ - with materials organized to answer questions such as, "Has anyone ever lived on the Mall?"; "Was the Mall ever used for farmland?"; and "Were there any alternate designs for the Washington Monument?" Start with the people section to learn about the connections between people and the National Mall, including Marian Anderson, Daniel Burnham, and Thomas Jefferson. There's also a search function, and a quick search on Washington Monument provides a list of 36 information items, including background on the 2011 earthquake and Benjamin Henry Latrobe's never-built 1799 design for the Monument.
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