August 18, 2004

Busts of Mystery

Category: Architecture


Washington: One really shouldn't put intricate architectural details where no one will ever see them. At the National Building Museum, which is otherwise a phenomenal establishment, there are at least 200 marble busts located far, far above the floor in the main atrium. I havn't the faintest idea who they are, nor do I suspect, does anyone else. Even with binoculars it would be difficult to identify these lonely folks.

Posted by Nick at August 18, 2004 05:37 PM | TrackBack


Putting architectural elements where nobody can see them has been done for a long time. When you mentioned these busts, I immediately thought _gargoyles_ (or, for the computer literate, _fortune cookies_)

Posted by: David Parsons on August 26, 2004 12:32 PM

Go on the tour! They are made of plaster models, not marble. There are eight uniques busts up there which are repeated around the top. They represent the contributing professions at that time the Pension building was contructed. One of the busts is the architect who designed the building. It was a low budget project at that time which turned out to be one of the greatest monuments in DC.

Posted by: asdl;fj on August 27, 2004 07:49 AM

While they may not be evident to the casaual observer, the creator may have had reasons for putting them there. After all, how many silly messages might one occasionally find in the REM statements (or equivalent, depending on language used) of program code? When I did my master's thesis, I had to include a CD with the data in all bound copies. I tucked a picture of Godzilla in the CD, just to be silly. Perhaps the creator did it for his own purposes. Who knows?

Posted by: Onikaze on September 24, 2004 11:58 AM
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