Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Temple for Our History

[National Archives Building] Make No Little Plans

 

—Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —

 
Temple for Our History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
1. Temple for Our History Marker
Inscription.
You’re standing at the National Archives Building, the first permanent repository for the original records of the federal government. They include the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, displayed inside with other fascinating documents.

More than one million people visit each year to see those records and others on exhibit. Thousands research their family histories using census, land, or military pension records. Others delve into the papers of Congress and the Supreme Court, military records from the Revolution onward, documents pertaining to Native Americans, and more.

For decades Congress debated where and how to store America’s most precious documents. Over time many were damaged or destroyed. In 1913 Congress directed the treasury secretary to plan a National Archives building. Construction began in 1931, and three years later President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation creating the National Archives as a government agency.

Architect John Russell Pope, who also designed the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art, planned the building to stand out from the rest of the Federal Triangle. With 72 Corinthian columns and elaborately sculptured pediments, it embodies the importance of safeguarding historical records.

At the stairs are James
Temple for Our History Marker reverse image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 4, 2015
2. Temple for Our History Marker reverse
Earle Fraser’s Heritage, with mother holding baby and urn filled with ashes of past generations, as well as Guardianship, whose protective sword and lion skin convey the need to safeguard records for future generations.

The National Archives and Records Administration maintains billions of records nationwide in presidential libraries, regional archives, and federal records centers, and a research facility in College Park, Maryland.

Photo captions:

Construction proceeds on the building that President Herbert Hoover called “this temple of our history.” This building squarely aligns with the city’s street grid, unlike its Federal Triangle neighbors that face the diagonal Pennsylvania Avenue. National Archives and Records Administration

After 28 years on display at the Library of Congress, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence arrive via Marine Corps armored personnel carrier and military escort for placement in the National Archive, 1952. Library of Congress

In this 1938 view of the National Archives, you can see the pediment sculpture Recorder of the Archives, by James Earle Fraser and Laura Gardin Fraser. At center is the recorder of the archives flanked by men and women receiving documents. The dogs symbolize the Archives’ role as guardians. Library
Construction of the National Archives image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
3. Construction of the National Archives
Construction proceeds on the building that President Herbert Hoover called "this temple of our history." This building squarely aligns with the city's street grid, unlike its Federal Triangle neighbors that face the diagonal Pennsylvania Avenue.
of Congress


A paper conservator treats the Constitution before re-housing it during the 2000-2005 renovation of the National Archives building. National Archives and Records Administration

Citizens view the Constitution in the newly renovated Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, 2004. Photography by Earl McDonald, National Archives and Records Administration

Illustration on reverse:
A workman surveys the Corinthian capitals at the tops of the National Archives’ columns, the most elaborate in the Federal Triangle.
National Archives and Records Administration
 
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 15 of 16.)
 
Location. 38° 53.533′ N, 77° 1.414′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Constitution Avenue, NW (U.S. 1/50) east of 9th Street, NW, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at the southeast corner of the Federal Triangle, across the street from the National Mall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20408, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nathan Hale (within shouting distance of this marker); Grandeur for the People
US Constitution and Declaration of Independence image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
4. US Constitution and Declaration of Independence
After 28 years on display at the Library of Congress, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence arrive via Marine Corps armored personnel carrier and military escort for placement in the National Archives, 1952.
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); In Memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (about 500 feet away); Market Space: Yesterday’s Town Square (about 500 feet away); Equal Justice Under the Law (about 600 feet away); The United States Navy Memorial (about 600 feet away); America's Main Street (about 600 feet away); National Intelligencer (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Federal Triangle.
 
Categories. GovernmentNotable Buildings
 
National Archives, 1938 image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
5. National Archives, 1938
In this 1938 view of the National Archives, you can see the pediment sculpture Recorder of the Archives, by James Earl Fraser and Laura Gardin Fraser. At center is the recorder of the archives flanked by men and women receiving documents. The dogs symbolize the Archives' role as guardians.
Temple for Our History Marker - photo on front, lower right, image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
6. Temple for Our History Marker - photo on front, lower right,
"Citizens view the Constitution in the newly renovated Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, 2004" - The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Bill of Rights on display.
Paper Conservator Treatment image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
7. Paper Conservator Treatment
A paper conservator treats the Constitution before re-housing it during the 2000-2005 renovation of the National Archives building.
Temple for Our History Marker - photo on reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
8. Temple for Our History Marker - photo on reverse
"A workman surveys the Corinthian capitals at the tops of the National Archives’ columns..."
Map of the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail System image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
9. Map of the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail System
Temple for Our History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
10. Temple for Our History Marker
The National Archives Building, north face image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
11. The National Archives Building, north face
- view from across Pennsylvania Avenue.
The National Archives Building, north face image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
12. The National Archives Building, north face
"The Past is Prologue"
The National Archives Building, north face image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
13. The National Archives Building, north face
"Study the Past"
The National Archives Building, south face image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
14. The National Archives Building, south face
- view from across Constitution Avenue.
The National Archives Building, south face image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
15. The National Archives Building, south face
-"The Heritage of the Past is the Seed that Brings Forth the Harvest of the Future."
The National Archives Building, south face image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 19, 2012
16. The National Archives Building, south face
- "Eternal Vigilance Is the Price of Liberty."
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 29, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 428 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on June 29, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2. submitted on October 5, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   3, 4, 5. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6. submitted on June 29, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   7. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   8. submitted on June 30, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   9. submitted on August 26, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   10. submitted on June 30, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   11. submitted on June 29, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on June 30, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement