This year the U.S. Capitol Historical Society launches a commemorative ornament inspired by the 200th anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted. In 1873, Congress commissioned Olmsted to design the enlarged grounds of the U.S. Capitol. After careful study, in June 1874 he presented a plan for a sophisticated landscape that highlighted the building it surrounded.
His symmetrical design incorporated park-like edging, low walls, lamps, careful placement of trees and simple shrubs, and a series of curved walkways that afforded attractive views of the Capitol. Olmsted later added a brick summerhouse to his design to provide visitors with a drinking fountain and a cool place to rest.
The most ambitious aspect of the plan was a new marble terrace that wrapped around the north, south and west facades. Judging the existing earthen terrace unacceptable, Olmsted’s new design provided a strong visual foundation for the building and additional space for committee rooms and storage.
***This ornament has a 24 kt gold finish and marble from the original 1863-65 Capitol steps, removed during the 1995 renovation.
- Materials: 24k gold finish and original Capitol marble from the 1995 renovation
- Size: 3 inches H x 3 inches L
- Made in America