Sofia

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Map to the National Archives

The United States of America has had a long history of battles and important events going on, from the American Independence, The Civil War, J.F. Kennedy’s murderer, to Barack Obama’s election as president, making him the first colored man to be president in all the American History. Such events as this had many important documents, like the Declaration of Independence, or the Emancipation Proclamation. Reading these documents would be magnificent for some people. What is even more wonderful is that there is an actual building where you can go and read them. That place is called The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).


FUNCTION/HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) houses textual and microfilm records relating to genealogy, American Indians, Pre-world war II, military and naval-maritime matters, the New Deal, the District of Columbia, the Federal Courts, and Congress. This building also preserves and document government and historical records. Also, it is in charge of maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential proclamations and executive orders, and federal regulations.
The archivist of the U.S. (the chief administrator of the NARA) has authority to declare when the constitutional threshold for passage has been reached, and therefore when an act has become an amendment. All the important national records are kept here in exhibitions for the public.
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ARCHITECTURE
The NARA was constructed because, officially, each brand and agency of the U.S. government was responsible for maintaining their own documents, but often led to the loss and destruction of the records. That is when the United States President at the moment, Herbert Hoover, decided it was time for an official building where all the important documents were to be stored. The National Archives architect was John Russell Pope, who chose a neoclassical style for this building. The neoclassical style is also known as beaux arts, which many of the buildings in the United States Capital has, or are similar to that style. The National Archives was built during the Great Depression; therefore the materials were hard to find and expensive, so limestone was only used for the exterior superstructure and granite for the base. The National Archives was built in 1934, while Herbert Hoover was still the U.S. president. The government paid for the project. Because of space matters, there was a new building created near Maryland University, College Park in 1994, unofficially known as Archives II (the official one is known as Archives I).
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PERSONAL REFLECTION
What I found interesting about this site is that all of the really important documents of the United States history are all in the buildings for the public and common people to see. Also, I was surprised about the Archives II, since I had never heard of it. I find it a bit strange that they’re apart from each other, since both of them hold important documents.
Another think that was surprising to me is that only about 1% to 3% of all the documents in the American History are so legally important; that percentage is all safely stored in this building. After some time, the NARA became an independent agency, which I find it perfect. I also really like the architecture of this building; with the Greek columns, I feel as if I was about to enter a really important place (which it is.) The style is old fashioned, which makes it look even more important and breathtaking beautiful. I think what the NARA does is great, since I have always wanted to see the important documents and actually read them how they’re written, not what the textbooks translations are.
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Bibliography:

  • Patrick Geeting
  • National Archives
    National Archives

  • The National Archives
  • The National Archives is a building found in Washington D.C. that contains important documents that have been collected throughout the nation’s history. If you enter this lavish building, you will find some of the more heard of and important papers, photos, information of elections, and so much more.
  • The National Archives was established in 1934. Initially, each branch of the government had to take care of its own documents. It wasn’t the most efficient way of keeping records. The establishment helped centralize general document keeping, and was all controlled by the United States Archivist. The Archivist is the main administrator of all documents that the building contains. He or she is responsible for supervising and overseeing every single thing that is done with the precious information that flows constantly into the building.
  • National Archives at night
    National Archives at night
    The building that houses these important documents was made quite nicely. The building is a basic rectangular shape with roman pillars covering the four side
    s. On the front entrance there are approximately 35 pillars that cover it and, at the top of these pillars, there is a triangle that has a mural of sorts inscribed into it. At night the area brightens up with many lights and is really photo worthy.
  • The actual site is located on Constitution Avenue NW and is right in front of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.
  • I would have loved to see the National Archives. I’ve always wanted to take a glimpse at the documents that practically founded the nation, and gave it its form. This is one of the buildings that I think is a must see when visiting the nation’s capital. Also, it’s probably one of the sites where you can learn the most about US History, even if the whole place is focused on it.
  • Inside the building
    Inside the building
    Not only that, but the building really gives off a sense of purpose and power. Then again, it does contain information that goes back a long time.
  • Something that catches the public’s attention is the secret archives or the classified documents. There’s something about those documents that makes you really wish you could read them, even if you don’t even know where they are. People always want to snoop around things that don’t really concern them, so the National Archives is a great place to go for those people.



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Map to the National Archives