Viewing page 21 of 44

Developing the Nation's Capital.

I am glad to be here for this occasion. For many years, in my capacity as a trustee of the Carnegie Institute, I have attended the Founders' Day exercises; and, since I have been in Washington, I have looked forward each year to returning home and joining with you in celebrating the founding of this institution, which is doing so much for the cause of education and in training the youth of the country in a knowledge of the arts and sciences. 

It is because of your interest in such things, that I want to speak to you on a subject somewhat different from those usually associated with the work of government at Washington. It has to do with the beautifying of the Nation's Capital and the carrying out of the original plan whereby the City of Washington shall become not only one of the most impressive capitals in the world but one which shall be representative of the best that is in America. The importance of the work was stressed by President Coolidge in his last annual message to Congress, in which he said:

".... If our country wishes to compete with others, let is not be in the support of armaments but in the making of a beautiful Capital City. Let it express the soul of America. Whenever an American is at the seat of his Government, however traveled and cultured he may be, he ought to find a city of stately proportion, symmetrically laid out and adorned with the best that there is in architecture, which would arouse his imagination and stir his patriotic pride...." 

Congress has made the necessary appropriation to initiate this work and to carry out the most important features of that long neglected plan of Washington and L'Enfant for the development of the city. The responsibility for carrying out this plan, by the purchase of sites and the erection of buildings, 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.