Here is link to a very interesting article from today’s Washington Post about the lighting of the city, mostly around the Mall area. Here is an excerpt from the opening paragraphs:
At night, there is a second city that emerges in Washington, more
beautiful and more intelligible than the city by day. The great
monuments on the Mall glow a warm white, the grass and trees that
surround them sink into inky darkness, and the city itself seems
larger, more dramatic and more logically laid out. The Capitol dome
looms over the Mall, the Lincoln Memorial defines the end of the axis
stretching to the Potomac River, and the White House is a modest but
assertive presence across the Ellipse to the north — as if the
executive is standing watch, on the edge of camp, while the city
sleeps. The republic, at night, is properly ordered.
The strange thing about Washington’s nocturnal beauty is that none of it was planned, yet none of it was accidental either.
I must say that I think Washington is one of the loveliest cities at night. It’s truly inspirational and, even though this sounds so cliché, it does make you feel proud to live here.
One especially memorable evening we drove to a party in upper Northwest in January 1997, the night before Bill Clinton’s second inaugural. Fireworks were set off in 10 different locations throughout the area. As we drove toward the Memorial Bridge, the fireworks started and we saw the most spectacular sight! The night was especially cold and clear — I think that made the fireworks even more brilliant.
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