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Page:Collier's New Encyclopedia v. 10.djvu/352

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ginning in 1776, when the Continental Congress appointed two Joint-Treasurers of the United Colonies, each at a salary the first year of $500, has grown this present wonderful financial organization, the solidity of which sustains our pre-eminence as the greatest world power.

An important adjunct to, and under the direction of, the Treasury, is the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The new building, just completed, is the finest workshop in the world. The great care exercised in preventing counterfeiting and theft is a long story in itself. Over $1,000,000 of paper money is turned out every working day from this establishment.

The Patent Office, a very important branch under the Interior Department, is one of the oldest government buildings in Washington. Its Doric architecture gives it a strong, yet simple appearance. Since the days of Thomas Jefferson, when he conducted the duties of State and also Patent Examiner, this very important department has grown to over 1,000 employes and more than 500 patents are granted each week. The Patent Office is the only self-supporting bureau of the Government.

The Pension Office is reputed to be the largest brick building under one roof. A distinctive feature which encircles the building is the terra-cotta frieze over the first story window, portraying a spirited procession of soldiers, infantry, cavalry and artillery. Its interior consists of an immense court broken by two rows of columns which support the great roof. Galleries lead from the court to numerous offices. The Grand Inaugural Ball for years was held in this building where fully 18,000 people have assembled.

The Municipal building, constructed of Vermont white marble at a cost of $2,000,000, is an excellent example of the present-day tendency to produce public buildings of the greatest beauty. It contains the offices of the District Commissioners and all municipal departments except the courts. Washingtonians have no vote, therefore the three Commissioners are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The new City Post Office adjoining Union Station is the most recent addition to Washington's beautiful buildings. Of Woodbury granite, its construction cost totals about $3,000,000. It is the most modern Post Office in the world.

Another distinctive Washington building is the new railway terminal, Union Station. It affords the most fitting and dignified entrance to the National Capital. The terminal improvements and construction of building cost nearly $20,000,000. The railroads from the South enter the station through the twin tunnels running through Capitol Hill.

The Pan-American building is considered by many the most beautiful in America. Its wonderful glass-covered court, 60 feet square, the sunken gardens, beautiful statuary and artistic grounds are the admiration of everyone. The building is conducted by the twenty-one Republics of North, South and Central America for the development of Pan-American commerce and friendship. Its construction cost was $1,000,000, one-fourth being paid by the American Republics and three-fourths by Mr. Andrew Carnegie.

Memorial Continental Hall, erected by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, is an exquisite example of Colonial architecture. The beautiful south portico is unique by reason of the thirteen solid marble columns, a gift from the States forming the original thirteen Colonies. Its beautiful Vermont white marble construction presents a most imposing appearance. The National Societies each year in April hold a convention in this Hall, over 2,000 delegates attending.

The famous Corcoran Gallery of Art was founded and endowed by the late William W. Corcoran in 1869, a gift to the people. Below the elaborately carved cornice runs a frieze bearing the names of eleven famous sculptors and painters. Original marbles, bronzes, rare paintings by the most celebrated artists, and casts and replicas from the finest specimens of antique and modern sculpture, fill the rooms and line the corridors. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the admission is free; at other times 25 cents is charged.

The Lincoln Memorial, in 1921 under construction in Potomac Park, at the axis of the Capitol and Washington Monument, is a stupendous undertaking. Its construction is of Colorado white Yule marble and is to cost $2,000,000. Its height will be 123 feet from the Park level, the length 204 feet and depth 134 feet. The central hall will be 60 feet high, 70 feet long and 60 feet wide and will contain a large statue of the martyred President.

Two conspicuous landmarks seen upon the hills surrounding Washington are the Lee Mansion, at Arlington, Va., on the west, and the Soldiers' Home, to the north.

Arlington, the former home of Gen. Robert E. Lee, was built by George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of Martha Washington and father of Mrs.