The National Archives
The National Archives
By John T. Marck
The National Archives Building is located at 8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., in Washington, D.C. The Archives is the repository of the more valuable and rare documents on the United States government as well as consists of an outstanding reference library.
On display here in the Exhibition Hall are the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights.
Upon the arrival of the 20th century, the need for a central repository was urgent, and with the Public Buildings Act passed by Congress in 1926, funds were made available for the acquisition of a site suitable for an archive. Originally planned as a square with fountains by LíEnfant, this site was the location of the Marsh market that was built in 1861, known as Center Market after the Civil War.
Located in what is known as the Federal Triangle, the archives is the seventh building constructed here. The National Archives is a monumental structure designed in the Neo-Classical style by John Russell Pope, who also originally designed the Jefferson Memorial, Constitution Hall and the National Gallery of Art.
The National Archives is the focal point in the Federal Triangle, located between the National Portrait Galley (Old Patent Office) to the north and the Hirshhorn Museum to the south.
Numerous safeguards are installed in the structure to protect the contents, including large pumps built beneath the building to guard against possible flooding by the Old Timber Creek, whose bed runs directly under the Archives.
The National Archives Exhibit Hall is open every day except Christmas from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the Winter months, and 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. during the summer (April 1 to Labor day). Research hours are Monday and Wednesday from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday from 845 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Copyright „2007 by John T. Marck. Information in part compliments of the National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places. Some passages taken directly from the National Park Service.