Architecture: Admonishing words on the wall

Newseum1(June 2008) The bold letters on the wall cannot be overlooked. They read: „Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances“. These are the words of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America etched in the marble slab on the face of the U.S. Capitol’s news museum, the Newseum.

The Constitutional Wall weighs 75 t and measures 22,5 m by 15,80 m and is made of Tennessee Marble, a building material that has been implemented for generations in many building projects throught Washington D.C., e.g. the United States Capitol. The supplier, Tennessee Marble, is situated in Friendsville, Tennessee.

This lates attraction in the U.S. Capitol opened its doors to the public in April 2008. Building costs amounted to 450 million Dollars. The museum’s exhibits include historical photos and newsprint as well as a television-channel’s helicopter and satelite. Visitors may watch hundreds of hours of film material, play computer games or take on the role of newsroom anchorman.

The museum shows not only the great moments of the media but some bloopers as well, such as the Chicago Daily Tribune’s 1948 November 3rd-head front-page-headline honoring Thomas Dewey as the new President of the USA whereas in fact the incumbent Harry Truman won the election.

The Newseum is situated close to the United States Capitol and the White House and affords an impressive view over the city.


Tennessee Marble