By Grace Dunn, Jack Hellie, Josh Hughes, Jess Lynk and Sarah Schroeder
We spent our first day in D.C. out searching for some not-so-famous landmarks. Along the way, we noticed that D.C. looks a bit different than the last time we were here.
With only eleven days left until the Inauguration, the city has transformed a bit and we got the chance to capture some photos of how the city is changing.
Our first stop of the day was at Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe. Here we talked to Melissa K., who shared with us here experience leading to the inauguration. At Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe, Melissa said she has noticed an increase in sales of Trump books. She said that especially the Art of the Deal sales had increased dramatically since the election.
Our next excursion was to St. John’s Church, on the nr we wanted to go inside, but there was a service. As we turned away disappointed, we noticed that the view of the White House was obscured by large, white bleachers.
After a short walk, we headed to the National Mall. We were on our way to the Smithsonian Castle when we saw a tent in the middle of the mall. A variety of construction workers were working diligently to prepare for the momentous quadrennial inauguration.
We took a short detour across the National Mall to the National Gallery of Art. From there, we had a beautiful vantage point from which to observe the inauguration. The National Gallery of Art contains many beautiful works, including the only DaVinci work outside of Europe.
Despite the blustery weather and the bracing wind, one of our favorite sites to visit today was the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Furnished with a fully functional skating rink in the winter time, the Sculpture Garden features many renowned pieces, including one donated by Des Moines’ own, John & Mary Pappajohn.
We made our way up the National Mall, approaching the Capitol Complex. We were immediately struck by the scale of the construction on the building’s facade. Already visible were the cupola where the President-Elect will take the oath of office.
Also visible immediately surrounding the Capitol building was CNN’s setup on top of a nearby building.
We ended the day by walking to the Supreme Court. On our way, we chatted with locals about how they felt about the changes to D.C.
Many residents of the District are not incredibly enthused for the 58th Presidential Inauguration. Many noted the construction, the disruption to day-to-day life, and the relative unpopularity of the President-Elect in the District of Columbia as an inconvenience to their daily lives. Nevertheless, the work goes on 11 days out. At least 800,000 people are expected to attend this year’s quadrennial ceremonies, more than the entire resident population of the District of Columbia. It remains to be seen whether city will be able to handle the deluge of visitors.