Another Washington institution diminished.
Aug 11, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 45 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
At last visitors do get to ascend, though without grandeur. Off to the side of the exhibit, opposite the gift shop, a marble staircase leads to the rotunda where the nation’s charters are displayed. Earlier generations of curators and archivists referred to this room as “the shrine.” Now the word is used ironically if at all. After the bludgeoning administered by “Records of Rights,” the chance to see the Declaration and the Constitution seems less a patriotic mission than
What an attraction for tourists! I’ve been to the Archives a few times lately, and I can’t measure the reaction of the Americans who have come from all over. Are they surprised to learn that the caretakers of the country’s patrimony are so contemptuous of it? Or is it old news by now?
At least the old grand stairway is still there, outside, on the other side of the great bronze doors. It’s only used as an exit, however, and nowadays the summer glare and clamor of Constitution Avenue come as a relief.
Andrew Ferguson is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.
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