On a chilly, rain soaked morning, the Library of Congress can appear rather ominous. On approach, visitors are met with the firm gaze of the marble faces which dotted the exterior of the building.
However, despite the hard initial appearance, volunteer tour guide Tom Hoban explained to guests the 33 faces have a significance beyond simple intimidation. Each of the 33 faces are unique, made to represent peoples from thirty-three different places of origin and welcome people of all different ethnicities. Tom, a retired professor who once taught in Lincoln, brought an enthusiasm to the tour which helped keep even minute historical details intriguing.
“These are the putti of Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Gould and Frick,” said Hoban, of the cherubs who were carved into the building. Of a putti holding a gear, Hoban said, “He’s a machinist and engineer, a mechanic and industrialist.”
The Library of Congress isn’t the only building where details tell a story. Across the street at the U.S. Capitol, Josiah Boman, an intern for Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer, also spoke to the importance of details.
Inside the Capitol, the halls are lined with various statues and paintings, which tell a story not many people know, according to Boman. John Trumbull, famed artist who painted many of the pieces displayed at the Capitol, would often mark his work with a small self-portrait somewhere in the painting instead of opting for a traditional signature, Boman said.
Moving beyond the details in the artwork, Boman moved to discussing how attention to detail is important for those looking to intern in Washington D.C. internships. To land D.C. opportunities, Boman said that even with hard work and the having the ability to do the job, it's competitive, but it helps to have a substantial background while in college.
For the casual observer many of the sites and opportunities in Washington D.C. may appear quite foreboding. However, for those who take a closer look and learn to deal in details, the challenges may seem to diminish with each new bit of understanding, Doane students learned through their tours.