Kennedy Center

The Place: Kennedy Center

Where: Between Rock Creek Parkway, 25th Street NW, and F Street NW

Why Live Near Here: You’re a lover of the arts who leans more towards the classics (opera, ballet, plays, etc), you want to live near the water and take advantage of a gorgeous Potomac outlook that’s always open to the public, and not dealing with parking every time you go there sounds like your version of heaven.

Things to Know: Well, there’s a lot to know about the Kennedy Center, but here are a few tidbits for y’all.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the National Cultural Center Act which was the first time that the federal government helped finance a structure dedicated to the performing arts in the United States.

Using the same gold-plated spade that had been used in the groundbreaking ceremonies for both the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, President Lyndon Johnson broke ground at the construction site. The total cost of construction was $70 million. Donations and gifts comprised a significant portion of funding, including $5 million from the Ford Foundation, approximately $500,000 from the Kennedy family, 3,700 tons of Carrara marble from Italy (worth $1.5 million) from the Italian government, 16 hand-blown Orrefors crystal chandeliers from Sweden (which btw each weigh a ton), and two tableaus by German sculptor Jürgen Weber which were gifts from the West German government.

The Grand Foyer is 60 feet high and 630 feet long which makes it one of the largest rooms in the world. For a size understanding, if the Washington Monument was laid on its side in the Grand Foyer, you’d still have 75 feet to spare.

The National Cultural Center was renamed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1964, following the assassination of President Kennedy. On opening night, September 8, 1971, a requiem mass honoring President Kennedy is performed, composed and conducted by Leonard Berstein.

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