human history in glass and steel
The National Museum of the Marine Corps is an amazing building. The huge steel ediffice looms over the surrounding Virginia scrub countryside, and lurks beside the sprawling military complex next door at Quantico. At first it's surprising that the Marines, one of the most conservative institutions in our society, would chose a contemporary steel and glass skinned building to celebrate its 23o year history. I would have imagined something brick, or marble columns, something more Monument and less monumental. As you stare, the building begins to transform. The 210-foot mast
becomes a club, then a knife, then a razor, a bayonet, cannon, a tank's gun barrel, an implement of strength and power aimed at the sky. Then you realize that the towering Museum is this:
and everything makes perfect sense and you wonder whether any building could stand as tall as those soldiers. I haven't been inside, but the Museum caters to the lifelong brotherhood of proud Marines, perhaps exclusively
. I may never stop and visit, but I am awed and reverential every time I drive past.
Another surprise: read about the structure's green design features here