Last week, I visited the National Arboretum. These columns are from the Capitol building, that were used for only a short time. The National Arbortetum website says this about these columns:
“The columns began their life on the East Portico of the Capitol in 1828. They were quarried from sandstone near Aquia Creek in Virginia and were barged to Washington in the early days of our country, before the familiar Capitol dome was completed. Their stay at the Capitol was to be limited by an oversight. The dome of the Capitol, completed in 1864, appeared as if it was not adequately supported by the columns because the iron dome that was ultimately built was significantly larger than the dome that the designer envisioned. An addition to the east side of the Capitol was proposed to eliminate this unsettling illusion, but it was not constructed until 1958.”
Several years after they removed them from the capitol building, they decided to put them out here in the Arboretum, where it seems like they are just put in the middle of nowhere. If you’re ever around DC, it’s a great place to visit.