Ronald Reagan Building Attractions
Straus Memorial Fountain
The Oscar S. Straus Memorial Fountain is situated on the plaza of the 14th Street entrance to the Reagan building. It was authorized by Congress as a tribute to the man who was a diplomat and Secretary of Commerce and Labor and the first Jewish American cabinet member.
The memorial, by sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinmann, is composed of a low, three-tiered fountain with two bronze sculptural groups set on granite pedestals on either side. The fountain is flanked on the left (as one faces the Reagan Building) by Justice, depicted as a reclining female figure with hands clasped in prayer representing religious freedom. To the right of the fountain, Reason is represented by a partially draped male figure and a child holding a purse, key, and hammer,symbolizing capital and labor. The figures represent the opportunity and religious freedom Oscar Straus found in the United States and commemorate what he gave back in service to his adopted country.
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Memorial Exhibit
Housed in the Woodrow Wilson Center, this permanent exhibit depicts the life and legacy of America's 28th president. It features political and personal memorabilia such as his signature pince-nez eyeglasses and silk top hat; as well as historical information, short films and a memorial hall containing notable quotations by Wilson. The exhibit includes a bas-relief by artist Leonard Baskin of President Wilson.
Berlin Wall Fragment
Located at the Wilson Plaza entrance, a graffiti covered fragment of the Berlin Wall stands over 9 feet high, 3 feet wide, and weighs almost 3 tons. It is from an inner-city section of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate. On July 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan issued his famous challenge to the Premier of the Soviet Union: "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" On November 8, 1989, the wall that divided the city of Berlin for 28 years and had come to symbolize East-West division and conflict, finally crumbled. This section was donated for permanent display in the Ronald Reagan Building by the citizens of Berlin and the employees of Daimler-Benz in honor of President Reagan and in recognition of his leadership.
LIVE! On Woodrow Wilson Plaza
A free summer performance series offering salsa to strings, blues to swing, by world renowned entertainers. Woodrow Wilson Plaza, adjacent to the Ronald Reagan Building.
Capitol Steps is a troupe of current and former Congressional staffers who satirize the very people and places that once employed them.