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"In the extreme ends of the composition are shown two griffins, one with a casket of documents, the other with a sealed book. They symbolize "Guardians of the Secrets of the Archives.'

"In short, the composition may be described as follows: 'Destiny' flanked on either side by "The Arts of Peace' and 'The Arts of War.' These are in turn flanked by groups representing "The Romance of History' on the right, and 'The Song of Achievement on the left. The ends are terminated by the 'Guardians of the Archives.'”

The Pennsylvania Avenue doorway, in the simple granite base of the north portico, is flanked on either side by two figures in Roman armor representing "The Guardians of the Portal.” They are carved in high relief on single slabs of granite the full height of the door itself.

To the right and left flanking the portico at each end of the paved terrace are two massive seated figures upon granite pedestals. The aged male figure, to the right when one looks toward the building, represents “The Past" with the closed book of history on his knees. He gazes retrospectively, “Down the Corridors of Time.” Inscribed on a panel on the granite pedestal below is the legend, "Study the Past." On the left of the portico and balancing the male figure is a female figure, young and beautiful of countenance, representing “The Future.” She is lifting her eyes from the empty pages of the open book she holds and gazing with profound contemplation into the future. Inscribed on the pedestal under this figure is a quotation from Shakespeare, "What is Past is Prologue."

The two pedestal figures and those flanking the doorway are the work of the noted sculptor, Robert Aitken, as are also 7 of the 13 medallions located in the frieze adorning the upper portion of the main block of the building.

These medallions, 8 feet in diameter, represent the Senate, the House, the 10 major departments of the Government, and the Nation. The central medallion on the Pennsylvania Avenue front contains an eagle and a shield, emblematic of the Nation. The other four medallions on Pennsylvania Avenue, from left to right, are emblematic of the following departments and divisions of the Government:

Labor-represented by a youthful figure with the attributes of industry: A hammer, the wheel of progress, and an anvil.

The House of Representatives—symbolized by a figure holding a mace, the emblem of the House, with documents and books in the background.

The Senate represented by a figure holding the fasces of Government and a book containing the laws of the Nation.

The Post Office Department-represented by a mail bag and a winged sphere, signifying speed in transmission.

On the Ninth Street side are two more medallions flanking an inscription. At the right is Agriculture holding a sickle and a sheaf of wheat, and at the left is Justice with the statute books of the Law and “The Reins of Guidance."

The pediment on the Constitution Avenue side, the figures on either side of the steps, and the remaining six medallions in the frieze are the work of James Earle Frazer. Many other noteworthy examples of Mr. Frazer's work exist in Washington and other parts of the country.

The central figure in the pediment represents "The Recorder of the Archives." This figure is seated high on an architectural throne, which rests on recumbent rams, symbols of parchment. Above the rams runs a decorative frieze formed on the flower of the papyrus plant, symbol of paper. These two mediums, parchment and paper, make possible the housing of the documents of a great nation in a single building.

Attendant figures at either side of the Recorder are represented as receiving documents. Against representations of Pegasus, the winged steed, symbolic of Aspiration, are figures bringing forward such inspired documents as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and others of great literary or historical value. Beyond these are groups represented as gathering and contributing records and documents of lesser importance. The groups of dogs at either end are the symbols of guardianship.

At either end of the steps leading to the great doorway are two large granite pedestals surmounted by powerful figures representing Heritage and Guardianship.

The female figure at the left symbolizes Heritage as it relates to the primary purpose of government in the preservation of the home. The mother is holding a child and a sheaf of wheat, while her left hand rests on a jar, the symbol of the Home. The inscription on the pedestal is, “The Heritage of the Past is the Seed that brings forth the Harvest of the Future.”

The male figure at the right side of the steps is expressive of Guardianship, not aggressive, but watchful. The helmet of Protection is held in one hand, while the other clasps a sheathed sword and the fasces, the symbol of unified government. The inscription under this figure, attributed to Thomas Jefferson, is, “Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."

The four medallions in the frieze on Constitution Avenue as viewed from left to right represent the following departments of the Government:

War-a helmeted and powerful figure with an arm resting on a sword.
State-a bearded figure with attendant parchments and documents.

Treasury—a figure with symbolic attributes pertaining to the monetary wealth of the Nation.

Navy—a figure holding a model of a ship with various maritime accessories grouped about it.

On the east or Seventh Street side the left medallion contains the figure of Commerce grouped with various articles relating to trade. The right medallion and the last of the 13 to be described represents the Department of the Interior by a seated figure with attributes indicative of the natural resources of the Nation.

In the marble floor of the foyer just within the great doorway on Constitution Avenue is a bronze circular inlay in low relief. Within it are four winged figures with allegorical attributes significant of Legislation, Justice, History, and War and Defense—subjects reflected in the documents to be preserved in the building. The figures are separated by discs containing further appro priate devices of a similar character.

The murals. The murals to be installed in the Exhibition Hall are described by the artist, Mr. Barry Faulkner, of New York, as follows:

"The two decorations for the Exhibition Hall of the National Archives Building represent 'The Declaration of Independence' and 'The Constitution. The subject portrayed in "The Declaration' is Jefferson and his committee-Franklin, John Adams, Sherman, and Livingston-submitting the Declaration to the presiding officer, John Hancock. In 'The Constitution' Madison submits the Constitution to Washington and the Convention,

“The portraiture has been faithfully based on authentic pictures and busts. The members of the major committees—such as those of the Continental Congress for a Declaration of Independence and to draft Articles of Confederation and those of the Constitutional Convention on compromise, for the first draft of the Constitution, and for the final draft-have been grouped together."

Capacity and protective system.—The working capacity of the National Archives Building is made up of the stack units and the spaces occupied by the various clerical and administrative sections of the organization. The original contract provided for the construction of only a part of the stack units. Excluding the Exhibition Hall, public corridors, foyers, general lobbies, and the like, the areas in cubic feet and square feet as prepared by the Procurement Division from the architect's drawings are estimated as follows:

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