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photo: Carol M. Highsmith
The Pension Building (now the National Building Museum) was designed by Montgomery C. Meigs who served as quartermaster general during the Civil War. The building is of red brick with a three-foot-tall terra cotta sculptural band between the first and second floor depicting Civil War military scenes. The building’s Great Hall (an early version of an atrium) is an extraordinary space, and has been the site of many a presidential inaugural ball.