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The Capitol Building Could Have Had a Giant Chicken On Top

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Jason, Stephanie, Ethan and I put out a daily newsletter called Watercooler Ammo. This weekend we'll be sharing a few recent editions. If you'd like this kind of thing delivered to your inbox each morning, subscribe here!

Check out these design proposals for some of Washington D.C.'s most famous landmarks. From a giant chicken weather vane meant to adorn the federal building, to putting a George Washington statue on top of the monument, to a pyramid-style Lincoln Memorial, the designs and blueprints are all a part of the National Building Museum's incredible exhibition Unbuilt Washington.

Poking around the collection is pretty fun (try here). And while some of the images are just plain wacky, it's intriguing to think about how different the city might have looked had a few of these changes been implemented-especially if city planners had run with Leon Krier's notion of flooding the Mall and then creating Venice-style canals between the buildings.

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This Russian Kindergarten Looks Just Like a Castle
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A group of lucky kindergarteners in Russia don’t have to wear poufy dresses or plastic crowns to pretend they’re royalty. As Atlas Obscura reports, all they have to do is go to school.

In a rural area of Russia's Leninsky District sits a massive, pastel-colored schoolhouse that was built to resemble Germany's famed Neuschwanstein Castle. It has turrets and gingerbread-like moldings—and instead of a moat, the school offers its 150 students multiple playgrounds, a soccer field, a garden, and playhouses.

Tuition is 21,800 rubles (about $360) a month, but the Russian government subsidizes it to make it less expensive for parents. As for the curriculum: it’s designed to promote social optimism, and each month’s lesson plan is themed. (September, for example, will be career-focused.)

Take a video tour of the school below, or learn more on the school’s website.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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This Chinese Library's Interior Is Designed to Look Like an Infinite Tunnel of Books
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The Chinese city of Yangzhou is known for its graceful arched bridges and proximity to the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Architects kept these unique local features in mind while designing Zhongshuge Yangzhou, a new bookstore and library that was completed in 2016.

Designed by Shanghai studio XL-Muse Architects, the building has black, mirrored floors and arched ceilings that symbolize Yangzhou’s famous waterways and overpasses. The floor reflects the store’s curving shelves to create the illusion of a never-ending tunnel of books—a true bibliophile’s dream.

Learn more about Yangzhou’s unique library/bookstore below, courtesy of Great Big Story.

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