When describing lions on the Southern Building’s facade, the word “festooned” seems appropriate. The Southern Building has 274 open-mouthed, male lion heads set in three different types of ornamentation. I have yet to find more lions depicted in any single piece of art or architecture in Washington, D.C.
The lions of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial were the inspiration for this site. They had made an impression on me, longbefore they gained prominence in the opening credits of “House of Cards” on Netflix. I have walked by these great cats, rendered in blue-green bronze, nearly every day for over a decade and they have become old friends that greet me warmly each morning. They have always stood out as my favorite feature of the sprawling memorial though the intricate and extensive battle scenes that sit to either side of them, and the towering statue of Grant on horseback get more attention.