Browse Items (64 total)

Union soldiers monopolized the spaces of the National Mall during the Civil War. At the outset of the war the US Capitol was a work-in-progress. Despite the war Congress pushed for its completion as a symbol that the ideal of a United States would…

The McMillan Plan was presented to Congress and the public by its authors, the Senate Park Commission, in 1902. It described a comprehensive plan redesigning not only the National Mall but the entire system of parks in Washington, DC. Their proposed…

In 1870 the Army Corps of Engineers, headed by Major Nathaniel Michler, began dredging the Potomac to remove silt and improve ship traffic. Dredged material was dumped into the tidal flats along the Washington waterfront. In 1875 the project was…

The mud flats and marshland to the west of the Washington Monument (on the left side of this image) were called the Potomac Flats for most of the 1800s. In 1870, the Army Corps of Engineers began dredging the Potomac to remove silt and to deepen the…

This historical survey stone was established in 1793 to mark the prime meridian of the United States. It was also intended to mark the intersection of direct lines from the middle of the Capitol and the White House, but it is in fact a little off…

The Eisenhower Memorial is a proposed monument to the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. The proposed monument site is located on the south side of Independence Avenue, directly across from the National Air and Space Museum.…

Originally, Braddock's Rock was a sizable outcropping of Piedmont stone jutting into the Potomac. Called the "Key of all Keys," this rock became a starting point for surveyors drawing property lines for early settlers. In 1755, General Edward…

In 1791, President Washington appointed Thomas Johnson, Daniel Carroll, and David Stuart commissioners to supervise the planning, design, and construction of the new capital city and surrounding federal district. They oversaw the survey and land…

Thomas Jefferson worked with President George Washington to advocate that the nation's capitol be situated on the banks of the Potomac. His sketch of a layout for the federal city is the oldest known plan of Washington, DC, and he shared his ideas…

In the years preceding the Civil War, the area bordered by Pennsylvania Ave., 15th, and the "open sewer" of the Washington Canal was a slum characterized by rampant prostitution, muggings, and robberies. The population of this area increased during…
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