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WASHINGTON DC

CAPITOL : UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Prepared by : bhanu khanna

LOCATION location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the


surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia

UNITED STATES CAPITOL WASHINGTON D.C.


GREATER WASHINGTON EXPANSION SINCE 1900

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a geographical area of 68.3
square miles (176.9 km2), 61.4 square miles (159.0 km2) of which is land, and the
remaining 6.9 square miles (17.9 km2) (10.16%) of which is water.

Washington is surrounded by the states of Virginia (on its southwest side) and Maryland (on
its southeast, northeast, and northwest sides); it interrupts those states' common border,
which is the south shore of the Potomac River both upstream and downstream from the
District. The portion of the Potomac River that passes Washington is virtually entirely within
the District's border, as the District extends to the south bank. The city contains the historic
"federal city", the territory of which was formerly part of those two adjacent states before
they respectively ceded it for the national capital. The land ceded from Virginia was
returned by Congress in 1847, so what remains of the modern District was all once part of

Downtown (The National


Mall, East End, West
End, Waterfront)
The center of it all: The
National Mall, D.C.'s main
theater district, Smithsonian
and non-Smithsonian
museums galore, fine dining,
Chinatown, the Verizon
Center, the Convention
Center, the central business
district, the White House,
West Potomac Park, the
Kennedy Center, George
Washington University, the
beautiful Tidal Basin, and the
new Nationals Park.

North Central (Dupont


Circle, Shaw, Adams Morgan
Columbia Heights, LeDroit Park)
D.C.'s trendiest and most diverse
neighborhoods and destination
number one for live music and
clubbing, as well as loads of
restaurants, Howard University,
boutique shopping, beautiful
embassies, Little Ethiopia, jazz on
U Street, and lots of nice hotels.
West (Georgetown, Upper
Northwest)
The prestigious, wealthy side of
town, home to the historic village
of Georgetown with its energetic
nightlife, colonial architecture,
and fine dining; the National Zoo;
the massive National Cathedral;
bucolic Dumbarton Oaks; the
bulk of D.C.'s high-end shopping;
more Embassy Row; American
University; and several nice
dining strips.

East (Capitol
Hill, Near
Northeast, Brookland-PetworthTakoma,Anacostia)
Starting at the Capitol Building
and Library of Congress, and
fanning out past grandiose
Union Station and the historic
Capitol Hill neighborhood, to
the
less
often
visited
neighborhoods by Gallaudet
and Catholic University, historic
Anacostia,
D.C.'s
"Little
Vatican" around the National
Shrine, the huge National
Arboretum,
the
Kenilworth
Aquatic
Gardens,
offbeat
nightlife in the Atlas District,
and a handful of other eccentric
neighborhoods to explore.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA- HISTORY


Washington,
is founding
a city
Three of the D.C.,
nation's
borne
politics,
by politics,
fathers,ofJames
Madison,
Thomas
and
for politics.
the
Jefferson,
andIt wasn't
Alexander
first
nationalcapital:
Hamilton,
agreed in 1790 to a
Baltimore,
Lancaster,
compromise
location Annapolis,
for a new
Trenton,
even on
New largely
York
national and
capital
City
all
tried landhosting
uninhabited
along the
the
national
For Mida
Potomac government.
River in the
time,
it
seemed
Atlantic. The
exact
locationlike
was
Philadelphia
would Washington,
stake a
left up to George
claim
as home
to the federal
who carved
a diamond-shaped
government.
withouttheof tacit
federal district
land
sanction
donated ofby thethePennsylvania
states of
government,
chasedwhichthe
Maryland and Virginia,
just
lawmakers
outto ofbe the
so happened
nearcity
his
to
Princeton.
That Vernon.
incident
plantation
at Mount
The
made
clear that
nation's
new territory
also the
included
two
capital
to be
existing would need
settlements:
independent
Georgetown, from
on the powerful
Maryland
state
and that
side governments
of the Potomac,
and
the
southern Virginia,
states
would
Alexandria,
at
the
refuse
accept tip.
a northern
district'stosouthern
capital.

FORMATION OF THE

WORLD POWER

The LEnfant and Ellicott Plans

HISTORY
1791 -1800

Andrew Ellicot, Thackara & Vallance

Pierre Charles LEnfant

At the request of George Washington, Pierre LEnfant, a French volunteer in the Continental Army, presented a baroque city plan for
the new Capital inspired by French city planning, particularly the plan of Chanteloup [Miller 2002]. The city is oriented north along
16th street and bounded by the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Boundary Street (modern-day Florida Avenue), which follows the
base of the Piedmont Escarpment.Thomas Jefferson was able to persuade the Congress to grant a Southern site for the new Capital,
but lost out on both his own plan for the new city as well as a design for the Capitol building submitted anonymously.

Notoriously difficult to work with, LEnfant, despite Washingtons favor, was eventually dismissed from the project and the final plan
for the city was based on surveys conducted by Andrew Ellicott (shown here in the same scale as LEnfants plan) with modifications
made by Jefferson, which shifted and straightened Massachusetts and Pennsylvania Avenues as well as eliminating the destination
quality of the reservations LEnfant had set aside for Statues, Columns, Obelisks, or any other ornaments such as the different states
may choose to erect.

1860-1900
This
Birds-Eye
drawing
looking south shows the
emergance of the Mall as a
civic space by 1860.
Andrew Jackson Downing, at
the
request
of
Millard
Fillmore, produced a plan for
the Mall and the parks north
and south of the White
House.
Downings
work
exemplifies
the
natural
landscape trend of the time,
heavily
influenced
by
Cambridges
Mt.
Auburn
Cemetery
and
pastoral
notions of the young nation.
In opposition to LEnfants
geometric plan for the city,
Downings
Mall
featured
serpentine
paths
through
pastoral plantings of trees
and past irregularly shaped
water features.

Olmstead, Sr. Plan for the Capitol Grounds


Despite Washingtons emergence as an urban center,
Olmsteads plan for the Capitol Grounds to a distictively
pastoral approach and was a precursor to the McMillan
commission plan for the entire Federal Area.

Frederick Law Olmstead Sr., Architect of the Capitol. 1874.

Perspective and Plan for McMillan Plan


The McMillan Plan envisioned a Federal
District set apart from the rest of the city
based on City Beautiful premises. Emphasis
was placed on unifying the Mall and claiming
the area between Pennsylvania Avenue and
the Mall for Federal business. The Lincoln and
Jefferson Memorials would form new endpoints for the civic structure.
The Mall as envisioned by the McMillan
Commission is pretty much as it is today. The
area on either side of the Mall is strictly for
Federal uses and the Mall itself is home to the
Smithsonian Museums and any number of
monuments.
The
combination
of
the
McMillan
improvements, FDRs expansion of the
Federal Government, and the impending War
led to a rapid increase of population by 1940.

By the early 1900s, L'Enfant's vision of a grand national capital had become marred
by slums and randomly placed buildings, including a railroad station on the National
Mall. A plan enacted by Congress in 1901 beautified Washington's ceremonial core,
re-landscaping the Capitol grounds and the National Mall, clearing slums, and
establishing a new city-wide park system, finally developing the city into L'Enfant's
intended grand design.

The New Deal spending of the 1930s led to the construction of even more
federal buildings, memorials, and museums. Government activity only increased
with the coming of World War II and the city hasn't looked back since.

Washingtons civic structure was


envisioned by LEnfant as a series of
sight-reciprical squares, fountains,
and wide diagonal avenues anchored
by a Grand Avenue, 400 feet in
breadth, and about a mile in length,
boardered with gardens, ending in a
slope from the houses on each side
and
communication
from
the
Presidents house and the Congress
house,
present-day
Pennsylvania
Avenue. The skeleton of LEnfants
civic structure remains, though the
original triangle has been extended
into a cruciform with the reclamation
of
the
Tidal
Basin,
and
the
Smithsonian Museums occupy the
place of the houses along what is now
now as the National Mall.Other than
DuPont Circle, the importance of the
Squares as part of the civic structure
has
never
been
realized,
nor
LEnfants intention that downtown
develop east of the Capitol.

WASHINGTON D.C. TODAY

WASHINGTON MONUMENT

CONGRESS HALL

DUPONT CIRCLE

SKYILNE

Washington, D.C., is an impressive capital city that physically expresses many


central values of the modern United States. It gloriously honors the nation's
commitment to democracy and political life in impressive government
buildings. The capital also maintains the nation's historical memory in
monuments along the mall that commemorate key events and people. Finally,
the city also announces the nation's commitment to knowledge and human
achievement in the spectacular SMITHSONIAN MUSEUMS.

ARIEL VIEW : THE NATIONAL MALL

The monumental core of the city consists of the National Mall and many key federal buildings,
monuments, and museums, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and
the National Air and Space Museum. Its layout is based on that proposed by the McMillan
Commission report in 1901.

LINCOLN MEMORIAL
CONSTITUTION GARDENS
THE ELLIPSE

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

WHITE HOUSE
WASHINTON MONUMENT
FEDERAL TRIANGLE
SMITHSONIAN MUSEUMS
REFLECTING POOL
U.S. CAPITOL
CONGRESS LIBRARY

LE ENFANTS PLAZA
JEFFERSON MEMORIAL

SUPREME COURT
SENATE BLDGS.

CIVIC PLAN OF WASHINGTON D.C.

The problem with the Mall is:


It is too far away from the urban center of residences and offices
The McMillan Plan effectively pushed all functions other than government
administration north of Pennsylvania Avenue. This seperation of the Mall from the
populations everyday space means that it can only function as a destination instead
of an integrated fabric.
It looses its legibility west of the Washington Monument
With no built edge to the south, the Mall falls into the Potomac and looses its
legibility as a space instead of a landscape.
It is strictly ceremonial space
As ceremonial space, the primary use of the Mall is to look at it, an activity engaged
in primarily by visitors instead of residents. Furthermore, it is not on the way to
any part of the city, but stands apart, situated between the River and the City.

HERE YOU CAN EASILY FIND THAT ACTUALY THE MALL IS TOO FAR
FROM REST OF THE CITY

URBAN-IS-NATION

BUILDING TYPES & URBAN FABRIC


The detatched house was introduced in the
outskirts of the District in the early Twentieth
Century. Originally laid out in traditional blocks
with similar setbacks, the block gave way to the
suburban serpentine street system typical of the
mid and late Twentieth Century. This building type
does not occur within the section of the city
planned by LEnfant.
Demand for stately space in the Capital drove the
development of Urban Villas, which were
detached buildings with a processional entramce.
Often housing either diplomatic or charitable
functions, these are most prevelant on 16th Street
and Embassy Row along Wisconsin Avenue.

The institutional building is a significant part of


the Washington landscape. Typically governmental
or museums, they are set apart as neo-classical
objects in an often idealized landscape.
During Urban Renewal in the Southwest quadrant,
modern buildings were sited much the same way
without the landscaping.

GOOD URBAN SPACE


Good Urban Space Must

a) be near people
Density is necessary for urbanity. People must be present and fill the space. Density is often thought of in terms of
residential density, but this is not the only way to think about it. Downtown Washington is a bustling urban place
based entirely on the density of office space and the long-hour work habits of those who occupy those offices.

b) be accessible to people both in reality and perceptually


People will use the spaces convenient to them, or perceived to be convenient. Urban spaces must be right outside the
door, more or less. Washingtons most famous space, the National Mall, is not its most used because it is
inconvenient for the average Washingtonian to get to.

c) be legible to people
Space must have edges, paths, and centers that allow people to read it without effort to orient themselves and
understand where they are. The easiest and most effective way to do this is to reference the environment that they are
already used toone of streets bounded by buildings, spaces with hard edges and corners, and monumental
landmarks.

d) allow multiple layers of activity and movement


Urban space must be appropriable for the needs of the moment. The street can simultaneously serve the needs of
transportation, marketplace, and recreationthe square as recreation for the more fortunate and residential for the
less fortunate. Cities like Paris, Cambridge, and DC are not great because of their architecture, but because of the
human zoo occupying the spaces of those cities.

STREETS & SPACES


Streets and spaces were an important part of LEnfants plan for the new Capital. While the overall pattern of the streets
and diagonal avenues is well documented. LEnfant was also particular about the width and lay out of the street section.
LEnfant conceived of the Mall as The Grand Avenue, with a width of 400 feet. The diagonals, including the armature
streets of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, were to be 160 feet in width. Streets leading to public buildings or
markets were to be 130 feet and others were to be either 110 or 90 feet in width.

Massachusetts Avenue
Scott Circle
LEnfant also planned for reservations of space at key intersections and established a Neo-Classical program of siting
buildings or other monuments in these spaces. While many of the spaces have collected statues and monuments, the full
intention of LEnfant has never been realized. Such wide streets and numerous spaces, combined with the height limit
of buildings in Washington give the public space a particular character. The city is bright and open. Furthermore, the
building setbacks provide space for trees and gardens which are in abundance in the city. This character continues
beyond the original area of the city, and while the grid and diagonal system of streets breaks down north of Florida
Avenue, the commitment to openness and green continues.

Dupont Circle
DuPont Circle is Washingtons best example
of how LEnfants reservations and squares
could work. A vibrant park and traffic rotary
combined, the Circle is at the intersection of
three major diagonal avenues and the center
of the Dupont Circle Neighborhood, a mix
of commercial, retail, and residential uses.
The space of the Circle is delineated by
corner buildings, streets, medians, and trees.
The Dupont Circle neighbourhood is
situated northeast of Georgetown and
surrounds Dupont Circle, a park centred at
the
intersection
of
five
streets:
Connecticut, New
Hampshire,
and
Massachusetts avenues and 19th and P
streets.during the Great Depression of the
1930s, when residents were forced to sell
their Dupont Circle homes, many of which
were converted into boarding houses,
offices, private clubs, and embassies; other
homes eventually were torn down and
replaced
with
mid-rise
apartment,
commercial, and office buildings.

DUPONT CIRCLE AT PRESENT

MAKING CITY ECO-FRIENDLY

NEW BOUNDARIES ALONG THE POTOMAC AND EASTERN


RIVERS ADD TO CLEAR AIR INTO CITY

PREPARING NEW PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLING PATHS ALONG


THE BUSY AREAS OF CITY AND RELEIVING THE CONJESTION

FEW
AREAS
REQUIRE
PHYSICAL
BARRIERS.. RENOWATING THE ROADS
AND INTERSECTION POINTS

MAKING THE NEW FOCAL POINTS AND SETTING TO NEW


EXPANSION OF BOUNDARIES

PREPARED GREEN BELT OF CITY

STREETSCAPING AND PLAZAS OF NEW URBAN DEVELOPMENT

ROAD NETWORK

HERE YOU CANEASILY VIEW THE DIAGONAL CUTTINH ARTRIEL ROADS ON GRID
PATTERNED ROAD NETWORK

City layout

The city is split into four quadrants of unequal size, which radiate out from
the Capitol Building: Northwest (NW), Northeast (NE), Southeast (SE), and
Southwest (SW). The NW quadrant is by far the largest and SW the smallest.
Addresses in the city always include the quadrant abbreviation, e.g., 1000 H Street
NE. Take note of the quadrant, otherwise you may find yourself on the exact
opposite side of town from your destination!
City streets are generally laid out in a grid, with east-west streets primarily named
with letters (AW) and north-south streets named with numbers. The street
numbers and letters increase as the distance from the Capitol building increases.
The numerous diagonal avenues, many named after states, that serve as the city's
principal arteries. The street numbers and letters increase with distance from the
Capitol. The grid has a few peculiarities that are a legacy from the city's foundation.
The City of Washington originally occupied only a portion of the total area of the
District. As a result, outside of what is now often called the "L'Enfant City" streets
do not strictly adhere to the grid system. However, you will find that many street
names were simply extended where practical and, past the letter "W", east-west
streets loosely follow other alphabetical naming patterns.
Curious to note, visitors to Washington will quickly discover that there is no "J" St.
This is because, until the mid-nineteenth century, the letters "I" and "J" were
indistinguishable when written. Following that same idea, "I" Street is often written
as "Eye" Street, to distinguish it from the letter "L" and the numeral "1", and "Q"
Street, is often written "Que," "Cue," or "Queue."

THE STRONG GRID IRON PATTERN AND DEDICATED DIAGONAL ROADS NOT ONLY
MANAGE THE TRAFFIC BUT REDUCE THE LONG DISTANCES FOR EASY FAR
MOVEMENTS. SEE HOW ROADS ARE TURENED GREEN THRU PLANTATION WITH
SMALL CENTERD PATCH OF PARKS AND ROUND ABOUTS.

WALKING DOWN THE STREETS OF DOWNTOWN


WASHINGTON D.C.

Most of the city's attractions are located near each other, such as the
museums and monuments along the National Mall, which makes
driving or taking Metro between locations either impractical or in some
cases impossible.

D.C. is a walking
and biking town
It's no surprise
that D.C. has been
cited as the fittest
city
in
the
country; residents
and visitors get a
lot
of
exercise
simply
getting
around the city!
Even if you plan
on
taking
the
Metro,
bus,
or
driving
(not
recommended) to
get
downtown,
you will often find
yourself walking,
biking, or taking a
pedicab for the
remainder of the
day.

RAIL NETWORK
Amtrak trains arrive
from all over the
country, particularly
the
Northeast
Corridor (Boston-toRichmond). All stop
at Union Station (Red
Line Metro), a few
blocks from the U.S.
Capitol
Building.
The Capitol
Limited comes
from Chicago,
passing
through Pittsburgh a
nd Cleveland
while
the Cardinal runs to
Chicago
passing
thru Cincinnati and I
ndianapolis. A few
lines also stop in
adjacent Alexandria,
Virginia, very close
to the King Street

The Metrorail is D.C.'s intracity train system. It is


composed of six color-coded
rail lines that run primarily
underground
within
the
District and above ground in
the
nearby
suburbs.
Washingtonians are proud of
their Metro system. It's clean,
safe, user-friendly, and sports
a surprisingly elegant and
pleasing brutalist aesthetic.
Metrobus operates
hundreds of routes throughout
the D.C. metro area. Metrobus
will take you places hard to
reach via Metrorail or the
Circulator, and can be a really
convenient, comfortable way
to travel. In addition, some
Metrobus lines operate later
into the night than Metrorail.
WMATA's
website
publishes maps
and
timetables for all routes, as
well as system maps for its
entire network.

METRO RAIL AND


METRO BUS MAPS
WASHINGTON AND
GREATER
WASHINGTON D.C.

PARKS AND GREEN BELTS

ANACOSTIA
MARSHY LANDS
OR
WETLANDS

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, 1550


Anacostia Avenue The only aquatic
gardens managed by the National Park
Service in the country is a marvelous
off-the-beaten-path destination in D.C.

The Kenilworth marsh is all that remains of the vast marshlands that once covered the riverbanks of the
Anacostia (before being dredged for development), and is the only place where you can really imagine
the District before it became America's capital. The prime attraction are the cultivated ponds, full of
waterlilies, but it's also a worthy destination for the riverfront trail, greenhouses, and birdwatching.

Rock Creek Park


If you look on a map, Rock Creek
Park is evidently the District's
central respiratory system, bisecting
the city north of the Anacostia River,
and covering nearly 2,000 acres of
thickly forested hills. It's a national
park,
full
of
deer
(who
overpopulate, due to lack of
predators),
squirrels,
rabbits,
raccoons, birds, and even a few
coyotes. The paved biking/running
trail is one of the nation's best, and
it extends all the way from the
Lincoln
Memorial
way
out
into Maryland (it also connects with
the Mount Vernon trail inNorthern
Virginia). But there are tons more
paths, from the hiking trail network
to bridle paths, as well as a
boatload of picnic spots, a golf
course, a variety of Rangerled/educational programs, and even
a boat rental center on the Potomac

BIBLIOGRAPHY
DC GIS. Washington, D.C. [http://dcgis.dc.gov/] 2005.
Green, Joshua. Monumental failure: why we should commercialize the National Mall Washington Monthly. Oct 2002.
Miller, Iris, 1938- Washington in maps, 1606-2000 / Iris Miller ; [contributing authors, Timothy Davis ... et al.]. New York,
N.Y. : Rizzoli, 2002.
Passonneau, Joseph. Washington through two centuries : a history in maps and images / Joseph R. Passonneau. New York :
Monacelli Press, 2004.