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ABOUT THE COALITION
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
   January 2014

HISTORY AND RESOURCES
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• Illustrated History
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NATIONAL MALL 3RD CENTURY INITIATIVE

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• 2010 Annual Report (PDF)
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• 2008 Annual Report (PDF)
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• 2006 Annual Report (PDF)
• 2005 Annual Report (PDF)

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THE WWII MEMORIAL
• WWII Memorial Archive

WASHINGTON MONUMENT
• Washington Monument Archive  Updated 8/26/2011

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A Monument to Democracy

History of the Mall

The 1791 L'Enfant Plan and the Mall

FIGURE 2: The L'Enfant Plan of 1791 (left) and detail of the Mall area (right). Click on left map for higher resolution (236k).

In 1791, at George Washington's request, Peter (Pierre)* L'Enfant drew up a plan for a city 10-miles square and centered on the Congress House (Capitol).

The L'Enfant Plan laid out the Nation's Capital as a physical embodiment of the newly ratified U.S. Constitution. The Capitol Building marked the city's center and highest spot. Broad diagonal avenues named for the 13 colonies overlaid a grid of residential streets. Pennsylvania, site of the Constitutional Convention, gave its name to the avenue connecting -- and separating -- the Capitol and White House. Circles and rectangles formed at the intersections of avenues and streets were to be sites for monuments, memorials, and public buildings.

Within this vision of great symbolic spaces, vistas, and public buildings, L'Enfant planned the Mall as a 400-foot wide Grand Avenue (shown in yellow in the plan), extending from the Capitol westward to the Washington Monument (marked "A" in the plan) at the banks of the Potomac River where it intersected the White House axis (marked "President’s House" in the plan). He described the Mall as a "place of general resort" and, echoing Thomas Jefferson, a "public walks", a tree-lined promenade flanked by public buildings such as theaters, academies, and assembly halls.

*We now know that L’Enfant called himself "Peter" and not Pierre. See Kenneth R. Bowling, Peter Charles L’Enfant: Vision, Honor, and Male Friendship in the Early American Republic, 2002.

Next: The 19th Century and the McMillan Plan of 1901-1902

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THE NATIONAL MALL


VISITOR MAP & GUIDE

AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
   • The 1791 L'Enfant Plan and the Mall
   • The 19th Century and the McMillan Plan of 1901-1902
   • The Mall as Public Forum in the Twentieth Century
   • The Mall Today and the Need for Protection
   • Selected Bibliography

MEMORIALS & MONUMENTS ON THE MALL

DC MONUMENTS

ACCESS AND CIRCULATION

WHO'S WHO ON THE MALL

THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

SECURITY PLAN
   July 11, 2002, NCPC Releases Security Plan for Public Comment
   August 2, 2002, Coalition Seeks Extension of Public Comment Period
   • Read the Plan


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