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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Northwest in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle

 
 
Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 22, 2008
1. Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker
Inscription.
The Original Plan
You are standing on Pennsylvania Avenue, the nation's symbolic Main Street. Known for inaugural and other parades and civic demonstrations, its importance dates back to Pierre L'Enfant's 1791 plan for the city of Washington. L'Enfant designed this broad, diagonal boulevard to connect the city's two most prominent buildings, the Capitol and the President's House (the White House). He envisioned as the nation and its government grew, that permanent public buildings of dignified design would line Pennsylvania Avenue. As the limestone facade on the International Revenue Service Building in front of you demonstrates, it would take almost two centuries to implement L'Enfant's original plan.

The Federal Triangle
The map that forms the background to this exhibit represents the 1928 plan developed by the National Capital Parks and Planning Commission. Based on the work of the McMillan Commission of 1901, it shows the proposed location of prominent government buildings collectively known as the Federal Triangle.

Washington as a National Work of Art
By 1900, the United States was ready to take its place on the world stage and efforts were renewed to restore L'Enfant's plan for the capital city. In 1916 Congress proclaimed its mission to create a "unified, organized and
Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 10, 2010
2. Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker
Map of the Federal Triangle, from the marker.
magnificent capital city to express by its permanence and grandeur, the power and stability of the Republic." Renowned architects were hired to design a monumental complex of executive office buildings in the triangle area between Pennsylvania Avenue and the newly restored Mall. Beginning with the IRS Building, most of the Federal Triangle was built between 1927 and 1939. But construction continued into the 1990s, as grand plans responded to political, social, and financial realities.
 
Location. 38° 53.664′ N, 77° 1.619′ W. Marker is in Northwest, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue NW and 11th Street NW, on the right when traveling east on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Click for map. Located in front of the Internal Revenue Service Building. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Preserving the Past (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pennsylvania Avenue (about 300 feet away); G-Men and G-Women (about 300 feet away); Appointed Rounds (about 500 feet away); U. S. Post Office Department (about 700
Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 10, 2010
3. Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker
Three pictures in lower left of the marker.
feet away); Arts and Artists (about 700 feet away); Daniel Patrick Moynihan Place (about 800 feet away); Our Tax Dollars (about 800 feet away).
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a map of the area around Federal Triangle under the original plan, with the Triangle highlighted. An inset map shows the area as built, indicating the position of the marker on both with colored dots.

In the lower portion of the are a set of photos showing the triangle as it appeared in the past and today. These photos include: The Old Post Office Building, View down Tenth Street and the Mall c. 1916, World Colombian Exposition 1893, several renderings of the Federal Triangle from 1928, a west looking view of Federal Triangle from the 1940s, The IRS buiding in 1934, The incomplete Great Circle in 1934, a planners model of Pennsylvania Avenue from 1964, protesters at the old Post Office in 1971, and a model of the final Triangle building plan in the 1980s.
 
Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 10, 2010
4. Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker
Four pictures in lower center of marker.
Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 10, 2010
5. Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker
Five pictures in the lower right of the marker.
Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 22, 2008
6. Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle Marker
The Old Post Office Building image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., January 10, 2010
7. The Old Post Office Building
The Great Circle image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 22, 2008
8. The Great Circle
Within Federal Triangle is the "great circle, formed as a courtyard. The building seen here houses the Interstate Commerce Commission. Below the building is a metro-rail stop.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,100 times since then and 112 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   7. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   8. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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