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

Park Designers

Meridan Hill Park, National Historic Landmark

 
 
Park Designers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
1. Park Designers Marker
Inscription. Noted landscape architects George Burnap and Horace Peaslee, who worked in the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds, designed Meridian Hill Park under the guidance of the Commission of Fine Arts. By 1914, Burnap had completed his basic design: a linear series of elements that included the Mall, the Great Terrace, the Hillside Gardens with Cascades, and the Lower Plaza with the memorial to President Buchanan.

After Burnap returned to private practice in 1917, Peaslee submitted revisions that greatly simplified the Mall. As automobiles were rapidly replacing horse-drawn carriages in the city, he eliminated vehicular access into the park. He added a pedestrian entrance on 15th Street and shifted the Buchanan Memorial off the main axis to the east of the plaza. When park construction began in 1918, landscape designer Ferrruccio Vitale was hired to develop a planting plan for Meridian Hill Park. Following Peaselee's lead, Vitale greatly simplified the lower park. He eliminated the 16th Street entrance to the Great Terrace, the bridge over the Cascades and the oval amphitheater, and simplified the pathways to the Hillside Gardens.

For more information go to: www.nps.gov/mehi
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 
Park Designers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
2. Park Designers Marker
55.332′ N, 77° 2.128′ W. Marker is in Columbia Heights, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from 15th St. NW. Click for map. This is one of four markers on the eastern side of Meridian Hill Park along the park paths paralleling 15th Street just south of the comfort station. It is across the street from 2407 15th St NW Washington, DC 20009. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Visionary and Park Champion (here, next to this marker); Creating the "City Beautiful" (here, next to this marker); Design Challenges (here, next to this marker); Mansions, Parks, and People (within shouting distance of this marker); An American Meridian (within shouting distance of this marker); College Hill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Campus to Army Camps and Back Again (about 300 feet away); Art for the People (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Columbia Heights.
 
Also see . . .  Meridan Hill Park. This URL appears on the marker. (Submitted on March 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made Features
 
Park Designers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
3. Park Designers Marker
This marker is on the far right.
Pouring Concrete image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
4. Pouring Concrete
Though funds to build the park were slow in coming, designers scrambled to stay ahead of construction crews. Here, the pathway leading to Dante, already installed in the Hillside Gardens, is formed and poured.
Design Model image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
5. Design Model
Design model for the Hillside Gardens, Cascades and Lower Plaza.
Drinking Fountain Sketch image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
6. Drinking Fountain Sketch
Peaslee generated hundreds of sketches for park furnishings and details, such as this fountain.
Drinking Fountain image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
7. Drinking Fountain
Drinking Fountain Boxed Up image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
8. Drinking Fountain Boxed Up
The Lodge image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
9. The Lodge
"The lodge, first referred to as a comfort station, originally contained an office for Park Police as well as Men and Women's restrooms on either side. Several changes have taken place over time. First, the office was removed, creating an open air seating area. Then the restrooms were also removed, converting the lodge to a pavilion. The lodge has been restored to its original use as a comfort station." -- NPS Classified Structures List
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 333 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on January 28, 2017.
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