Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Open For Business
Make No Little Plans
— Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —
The monumental structure reflects the nation's prosperity when Louis Ayres of the New York firm of York and Sawyer designed it and when President Herbert Hoover laid the cornerstone in May 1929. A few months later, however, the world economy crashed, launching the Great Depression. Fortunately, construction on the Federal Triangle proceeded creating jobs that became harder to find as the depression deepened.
You are standing in the Federal Triangle, a group of buildings whose grandeur symbolizes the power and dignity of the United States. Located between the White House and the Capitol, these buildings house key agencies of the U.S. Government.
The Federal Triangle is united by the use of neoclassical revival architecture, drawing from styles of ancient Greece and Rome that have influenced public buildings throughout the ages. Although each structure was designed for a specific government department or agency, they all share limestone façades, red-tiled roofs and classical colonnades. Their architectural features, following traditions of the Parisian School of Fine Arts (École des Beaux-Arts), illustrate each building's original purpose. Most of the Federal Triangle was constructed between
In 1791 Pierre L'Enfant designed a city plan for the new cpaital in Washington under the direction of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The L'Enfant Plan overlaid broad avenues on a street grid with areas reserved for prominent buildings and parks. This area originally followed L'Enfant's vision as a center for businesses serving the municipal and federal governments. By the time of the Civil War (1861-1865), it had become a hodgepodge of boarding houses, stables, and light industry. This disarray, and the growing need for government office space, led to calls for redevelopment. In 1901 the Senate Park Commission, known as the McMillan Commission, created a new plan for Washington's parks and monumental areas and redefined the Triangle as a government center. In 1926 Congress authorized a massive building program that drew inspiration from classical architecture to create today's monumental Federal Triangle.
Make No Little Plans: Federal Triangle Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, D.C. Walking Trail. The self-guided, 1.75-mile tour of 16 signs offers about one hour of gentle exercise. Its theme comes from "Make no little plans, they have no magic
For more information on Federal Triangle buildings, please visit www.gsa.gov. For more information on DC neighborhoods and walking tours, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
Make No Little Plans: Federal Triangle Heritage Trail is produced by the U.S. General Services Administration in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation and Cultural Tourism DC.
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 8.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 53.658′ N, 77° 1.905′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 14th Street Northwest south of D Street Northwest, on the right when traveling north. Located in front of the Ronald Reagan Building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. To the Memory of Oscar S. Straus (within shouting distance of this marker); Alexander Robey Shepherd (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Completing the Triangle Washington, DC: Capital and City (about 400 feet away); The John A. Wilson Building (about 400 feet away); Marion Barry, Jr. (about 500 feet away); The Division (about 600 feet away); Flags of the World (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Federal Triangle.
Also see . . . National Aquarium: closure in 2013. (Submitted on February 22, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 420 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 8, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 9. submitted on September 13, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. 10. submitted on July 8, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.