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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Keeping It Green

Make No Little Plans

 

— Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —

 
Keeping it Green Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
1. Keeping it Green Marker
Inscription.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the youngest agency housed here in the Federal Triangle. Established as an independent agency in 1970, EPA protects human health and the environment through science, transparency, and the rule of law.

This building, designed by San Francisco architect Arthur Brown, Jr., originally housed the Interstate Commerce Commission, which regulated transportation of goods between the states. Like its Federal Triangle neighbors, the building was richly finished inside with limestone and marble ornamented with decorative paintings and carvings. Adorning the pediment behind you is Wheeler Williams's Commerce and Communications, dominated by the messenger Mercury leaning against his steed while being blown through the clouds. An American eagle perches majestically over his shoulder. Just ahead is Interstate Transportation by Edward McCartan, its nude female reclining on a seahorse amid dolphins symbolizing the energy of interstate transportation.

To showcase the EPA's presence in the complex, these buildings were rehabilitated between 1994 and 2001 by the U.S. General Services Administration
Doors of EPA East Building image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
2. Doors of EPA East Building
Doors of nickel silver open to a restored lobby inside the EPA East Building.
in partnership with EPA. While adhering to strict historic preservation standards, the renovation introduced 21st-century green design innovations such as recycled building materials, low-emission paints, energy-saving lighting and mechanical systems, low-flow water fixtures and supplementary rainwater cisterns.

The EPA buildings overlook Constitution Avenue, the path of the old Washington Canal. Conceived by city designer Pierre L'Enfant and designed by architect Benjamin Latrobe, the canal made Tiber Creek into a navigable waterway connecting the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. Barges transported materials to build the new city via the canal. Eventually, though, the canal became an open sewer. It was paved over in the 1870s.
 
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 12.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicEnvironmentLaw Enforcement. In addition, it is included in the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail series list.
 
Location. 38° 53.537′ N, 77° 1.761′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is on Constitution Avenue Northwest (U.S. 1/50) west of 12th Street Northwest, on the right
EPA Scientist and Keystone image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
3. EPA Scientist and Keystone
Left: An EPA scientist collects samples of desert life forms to check for contamination near Las Vegas, NV, 2009.

Right: This limestone face is one of 11 keystones you can see over entrances and windows in this complex.
when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20229, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Making A Modern Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); A National Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Legacy of War (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Renovating the Fountain (about 300 feet away); Public Art for a Modern Museum (about 300 feet away); From Workers to Environment (about 400 feet away); The Division (about 400 feet away); Our Tax Dollars (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Federal Triangle.
 
Commerce and Communications image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
4. Commerce and Communications
Wheeler Williams, his assistant, and the horse-model stand below the clay version of Williams's Commerce and Communications.
Washington Canal image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
5. Washington Canal
The Washington Canal's route from the Potomac River to the front of the U.S. Capitol, and then south to the Anacostia River can be seen in blue on this 1862 map.
Back of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
6. Back of Marker
Washington Canal image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
7. Washington Canal
Artist Seth Eastman's 1851 sketch of the Washington Canal, which ran where Constitution Avenue is today, captured the base of the unfinished Washington Monument and the Smithsonian Institution's 'castle.'
Map of the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail System image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
8. Map of the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail System
Keeping it Green Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
9. Keeping it Green Marker
Rain Gardens image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
10. Rain Gardens
One of several informational markers around the EPA Building which discuss the use of green space and landscaping around Federal Triangle.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 431 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on August 15, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Sep. 25, 2020