Federal Triangle in Northwest Washington in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Grandeur for the People
Make No Little Plans
Federal Triangle Heritage Trail
The National Archives, keeper of the nation's founding documents and most important federal government records, occupies this important spot halfway between the Capitol and the White House. Before the Archives building was constructed, federal records were stored haphazardly all over town. The nation's first archivist began centralizing them here in 1935.
In 1898 the United States won the Spanish-American War, and national leaders began questioning whether their capital city reflected the nation's new importance in world affairs. This viewpoint, the centennial in 1900 of the federal government's arrival in Washington in 1800, and concerns of the nation's foremost architects spurred the Senate Park Commission, led by Senator James McMillan, to develop a new city plan. The McMillan Plan revived and expanded elements of Pierre L'Enfant's 1791 vision for the capital. It also looked to the Beaux-Arts style of buildings at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition (world's fair). The fair awed visitors and launched the City Beautiful movement, which promoted classically inspired groups of buildings for governmental or institutional
In 1926 President Calvin Coolidge signed the Public Buildings Act, revived the McMillan Plan, and assigned Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon to work with leading American architects to create the Federal Triangle. It stands today as the nation's largest great public project combining classical architecture and sculpture.
The U.S. Navy Memorial across the street was dedicated in 1987, the Navy's 212th anniversary.
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 2.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Government & Politics • War, Spanish-American. In addition, it is included in the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #30 Calvin Coolidge series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1935.
Location. 38° 53.6′ N, 77° 1.4′ W. Marker is in Northwest Washington in Washington, District of Columbia. It is in Federal Triangle. Marker is at the intersection of Pennsylvania Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 700 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20408, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (within shouting distance of this marker); The United States Navy Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome Aboard! (within shouting distance of this marker); America's Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); General Winfield Scott Hancock (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ocean Piece (about 400 feet away); The Navy Memorial - from Bow to Stern (about 400 feet away); Temple for Our History (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northwest Washington.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 30, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 816 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3. submitted on September 13, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A photo of the marker reverse. • Can you help?