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“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)
 

An American Meridian

Meridian Hill Park, National Historic Landmark

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
An American Meridian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
1. An American Meridian Marker
Inscription.  
Thomas Jefferson believed the surveyor's of the nation's capital city should set a new American Meridian, a north-south line running through both poles and the American continent.

This reference line, longitude 0° 0°, would aid navigation, mapmaking, and the development of property boundaries, all key to settling the capital and new western territories. But most of all, Jefferson wanted to reinforce America's Independence from Britain, where the Prime Meridian was established to serve the Royal Navy's global navigation. Today, while there are many meridian lines running through many continents, the internationally recognized Prime Meridian passes through Greenwich, England, not Washington D.C.

For more Information go to: www.nps.gov/mehi
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationScience & MedicineWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson series list.
 
Location.
An American Meridian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
2. An American Meridian Marker
38° 55.298′ N, 77° 2.125′ W. Marker is in Columbia Heights in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is on 15th Street Northwest north of Chapin Street Northwest, on the left when traveling north. The marker is located at the 15th street entrance to Meridian Hill Park just north of the intersection of Chapin Street and 15th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2401 15th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20009, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. College Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); Visionary and Park Champion (within shouting distance of this marker); Creating the "City Beautiful" (within shouting distance of this marker); Design Challenges (within shouting distance of this marker); Park Designers (within shouting distance of this marker); Art for the People (within shouting distance of this marker); Mansions, Parks, and People (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Envoy (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia Heights.
 
Also see . . .
1. www.nps.gov/mehi. This URL appears on the marker. (Submitted on March 16, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 

2. Washington Meridian. The DAR plaque mentioned on this marker. (Submitted on March 16, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Additional keywords.
An American Meridian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
3. An American Meridian Marker
Geography
 
Ellicott's Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
4. Ellicott's Map
Andrew Ellicott, the surveyor who worked with George Washington and designer Pierre L'Enfant to lay out the District of Columbia, established the American meridian along the center of 16th Street. At right is Ellicott's 1792 drawing of the District of Columbia based on L'Enfant's plan.
Fence Finial image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
5. Fence Finial
Today this American meridian is commemorated in the park by finials on the Euclid Street fence posts and a plaque at the 16th Street entrance. This plaque was presented by the American Daughters of the American Revolution to memorialize the location of the original marker.
Fence Finial image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
6. Fence Finial
DAR Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 10, 2007
7. DAR Plaque
This plaque is directly across the park at the 16th street portal.
1923 DAR Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 10, 2007
8. 1923 DAR Plaque
The stone marking the Washington Meridian was formerly located 52 feet, 9 inches west of this tablet which was presented by the Army and Navy Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
1804-1923
Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
9. Map
You Are Here.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 16, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 607 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on March 16, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 14, 2020