Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Temple for Our History
Make No Little Plans
—Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —
More than one million people visit each year to see those records and others on exhibit. Thousands research their family histories using census, land, or military pension records. Others delve into the papers of Congress and the Supreme Court, military records from the Revolution onward, documents pertaining to Native Americans, and more.
For decades Congress debated where and how to store America’s most precious documents. Over time many were damaged or destroyed. In 1913 Congress directed the treasury secretary to plan a National Archives building. Construction began in 1931, and three years later President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation creating the National Archives as a government agency.
Architect John Russell Pope, who also designed the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art, planned the building to stand out from the
At the stairs are James Earle Fraser’s Heritage, with mother holding baby and urn filled with ashes of past generations, as well as Guardianship, whose protective sword and lion skin convey the need to safeguard records for future generations.
The National Archives and Records Administration maintains billions of records nationwide in presidential libraries, regional archives, and federal records centers, and a research facility in College Park, Maryland.
Construction proceeds on the building that President Herbert Hoover called “this temple of our history.” This building squarely aligns with the city’s street grid, unlike its Federal Triangle neighbors that face the diagonal Pennsylvania Avenue. National Archives and Records Administration
After 28 years on display at the Library of Congress, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence arrive via Marine Corps armored personnel carrier and military escort for placement in the National Archive, 1952. Library of Congress
In this 1938 view of the National Archives, you can see the pediment sculpture Recorder of the Archives, by
A paper conservator treats the Constitution before re-housing it during the 2000-2005 renovation of the National Archives building. National Archives and Records Administration
Citizens view the Constitution in the newly renovated Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, 2004. Photography by Earl McDonald, National Archives and Records Administration
Illustration on reverse:
A workman surveys the Corinthian capitals at the tops of the National Archives’ columns, the most elaborate in the Federal Triangle.
National Archives and Records Administration
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 15.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 53.533′ N, 77° 1.414′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Constitution Avenue Northwest (U.S. 50) east of 9th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at the Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The American Elm that Grew Along with America (within shouting distance of this marker); Nathan Hale (within shouting distance of this marker); Grandeur for the People (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pollinator Profile: Hummingbirds (about 400 feet away); In Memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (about 500 feet away); How can you help pollinators? (about 500 feet away); Where do pollinators live? (about 500 feet away); When does pollination happen? (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Federal Triangle.
Categories. • Government • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 19, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 29, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 495 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1. submitted on June 29, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2. submitted on October 5, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 6. submitted on June 29, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 7. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 8. submitted on June 30, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 9. submitted on August 26, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 10. submitted on June 30, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 11. submitted on June 29, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on June 30, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.