Downtown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Western Plaza, Pennsylvania Avenue
Inscribed on the upper terrace are historic quotations about Washington. Low walls separate the plaza from surrounding traffic. Eleven large urns rest on top of these walls and contain seasonal planting. The upper map terrace has a grass lawn where the Mall occurs and inlaid bronze plans of the White House and the Capitol located at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The inlays illustrate L'Enfant's intention to have these two buildings balance each other and symbolize two main branches of government. The siting of the Treasury in the 19th century blocked the view of the White House and obscured this relationship.
L'Enfant's plan of Washington combines two orders of scale. The giant order is the diagonal avenues that sometimes terminate in a building or a monument. This order characterizes the federal scale of the city. The minor order is the rectangular grid pattern of the local structure of the city.
Western Plaza acknowledges both orders since it is shaped by the rectangular grid of the local scale and is an element within the giant order
[Model of the plaza with the pool (1), the White House (2), the Mall (3), L'Enfant's Plan (4), the Capitol (5), and the Pulaski Statue (6) identified by number.]
Location. 38° 53.74′ N, 77° 1.81′ W. Marker is in Downtown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW just west of 13th Street, NW. Touch for map. Marker is attached to the perimeter wall at the southeast corner of the plaza. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20004, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski (within shouting distance of this marker); The Great Seal of the United States (within shouting distance of this marker); Daniel Patrick Moynihan Place (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Freedom Plaza (about 300 feet away); The John A. Wilson Building (about 300 feet away); Washington, DC: Capital and City (about 400 feet away); Alexander Robey Shepherd (about 500 feet away); Julia Ward Howe (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
Additional keywords. Pierre L'Enfant; city planning.
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Government • Man-Made Features • Notable Buildings • Notable Places • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 14, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,070 times since then and 176 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 14, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 3, 4. submitted on September 13, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.