Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Make No Little Plans
—Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —
When this building was constructed, the Post Office Department was among the larger non-military employers in the nation. Postal service dates to 1775, when the Continental Congress, representing the 13 colonies, appointed Benjamin Franklin the first postmaster general. The ability of colonial military commanders to communicate by mail helped them defeat the British during the Revolution. In the new nation, postal service furthered democracy and growth by linking elected representatives with their constituents and businesses with their customers.
Although the Post Office Department became the U.S. Postal Service in 1971 and moved from the Federal Triangle, the building's plentiful inscriptions, sculptures, bas-reliefs,
This building was later occupied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and renamed to honor Special Agent Ariel Rios, who was killed in the line of duty. It now houses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headquarters.
You are standing in the Federal Triangle, a group of buildings whose grandeur symbolizes the power and dignity of the United States. Located between the White House and the Capitol, these buildings house key agencies of the U.S. Government.
The Federal Triangle is united by the use of neoclassical revival architecture, drawing from styles of ancient Greece and Rome that have influenced public buildings throughout the ages. Although each structure was designed for a specific government department or agency, they all share limestone façades, red-tiled roofs and classical colonnades. Their architectural features, following traditions of the Parisian School of Fine Arts (École des Beaux-Arts), illustrate each building's original purpose. Most of the Federal Triangle was constructed between 1927 and 1938. However, the Old Post Office and the John A. Wilson
In 1791 Pierre L'Enfant designed a city plan for the new cpaital in Washington under the direction of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The L'Enfant Plan overlaid broad avenues on a street grid with areas reserved for prominent buildings and parks. This area originally followed L'Enfant's vision as a center for businesses serving the municipal and federal governments. By the time of the Civil War (1861-1865), it had become a hodgepodge of boarding houses, stables, and light industry. This disarray, and the growing need for government office space, led to calls for redevelopment. In 1901 the Senate Park Commission, known as the McMillan Commission, created a new plan for Washington's parks and monumental areas and redefined the Triangle as a government center. In 1926 Congress authorized a massive building program that drew inspiration from classical architecture to create today's monumental Federal Triangle.
Make No Little Plans: Federal Triangle Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, D.C. Walking Trail. The self-guided, 1.75-mile tour of 16 signs offers about one hour of gentle exercise. Its theme comes from "Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood. Make big plans," attributed to visionary
For more information on Federal Triangle buildings, please visit www.gsa.gov. For more information on DC neighborhoods and walking tours, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
Make No Little Plans: Federal Triangle Heritage Trail is produced by the U.S. General Services Administration in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation and Cultural Tourism DC.
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 5.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Postal Mail and Philately marker series.
Location. 38° 53.65′ N, 77° 1.72′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 12th Street NW, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20229, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. U. S. Post Office Department (within shouting distance of this marker); Arts and Artists (within shouting distance of this marker); Preserving the Past (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Daniel Patrick Moynihan Place (about Permanence and Grandeur: Building the Federal Triangle (about 500 feet away); The Division (about 700 feet away); Western Plaza, Pennsylvania Avenue (about 700 feet away); Keeping it Green (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Federal Triangle.
Categories. • Government •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 368 times since then and 25 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, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on August 7, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.