Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Keeping it Green
Make No Little Plans
—Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —
This building, designed by San Francisco architect Arthur Brown, Jr., originally housed the Interstate Commerce Commission, which regulated transportation of goods between the states. Like its Federal Triangle neighbors, the building was richly finished inside with limestone and marble ornamented with decorative paintings and carvings. Adorning the pediment behind you is Wheeler Williams's Commerce and Communications, dominated by the messenger Mercury leaning against his steed while being blown through the clouds. An American eagle perches majestically over his shoulder. Just ahead is Interstate Transportation by Edward McCartan, its nude female reclining on a seahorse amid dolphins symbolizing the energy of interstate transportation.
To showcase the EPA's presence in the complex, these buildings were rehabilitated between 1994 and 2001 by the U.S. General Services Administration in partnership with EPA. While adhering to strict historic preservation standards, the renovation introduced 21st-century green design innovations such as recycled building materials, low-emission
The EPA buildings overlook Constitution Avenue, the path of the old Washington Canal. Conceived by city designer Pierre L'Enfant and designed by architect Benjamin Latrobe, the canal made Tiber Creek into a navigable waterway connecting the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. Barges transported materials to build the new city via the canal. Eventually, though, the canal became an open sewer. It was paved over in the 1870s.
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,
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.
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 12.)
Location. 38° 53.537′ N, 77° 1.761′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Constitution Avenue NW, on the right when traveling west. 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. Making A Modern Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); A National Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Renovating the Fountain (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Public Art for a Modern Museum (about 300 feet away); Legacy of War From Workers to Environment (about 400 feet away); The Division (about 400 feet away); Our Tax Dollars (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 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. Photos: 1. submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on August 15, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.