Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Equal Justice Under the Law
Make No Little Plans
—Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —
For the Department's first permanent home, Philadelphia architects Clarence C. Zantzinger and Charles I. Borie, Jr., showcased bold yet elegant Art Deco ornamentation. The 20-foot-high night doors just ahead and most of the building's decorative fixtures are made of aluminum instead of traditional bronze. Colorful mosaics by Washingtonian John Joseph Earley adorn entranceway ceilings. C. Paul Jennewein designed 57 interior and exterior sculptural pieces, including the spectacular Art Deco torchières lighting the entrances.
Inside the building are distinctive 1930s-era murals illustrating
The building was named the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in 2001 to honor the slain former attorney general.
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 Building survive from an earlier era, while the Ronald Reagan
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 Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, chair of the McMillan Commission.
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 14.)
Location. 38° 53.54′ N, 77° 1.54′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Constitution Avenue NW and 10th Street, NW, on the right when traveling west on Constitution Avenue NW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20530, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Solomon G. Brown (within shouting distance of this marker); Cedar of Lebanon (within shouting distance of this marker); Colossal Head 4 (replica) (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nathan Hale (about 400 feet away); Our Tax Dollars (about 600 feet away); Temple for Our History Petrified Wood (about 600 feet away); G-Men and G-Women (about 600 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 345 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on August 21, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.