Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Protecting Consumers and Competition
Make No Little Plans
—Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —
Considered the capstone of the Federal Triangle project, the FTC building stands at the apex of the Triangle. As the Great Depression deepened in the 1930s, Congress twice cut funding for the project, which originally called for costly Beaux Arts embellishments similar to those on other Federal Triangle buildings. Eventually Congress funded Edward H. Bennett's simpler, less ornamented "stripped classicism" designs.
Softening the building's severity is artwork illustrating trade activities. Exquisitely detailed aluminum night gates depict the maritime industry's evolution, while bas-reliefs above each entrance show forms of commercial exchange. (Bas-reliefs, popular in Art Deco design, are sculptures slightly raised from their backgrounds.) Man Controlling Trade, the dramatic limestone figures flanking this
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 Building and International Trade Center was not completed until 1998.
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.
For more information on Federal Triangle buildings, please visit www.gsa.gov.
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 16.)
Location. 38° 53.56′ N, 77° 1.22′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street NW, on the right when traveling east on Pennsylvania Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20580, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 601 Pennsylvania Avenue (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew W. Mellon (within shouting distance of this marker); National Intelligencer (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pennsylvania Avenue (about 300 feet away); National Council of Negro Women (about 400 feet away); Market Space: Yesterday’s Town Square (about 400 feet away); Grand Army of the Republic (about 500 feet away); Ending Slavery in Washington (about 600 feet away).
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 458 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on September 6, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 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. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.