The Complete Washington DC Guide Series

Pennsylvania Avenue:

The “Main Street” of America

Mark N. Ozer

Peter L’Enfant created Pennsylvania Avenue as the main street of the new city to connect in a Ceremonial Mile the Capitol Building and the home of the President. Also the most direct route between the twin centers of population of Capitol Hill and Georgetown, it was the transportation route for the early horse cars and the street cars and is still for buses. Until the 1930s, the route followed by parades and funerals went past a slum to be replaced on its south side by the Federal Triangle of massive Beaux-Arts buildings that seemed to separate itself from where people lived and worked. The 1970s saw its north side renewed but also to connect with and enhance the commercial part of the city where people lived and worked. We can explore how in finally incorporating many of the early ideas of Peter L’Enfant, the street designed to be the ceremonial “Main Street” of the national capital finally became that.

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Ceremonial Mile (East)
    • 1.1. The Meade Monument
    • 1.2. National Gallery of Art
    • 1.3. John Marshall Park
    • 1.4. The National Archives
    • 1.5. GAR Stephenson and Winfield Scott Hancock
  • Chapter 2.The Ceremonial Mile (West)
    • 2.1. Federal Triangle
    • 2.2. FBI Building
    • 2.3. Freedom Plaza/ National Square
    • 2.4. The District Building
    • 2.5. Willard Hotel
    • 2.6. The National Theater
    • 2.7. General Sherman
  • Chapter 3 The Executive Complex
    • 3.1. The White House
    • 3.2. The Executive Buildings
    • 3.3. Lafayette Park
    • 3.4. Blair-Lee House
    • 3.5. The Corcoran Gallery of Art
    • 3.6. Octagon House
  • Chapter 4 To Georgetown
    • 4.1. Dacor-Bacon House
    • 4.2. The Arts Club
    • 4.3. Washington Circle
    • 4.4. GW University
    • 4.5. Rock Creek Bridges
    • 4.6. Washington Aqueduct
    • 4.7. Capital Traction
  • List of Figures
  • Index
Pennsylvania Avenue