Go deeper into the history of each park with scholarly articles and essays from Oxford University Press, freely available for the centennial year.

Oxford Reference

Washington, D.C.

To mark the centennial of the federal presence, the U.S. Senate in 1900 chartered a commission to develop a new plan for government buildings and parks. The commission's plan, based on a 1791 design by Pierre L'Enfant, concentrated government facilities at the heart of the city and connected them by a system of parks. Over the next quarter century the plan materialized, but in the process the federal government set itself apart both physically and symbolically from the city around it.

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