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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Columbus Plaza - Pathway - Res. 334
Structure Number:
33410010
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
No records.
Park:
National Mall & Memorial Parks
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
L'Enfant Plan for District of Columbia
Structure State:
District of Columbia
Structure County:
Washington
Region:
National Capital
Administrative Unit:
National Mall & Memorial Parks
LCS ID:
046763
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
04/24/1997
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Contributing
Short Significance Description:
Columbus Plaza is significant as part of the L'Enfant Plan of the City of Washington, DC. It is a semicircular space that serves as a forecourt for Union Station. Columbus Plaza was authorized by Congress in 1907 and built by the government for $110,000.
Long Significance Description:
Columbus Plaza is significant as part of the L'Enfant Plan of the City of Washington, District of Columbia. The plan meets National Register Criterion A for its relationship with the creation of the new United States of America and the creation of a capital city; it meets Criterion B because of its design by Pierre L'Enfant, and subsequent development and enhancement by numerous significant persons and groups responsible for the city's landscape architecture and regional planning; and it meets Criterion C as a well preserved, comprehensive, Baroque plan with Beaux Arts modifications.

Its origins are from the McMillan Commission plan, which directed urban improvements that resulted in the most elegant example of City Beautiful tenets in the nation. L'Enfant's plan was magnified and expanded during the early decades of the twentieth century with the reclamation of land for waterfront parks, parkways, an improved Mall, and new monuments and vistas.

Columbus Plaza was authorized by Congress in 1907 and built by the government for $110,000. Columbus Plaza is a semicircular space that serves as a forecourt for Union Station, from which radiate Louisiana, Delaware, and Massachusetts Avenues, and E and First Streets. The brick paved plaza is dominated by the elaborate Christopher Columbus Fountain (1912), incorporating benches and flanking fountains, in addition to the American Legion Freedom Bell (1981). A series of medians, double-standard Washington Globes, and a trio of eagle-topped flagpoles complete the park.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year CE/BCE
End Year
End Year CE/BCE
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1912
CE
1912
CE
Burnham, Daniel
Sculptor
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Pedestrian Circulation
Primary Current Use:
Pedestrian Circulation
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
No records.
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Grounds/Landscape
Volume:
1 - 2,000 cubic feet
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Superstructure
Brick
2. 
Superstructure
Granite
Short Physical Description:
The plaza and paths are paved with brick in a herringbone pattern. The semicircular steps leading down a slight incline are white granite. Due to the topography the ground was regraded when plaza was built.
Long Physical Description:
The plaza and paths are paved with brick in a herringbone pattern. The semicircular steps leading down a slight incline are white granite. Due to the topography the ground was regraded when plaza was built.