October 29, 2013

LeDroit house enjoys an unmatched view

Axial view of the Capitol

A recent open house in LeDroit Park perfectly illustrated a great feature of the L’Enfant Plan. The house at 469 Florida Avenue sits directly on the New Jersey Avenue view corridor of the Capitol. Typically this location would be reserved for a civic monument such as a statue, circle, square, or government building, but L’Enfant drew his capital within the confines of Florida Avenue, the two rivers, and Rock Creek.


In some cases, such as Rhode Island, New York, and Maryland Avenues in Northeast, Massachusetts and Connecticut Avenues in Northwest, East Capitol Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue SE, subsequent city officials and developers continued these avenues beyond the city’s original boundary.

LeDroit Park, however, stood right in the way of what could have been an extended New Jersey Avenue NW. Instead of terminating the avenue at a civic point, builders in the neighborhood’s rowhouse era (1880s and after), built without regard to the design principles of the L’Enfant Plan. The result is that one row house has a stunning Capitol view worthy of a monument.

Categories: Diversions, History
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