The Capitol Grounds--page 1 of two

Frederick Law Olmsted

In 1874 Congress commissioned Olmsted, the greatest American landscape architect of that period, to design a landscape plan for the grounds of the capitol. He created a lawn on the west where a central entrance had been and added two approaches to the Capitol, connected to Pennsylvania and Maryland Avenues. Thousands of plants and trees were set out according to "picturesque" principles.

The West Terrace


The Reflecting Pool with the Grant Memorial in the distance

The pool was designed in 1976 by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The huge Grant Memorial (a 250 foot sculptural grouping) was designed by Henry M. Schrady.

West Terrace retaining walls and entrance posts

According to Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "architectural features of the terrace, entrance gate posts, and retaining walls were designed by the English architect Thomas Wisedell under Olmsted's supervision and constructed between 1886 and 1892" (119).

Go to page two.

Work Cited: Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. Buildings of the District of Columbia. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.

Click here to return to index of art historical sites.

Click here to return to index of artists and architects.

Click here to return to chronological index.

Click here to see the home page of Bluffton College.

© 2002 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan