Washington DC Design - Green Space & Wide Boulevards

Question: What were some of the stylistic, social, and political reasons that Washington D.C. was designed with so many wide boulevards and open green spaces?

(ESPN Sports Travel, 2011)

In, 1791, Pierre L ‘Enfant had envisioned a Baroque capitol city that would have grand features like wide roads lined with trees, that would connect the key buildings, monuments, statues, and fountains, as well as, large open spaces. At the young age of twenty-two, he had a vision of showcasing ceremonial locations but keeping in mind the nature beauty and flow of the land. It was his vision to have “unobstructed open space” (The L'Enfant and McMillian Plans.", 2011). The French engineer was eager for the opportunity to design the proposed capitol city from the ground up. Unfortunately, L’Enfant was removed from this planning project as he became very controlling and would not work with the city commissioners nor consider their time frame. He also refused to produce a map or drawing of his designs for the counsel, so many of his designs that were implemented were actually recalled from memory from those who worked with the great French designer.

The planning of the new capital city of this new nation needed to be magnificent. It needed to go beyond any other economic or social expectation anyone may have for a city. The capitol city for this new nation needed to make a statement to the country, as well as, other nations of this nations innovation and governments strength and power. The committee was also committed to preserving the rich pioneering history of its forefathers.

Today our nations capitol reveals its influence from several European cities like Vienna, as well as, 18th century gardens like France’s Palace of Versailles. Washington DC continues to retain its beauty and mostly original design by legally protecting the integrity of the design of the city.

(Hundertwasser House, Vienna, Austria | Flickr - Photo Sharing!", 2011)

(Palace of Versailles, 2011)

Works Cited:

"ESPN Sports Travel: Washington Sports Travel and Sports Vacation Guide - ESPN." ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. .

"Hundertwasser House, Vienna, Austria | Flickr - Photo Sharing!" Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. .

"Palace of Versailles." France Sightseeing, Everything to See and Do in France. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. .

"Pierre Charles L'Enfant, Major, United States Army." Arlington National Cemetery Website Title Page. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. .

"The L'Enfant and McMillian Plans." U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. .