From L’Enfant to McMillan to today—the National Mall in Washington DC


Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington DC

The French engineer hired by President George Washington to design the new nation’s capital had the idea for a “mall” as a grand avenue. As Washington developed over the succeeding years, the area that currently is occupied by the mall became unrecognizable due to haphazard development. The McMillan Plan, commissioned in 1910, set the standard for the mall over the next century. This graphic essay illustrates the changes in the mall over its 200-year history.

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A 200-year transformation: how the Mall became what it is today

By Aaron Steckelberg, Philip Kennicott, Bonnie Berkowitz and Denise Lu

The Washington Post

August 23, 2016

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