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Meridian Hill Park is a hidden gem if there ever was one.
Meridian Hill Park is a hidden gem if there ever was one. Its twelve acres are centered on a long, stunning, cascading waterfall, surrounded by European-style terraced landscaping, and is administered by the National Park Service. The grounds have long been an esteemed commodity in the city, first surrounding an 1819 mansion, which became President James Quincy's home following his presidency. Around the time of the Civil War, Congress considered moving the Presidential residence here from the White House, as the White House was just north of the putrid stench of the mosquito and sewage-infested Washington City Canal, (the plan didn't make it pass the House of Representatives). In the early twentieth century the national government purchased the lands, and converted them into the extravagant Italianate park that you see today. Despite its elegance, the park didn't make it into the modern era unscathed, though. After the 1968 riots, the park was for two decades a haven for open-air drug markets, which got worse and worse throughout the crack epidemic. Following the murder of a teenager in 1990, the community decided to take back control of the park, and organized regular citizen patrols throughout the day and night. They were very successful, and the park is quite safe today. But, alas, the park's rougher days claimed the sword from Joan of Arc-the only female equestrian statue in the city-vandals leaving her arm outstretched without purpose.
3545 Williamsburg Lane North West, Washington, DC, United States
+1 202 895-607
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