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
Nearest Transit: U Street (Green Line & Yellow Line)
+1 202 895-607
Meridian Hill Park and Nearby Attractions on Map
D.C. War Memorial(1.1 km)
The Mall's only local memorial, and the only memorial to WWI, is this small structure in the form of a Doric-style open-air temple serving as tribute to the 26,000 Washingtonians who served in the Great War.
National Portrait Gallery USA(2.8 km)
The renovation is the talk of the town.
Smithsonian American Art Museum(2.8 km)
The collection here is a walk through encyclopedia of American Art-Gilbert Stuart's stern presidential portraits through Nam June Paik's house-sized America sculpture of neon and televisions.
International Spy Museum(2.9 km)
Dive into the thrilling world of international espionage at the International Spy Museum in Washing DC.
Mount Vernon Square(2.5 km)
This mammoth square, which causes all sorts of disastrous navigational problems for motorists unfamiliar with the intricacies of New York and Massachusetts Avenues, is dominated by one beautiful and similarly mammoth Beaux-Arts building at its center.
House of the Temple(0.8 km)
A Masonic Temple, the headquarters of the Scottish Rite, and a prominently featured location in Dan Brown's latest novel, The Lost Symbol.
Lincoln Theatre(0.8 km)
Native Washingtonians Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey performed in the Lincoln Theatre.
The Phillips Collection(1.4 km)
The Phillips Collection, opened in 1921, is America's first museum of modern art.
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