St John’s Church
A small building, St John’s isn’t DC’s most imposing church, but it is arguably its most important. That’s because it’s the ‘Church of...
Designed in 1818 by Benjamin Latrobe for the War of 1812 naval hero Stephen Decatur, Decatur House sits at Lafayette Sq’s northwest...
Blair & Lee Houses
The 1824 Blair House has been the official presidential guesthouse since 1942, when Eleanor Roosevelt got sick of tripping over...
Off the Record
Chintzy chairs, brass fixtures, Manhattan cocktails, location in the basement of one of the city’s most prestigious hotels, and right...
No bad sitar music and clunky curry here; this is Indian food moved up several notches. The seafood curries like the Goan fish or...
Pennsylvania Ave · interesting places nearby
Lafayette Square information
The land north of 1600 Pennsylvania was originally deeded as part of the White House grounds. However, in 1804 President Thomas Jefferson decided to divide the plot and give half back to the public in the form of a park, now known as Lafayette Sq. A statue of Andrew Jackson astride a horse holds court in the center, while the statues anchoring the four corners are all of foreign-born revolutionary leaders, a nice reminder that non-American freedom fighters helped ensure American independence.
In the southeast corner check out the likeness of the Marquis de Lafayette, a revolutionary war general by the age of 19. Although Lafayette was branded a traitor in his native France following the war, he was consistently lauded in the young America. In the northeast corner is a memorial to Tadeusz Kościusko, a Polish soldier and prominent engineer in Washington’s army. The sculpture is one of the more in-your-face ones in town: Kosciusko towers over an angry imperial eagle killing a snake atop a globe, and an inscription at the base, taken from Scottish poet Thomas Campbell, reads: ‘And Freedom shrieked as Kosciusko fell!’