Many people visit Washington, DC’s art museums and galleries to appreciate remarkable landscapes. They can also find the same thing if they just look around, whether in up-and-coming neighborhoods or on the National Mall.
The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Washington, D.C. has intel on many of the eye-catching or notable views that dot Washington, DC, and it’s all at your fingertips on your phone – ideal for a weekend walking tour.
Various landscape-obsessed “guides” (members of the American Society of Landscape Architects) offer interesting tidbits on recognizable and discoverable sites in 20-plus city neighborhoods, plus the National Mall and White House. It’s not just all about L’Enfant (the city-planning guru who mapped DC’s layout) either.
Here’s a few to get started:
The retail design mecca in Georgetown, Cady’s Alley, began as a service alley in the early 1900s. The now-heavily visited thoroughfare was quite unsightly by the 1980s, until a local developer helped turned it around into the pedestrian-friendly shopping hub it is today.
The picturesque fountain on Louisiana Avenue along the heart of the National Mall covers something much less attractive. Made from Minnesota pink and green granite and Mt. Airy granite, according to the ASLA’s Liz Guthrie, the fountain was built atop a parking garage for members and staff of the Senate.
Many visit Dupont Circle for a picnic or to sit with a coffee and a good book, but few have any knowledge of its main feature: the fountain. Master landscape architect and sketch artist Michael Vergason explains that Daniel Chester French carved three allegorical figures seafarers might find familiar: the Sea, the Stars and the Wind.
Check out the rest of the guides here. And let us know when you're out and about in DC by tagging your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pictures with #dccool.