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Map 2

Historical Context




Table of

Locating the Site

Map 1: The White House, Lafayette Park,
and Lafayette Square

[Map 1] with link to larger version of photo.
(National Park Service)

Questions for Map 1
Find the White House on this map. What is its relationship to Lafayette Park and to Lafayette Square, the neighborhood surrounding the park? Washingtonians have gathered in Lafayette Park to celebrate joyous events and to mourn great tragedies for more than 200 years. Why do you think the park has been so important to people who live in the city?

The White House is a powerful symbol for all Americans. Why do you think that is the case? What do you think it represents?

In the original plan for Washington, the grounds of the “President’s House” were much larger than they are today. They extended from H Street on the north to what is now Constitution Avenue on the south and from 17th Street on the west to 15th Street on the east. Outline this area on the map. Why might the planners of the new capital city of Washington have thought the President’s House needed so much land?

When Thomas Jefferson was president, he decided that the grounds of the White House were too big. He built a fence around the immediate White House grounds, opening up the north side of President's Park, later renamed Lafayette Park, to the public. Why do you think he might have done that?

What kinds of buildings surround Lafayette Park today? How would you describe the neighborhood?

Click for a larger version of Map 1



Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.