An aerial image of Farragut Square within its surrounding urban context
Aerial view of Farragut Square, looking southwest

HABS, Library of Congress

Farragut Square and its sister park, McPherson Square (two blocks to the east), each form part of a “patte d’oie” in relation to the White House grounds and Lafayette Park. A patte d’oie, or goose foot, was a standard element of Baroque landscape planning, comprising a central axis breaking into three separate axes. A bronze statue of Civil War hero Admiral David Glasgow Farragut stands on a granite pedestal in the center of the park.

Diagonal walks symmetrically bisect the park, intersecting at a paved area circling the statue’s elliptical plot. A pair of parallel walks, essentially laid out in plan as a loop, run from the park’s northwest corner to the southeast. Their path follows the line of Connecticut Avenue, a thoroughfare which, for a brief time (1873 to 1881), cut through the site. Similarly, a single diagonal walk leads from the northeast corner to the southwest. Sidewalks surround the park on all sides, and two short walks lead from the park’s center to sidewalks on the east and west. All walks are paved with concrete divided into square sections. Between the walks are panels of grass. The outer edges of these panels along the sidewalks are surrounded by quarter-round concrete curbing. Deciduous trees are planted irregularly on the lawns and along the walks.
Lush plantings lie at the foot of the Admiral Farragut Statue, which is on axis with Connecticut Avenue in the background.
Admiral David G. Farragut statue placed in line with the axis of Connecticut Ave

CLP digital photofile, 2004

High-rise office and commercial structures surround the park on all sides. The main focal point within the park is the Farragut Monument, and the most prominent vista outside the park is the view south along the Connecticut Avenue corridor to Lafayette Park. Over 40 benches are staggered along the park walkways. All of these are new, with elaborately scrolled iron supports and arms (including two side arms and a central arm), and wooden slats.

Eight light posts stand along the walks. The posts are a modern, simplified version of a classical column, a type known as the “Washington Standard,” and support Lexan (a thermoplastic resin) versions of the standard urn-shaped “Washington Globe” lamp. New steel-slat trash receptacles are placed between the benches and around the park’s perimeter. Two new steel handicap-accessible drinking fountains are placed near the statue.
Farragut Square is heavily used. The majority of visitors are office workers walking through the park as part of their daily commute, but many people come to the park to enjoy picnic lunches or to attend concerts and movies in the summers.

Two trees, a gingko and a sophora, date from before 1886. Other trees are older deciduous specimens likely dating from the period of significance, or newer deciduous trees occupying similar locations as older trees. Therefore, the general pattern of tree planting has remained similar to that during the period of significance. The pattern and species of shrub and flower beds changed several times before 1965. Hedges and beds of flowering annuals, installed at the ends of the loop described by the parallel walks in 1965 during the Beautification Program, were removed in 2004.
A planting plan of Farragut North detailing topography as well as the locations and tree and shrub plantings.
"Spring planting plan," 1965, produced under the Beautification Program

CLP digital photofile

The circulation system has been changed only slightly since the removal of Connecticut Avenue in 1881 – the paving materials have been altered and replaced, the two east-west spur paths were added in 1901, and the sidewalks have been widened, the west sidewalk having been done in 2004. Most small-scale features in Farragut Square have recently been replaced; as a result, few have integrity.

Last updated: May 25, 2018