Last updated: February 28, 2023
Accessible Sites, Benches/Seating, Cellular Signal, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Restroom, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Toilet - Flush, Water - Drinking/Potable, Wheelchair Accessible
A Garden Fit for an Aristocrat, Open to the Public
In 1819, John Porter erected a mansion on Meridian Hill. The site was called Meridian Hill because it was on the exact longitude of the original District of Columbia milestone marker, placed on April 15, 1791. In 1829, the mansion became departing President John Quincy Adams' home. After its conversion to a public park, Union troops encamped on the grounds during the Civil War.
The U.S. government purchased the grounds in 1910. Landscape architects George Burnap and Horace Peaslee planned an Italian style garden. The structures made revolutionary use of concrete aggregate as a building material.
For more information about Meridian Hill Park, visit the History and Culture Page.
The Lower Plaza includes the following features:
The thirteen basin cascading fountain is one of the longest in North America.
- Below the cascading fountain is a reflecting pool.
- James Buchanan Memorial
- The Noyes Armillary Sphere was a prominent feature in the lower plaza of the park. It was damaged in the 1960s and later disappeared. The National Park Service is working to have it replaced.
- Dante statue
Upper Level plaza features include:
Accessibility:The lower level of the park features accessible paths from the corner of 16th St. NW and Florida Ave. NW / W St. NW continuing east to the plaza at the President James Buchanan Memorial.
The upper level of Meridian Hill Park's paths are made from an aggregate concrete. It can be bumpy and rough in places. Due to terracing and stairs, several of the entrances from the 16th street side are not wheelchair accessible.
For more, visit Rock Creek Park Accessibility.