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.
Closed for rehabilitation
Rehabilitation of the lower plaza and various locations in the park is ongoing through Summer 2022 to:
replace/repair damaged historic concrete to match
replace hazardous trees
plant new shrubs
create accessible route to lower level at 16th Street with bollard lighting
create framework for tree-lined arched walkway (Installation scheduled to be completed by May 29)
- For more Information call 202-895-6000
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:Meridian Hill Park is made from an aggregate concrete. It can be bumpy and rough in places. Due to the terracing required to overcome the terrain of the area, several of the entrances from the 16th street side have stairs and are not accessible.
Work in the lower terrace is being done to make the park more accessible. This work should be done by Summer 2022. For more information visit the park accessibility page.