Washington Circle remembers that Washington

Washington circleIt is perhaps the most overlooked statue in plain sight of the man for whom the city is named. Washington Circle by Foggy Bottom that intersects 23rd, K St., New Hampshire Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW has a bronze equestrian statue of George Washington sculpted by Clark Mills. Yes, the same Clark Mills whose Andrew Jackson statue sits in the middle of Lafayette Park.

Washington is shown at the Battle of Princeton. It was first authorized by Congress in 1783, but wasn’t erected until 1860 at a cost of $60,000. The statue is modeled after Jacques-Louis David’s painting “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” with the horse resembling a wild one that once roamed the Midwest plains. Frankly, the statue lacks much of the action shown in the painting.

The circle itself is on Pierre L’Enfant’s original city map of 1791. Ironically, Washington fired L’Enfant over disagreements. The area was a jumping off point for Union troops during the Civil War.

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