Wednesday, May 7, 2008

L'Enfant Plaza

Just one small section of the boulevard that comprises L'Enfant Plaza.
In the background, Benjamin Banneker Park.

L'Enfant Plaza is a rather utilitarian mish-mash of government office buildings and agencies on the southwest waterfront. Named for Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who mapped and laid out the city in its confusing grid of avenues and traffic circles, the plaza is ironically uninteresting as a whole.

Close-up of the fountain in Benjamin Banneker Park.

Regardless of its aesthetic shortcomings, the plaza contains a number of treasures, including a park with a fountain dedicated to Benjamin Banneker, a freed slave who assisted in surveying the future boundaries for the city. Despite its disheveled appearance, L'Enfant Plaza at dusk can look lovely. These are just a few examples.

Detail of one of the lamp fixtures in L'Enfant Plaza.

About the only architecturally stunning feature of L'Enfant Plaza are the lights that line the wide boulevard on both sides. The first picture shows just a small portion of the lights. As I was getting into my car to leave, I looked up and saw the above photo opp and took it!

The only other treasure in this dull plaza is the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel's courtyard. See the entry below for pictures of that.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 5/08


Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

Well, it think that your photos make it look lovely at dusk. ;)

We have those multiple lollipop lampposts here too, but I think yours look much better.

(BTW, did you find out about First-Second-Third-etc. Churches?)

D.C. Confidential said...

Fénix: I've emailed the Church of Christ, Scientist and asked about the numbers, but my initial research leads me to believe they're a systematic method of number branches of the denomination within a city. In the case of Washington, D.C., I've seen four Churches of Christ, Scientist and no two have the same numerical designation. I'll let you know as soon as I hear back.