The National Mall (or just The Mall) in Washington, DC is an open area of gardens, fountains, trees, flower beds, and monuments open to the public for enjoyment and recreation, cultural development, protests, tourism or simply escape from the urbanization of the U.S. capital.
The idea was adopted and redesigned by the National Park Service, but originally designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfant. The National Mall refers specifically to the land stretching from the grounds of the Washington Monument to the United States Capitol directly to the east. However, commonly the term "National Mall" refers to the whole area starting at the Lincoln Memorial and extending due east to the Capitol, with the Washington Monument providing a clear division west of the physical center.
Landmarks of the National Mall
Other nearby features
Other attractions within walking distance of the Mall include the Library of Congress and the United States Supreme Court to the east behind the Capitol; the White House (on a line directly north of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial), the National Archives, the Old Post Office, the National Theater and Ford's Theater to the north; the National Postal Museum, and Union Station to the northeast; and the Jefferson Memorial (on a line directly south of the Washington Monument and the White House), the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the George Mason National Memorial, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to the south.
The Mall, in combination with the other attractions in the Washington metropolitan area, makes the nation's capital city one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The Smithsonian (Washington Metro) stop can be used to get to the Mall. Parking is also available south of the mall, accessible directly south of the Lincoln Memorial.
In addition, the Mall's status as a wide, open expanse at the heart of the capital makes it an attractive site for protests and rallies of all types. One notable example is the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a massive rally for African-American civil rights, at which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech. To date, the largest rally on the Mall was the 2004 March for Women's Lives, in favor of abortion rights and against George W. Bush.
Last updated: 05-21-2005 01:03:58