The Mall and Federal Triangle

Even Washingtonians whose daily pursuits rarely take them to the Mall regard this magnificent open expanse as the heart of the city. A grassy park with carefully preserved trees, the Mall stretches 2.5 miles (4 km) from the Capitol to the east to the Potomac River, just beyond the Lincoln Memorial, to the west. Alongside and nearby are the core symbols of the city and the nation: memorials to past suffering and triumphs, the workplaces of the federal government, and the Smithsonian Institution museums, entrusted with “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” The Mall also serves as a national public square – it fills ...

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