John Marshall Park

Located between Pennsylvania Avenue and C Street NW, John Marshall Park was the third park created with the guidance of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation during its 1980s revitalization of the avenue. The land was originally slated as the site of a parking lot and driveway for the adjacent Canadian Embassy, designed by architect Arthur Erickson and landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander. Landscape architect Carol Johnson convinced her client to create a green, pedestrian-oriented park instead.

The park, which was completed in 1983, contains a key vista to the Old City Hall, recognized in the L’Enfant Plan, which is both preserved and reinforced by Johnson’s design. The site is divided into three terraces. The lowest, at Pennsylvania Avenue, is paved with a pattern that relates to the L’Enfant Plan on the diagonals and is planted with a bosquet of shade trees. The central terrace remains open to the view of Old City Hall, and is more lushly planted than the other levels. The upper terrace contains a sculpture of John Marshall and two circular fountains which reference the site’s history as the location of one of Washington’s first public water supplies.


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