Cityscape Of Washington DC


The cityscape of Washington DC is concerned it presents a well structured look. It is because of the fact the city of Washington DC is a well planned city. The major design work was done by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who was a French born architect, engineer as well as a city planner.


He was given the work of designing Washington DC cityscape by then president, George Washington. His model representing the cityscaping of Washington DC was formulated based on the Baroque style and included avenues radiating out from rectangles, providing room for open space and landscaping. His work also visualized a garden-lined ‘grand avenue’ which was around 1.6 km in length and 120 m wide in the area which is now known by the name of National Mall.


However, later on L'Enfant was dismissed by the President because of his persistence on micromanaging the city's planning, which had given birth to the conflicts with the three commissioners appointed by Washington to oversee the capital's construction and cityscape of Washington DC.  Andrew Ellicott, who used to work with L'Enfant in surveying the city, was then given the responsibility of finishing the plans. Though Ellicott made amendments to the original plans of Washington DC cityscape which included modifications and changes to some street patterns, the credit of designing the Washington DC city still goes L’Enfant.


By the beginning of the 20th century, L'Enfant's vision of a capital with open parks and Grand National monuments had become marred by development of slum areas and unplanned buildings placements which also included a railroad station on the National Mall. Then a plan was finalized in 1901 for doing the


What became known as the McMillan Plan was finalized in 1901. It included the re -cityscaping of Washington DC grounds and Mall. It also included construction of new Federal buildings, demolishing slum and other beautification drives and that too in keeping with L'Enfant's intended design.


The Washington DC cityscape is such that the district has been divided into four quadrants but they don’t have same area. These are called as Northwest (NW), Northeast (NE), Southeast (SE), and Southwest (SW). The axes surrounding the quadrants spread out from the U.S. Capitol building and all the names of roads comprises of the quadrant abbreviation to represent their location. In major parts of the city, the streets are formed in a grid pattern with east–west streets named with letters.