While visiting the many prominent attractions in Washington DC, the Lafayette Square is something that visitors should never miss. It is a seven-acre public park situated on H Street amidst the 15th and 17th Streets directly north of the White House. The Lafayette Square actually counts among the other major public parks in Washington and therefore is an ideal place to relax or take a stroll during breaks from sightseeing tours. Besides its splendid collection of trees and plants, the park also enriched with history, thus making it a must-visit spot during the tours of Washington DC.
The Lafayette Square was actually intended for the president and his family as a place to spend their leisurely time. It was originally called as the ‘President’s Park’ and got separated from the White House after the construction of the Pennsylvania Ave. in 1804. Currently, the park covers a larger area that includes the famous Lafayette Square, the White House, and the Ellipse. Lafayette Square was named after Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who fought alongside the American forces in the war against the British invading elements.
Commemorating the struggles of this heroic Frenchman is a statue known as the Lafayette monument located in one of the corners of the square. Lafayette Square has served many purposes such as a camping ground for soldiers during the war of 1812, a zoo, a burial ground, a racetrack, and slave-trading place. Currently, the Lafayette Square is a prominent place where various public and political demonstrations are held due to its proximity to the White House.
The statue of President Andrew Jackson is located right at the center of the Lafayette Square. Made from bronze, the statue was erected in 1853 and become known as the first equestrian statue cast in the whole country. Located on the four corners of the square and park are statues of Marquis de Lafayette and various overseas revolutionary war heroes such as Comte de Rochambeau, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and Baron von Steuben.
What makes the Lafayette Square a unique place is that it is surrounded by various historical buildings. The prominent one is the White House located south of the square. The other major buildings that surround the square include the Old Executive Office Building, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Department of the Treasury, Renwick Gallery, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Hay-Adams Hotel, and the New Executive Building. So in short, a visit to the place would surely be worth the time.