Folger Park Redevelopment – Washington DC


Folger Park on the south side of Capitol Hill was named for Charles J. Folger, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1881 to 1884. Part of the original L’Enfant plan of Washington DC, the park was significantly improved in the late 19th century – probably at the same time it was renamed.

Folger Park was substantially redeveloped under the New Deal, with funds provided by the Public Works Administration (PWA) in 1935 and work carried out by Works Progress Administration (WPA) relief labor in 1936.  This was part of a sweeping program of parks and playground renewal across Washington undertaken by the New Deal.

The new Folger Park layout consisted of a cross inscribed in an oval, with a large central flagstone square around an octagonal pool.  Four rectangular flower beds were placed in the arms of the cross.  Large bench and fountain structures made of cast concrete were installed facing each other on the east and west ends of the park; these feature mosaics depicting the landscape design.

The renovation work remains largely intact today, though some of the concrete is showing its age, the mosaics are faded and the fountains are no longer functioning.


Source notes

National Park Service Historic American Buildings Survey entry

National Park Service site

National Archives, Record Group 69, Records of the Work Projects Administration, “Newspaper clippings file, 1935-1942.”

“New Deal Projects Aid Many Park Developments in Capital,” Washington Daily News, July 23, 1936.

“Parks loan of $800,000 is approved,” Washington Post, June 15, 1935, p. 15

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - on May 31, 2012.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

North Carolina Ave.
Washington, DC 20003

Coordinates: 38.8846, -77.0027

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