Lafayette Park Renovation – Washington DC


Lafayette Park, also known as Lafayette Square, is a seven-acre public park directly north of the White House on H Street, bounded by Jackson Place on the west, Madison Place on the east, and Pennsylvania Avenue. The park was established in the 19th century and remained largely unchanged from 1872 until the 1930s.

New Deal work on the park as part of a larger Capital Parks improvement program undertaken by the Public Works Administration (PWA), Civil Work Adminstration (CWA), Works Progress Administration (WPA), and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), all working under the supervision of the National Park Service, which had been given control of the Capital Parks by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934.  

A Washington Daily News article from 1936 described New Deal work in Lafayette, Franklin and Folger Parks: “Redesigned, lawns rehabilitated; new walks constructed; new trees, shrubs and plants installed; new fountains built in Folger and Franklin parks; new benches installed.”

In this case, a landscaping project was conducted in 1936-37 by the National Park Service using WPA labor.  It “enhanced the beauty of the park and made it more accessible to the public. Since that time, except for the incorporation of some of the features of the Downing plan in the 1960’s, it has remained essentially unchanged.”   (


Source notes

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.

Howard F. Wentworth, “Authorities justify million expended on district parks,” Washington Post, June 7, 1936, p. X7

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

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - on June 5, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

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


Location Info

Jackson Place NW and Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20502

Coordinates: 38.8994, -77.0365

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