Mount Vernon Memorial Highway and George Washington Memorial Parkway – Alexandria VA


Today, the stretch called Mount Vernon Memorial Highway is located mainly in Alexandria, VA, but connects there to the stretch now called the George Washington Memorial Parkway which runs along the Potomac River mainly on the Virginia side. Though the first section connecting the Arlington Memorial Bridge to Mount Vernon was completed before the commencement of the New Deal, New Deal programs worked on both the Mount Vernon and the George Washington stretches of the road as part of a larger Capital Parks improvement program assisted by the PWA, WPA and CCC.

New Deal work on and around the parkway included included: “Picnic areas developed and equipped; parking areas at Mt. Vernon terminus enlarged and planted; Columbia Island cleared and lawn developed; Waterfowl Sanctuary developed at Roaches Run, lodge built; dam installed; nine miles of bridle path built; picnic areas developed at Fort Hunt; nursery developed at Four-Mile Run”  as well as “extension…beyond Francis Scott Key Bridge.” (National Archives) The Washington Post reported in 1933 the appropriation by the PWA of $30,000 for the highway’s water supply system, and another $15,000 for work improving drainage.

Pictured are CCC crews planting trees and shrubs on Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, with the Washington Monument visible in the background.

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

“Capital’s Biggest Building Program Promises A Boon By Spring: Expenditures May Reach $200,000,000,” Washington Post, November 27, 1938.

“District gets $325,000 fund for building,” Washington Post, September 8, 1933, p. 22

National Archives Record Group 79.6.7

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - on June 25, 2013.

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


Location Info

George Washington Memorial Parkway
Alexandria, VA

Coordinates: 38.848172, -77.04861

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