Cover image for The Mall in Washington, 1791-1991
The Mall in Washington, 1791-1991
Longstreth, Richard W.
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Washington : National Gallery of Art ; New Haven [Conn.] : Distributed by the Yale University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 9-328 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 29 cm.
General Note:
Includes the proceedings of a symposium held at the National Gallery of Art, Oct. 30-31, 1987.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F203.5.M2 M3 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
F203.5.M2 M3 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



As the most important public space in the United States, the Mall in Washington, D.C., has been a vital emblem of national spirit and ideals ever since Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant first envisioned it over two hundred years ago. Although the Mall has undergone numerous changes since its conception, it has retained centrality within the life of the capital and has emerged as an essential symbol of American national identity and an influential model of city planning worldwide.

Featuring fourteen essays by prominent historians, architects, and leaders of some of Washington, D.C.'s most important institutions, this book explores the Mall's origins and growth as well as the shifting political forces and cultural values that have shaped it. Over 140 illustrations help to tell the story of the site, including beautiful vintage maps, prints, and drawings, in addition to numerous contemporary documentary and historical photographs.

Originally published in 1991, The Mall in Washington features a new introduction discussing recent developments on the Mall.

Author Notes

Richard Longstreth is professor of American civilization at George Washington University. Therese O'Malley is associate dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Two hundred years ago Pierre L'Enfant introduced his master plan for the city of Washington, with a splendid mall as its core. Over the intervening years, many of America's finest designers have had a hand in shaping this grand public space, among them Robert Mills, Andrew Jack son Downing, Daniel Burnham, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., and Charles Mc Kim. The rich history and evolution of the mall became the subject of a symposium held at the National Gallery of Art in 1987. This long-awaited volume contains 13 of the papers presented at that meeting. Lavishly illustrated with maps, early photographs, and aerial views, the essays reveal much about the politics and personalities that helped to create and redefine this unique space. The Mall in Washington makes an important contribution to the field and is highly recommended to anyone interested in the built environ ment.-- H. Ward Jandl, National Park Svce., Washington, D.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This volume of 13 essays had its origin in a bicentenary symposium at which scholars, architects, and landscape architects were invited to address aspects of the evolution of the Mall in Washington, DC over the course of the two centuries since its original conception in Pierre l'Enfant's brilliant plan for the capital city. The diversity of perspective among the contributors ranging from straightforward historical accounts to lively analysis and critique of the way the Mall has developed makes this an invaluable case study of one of the most important urban open spaces in America. Many of the authors trace provocative connections between decisions regarding development of the Mall and a host of ideological and theoretical currents at play at different periods of US history, both within the design professions and in American society generally. A supplementary compilation of 140 maps, plans, views, and documentary photographs of the Mall adds still more to the usefulness and attractiveness of this comprehensive and well-written anthology.-C. M. Howett, University of Georgia