"Meridian Hill Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Parks / Gardens Tip by Ewingjr98

Parks / Gardens, Washington D.C.: 58 reviews and 115 photos

  Cascade fountain at Meridian Hill Park
by Ewingjr98
  • Cascade fountain at Meridian Hill Park - Washington D.C.
      Cascade fountain at Meridian Hill Park
    by Ewingjr98
  • Cascade fountain at Meridian Hill Park - Washington D.C.
      Cascade fountain at Meridian Hill Park
    by Ewingjr98
  • Dante at Meridian Hill Park - Washington D.C.
      Dante at Meridian Hill Park
    by Ewingjr98
  • Joan of Arc at Meridian Hill Park - Washington D.C.
      Joan of Arc at Meridian Hill Park
    by Ewingjr98
  • serenity now - Washington D.C.
      serenity now
    by Ewingjr98

Meridian Hill Park is named so because it lies due north of the Prime Meridian that was once created running north from Jones point in Alexandria, and the White House. At one time it housed a mansion, later it was home to Columbia College--predecessor to the George Washington University--and it housed Union soldiers during the Civil War. Today it is a large neighborhood park that is well landscaped, yet quiet and peaceful. The park is surrounded by 16th, Euclid, 15th, and W Streets between Adams Morgan and the Shaw neighborhoods.

In Meridian Hill Park you will find a 13-pool cascade facing the distant Washington Monument, a large open field overlooking a waterfall, and monuments for President Buchanan, the author Dante, French hero Joan of Arc, and a defaced sculpture of "Serenity" dedicated to Lieutenant Commander William Henry Schuetze (USN).

President Buchanan was a relatively unsuccessful president. He is blamed for failing to prevent the Civil War as he declared secession illegal, but war to prevent secession was also illegal. He was also president during the financial panic of 1857 and the Utah War (also called "Buchanan's Blunder"). Buchanan is the only American president to never be married, and his niece Harriet Lane acted as first lady, and later funded this monument as well as one in Pennsylvania. The statue was dedicated in 1930 at a cost of $115,000.

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was an Italian author who wrote the Divine Comedy. The statue was pesented on the 600th anniversary of Dante's death by an Italian-American newspaper publisher named Carlo Barsotti. This statue was dedicated at a cost of $50,000 in 1921.

The Joan of Arc statue is the only female equestrian statue in Washington DC. It was sponsored by the Society of French Women in Exile in New York in 1922. This is a copy of an identical statue by the same sculptor that stands in front of the cathedral at Rheims, France.

LCDR Schuetze, as best as I can tell was the navigator on the USS Iowa in 1898 during the Spanish American War. This ship's most historic engagement was taking part the destruction of the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. This statue was created from a single block of marble at the bargain basement coast of $4,500 and was presented in 1925.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 18, 2009
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