Viewing page 28 of 44


The Commission has adhered to the Plan of 1901 as a restatement of the authority of the L'Enfant Plan and has insisted that this plan must continue as fundamental in the development of Washington. In more than a quarter of a century since the Plan of 1901 was presented, much has been accomplished. The unsightly railroad tracks have been removed from the Mall; and, due largely to the cooperation and public spirit of a distinguished son of Pennsylvania, President A. J. Cassatt of the Pennsylvania Railroad, a great Union Station has been built in accordance with the plans of the Commission. The Station and also the beautiful City Post Office adjoining it, have been placed in a position subordinate to the buildings on Capitol Hill, but in a harmonious and vital relation to them. In this way a traveler arriving in Washington gazes first across a beautiful plaza to the great Dome of the Capitol and the Library of Congress beyond. Today this Station stands like a great city gate at the entrance to the city; and, while much remains to be done in clearing off the space intervening between it and the Capitol, the Union Station, itself, in its architectural and landscape treatment, has already helped to establish a precedent by which railroad stations in this country have come to be recognized as public buildings of the first importance.

The Plan of 1901 considered the Capitol as the dominating feature to which all structures in the legislative group must be subordinated. The Library of Congress facing the Capitol, had been built in 1897; but in the later structures, such as the white marble office buildings for the use of Senators and Congressmen, the principle of subordination in grouping has been observed. It will be carried out in the erection of a building for the Supreme Court in the vacant space facing the east front of the Capitol and flanking the Library of Congress.
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact