Lincoln Park Washington Reviews
Memorials in Lincoln Park Feb 12, 2009
Lincoln Park is a public park on the far eastern end of Capitol Hill. The urban greenspace was a part of Pierre L’Enfant’s 1791 plan for Washington, DC. (L’Enfant envisioned that distances in the USA would be measured from this point.) In 1867, Congress designated the open space as Lincoln Square as a first commemoration for the assassinated president. Since then it has come to be known as Lincoln Park.
Lincoln Park is known most for the two monuments it contains. The Emancipation Memorial, dedicated in 1876, was the first statue of Abraham Lincoln to be erected in Washington. (It was once also known as the Lincoln Memorial—before the Lincoln Memorial was built.) The memorial is notable for having been funded by contributions from African-Americans who had been slaves and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. The memorial has always stirred controversy. It depicts Lincoln, holding the Emancipation Proclamation standing over a figure breaking the bonds of slavery. The kneeling figure (modeled after the last person captured under the Fugitive Slave Act) is viewed as being in a supplicant position, not standing in a position of equality. (The first conception of the memorial had been for Lincoln to be standing among a group of African-American Civil War soldiers.)
The second memorial in the park is the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial. Dedicated in 1974, it commemorates a 20th century African-American educator and advisor to Franklin Roosevelt.
The park itself is two city blocks in length, between 11th and 13th Streets, Northeast. It is probably best known by residents of the neighborhood. Two fenced playground “tot lots” are in the park as well a numerous benches. However, I have to observe that the two memorials in the park are connected by a large dirt filled dog run rather than some type of landscaping!
Part of the Inside Washington, DC travel blog
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