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Dupont Circle: Washington DC Loves Its Circles
According the original plan for D.C. which was drawn up by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, General Washington’s hand-picked architect to lay out his cherished federal city that would bear his name, Dupont Circle was developed in 1871. On L’Enfant’s plan it was called Pacific Circle instead. It took an act of Congress to rename the traffic circle in 1882 for Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Dupont; at the same time a memorial statue was authorized to recognize Dupont’s Civil War service. The statue (never liked by the Admiral’s children), erected in 1884, was replaced in 1921 with a double-tiered white marble fountain (see photos 2, 3, 4 & 5).
Sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon, co-creators of Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial, designed the fountain. Featured on the shaft of the fountain are three allegorical figures, the Sea, the Stars and the Wind (see photo #4), guiding a sailing ship.
Despite being situated in the middle of mainstream traffic the park surrounding the fountain is a lovely place to relax.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
pictured is the fountain at dupont circle. just to the northwest of dupont circle is embassy row on massachusetts ave. this neighborhood was once home to the wealthy but during the great depression in the 1930's many families had to sell their mansions to foreign embassies. a very interesting neighborhood to visit in washington d.c.
- Historical Travel
I Love Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle is to Washington what Union and Washington Squares are to New York. It is sort of the hippy, anti establishment, artsy area. I am none of those and haven't been for about 40 years, but I still consider it one of my favorite places to go. I think it would be high on my list as a neighborhood to live in if I were to move back to Washington.
There are lots of great restaurants, shops, bookstores, and art galleries including the Phillips, one of my favorite galleries in the world. And it is so convenient to everything.
For some good photos of the area see the website below.
take a walk in the Dupont neighborhood
The Dupont circle area is my favorite in the city. It is well worth your time to spend an afternoon walking around and seeing the beautiful building and cute shops and cafe's as well as spending some time in the park feeding the birds and watching the people.
A few nice blocks are Q street between 17th and 18th, New Hampshire between T Street and Dupont Circle, Connecticut Ave from Dupont circle to Florida Ave and Florida Ave from 21st to Q Street.
There are so many other pretty streets, but this is at least a start
My final night in DC was spent at the Westin Embassy Row near DuPont Circle so on my last morning I took a walk through the neighborhood to view some of the fine mansions that now house embassies, walking over to the Bison bridge. If you continue on Q St. past the bridge, you would be in Georgetown.
The DuPont Circle neighborhood is a fashionable area, with many restaurants, shops, bookstores and coffeeshops and a large gay community.
I was only able to try one restaurant, Pizzeria Paradiso, which was open Sunday for lunch unlike many of the other places I wanted to try.
I stopped by Kramer Books and Afterwords which came highly recommended by both Fodor's and Vter Kentbein but was only able to stay for a minute. It looked like a fine place to grab a cup of coffee, dessert or breakfast.
Please see my travelogue for some more pictures of the DuPont Circle area.
Dupont Circle is located where Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire Avenues meet. There, you'll find a landscaped circle in the center of which is a marble fountain. The fountain was designed in 1921 by the same men who designed the Lincoln Memorial.
The Dupont Circle neighborhood is very cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic. Here, you'll find lots of restaurants, art galleries, bookstores, various embassies, museums, offices and private homes. It is a residential neighborhood, but there are several hotels in the area as well. This is a great place to stay while you're in D.C. You'll find easy access to a subway stop and there are lots of things to see and do withing walking distance.
The DuPont Circle area blossomed in the 1870s and soon thereafter became a popular location for rich magnates from around the country to build their elaborate homes. The area is now an historic district and you'll see examples of fine architecture everywhere you turn.
Today, many of the great mansions in the area serve as embassies or museums. The Phillips Collection is here, the first museum of modern art in the country. You'll also see the Heurich Mansion, which houses the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
Dupont Circle is a lovely place to visit or stay while in Washington D.C.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
This is one of Washington DC's main crossroads, where people come from all over and meet. Here are many of the city's most "happening" places. It's a key reference point.
- Arts and Culture
Around the Dupont Circle
It's a really pleasant and nice residential area around the Dupont Circle (esp. along Connecticut Ave towards NW). If you take Massachusetts Ave (NW), you will get to the Embassy Row.
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