Lafayette Square is a seven-acre public park located directly north of the White House on H Street between 15th and 17th Streets, NW. Originally planned as part of the pleasure grounds surrounding the Executive Mansion, the area was called ‘President’s Park.’ Yet, the park has been used as a race track, a graveyard, a zoo, a slave market, an encampment for soldiers during the War of 1812, and many political protests and celebrations. The neighborhood that borders the park is also a place many visitors enjoy touring through. It was the city’s most prestigious residential area in the 18th century because of the people that resided there including Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William Henry Seward and South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun.

Last Reviewed 2016-06-30