Lafayette Square is a seven-acre public park located directly north of the White House between H Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Originally planned as part of the pleasure grounds surrounding the Executive Mansion, the area was referred to as the ‘President’s Park’ in L'Enfant's plan of Washington. Over the years, 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 has hosted many political protests and celebrations. The neighborhood surrounding the park was the city’s most prestigious residential address in the 18th century and was home to prominent political figures, including Secretary of State William Henry Seward, Senator John C. Calhoun, and former First Lady Dolley Madison.

Last Reviewed: 2022-04-20