The National Mall

Rethinking Washington's Monumental Core
  • Foreword by James F. Cooper

The National Mall in Washington, D.C., has long held an important place in the American psyche. Home to monuments and museums dedicated to the founding ideals of the United States, the Mall serves as a gathering place for public protest and celebration. But as the nation ages and the population diversifies, demands for additional structures and uses have sparked debates over the Mall’s future and the necessity of preserving its legacy.
The National Mall addresses these issues with a novel and compelling collection of essays, the work of leading design professionals, historians and social scientists. Supplemented by eye-catching illustrations and photographs, this cross-disciplinary examination follows the discussion over the Mall’s design and use, from its conceptual origins as part of Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s vision for the capital to the 1902 McMillan Plan to the present day and beyond. It assesses how architectural, societal and political changes have altered the park-like space between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial and explores the influence that disparate interest groups and creeping corporatism have already had on—and are likely to exert upon—America’s public square.
The National Mall presents an overarching account of how a democratic society plans, creates and expands a national ceremonial space, opening the way for a broadly based inquiry into the Mall as it was, is and will become. This is a vital study for urban planners, architectural and design historians and engaged citizens.
The book includes essays by Michael J. Lewis, Cynthia R. Field, Richard Guy Wilson, Witold Rybczynski, Edith L.B. Turner, Frederick Turner, Richard Kurin, Nathan Glazer, Judy Scott Feldman and Patricia E. Gallagher.

Published: 2008 : The Johns Hopkins University Press : Baltimore, Maryland
ISBN: 0801888050