Greater Greater Washington


Farragut Square, 1886

Farragut Square ca. 1886Farragut Square ca. 1910

The basic plan of Farragut Square (left) has been stable over the years. The only real changes that have occurred have been in lighting and foliage. The image at right, from the first quarter of the 20th century, shows the style of the gas lamps that once graced the park.

Below is a list of the plants in the square in 1886.

Farragut Square flora

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest primarily within the District. He's worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He's been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is the force behind the blog Park View, D.C.


Add a comment »

Note that the gas lamp was capped on top so the light would reflect down and not all be wasted up into the sky, like the current "washington standard" lights DC uses....

by Moose on Jul 30, 2009 5:10 pm • linkreport

If only they hadn't freaked out about having the Farragut metro stations be one big transfer station, maybe we would have a less congested Metro Center.

by Andrew on Jul 30, 2009 5:19 pm • linkreport

note another big change...the area to the east and west of the square that has been eaten up by the widening of K street...

by IMGoph on Jul 30, 2009 5:33 pm • linkreport

Why can't squares like this be redesigned to have better uses such as like Bryant Park in NY? Farragut such a centrally located square, but all you can do here is walk through or sit on a bench.

by Dunfarall on Jul 30, 2009 11:32 pm • linkreport

Why can't squares like this be redesigned to have better uses such as like Bryant Park in NY? Farragut such a centrally located square, but all you can do here is walk through or sit on a bench.

Dunfarall, that's because Farragut, like so many parks in DC including Dupont Circle, is a federal park falling under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. As a federal park, there are lots of rules that ensure that it can only be used for mainly 'passive' recreational uses. For example, it is illegal to sell anything on this federal parkland which precludes fairs, farmer's market's, or even a music event where an entry fee would be required. Overall, that's probably a good policy that the National Park System has (i.e., to not let it's parks be commercialized), but considering some of these parks are really more our city's neighborhood parks than the nation's parks (e.g., like the Mall), these parks really should instead be under DC control so that a place like Farragut could be used more like Bryant Park in NYC.

by Lance on Jul 31, 2009 8:21 am • linkreport

Farragut Square, a very small space, does have practical & important uses.
The Square is one giant picnic ground from April thru October for office
workers. The Square has also played host to summer lunchtime concerts.

Farragut Square was once beautifully landscaped by a dedicated NPS gardener.
It was absolutely stunning! Sadly, budget cutbacks and a cruder point of view
ended Farragut Square's gem-like quality.

by B. A. Fine on Oct 12, 2009 1:06 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

You can use some HTML, like <blockquote>quoting another comment</blockquote>, <i>italics</i>, and <a href="http://url_here">hyperlinks</a>. More here.

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.