Lafayette Square

Description And Comments

Just north of the White House on Pennsylvania Ave between 15th and 17th Streets sits Lafayette Square, a charming park dotted by inspiring statues. It was originally planned as part of the White House complex until, in 1804, President Jefferson separated it from the White House grounds by allowing Pennsylvania Avenue to continue through it. In 1824 the name was changed from “President’s Park” in order to honor General Lafayette, the French officer who fought for the United States in the American Revolutionary War. Lafayette Park has been used as a racetrack, a graveyard, a zoo, an encampment for soldiers during the War of 1812, and the site of many political protests and celebrations.

Touring Tips

Lafayette Square offers unequaled views of the north face of the White House with the Washington Monument peeking over the top. During warmer months, the flower beds give the foreground color and depth. Because of this--and the fact that the White House tour exits on this side--the park is often choked with visitors during the middle of the day.


1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, north border of the White House
Washington, D.C.
Foggy Bottom
McPherson Square



Attraction Photos