I was blown away by how many of you responded to our segment on the park yesterday with your opinions on what it should be called! Here are some of your thoughts:
“Malcolm X Park is what I've called it. It's what I was told when I moved to D.C. 30 years ago” - David R.
“I like both because they both mean something.” - Kim A.
“When I was a teacher, I’d frequently take classes there. The students referred to it as ‘Malcolm X Park’, so that’s what I’ve always called it.”- Jill R.
All this got me hooked, and I did a little digging into the park’s history. First of all, here’s what it looked like 113 years ago.
It was designed and constructed between 1912 and 1940 per the request of aristocrat Mary Foote Henderson.
Originally, Henderson wanted the hill to house the presidential mansion. When that was shot down, she asked for the Lincoln Memorial to be built there. Obviously, that also wasn’t popular either, so she settled for a 12-acre park.
The upper part of the park was done in a French neoclassical style, while the bottom meant to resemble Italian Renaissance landscape design.
The plans of Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park. (Photo via Library of Congress)