Dupont circle, a historic district in Northwest Washington is basically a traffic circle, that is also a park and a neighborhood. It is located at the crossing of Massachusetts Avenue NW, New Hampshire Avenue NW, P Street NW, 19th Street NW and Connecticut Avenue NW. The circle derived its name from the Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Point and is bounded by the 22nd street, the 16th street, the M Street and the Florida Avenue.
Dupont lies in that part of Washington, DC which was planned by the architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant. This area is generally referred to as the Old City and remained the same for years with little development. It was only after the immigrant influx post American Civil War that the area started getting more developed.
This area was previously a Brickyard and a slaughterhouse. It had also had a creek. In 1870, Alexander Boss Shepherd undertook some major upgradations and renovations. After that, the area was completely remodeled and became one of the fashionable and highly planned residencies surrounding Washington DC.
The construction of Dupont circle actually began in 1871 and was undertaken the US Army Corps of Engineers, as per the plan laid out by L’Enfant. The area was highly remodeled and named Dupont circle by the Congress. It was during this time itself that the statue of Samuel Francies Du Pont was inaugurated in the area. This was done in honor of the exceptional services offered by the admiral during the American Civil War. The admiral had several family members who thought that it was too insignificant and decorated the area with exotic flowers, trees and tiered marble fountain. Later, the statue was replaced by this fountain designed by Chester French and Henry Bacon. The fountain also has the carvings of three figures on its shaft symbolizing the sea, the stars and the wind.
Dupont circle has a number of educational institutions. Its schools are normally rated better than the average. A study conducted with the average school test scores showed that the public schools in Dupont circle were 7% better than the average in all of America. There are public schools, private schools as well colleges in the area. Almost 98.4 % of the population in Dupont circle have completed their high school and 88.5 % are graduates.
Buses and carpool are two major backbones of transportation in Dupont circle. The area is also served by the red line of the Washington Metro. There is a single station named Dupont circle Station and it has two gates, one towards the north, on the Q Street and one towards the south, on the 19th street. The entrance on the Q Street has “the Wound Dresser” carved into it and is easily visible.
Places to visit:
Embassy Row at Scott Circle
The embassy Row offers an amazing sight of the diplomatic missions from Mahatma Gandhi to Nelson Mandela.
The Phillip’s Collection
This is America’s first museum of modern art. They also have concerts every Sunday at 4 pm.
Dupont circle Fountain
This historical fountain is surrounded by greenery on all sides. There are beautiful flowers and ornamental trees. You can just sit and relax or lie down on the grass for a good read.
Woodrow Wilson House
When you are in Dupont circle, it is a must to visit President Wilson’s Gregorian House which has been preserved as it was when the President actually lived there.