Planning, Developing, and Growing the Nation’s Capital

Washington DC pic
Washington DC
Image: washington.org

A native of Washington, DC, Binta Robinson graduated from the Benjamin Banneker Academic High School before eventually relocating to Atlanta to attend Spelman College. After graduating, she eventually returned to Washington.

A planned city, Washington, DC, was created on land ceded to the national government by the states of Virginia and Maryland. The capital city itself was built on the land ceded by Maryland; the rest of the land, neglected by Congress, was returned to Virginia in 1846. The city’s planner, Major Pierre L’Enfant, a wartime friend of President George Washington, designed a city of grand radial avenues, broad boulevards, and numerous ceremonial spaces.

Although the city grew haphazardly over the years, in 1901 the Congress approved plans to beautify Washington, DC, and restore L’Enfant’s vision. The city today is home to the three branches of the United States government and scores of federal departments and agencies. In addition, about 650,000 residents call Washington home, while the metropolitan area hosts nearly 7 million.

As befits a national capital, Washington is home to a host of entertainment and cultural venues, including the 19 museums operated by the Smithsonian Institution. These attractions, as well as the city’s role as the seat of American government, make it a major tourist destination.

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