According to a Stanton Park historian, the four-acre park in Northeast Washington, D.C. was part of Pierre L'Enfant's original 1791 city blueprints. By 1878, it was recognized as a public park. Situated in the city's Capitol Hill section, the park is bound by C Street to the north and south, 6th Street to the east, and 4th Street to the west.
Previously known as Houp's Addition, the land on which the park now sits originally belonged to Jonathan Slater. William Prout purchased the acreage in 1791, but soon after the federal government acquired the property.
Originally called "Stanton Square," the public space is named for Edwin McMasters Stanton, the secretary of war under Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Throughout his time in office, Stanton was primarily responsible for organizing military resources and guiding the Union to victory. A ferociously fastidious man, generals often accused Stanton of micromanaging and being overly cautious. Regardless, his methods led to victory.
The first mention of "Stanton Square" appears in an 1871 federal administrative report.
Though the park bears Stanton's name, the commanding statute at its center depicts Major General Nathanael Greene, a Revolutionary War hero.
Greene came to prominence when he drove the "Redcoats" out of Georgia and the Carolinas. Today, historians venerate Greene as George Washington's most dependable and talented officer.
In 1783, the major general retired and moved to Mulberry Grove Plantation in Georgia. He wanted to become the quintessential "southern gentleman" but died in 1786 before realizing his dream.
According to the National Parks Services, Greene's effigy is wreathed with flower beds and formal walkways that were added during a 1933 park redesign. A 1964 renovation saw the addition of a playground in the park's western section. Today, the eastern section is popular among dog walkers. However, since the National Park Service maintains the grounds, a strict leash law is in effect.
Designer and civil engineers credit Stanton Park as a shining example of how to incorporate natural design into an urban landscape.
A historically recognized space, Stanton Park lies within the Capitol Hill Historic District. Additionally, according to D.C. Sites, the National Register includes the Nathanael Greene statue on its list of Washington's Revolutionary War landmarks.
So if you’re in the nation’s capital and want to check out one of its older public spaces, head to Stanton Park.
The Stanton Park in March
Maid To Please - Washington, DC
From Stanton Park to Maid to Please