This rectangular, 1.5-acre square in the northwestern portion of the nation’s capital was part of Pierre L’Enfant’s 1791 plan for the new Federal City. The Baroque plan for the city featured a number of broad, radial avenues punctuated by 15 ceremonial spaces called Reservations (including Farragut Square), overlaid on a gridded street pattern.
The square remained undeveloped throughout the first half of the 19th century. Following the Civil War, the site housed temporary wooden buildings associated with the Freedman’s Bureau, until 1868, when U.S. Army Corps engineer Nathaniel Michler recommended the site be transformed into a public park. By 1872 the park had fencing, gravel walkways, shrubs and trees.
Farragut Square is bounded by K, I, and 17th Streets and Connecticut Avenue, and is circumscribed by a concrete sidewalk. It is composed of lawn and mature shade trees informally planted around its perimeter, with a pair of paved paths running from the northwest to southeast corners, and two intersecting smaller walks running from northeast to southwest and laterally from 17th Street. At the center of the park, an oval-shaped space features a memorial statue of Admiral Farragut, dedicated in 1881. The monument’s square stone base is surrounded by iron fencing, an oval path, and two semi-circular flower beds with seasonal plantings.