National Geographic : 1951 Jun
© National Geographic Society 713 Ektachronme Aero by J. Baylor Roberts Washington's Aerial Portrait Reveals the Geometric Layout of Its Mall Axis Like a tremendous bowling alley, the Mall proper extends a mile from the distant Capitol to Washington Monument. Construction of the Reflecting Pool lengthened the axis three-quarters of a mile. Railroad tracks once crossed the Mall; buildings dotted it. Formal landscaping was done within the present century. French-born Pierre Charles L'Enfant drew up the National Capital's plan, including the Mall, in 1791. He presented a bill for $95,000, but Congress paid only $3,894. L'Enfant's possessions were valued at $45 when he died in 1825. Lincoln Memorial stands on reclaimed land. Jefferson Memorial, domed in white marble, faces the blue Tidal Basin. Arlington Memorial Bridge spans the muddy Potomac to the Virginia shore.