National Geographic : 1964 Dec
Capital Here, in Capitol, Supreme Court, and White House, men seek to transmute the ideas and ideals of democ racy into action. The companion map, Suburban Washington, on a scale of 1.2 miles to the inch, finds a natural frame in the newly completed Cap ital Beltway, or outer loop. It encircles the city, enabling through traffic to bypass downtown areas. Within this ring nestle burgeoning Maryland and Virginia sub divisions that absorb much of the area's growth. Many of these, though photo graphed from the air, re quired visits by name-check ing cartographers. The easiest part of the arduous research job was locating the new National Geographic Society building at 17th and M Streets in downtown Washington. The cartographers work there. New Capital for a newborn Nation, Washington grew slow ly at first. The original 10-mile square District of Columbia was virtual wilderness, with only 14,000 inhabitants, when the White House welcomed its first occupants in 1800 (top); L'Enfant's city (in background tint) was only a dream. By Civil War times, Washington had as sumed the look of a capital (center); forts and encampments soon more than doubled its 1860 population of 75,000. To day the square has been swal lowed and the green of open country gives way to built-up areas-the tan segments. With the opening of the new 66-mile beltway, (reater Washington spills outward in all directions.