A 200-year transformation
How the Mall became what it is today
Aaron Steckelberg, Philip Kennicott, Bonnie Berkowitz and Denise Lu
The original idea for the Mall — a grand, tree-lined avenue flanked by imposing buildings — goes back to the very origins of the capital city, Pierre L’Enfant’s plan conceived for George Washington. But in Washington, plans rarely go as planned, so the Mall has been a work in progress for more than 200 years. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the most recent addition but possibly not the last.