Meridian Hill Park, also known today as Malcolm X Park following a 1969 speech by activist Angela Davis, is a distinguished example of landscape design. The hilly, twelve-acre park with its Beaux Arts design elements is notable for its elaborate architectural composition within the diverse neighborhood that surrounds it.
Opened in 1936, Meridian Hill Park features landscape architect Ferrucio Vitale’s designs, inspired by Italian villa landscapes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The park can be divided into two principal areas: the lower park, with water cascading into linked basins, symmetric stairways, and a large reflecting pool surrounded by a plaza; and the upper park, with an open mall, wooded areas flanking the mall, and a broad terrace overlooking the lower park. The park also contains a number of statues and memorials, including the Buchanan Memorial and statues of Joan of Arc and Dante.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: October 25, 1974
National Historic Landmark: April 19, 1994