Simon Bolivar Park

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Washington, DC
United States
Simon Bolivar Park

Landscape Information

Just north of Constitution Gardens and west of the Ellipse, Simon Bolívar Park is located on Reservation 383, an approximately one-acre triangular shaped property at the intersection of Virginia Avenue, 18th Street and C Street in northwest Washington, D.C. Lined with majestic Oak trees, Virginia Avenue NW, is one of the major public avenues envisioned in Pierre L’Enfant’s 1791 Plan of the City of Washington. There are 20 historic reservations along Virginia Avenue that contain public art and statues that thematically celebrate Latin American heroes. At the termination of Virginia Avenue NW and Constitution Avenue, the Organization of American States building, and the Art Museum of the Americas form a cluster of buildings honoring the Americas. Looking south over the pool and plaza the distant view reveals the Washington Monument.

The triangle shaped park and plaza features a 27-foot bronze equestrian statue of the political and military leader, Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) by Felix de Weldon. The statue was officially presented to the United States by Venezuela when the park was dedicated in 1959. The design of the angular space contains a trapezoidal shaped fountain pool with each water jet representative of a nation liberated from the Spanish empire. The pool is surrounded by a generous apron of lawn and dotted with canopy trees and minimal understory planting at its perimeter. The paved elevated plaza at 18th and Virginia serves as a plinth for the elevated equestrian statue. Two firms, Faulkner, Kingsbury & Stenhouse, a local architectural firm, and the New Orleans architectural firm of Favrot, Reed, Mathes & Bergmand, are credited with the design.