Civic and Commercial Projects

Francis Scott Key Memorial

Washington, D.C. • Completed 1993


Oehme, van Sweden & Associates
Wolfgang Oehme
James van Sweden

This one-acre National Park Service site by the C&O Canal honors the author of the words to “The Star Spangled Banner.” In Gardening with Nature, van Sweden wrote, “Wolfgang and I seldom encounter projects with so many competing influences. We had to satisfy a design program that called for dramatic combinations of landscaping, architecture, and sculpture, while respecting the site’s history, natural features, and location.”[1] Their design includes a circular, wisteria-covered arbor and a sloped meadow with 7,000 perennials, 32,000 bulbs, flowering trees, and shrubs.


The prominent site, in close proximity to Key’s home at the time he wrote the anthem, commands dramatic views of the Potomac River, the Georgetown waterfront, and many of Washington’s notable buildings and historic landmarks.[2]

James van Sweden


Learn More

  • 34th and M Streets, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20007

Francis Scott Key Memorial Park website

Gardening with Nature. see resources

See What's Out There Profile


[1] James Van Sweden, Gardening with Nature (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2003), 51.

[2] Ibid.




The Photographers

Barrett Doherty (American, b. 1973)
After earning a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia, Doherty turned to photography to document his travels and experiences while living in Tokyo, Japan. He worked as a professional photographer in New York City for a number of years before receiving an M.L.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked with Gap Japan, James Corner Field Operations, Garten + Landschaft, and Friends of the High Line, and his photographs have been featured in numerous publications and have won national awards.