Freedom Plaza will serve historic role as protest site

Iconic landmark will serve as center stage to a raucous day in the nation’s capital

Supporters and protestors alike, will be filing into Washington DC on January 20th for the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Some will gather at the National Mall as witnesses to the President-elect taking the oaths of office and subsequent inaugural address. Others will take part in the largest organized protest on Inauguration Day, organized by Answer Coalition. The aptly named “Protest againstTrump on Inauguration Day” will be taking place in Freedom Plaza located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a stone’s throw from Trump’s Old Post Office hotel. Freedom Plaza is a sobering reminder of the values that formed the nation during its inception, through an architectural discourse.

lenfant_plan
Pierre L’enfant was handpicked by George Washington to design the Federal City; today’s Washington D.C.

Freedom Plaza was known as Western Plaza until 1988 when it was renamed in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Plaza was a collaborative endeavor completed in 1980 by architect Robert Venturi and landscape architect George Patton. The Plaza is set on a raised terraced platform where a large map of Pierre L’enfant’s 1791 plan for the capital city is laid out across the floor. The city plan is outlined on the Plaza with black granite and white marble. The Capitol building and White House are delineated in bronze and two grass panels represent the National Mall and the Ellipse. Pierre L’enfant’s city plan for Washington was egalitarian in spirit and emblematic of the power structure of the new country. Washington was laid out through a equal pointed grid system, while a series of diagonal boulevards connect momentous institutions. The plaza is meant to represent the political equality of the citizen along with freedom from tyrannical rule – something that protesters will be keen to capitalize on come January 20th.

 

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