WASHINGTON. The capital city of the United States; conterminous with the District of Columbia (q.v.), a territory of 60 square miles (excluding 9.25 square miles of water), under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress. It is situated 011 the northeastern shore of the Potomac River, about 100 miles from its mouth, 40 miles by rail sonthwes1 of Baltimore, 228 miles from New York, 3115 from San Francisco, and 11l0 from New (Weans; latitude (('apitol) :is' 53' N., longitude 77' \\'. (Slap: District of Columbia, I' 7).
lh.scniyi los, The situation of the city is noted for its picturesque beauty. The Potomac stretches out nearly a mile in width along its border, having here finally reached tide-water and the head of navigation. Rock Creek and the Anacostia or Eastern Branch here enter the river, which is spanned by three bridges. Along the Potomac the land is low, but it gradually rises, reaching an elevation of 100 and much more in the suburban portion of the city. A circle of hills forms the edge of a plateau which has in some parts an elevation of 300 to 400 feet. Formerly the section of the District bounded ap proximately by Rock Creek, the Potomac River, the Eastern Branch, and Florida Avenue was the city of Washington. but now there are no civil distinctions throughout the entire District. Georgetown, built partly on the heights of the Potomac River, west of Rock Creek, was a municipality before the site of the Federal City was .selected. and is sometimes desig nated as West Washington. Anacostia, Bright wood, and other names given to the settle ments iu the District away from the main centre of population are still in use, but have no civil significance. The steam railroads enter the city from three different points and centre in two depots, one north and the other west of the Capitol building. In the year 1903 Congress authorized the building of a union station, which is to cost $4.000,000. Underground electricity is exclusively used as the motive power in all street railroads within the former municipal lim its, and the overhead trolley outside those limits. The facilities of cheap and rapid transit com munication with the outlying territory are abundant, some of the lines extending as far as twenty miles from the main portion of the city.
The plan of the city, which was made in 1791 by Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a French engineer who served in the Revolutionary War, was ap proved by General Washington, and is generally conceded to be the most complete as well as the most artistic city system ever carried out. As far as the topography of the country outside of the former urban limits and the existing improve ments made it possible, this plan has been ap plied to the entire District. Within the old
city limits the alphabetical streets run east and west and the numbered streets north and south, the whole being intersected by twenty-one ave nues named from different States in the Union. The avenues converge at centres such as the Capitol and the President's house, 'so that these broad thoroughfares aid materially in giving that variety which is the unique feature of the city's plan.
The streets on the whole are the widest of any city in the world, as they range from SO to 160 feet. They are paved with asphalt almost ex clusively, and the sidewalks are commonly of cement. More than 84,000 trees line the streets. Massachusetts Avenue is adorned with a quadruple row its entire length of four miles and a half. The broad transverse avenues form at the intersections with the rectangular streets squares and circles a nil reservations which number 302 and 407 acres. The most important ?if these reservations is the series be ginning with the Capitol grounds. extending westward through the Mall (including the Bo tanical Gardens) to the Waliington Monument grounds, and thence northward to the grounds of the l'resident's Ionise, including also Lafayette Park, opposite the President's house. The Mall, as the park extending from the Capitol to the Potomac is known, is adorned with fine trees. Numerous drives and walks furnish the op portunity of enjoying the unusual experience of rural surroundings in the heart of a great city, since Pennsylvania Avenue, the broad thorough fare extending from the Caldtol grounds to the vicinity of the President's house, lie; a square or two north of this park of 230 acres.
The number and general distribution of the parks and the profusion of trees give to the city, when seen from an elevation, the appear ance of a great park with buildings showing through the masses of foliage, or thrusting their tall forms of brick and stone above it. The tendency toward centralization in modern busi ness has led to the erection of a number of lofty buildings for commercial purposes. The building regulations restrict buildings on residi•ntial streets to a maximum height of SO feet. and in business sections to 110-130 feet, according to the width of the thoroughfare on Whieil they front.
The principal business thoroughfares are F Street \Vest, Seventh Street West, and Pennsyl vania Avenue. There is a great diversity in the character of the domestic architecture, a circum stance which not only add; to the attractiveness of the city, hut serves to give it individuality. Some of the fine residence streets are K Street North, Sixteenth Street West, Massachusetts Avenue, and Connecticut Avenue. The in the growth of the city is toward the north west.