U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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Highway History

An Imaginary Tour of Pennsylvania Avenue

Pennsylvania Avenue General Ulysses S. Grant

From First to Third Avenue, the Avenue of the Presidents is not very impressive. It has one narrow lane of traffic in each direction. Cars are parked in four rows. Pennsylvania Avenue looks more like a parking lot than the grand boulevard of America that L'Enfant imagined 200 years ago.

On your left is the Capitol Reflecting Pool. It looks cool and inviting on a warm, breezy Saturday afternoon in June. Several ducks paddle about. Eight tiny ducklings swim in circles behind them. One duck takes off and flies along the surface of the water, then lands on the other side of the pool. You can't imagine why. People are sunbathing on the sloping sides of the pool, their feet dangling in the water. Alongside the pool is a series of statues honoring General Ulysses S. Grant, the great hero of the Civil War. A statue honors General Ulysses S. Grant, who led the Union forces to victory in the Civil War.

A statue honors General Ulysses S. Grant, who led the Union forces to victory in the Civil War.
A statue honors General Ulysses S. Grant, who led the Union forces to victory in the Civil War.

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Updated: 10/18/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000