“the city which Washington and Jefferson planned with so much care and with such prophetic vision will continue to expand, keeping pace with national advancement, until it becomes the visible expression of the power and taste of the people of the United States.” — The Improvement of the Park System of the District of Columbia, p. 19
The McMillan Commission’s 1902 report to Congress, “The Improvement of the Park System of the District of Columbia,” is a crucial and invaluable resource for the study of the planning of the Nation’s Capital as well as the National Mall. The Commission’s ideas are the basis for the Mall we know today.
In their report, Commission members described their design ideas for the entire park system of the nation’s capital, not simply the National Mall. The report offered an eloquent and intelligent discussion of conditions and needs at the turn of the 20th century and innovative ideas for physical, environmental, and aesthetic improvements to the capital. Read an historical overview here.
As a public service, the National Mall Coalition has created a digitized version of this valuable but out-of-print and rare report and provides it chapter by chapter below. This book is in the public domain.
NOTE: The book was scanned to be read two pages at a time so this PDF is best viewed by rotating the format or zooming out to view both pages at once. Large photos and maps (folded in the actual book) are shown in multiple views.