Farewell to Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

By DowntownDC

We’re going to miss him, but we’re glad to share him. That is, the statue of abolitionist, orator and District resident Frederick Douglass. The statue graced the entrance to One Judiciary Square (441 4th Street), a D.C. government building, until early last month. Now it adorns the U.S. Capitol, where it’s finally perched in National Statuary Hall along with the sculptures of other famous Americans. All 50 states have statues of two luminaries apiece in the Capitol building, but because D.C. is not a state, the Douglass statue, and one of architect Pierre L’Enfant, were not admitted. As a compromise, legislation authored by Rep. Dan Lungren, backed by DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and approved last year, allows D.C. to have one statue. But Norton has vowed to “continue to fight to bring” the L’Enfant statue into the Capitol as well. After all, L’Enfant planned the city of Washington, the nation’s capital. His statue remains at One Judiciary Square.