I recently gave a tour of Meridian Hill Park as part of WalkingTownDC – a 10-day festival of tours organized by Cultural Tourism DC.

If you haven’t heard of Cultural Tourism DC check out their website at culturaltourismdc.org. They offer a weekly e-newsletter distributed on Wednesdays and filled with activities and other interesting happenings. It’s a great resource.

Cultural Tourism is an independent coalition of over 230 culture, heritage, and community-based member organizations. They’re the ones that put up those heritage signs explaining neighborhood history, and they are assist with the Art on Call initiative.

WalkingTownDC is one part of the 10-day event, BikingTownDC is the other part. All the events are free and open to the public. The tours are provided by professional tour guides, historians, DC enthusiasts, and other local experts. If you didn’t get a chance to participate this year put a reminder on your calendar for the mid-September 2012 – for this wonderful event.

If you were not able to take my Meridian Hill tour, here are some fun facts you missed:

  • The lower part of the part was designed in an Italianate-like design. There are many design elements that reflect Italianate design including the human chessboard on the east-side of the lower reflecting pool.
  • John Earley, the concrete contractor, perfected the technique of concrete aggregate that was used throughout the park.
  • The park was the site of two Civil War encampments – the 5th New Jersey, and the 7th New York regiments.
  • The designer of the park never liked the placement of theĀ  Joan of Arc statue – he felt it was disproportionate in scale to its surroundings.