clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Here's a Guide to Some of D.C.'s Lesser Known Monuments

View as Map

The Hidden Memorials series has given a quick primer to many of the city's monuments, several just off the National Mall, that most residents simply don't know about. Some are controversial like the Temperance Fountain and the Victims of Communism Memorial. Still others like Bridge Tender's House are often in plain sight but beyond the realm of common knowledge. But whether off the beaten path or simply overlooked, these obscure memorials have a story. Here's a look at the thirteen that Curbed has covered thus far.


· All Hidden Memorials Coverage [CDC]

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Albert Einstein Memorial

Copy Link

This bronze statue of the famous scientist sits on the campus of the National Academy of Sciences. It was dedicated in 1979, 100 years after Einstein's birth. Photo by Adam Fagen.

USS Maine Memorial - Cuban American Friendship Urn / Monumento A Las Victims Del "Maine"

Copy Link

This memorial has a very strange history. The monument to fallen American sailors off the coast of Cuba was gifted to President Coolidge in 1928 but mysteriously disappeared for several decades during the height of U.S./Cuba tensions. Photo by Flickr user cliff1066™.

Titanic Memorial

Copy Link

The outstretched arms may recall a famous scene from the 1997 film, but this 1931 monument looking over the water memorializes the male passengers of the ship who gave up their lives so that the women and children could use the lifeboats. Photo by Tim Evanson

Samuel Hahnemann Memorial

Copy Link

This massive memorial in the center of Scott Circle is a dedication to the father of homeopathic medicine. Photo by Adam Fagen.

Van Ness Mausoleum at Oak Hill Cemetery

Copy Link

This large Greek Revival structure holds the former mayor of D.C. and his wife. Before its move to Oak Hill Cemetery, it stood in front of an orphanage in Penn Quarter. Photo by NCinDC.

Sonny Bono Memorial Park

Copy Link

The deceased singer/politician had a good friend in developer Geary Simon. This little 800 square foot triangle south of Dupont Circle has a chest carrying some of Bono's treasured artifacts buried underneath. Photo by Andy Buschap

Temperance Fountain

Copy Link

This statue near the National Mall was meant to be an inspiration to drink water instead of liquor, but the water fountain has long since stopped working. Photo by Flickr user NCinDC.

"Motherland," The Armenian Earthquake Statue

Copy Link

This statue stands on the North Lawn of the American Red Cross Headquarters. It was a gift to the organization after their assistance during a 1988 earthquake in Armenia. Photo by David King.

Bartholdi Fountain

Copy Link

This work of art in the Botanic Garden was named "The Fountain of Light and Water" but it is more commonly called the Bartholdi fountain, after its creator. Fun fact: he also designed the Statue of Liberty! Photo courtesy of the U.S. Capitol.

Boy Scouts of America Memorial

Copy Link

The coolest thing about this statue on the Ellipse is that the Boy Scouts of America paid for the memorial themselves. Photo by Robert Goodwin.

Victims of Communism Memorial

Copy Link

This may surpass the still-unbuilt Eisenhower Memorial the most controversial monument in the city. The Ukrainians even built a Museum of American Imperialism in agitated protest. Photo by Cesar Harada.

Bridge Tender's House

Copy Link

The watchtower on the 14th Street Bridge became a kaleidoscopic work of colorful public art in 2009. Photo by Flickr user art around.

(Here I Stand) In the Spirit of Paul Robeson

Copy Link

This glass and steel statue in Petworth by Allen Uzikee Nelson is in homage to the internationally renowned singer, athlete and activist. Photo by Valerie Paschall.

Loading comments...

Albert Einstein Memorial

This bronze statue of the famous scientist sits on the campus of the National Academy of Sciences. It was dedicated in 1979, 100 years after Einstein's birth. Photo by Adam Fagen.

USS Maine Memorial - Cuban American Friendship Urn / Monumento A Las Victims Del "Maine"

This memorial has a very strange history. The monument to fallen American sailors off the coast of Cuba was gifted to President Coolidge in 1928 but mysteriously disappeared for several decades during the height of U.S./Cuba tensions. Photo by Flickr user cliff1066™.

Titanic Memorial

The outstretched arms may recall a famous scene from the 1997 film, but this 1931 monument looking over the water memorializes the male passengers of the ship who gave up their lives so that the women and children could use the lifeboats. Photo by Tim Evanson

Samuel Hahnemann Memorial

This massive memorial in the center of Scott Circle is a dedication to the father of homeopathic medicine. Photo by Adam Fagen.

Van Ness Mausoleum at Oak Hill Cemetery

This large Greek Revival structure holds the former mayor of D.C. and his wife. Before its move to Oak Hill Cemetery, it stood in front of an orphanage in Penn Quarter. Photo by NCinDC.

Sonny Bono Memorial Park

The deceased singer/politician had a good friend in developer Geary Simon. This little 800 square foot triangle south of Dupont Circle has a chest carrying some of Bono's treasured artifacts buried underneath. Photo by Andy Buschap

Temperance Fountain

This statue near the National Mall was meant to be an inspiration to drink water instead of liquor, but the water fountain has long since stopped working. Photo by Flickr user NCinDC.

"Motherland," The Armenian Earthquake Statue

This statue stands on the North Lawn of the American Red Cross Headquarters. It was a gift to the organization after their assistance during a 1988 earthquake in Armenia. Photo by David King.

Bartholdi Fountain

This work of art in the Botanic Garden was named "The Fountain of Light and Water" but it is more commonly called the Bartholdi fountain, after its creator. Fun fact: he also designed the Statue of Liberty! Photo courtesy of the U.S. Capitol.

Boy Scouts of America Memorial

The coolest thing about this statue on the Ellipse is that the Boy Scouts of America paid for the memorial themselves. Photo by Robert Goodwin.

Victims of Communism Memorial

This may surpass the still-unbuilt Eisenhower Memorial the most controversial monument in the city. The Ukrainians even built a Museum of American Imperialism in agitated protest. Photo by Cesar Harada.

Bridge Tender's House

The watchtower on the 14th Street Bridge became a kaleidoscopic work of colorful public art in 2009. Photo by Flickr user art around.

(Here I Stand) In the Spirit of Paul Robeson

This glass and steel statue in Petworth by Allen Uzikee Nelson is in homage to the internationally renowned singer, athlete and activist. Photo by Valerie Paschall.