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

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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]

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1. Albert Einstein Memorial

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2100 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

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.

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

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Ohio St SW
Washington, D.C.

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™.

3. Titanic Memorial

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P St & 4th St SW
Washington, D.C.

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

4. Samuel Hahnemann Memorial

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Massachusetts Ave NW and Corregidor St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

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

5. Van Ness Mausoleum at Oak Hill Cemetery

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3001 R St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 337-2835
Visit Website

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.

6. Sonny Bono Memorial Park

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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

7. Temperance Fountain

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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.

8. "Motherland," The Armenian Earthquake Statue

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431 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

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.

9. Bartholdi Fountain

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100 1st Ave
Washington, D.C. 20319
(202) 225-8333

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.

10. Boy Scouts of America Memorial

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15 Lenfant Plz SW
Washington, D.C. 20560

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.

11. Victims of Communism Memorial

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707 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 536-2373

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.

12. Bridge Tender's House

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I-395 & U.S. 1
Washington, D.C.

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

13. (Here I Stand) In the Spirit of Paul Robeson

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Georgia Ave & Kansas Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20011

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.

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1. Albert Einstein Memorial

2100 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

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.

2100 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

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

Ohio St SW, Washington, D.C.

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™.

Ohio St SW
Washington, D.C.

3. Titanic Memorial

P St & 4th St SW, Washington, D.C.

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

P St & 4th St SW
Washington, D.C.

4. Samuel Hahnemann Memorial

Massachusetts Ave NW and Corregidor St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

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

Massachusetts Ave NW and Corregidor St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

5. Van Ness Mausoleum at Oak Hill Cemetery

3001 R St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

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.

3001 R St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

6. Sonny Bono Memorial Park

Washington, D.C.

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

7. Temperance Fountain

Washington, D.C. 20004

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.

8. "Motherland," The Armenian Earthquake Statue

431 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

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.

431 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

9. Bartholdi Fountain

100 1st Ave, Washington, D.C. 20319

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.

100 1st Ave
Washington, D.C. 20319

10. Boy Scouts of America Memorial

15 Lenfant Plz SW, Washington, D.C. 20560

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.

15 Lenfant Plz SW
Washington, D.C. 20560

11. Victims of Communism Memorial

707 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

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.

707 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12. Bridge Tender's House

I-395 & U.S. 1, Washington, D.C.

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

I-395 & U.S. 1
Washington, D.C.

13. (Here I Stand) In the Spirit of Paul Robeson

Georgia Ave & Kansas Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20011

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.

Georgia Ave & Kansas Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20011