Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant creates a plan for the new city of Washington. In the plan, the Mall is to be a grassy park flanked by buildings for public use. On the north side of the Mall at 8th Street, a landscaped park is planned to emphasize the important north-south axis in the city design. This same site will eventually become the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.
Landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing's proposal that the Mall be redesigned as a series of natural, picturesque gardens is accepted by President Millard Fillmore. Although the plans are not completely implemented, they influence the Mall's appearance for the rest of the century.
The Senate Park Commission, commonly known as the McMillan Commission after its chairman, Senator James McMillan, advocates a return to L'Enfant's original scheme, but on a grander scale. The Mall is to be cleared and transformed into a broad, uniform lawn flanked by lines of trees and rows of dignified buildings. The design includes a proposed formal garden on the Sculpture Garden site. (1 of 4)