View of the Kennedy Center

View of the Kennedy Center

Foggy Bottom Neighborhood Overview

Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest late 18th and 19th-century neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. The area is thought to have received the name because its riverside location made it susceptible to concentrations offog and industrial smoke, an atmospheric trait that did not prevent the neighborhood from becoming theoriginal location of the United States Naval Observatory. Foggy Bottom is west of downtown Washington, in the Northwest quadrant, bounded roughly by 17th Street to the east, Rock Creek Parkway to the west,Constitution Avenue to the south, and Pennsylvania Avenue to the north. Much of Foggy Bottom is occupied by the main campus of George Washington University (GW).

The name Foggy Bottom often is used as a metonym for the United States Department of State because its headquarters is in the neighborhood, as are the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Friendship Lodge Odd Fellows Hall; and the infamous Watergate complex, site of the Watergate burglaries which led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. GW has grown significantly over the past decades and now covers much of the neighborhood, which has many historic old homes and numerous mid-rise apartment buildings.

The southern edge of Foggy Bottom is home to many federal government offices, including the State Department. 

The Main Interior Building (headquarters of the Department of the Interior), the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters, and the Federal Reserve Board buildings all lie on or around Virginia Avenue. To the east lies the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, home to the Executive Office of the President of the United States and the Office of the Vice President of the United States. On the other side of the office is theWhite House, which is not in the neighborhood.

Foggy Bottom is also home to numerous international and American organizations. The World Bank buildings, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the Office of Personnel Management,DAR Constitution Hall of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Red Cross National Headquarters, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Organization of American States are all located in the neighborhood. In addition, the Mexican and Spanish Embassies are located in Foggy Bottom, both on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Just south of the Watergate Complex on the Potomac River lies the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Kennedy Center is the home of the National Symphony Orchestra and numerous other theatrical and musical exhibitions. At the eastern edge of the neighborhood is the Corcoran Gallery of Art, whose permanent collection contains works from RembrandtEugène DelacroixEdgar DegasThomas GainsboroughJohn Singer SargentClaude MonetPablo PicassoEdward HopperWillem de KooningJoan MitchellGene Davis, among others. On Virginia Avenue is theSimon Bolivar Memorial. George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium and Smith Center are frequently home to major concerts, as is DAR Constitution Hall.

(courtesy of Wikipedia)

For more about Foggy Bottom see these links:

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