L’Enfant Has Reservations with Washington


Greenleaf Point

Greenleaf Point

Fort Lesley J McNair owes its origins to Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant who was commissioned by President George Washington to map out the Capital city of Washington DC.  L’Enfant fought in the American Revolutionary War and was very supportive of the efforts.  He was trained in Paris where he developed the skills and honed his talents to design the new Capital City of Washington DC.

In planning the city, he set aside “reservations” where either open space (parks, circles, etc.) or designated federal buildings would be placed.  For instance reservation #01 was where the Capitol would be placed.  The executive mansion would be at reservation #02 and so on.

Of import was reservation #05.  In fact it was designated “military reservation #05”  located at the southern most tip of the land included in the new Capital City.  Some 28 acres set aside to defend the city from enemy attack by water.  At the point where the Potomac and Anacostia rivers join, there was Turkey Buzzard Point. It was at that tip of land, an earthworks was built and an artillery piece placed in defense of Washington DC.   It was later renamed Greenleaf Point, when James Greenleaf a land speculator bought up most of the parcels in the southwest part of the new city.

He began to build houses in concert with the commissioners.  However, unfortunate for him, most of the development and expansion within the new Capital City was happening in the northwest.  The result was that few people were interested in locating in the southwest.


The book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair contains over two hundred historical photographs, images and illustrations which chronicle the two hundred plus years of history among the acres of this US Army Post.

The book “Images of America – Fort Lesley J McNair”  is “a walk down memory lane” as one reader called it after he turned the last page.  Go beyond

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

the website and read more of the history with your own copy – BUY THE BOOK offers the opportunity to get either a personalized & autographed copy from the author or purchase the book from one of the major resellers.


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