Washington City, the capital of the United States, in the District of Columbia (q.v.), on the Potomac River, in 38° 53' lat., 77° 2' long., 226 miles SSW. of New York, 136 of Philadelphia, and 40 of Baltimore. More than half the area of the city proper is permanently free from the encroachment of buildings; and besides the numerous small parks, Washington has a zoological park of 140 acres, and the Rock Creek Park of, over 1500 (purchased in 1892 for $1,200,000). Streets and avenues are thickly planted with shade-trees. The architecture of the older city is commonplace, but in the newer Washington is of striking variety and attractiveness. The government buildings are mostly fine and imposing structures. Conspicuous on an eminence is the Capitol, built in 1818-59 at a cost of $14,000,000, and 751 feet long; its iron dome, crowned by a bronze figure of Liberty, is 285 feet high. The hall of the House of Representatives has desks for 356 members, and the galleries seat 1500 spectators. The Senate Chamber accommodates 1000 spectators. The National Memorial Hall in the Capitol is to receive statues contributed by each state to commemorate two of its distinguished citizens. The Treasury Department at Pennsylvania Avenue and Fifteenth Street (of freestone and granite) cost $7,000,000. The Interior Department occupies an entire square in the heart of the city, and is constructed of white marble, in pure Doric, costing $3,000,000. The Post-office Department opposite is a Corinthian marble edifice. The granite building for the departments of state, war, and navy, in Renaissance style, is the largest public edifice in Washington, covers 4 1/2 acres, has 566 rooms, and cost $11,000,000. The Congressional Library building, on Capitol Hill, cost $6,000,000. The president's house and executive mansion is a plain edifice of freestone, in classic style, painted white (whence called ' the White House'). The Smithsonian Institution is built of red sandstone, in the Byzantine style, with picturesque towers. The national monument to Washington (1885) is an obelisk of white marble, 555 feet high, beside the Potomac, erected at a cost of $1,230,000. The National Soldiers' Home, 2 miles above the city, founded in 1851, has 600 acres of park and forest, which serve as a public driving park and rural resort. The Columbian University (1814), Georgetown College (R. C.; 1789), the National University, and Howard University (for coloured students) have each departments of law and medicine. The Catholic University of America (1887) has fine stone buildings just outside the city limits. The Methodist American University has its grounds above Georgetown. Other buildings are the Naval Observatory, the National Deaf-mute College, and the Gonzaga (Catholic) College. The National Museum, originally established to exhibit the rich contributions given to the government by various countries from the World's Fair at Philadelphia in 1876, has become a most extensive and instructive collection of antiquities, ethnology, geology, and natural history generally; and there are many museums, libraries, art galleries, etc. Few of the 200 churches are remarkable. Hardly a public square or circle is without its monument. The city is abundantly supplied with pure water, by a conduit 15 miles long, from the Great Falls of the Potomac. The various bureaus employ between 6000 and 7000 persons. The number of hotels and boarding-houses is very great; and a steadily, increasing number of people of wealth and taste are building residences at the national capital. The absence of smoky manufactories, the genial and salubrious climate, the pleasant situation and attractive suburbs, with the wide and smooth streets, contribute to render a residence in Washington agreeable during all but the torrid heats of summer. The original plan of ' the city of magnificent distances,' as it has been called, was drawn out by a resident French engineer, L'Enfant, and largely copied from Versailles. Its characteristic features are the crossing of the rectangular streets by frequent broad transverse avenues, 160 to 120 feet wide, and the numerous circles and triangular reservations interspersed as little parks throughout the city. Originally called Federal City, it was named after Washington in 1791, and became the capital in 1800. In 1814 the Capitol was burned by the British. After the civil war of 1861-65 Washington began to move forward in a new career of prosperity, and was transformed in a few years to a beautiful and attractive city. Pop. (1800) 3210; (1830) 23,364; (1860)61,122; (1880)147,293; (1900)218,196.