Dupont Circle Fountain

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Dupont Circle Fountain
Dupont Circle fountain - facing southwest.JPG
Artist Daniel Chester French
Year 1920
Type Stone
Location Washington, D.C., United States
Owner National Park Service

The Dupont Circle Fountain (formally known as the Samuel Francis duPont Memorial Fountain) by Daniel Chester French was commissioned by the duPont family in 1917, installed 1920, and was dedicated on May 17, 1921.[3]

It is located in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue NW, Connecticut Avenue NW, New Hampshire Avenue NW, P Street NW, and 19th Street NW. The fountain is a contributing monument to the Civil War Monuments in Washington, DC, of the National Register of Historic Places.

The inscription reads:

Samuel Francis Dupont - Rear Admiral, United States Navy, 1803-1865
This Memorial Fountain Replaces a Statue Erected by the
Congress of the United States in Recognition of
His Distinguished Services.


Water falling over the figure representing the sea

In 1871, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the traffic circle, then called Pacific Circle, as specified in L'Enfant's plan.

On February 25, 1882, Congress renamed the circle to Dupont Circle, and authorized a memorial statue of Samuel Francis duPont, in recognition of his service as a rear admiral during the Civil War. The statue, sculpted by Launt Thompson, was erected in 1884, and the circle was landscaped with exotic flowers and ornamental trees.[4][5]

Several prominent duPont family members deemed it too insignificant to honor their ancestor, so they secured permission to move the statue to Rockford Park in Wilmington in 1917, and commissioned Henry Bacon and Daniel Chester French, the co-creators of the Lincoln Memorial, to design the fountain that sits in Dupont Circle today.[6] In 1920, the double-tiered white marble fountain, which features carvings of three classical nudes symbolizing the sea, the stars and the wind on the fountain's shaft, replaced the statue.[4][7] The marble carving was executed by the Piccirilli Brothers. [8]

In the late 1990s the fountain was restored and renovated with work by Constantine Seferlis.[9]


See also[edit]


Statue of Samuel duPont as it appeared from 1884 to 1917
  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ "American Revolution Statuary". National Park Service. September 20, 1978. Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ "DuPont Circle Fountain (sculpture)". SIRIS. 
  4. ^ a b "Dupont Circle Historic District". National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  5. ^ Paul Kelsey Williams (2000). Dupont Circle. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738506338. 
  6. ^ "Dupont Circle". connavedotcom. 2011. 
  7. ^ "DUPONT, Samuel Francis: Memorial Fountain in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.". 
  8. ^ Richman, Michael, ‘’Daniel Chester French: An American Sculptor’’, The Preservation Press, Washington D.C., 1976 p. 159*8
  9. ^ "Cathedral Sculptor Constantine L. Seferlis Dies". The Washington Post. 2005-04-03. Retrieved 2009-01-23.