Thomas Circle

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The northwest corner of Thomas Circle

Thomas Circle is a traffic circle in Northwest Washington, D.C., United States at the junction of Massachusetts Avenue, Vermont Avenue, 14th Street, and M Street, N.W. It is named for American Civil War General George Henry Thomas.

The through lanes of Massachusetts Avenue pass under Thomas Circle. The service lanes of Massachusetts Avenue intersected the circle until it was reconstructed in 2005–2006.

The circle is considered to mark the boundary between the downtown section of 14th Street and the emerging uptown 14th Street neighborhood.[citation needed]


Thomas Circle, ca. 1922

Thomas Circle was originally implemented as a true traffic circle. Later, 14th Street was extended through the circle to increase traffic flow. In December 1938, construction began on the Massachusetts Avenue underpass; it opened for traffic on March 14, 1940.

In 2006, the D.C. Department of Transportation completed a $6 million reconstruction of the circle. The project included the addition of bike lanes, pedestrian crosswalks mid-circle (which hadn't previously existed), new in-circle traffic lights, better street lighting, and new sidewalks and landscaping.[1]


A statue of General George Henry Thomas by John Quincy Adams Ward was erected in Thomas Circle in 1879.

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Coordinates: 38°54′20″N 77°01′55″W / 38.90566°N 77.03196°W / 38.90566; -77.03196