Lafayette Park is a public park that was once named “President’s Park”. The square and the historic buildings surrounding it became National Historic Landmarks in 1970. In its past, Lafayette Park had many uses including serving as a race track, a graveyard, a zoo, slave market and the site for many political protests and celebrations. Most who visit are immediately drawn to the various large statues in the park.
In the center stands an equestrian statue of President Andrew Jackson, erected in 1853, and in the four corners are statues of Revolutionary War heroes: France’s General Marquis Gilbert de Lafayette, Major General Comte Jean de Rochambeau, Poland’s General Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Prussia’s Major General Baron Frederich Wilhelm von Steuben.
The neighborhood that borders the park is also a place many visitors enjoy touring through. It was the city’s most prestigious residential area in the 18th century because of the people that resided there including Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William Henry Seward and South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun.