Potomac Appalachian Trail Club GPS Rangers

Francis Scott Key Park

The Francis Scott Key Park is located at 34th and M Street, NW, Washington DC, in the Georgetown Historic District. Francis Scott Key lived in a house at this location from 1803 until 1833. The house was dismantled and stored at this location in 1947 for the construction of the Whitehurst Freeway. The park and memorial to Francis Scott Key was built by the Francis Scott Key Foundation and donated the National Park Service in 1993.

The park occupies a prominent site overlooking the Potomac River at the Key Bridge entrance to the District of Columbia in Georgetown. It is adjacent to the historic C & O Canal and Tow Path, and near the site of Key’s home at the time he wrote the anthem. The design includes gentle terraces of meadow-like plantings which follow the steep terrain and allow interesting vistas of the Washington scene, both far and near. The park’s centerpiece is an arbored brick and sandstone terrace that provides the setting for a bronze bust of Francis Scott Key by sculptor Betty Mailhouse Dunston. In a greensward nearby, a fifteen-star, fifteen-stripe flag flies day and night. It is a replica of the flag that inspired the anthem as it flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the bombing by the British in 1814. Seatwalls set against the slopes and a secondary terrace overlooking the canal welcome visitors to rest and reflect on the historical significance of this place.

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Image Credit: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club GPS Rangers
Last updated: February 07, 2020
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