The Circle Gets Its Name

It was not until 1930 that Congress finally passed a Law changing the name from Iowa Circle to Logan Circle in memory of Civil War General and Senator John A. Logan (D-IL). The General had lived briefly at #4 Logan Circle during 1885, just one year before his death. The statue was commissioned in 1891 and formally dedicated by President William McKinley on April 9, 1901. Its base was designed by noted architect Richard Morris Hunt (he also designed the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty), and the sculpture itself was created by artist Franklin Simmons. The whole is unique in Washington DC: While most statues have marble or concrete bases, this is the only statue and base constructed entirely of bronze.

Historical Note: Just one month after President McKinley’s second inauguration, he presided over the dedication of the statue in Logan Circle. A photographer snapped this image of the President sitting in top hat, facing the speaker, looking stolid. Sadly, he was assassinated five months later, and was succeeded by VP Theodore Roosevelt. The base of the statue continues to cause amusement (or historical regret) because of the figures depicted on it; General Logan is seen receiving his post from President Chester Arthur in 1879, though Arthur did not become president until 1881.

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