Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Andrew Jackson moved Treasury Building to block his view of Capitol

President Andrew Jackson’s relationship with Congress was not always cordial. In fact, it was often outright combative, and he disliked being reminded of that every time he glanced in the direction of the US Capitol Building.

Despite the fact that Pierre L’Enfant designed the city of Washington to provide an unobstructed view down Pennsylvania Avenue between the President’s home and the Capitol Building, Jackson used the expansion of the US Treasury Building as a convenient excuse to put that troublesome house of Congress out of sight. His plans for the Treasury Building got rid of the straight line of Pennsylvania Avenue and put the third-oldest building in Washington, DC directly in the line of sight between the White House and the Capitol.

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