Trumping the Triangle

For more than two centuries, Washington has struggled to accommodate democratic aspirations and prosaic realities, the lofty ideals of the nation and the quotidian dealings of a contested and often corrupt city. No part of the capital better reveals these tensions than the famous Federal Triangle.

Washington has long struggled to reconcile lofty national ideals with quotidian urban interests. No part of the capital better reveals this tension than the Federal Triangle.




  • Despina Stratigakos
  • Naomi Stead
  • Alan Thomas

Despina Stratigakos

Despina Stratigakos, an associate professor at the University of Buffalo, is a columnist for Places and author of Where Are the Women Architects? and other books on architectural history.

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Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern is a columnist for Places. She is a professor of media studies at The New School in New York City.

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Naomi Stead

Naomi Stead is a columnist for Places. She is an architecture critic and Head of Architecture at Monash University.

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Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas is a columnist for Places. He is Editorial Director for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press and a photographer specializing in urban landscape.

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