Ward Circle
Ward Circle and Katzen Arts Center in 2006
NamesakeArtemas Ward
TypeTraffic circle
OwnerDistrict of Columbia
Maintained byDDOT, National Park Service
LocationWashington, D.C.
Coordinates38°56′16″N 77°05′09″W / 38.93778°N 77.08583°W / 38.93778; -77.08583

Ward Circle is a traffic circle at the intersection of Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues in Northwest, Washington, D.C. The circle, totaling 30,243 sq ft (2,809.7 m2), is owned and administered by the National Park Service through its Rock Creek Park unit.[1] On three sides is the campus of American University, while the fourth is occupied by the Nebraska Avenue Complex, a U.S. government facility.

The circle was constructed and landscaped in the 1930s to display the 27.5-foot (8.4 m) bronze, memorial statue of Artemas Ward.[2][3] Ward was the first Commander-in-Chief in the American Revolutionary War.[4] Sculptor Leonard Crunelle created the statue over a three-year period, while the base and pedestal were built by J. F. Manning Co.[5] The pedestal is made from Stony Creek granite.[5]

The president and fellows of Harvard University donated the $50,000 to cover the cost of the statue.[5] The donation fulfilled the terms of the will of Artemus Ward, an alumnus of Harvard and the great-grandson of Maj. Gen. Artemus Ward.[6] The statue was unveiled on November 3, 1938, by Mrs. Wesley Feick, the great-great-granddaughter of Maj. Gen. Ward.[6] Secretary of War Harry Hines Woodring spoke at the unveiling.[6]

Located on the west side of the circle, the home of American University's School of Public Affairs was named for and is still sometimes known as Ward Circle. In 2017, the official name of the building was changed to Kerwin Hall after former university president Cornelius M. Kerwin.[7][8] On the North side of the circle is American University's Katzen Arts Center.

See also


  1. ^ "Reservation List: The Parks of the National Park System, Washington, DC" (PDF). www.nps.gov. National Park Service; Land Resources Program Center; National Capital Region. August 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  2. ^ "Monuments, Statues and Memorials: Rock Creek Park". National Park Service. April 10, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  3. ^ "Details Drafted for Ward Circle". Washington Evening Star. March 13, 1933. p. 17.
  4. ^ "General Artemas Ward (sculpture)". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Artemas Ward Marker Plans, Site Approved: Work on Monument to War Hero to Start Next Week". The Washington Post. September 21, 1937. p. 13.
  6. ^ a b c "Ward Statue to be Unveiled on Thursday: Delano to Preside Woodring to Speak Memorial to General". The Washington Post. October 31, 1938. p. X3.
  7. ^ Samsel, Haley (June 27, 2017). "Ward Circle Building now named Kerwin Hall". The Eagle. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  8. ^ Cassell, Jack C. (May 23, 2017). "Board of Trustees Spring 2017 Meeting Summary" (Press release). American University. Retrieved February 27, 2018.