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Art Walk - Fall Colors at the Tidal Basin

Our next Art Walk location is the Tidal Basin which is well known among the tourists for the cherry blossoms in spring but for many city dwellers, autumn is often a great time to visit the Tidal Basin as gorgeous shades of red, yellow, and green paint the Tidal Basin’s cherry trees.

Art Walk event
Art Walk event
Art Walk is our regular event series, where we walk through the different parts of DC, Maryland and Virginia, taking photos, as we explore art, architecture, culture and history while having a fun time outdoors.

Explore the Tidal Basin

We will start our Art Walk at the Washington Monument and walk towards the Tidal Basin where we will take pictures from different locations while exploring the national monuments surrounded by the beautiful fall colors.

During the event we will also talk about the purpose of this important tidal reservoir to DC and its working.

Aerial view of the Tidal Basin by Mariordo
Aerial view of the Tidal Basin by Mariordo
The Tidal Basin is well known for the National Cherry Blossom Festival which commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC.

Water from the Tidal Basin is also used, through a pumping system to maintain water levels in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting pool.

History of the Tidal Basin

The Tidal Basin was first built between 1882 - 1909 primarily to flush sediments and impurities from the Washington Channel, by releasing 250 million gallons of water captured from the Potomac River at high tide twice a day.

The Tidal Basin which exists today was built in 1949 by the construction firm of Alexander and Repass. Alexander was of African descent and Repass was of European descent and they are said to have hired mixed work crews at a time in American history when this was almost unheard of.

Working of the Tidal Basin

The inlet gates open to allow water from the Potomac River to enter the Tidal Basin during the rising tide while the outlet gates to the Washington Channel close to store the incoming water in the basin.

Tidal Basin inlet gate
Tidal Basin inlet gate
As the tide begins to recede, the inlet gates close and the outlet gates to the Washington Channel open. The flow of the water into the channel prevents sediments and impurities from building-up in the Washington Channel.

Memorials around the Tidal Basin

The Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the George Mason Memorial are situated adjacent to the Tidal Basin.

Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
The Jefferson Memorial dedicated to America's 3rd president and author of the Declaration of Independence is located on the south bank of the Tidal Basin.

The white, circular-shaped, domed memorial built in classical architecture, a reference to ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy, pays homage to the principals of liberty and freedom in which Jefferson so fervently believed.

The Martin Luther King Memorial is the most recent among the memorials and is located on the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
The centerpiece for the memorial is based on a line from King's 'I Have A Dream' speech: 'Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope'.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is dedicated to the memory of the 32nd President of the United States, and to the era he represents. The statue depicts the president in a chair with a cloak obscuring the chair, showing him as he appeared to the public during his life. Roosevelt's reliance on a wheelchair was not publicized during his life, as there was a stigma of weakness and instability associated with any disability.

The George Mason Memorial is a national memorial to Founding Father George Mason, the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights that inspired the United States Bill of Rights.

Light Snacks and Drinks

We will stop along the way for a short break, so you can bring some light snacks and drinks for yourself.

After the event, we can break into smaller groups and get coffee, drinks or food depending on individual preferences.

Competition Rules

Take as many pictures as you would like but only upload two of your best photos for the Art Walk contest. Both the photos must be uploaded after completion of the Art Walk.

  • Our judges, some who will be nominated from among our members will then judge the best photos and the overall winner. We will feature the best photos on our website and the winner will receive our award.
  • The criteria for judging will be based on the artistic creativity, uniqueness of the photo composition and picture framing besides having a stimulating effect. The photo, must also capture the theme specified in the contest.
  • A winner for the best photo will be announced three days after the Art Walk by our judges. The winner can pick the prize at any of our future Art Walk events.
  • The winner will be invited as our guest, for our next Art Walk event.

During the event we will allocate a time frame for stopping at different locations before we continue with our walk.

Photography is more importantly an art of composing the story of an interesting moment and sharing your artistic creation with others.

The most important thing is to have fun enjoying the outdoors and the interesting company of our diverse group of participants.

Getting There

The easiest way to reach our meeting point which is the Washington Monument is by taking either the Smithsonian Metro or Federal Triangle, both on the Blue/Orange/Silver lines.

While the Federal Triangle stop is technically closer, at 12th and Pennsylvania Ave NW, the Smithsonian stop is the easiest – it’s a straight walk down the Mall.

We will meet at the Monument, on the side facing the Constitution Avenue.

Event Details


Description: Explore the Tidal Basin during autumn as we compete for the best photo for our Art walk contest.

Date/Time: Saturday November 4th, 2017 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Admission: $2 for covering the cost

Meeting Place

11:00 am - Washington Monument
2 15th St. NW Washington, DC 20024

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