The illuminating history of street lighting in Washington, D.C. is a fascinating tale of governance, design, and urban development. As detailed in the article “Street lighting in Washington, D.C.,” Washington, D.C.’s street lighting falls under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, encompassing all city streets and alleys. Given the unique status of the district as a creation of the U.S. federal government, the federal government wields the authority to regulate the type and appearance of street lighting.

This authority traces its roots back to the U.S. Constitution’s Article One, Section Eight, which grants the federal government the power to establish and oversee the nation’s seat of government. In 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, a pivotal piece of legislation that established the national capital along the Potomac River, selected by none other than President George Washington himself. The Organic Act of 1801 marked the official organization of the District, bringing the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal government.

Early street lighting was an essential part of Washington’s urban development. The city charter, separate from the Organic Act, was established in 1802. While the grand Pennsylvania Avenue was cleared and constructed in the early 1800s, it wasn’t until 1803 that legislation was enacted in the City of Washington for the lighting of city streets. Pennsylvania Avenue held the distinction of being the first illuminated city street, setting the stage for the city’s ongoing journey through the world of urban lighting.

Click here to learn more about LampLight Industries’ role in modern street lighting and urban development.

Source Photo and article with all rights reserved, courtesy of Wikipedia.

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