The Tidal Basin

The Tidal Basin is partially man-made reservoir between Potomac River and the Washington Channel.  It is lined with cherry trees along its shore that were the gift of the Japanese government in the early 1900’s.  It serves as the focal point of the National Cherry Blossom Festival each spring. Located along its banks are the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial National Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the George Mason Memorial. The Basin covers an area of approximately 7 acres. It was designed and built in the 1880s to serve as a visual centerpiece and as a means for flushing the Washington Channel.  Peter Conover Haines, an engineer in the U.S. Army oversaw its design and construction the basin captures water at high tide twice a day in the Potomac to it with gates located on the Potomac side of the basin which allow water to enter the basin during high tide. The gates and the basin are maintained by the US, Army Corps of Engineers.