11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Congressional Cemetery

Year Listed: 1997
Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Threat: Neglect


The Congressional Cemetery is the final resting-place of over 60,000 persons, from Revolutionary War heroes and Indian tribal chiefs to early leaders of the Gay Rights Movement. Located on a rolling site above the Anacostia River, this cemetery boasts a richly diverse collection of monuments, many of which were designed by well-known artists and stone carvers, including architect Benjamin Latrobe who designed the cenotaphs marking the graves of approximately 80 members of Congress. Among those buried here are Civil War photographer Mathew Brady, composer John Philip Sousa and J. Edgar Hoover. Like most early cemeteries however, Congressional was established without a perpetual care plan and as plot-owning families move or die out, the site is suffering from increasing neglect, vandalism and theft.