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The statue in the middle of Lafayette Square isn’t of Revolutionary War general the Marquis de Lafayette; it’s Andrew Jackson by Clark Mills, who later cast a similar sculpture for Jackson Square in New Orleans.
Named in 1824, the park honors the soldier whose assistance during the Revolution contributed significantly to the colonies’ victory over Britain. Statues of famous foreign military leaders who also aided the United States during the Revolution mark the square’s corners: Maj. Gen. Jean de Rochambeau, Gen. Thaddeus Kosciuszko, Maj. Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, and Lafayette.
One of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods in the 1800s, the square is lined with Federal style buildings, including Blair House, the official guesthouse for visiting heads of state, and Decatur House, the 1818 home of U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur, designed by America’s first professional architect, Benjamin Latrobe.
Lafayette Square, separated from the White House  by the long-closed Pennsylvania Avenue, is a hot spot for protests. One group, opposing nuclear armament, has been there since 1981.