Occupying a prominent site adjacent to the C&O Canal Towpath in Georgetown amidst magnolia trees and formal perennial gardens, the Francis Scott Key Memorial commemorates Key’s legacy as the writer of “The Star Spangled Banner” during the War of 1812.
At the center of its brownstone-and-brick plaza sits a wisteria-laced limestone pergola and a bronze bust of Key by sculptor Betty Mailhouse Dunston. Nearby is a flagpole flying a replica of the fifteen-star, fifteen-stripe flag that inspired Key’s poem. Seat walls along surrounding slopes and a secondary terrace overlooking the canal welcome visitors to rest and reflect.
Key and his family lived in a house practically bordering the contemporary memorial from circa 1805 to 1830. The small but formal park and memorial to Francis Scott Key was built by the Francis Scott Key Foundation and donated to the National Park Service in 1993.
Open year round, dawn to dusk, the memorial is in Georgetown between M Street and the C&O Canal. Parking is available on nearby streets or in public garages.