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Committee of 100 on the Federal City (Fonds containing MS2017 and MS2131)

Identifier: Fonds-Committee of 100

Scope and Contents

This fonds contains correspondence, reports, minutes, publications, newspaper articles, memorandum, bank statements, financial records, court case records, maps, blueprints, and websites. The material dates from 1909-2023 with the bulk of the material falling within the dates 1930-2007.The material in this fonds document the Committee's stance on the issues it chose to address within the areas of planning, historic preservation, and transportation. Within the subject of transportation there are enough files to detail many of the various highway and rapid transit projects in the District of Columbia. The collection also has files addressing zoning regulations and legal procedures and the debates and discussions between different commmittee members on many topics such as housing, urban design and city water resources.


  • 1909-2023
  • Majority of material found within 1930-2009


Biographical / Historical

The mission of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City is to safeguard and advance the fundamental planning, environmental and aesthetic values inherited from the L'Enfant Plan and the McMillan Commission that give Washington its historic distinction, natural beauty and overall livability. The Committee advances the proposition that planning of the highest caliber is essential to ensure for residents of Washington D.C. - indeed for all the citizens of the United States for whom the Nation's Capital is a symbol - the attainment and preservation of a city worthy of the Nation. From specific proposals such as its plan for the redesign of the Whitehurst Freeway below Georgetown, to more general initiatives, such as testimony on regional air quality standards and support for reinvigorating of the NCPC, the Committee continues its broad campaign for exemplary planning in the Nation's Capital. The Committee is engaging in close consultation on planning issues with the Congress and the District of Columbia Government. The Committee has also established its own ad hoc subcommittee on regional planning to work in liaison with kindred organizations in Maryland and Virginia.

The Committee of 100 on the federal City was organized in 1923 by the American Planning and Civic Association (APCA) in order to study the problems facing the Nation's capital. Frederic A. Delano, Uncle to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was the first Chairman of the Committee. Following its conception, the Committee of 100 has served as a citizens forum discussing planning issues that confront the District. The Committee separated itself from the APCA in 1965 and incorporated as a non-profit organization.

For over half a century, the Committee has attracted to its membership architects, planners, landscape architects, lawyers, conservationists, historians, and concerned citizens from diverse professions and backgrounds. It has sought to rally national, regional, and local organizations which share in the mission of safeguarding the heritage of Washington, D.C. Not only is the Committee of 100 on the Federal City the oldest planning body and the oldest citizens' forum on planning issues in the Nation's Capital, it is also one of the most effective and vigorous organizations of its kind.


74.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Organized into two collection level records: MS2017 and MS2131

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Committee of 100 on the Federal City donated the records that comprise this fonds in numerous separate donations from 1986 through 2022 incuding 2022.039 in September 2022 and 2023.021 in May 2023.

Processing Information

For a reason that is currently unknown one of the accretions to the Committee of 100 records was processed as a separate collection. This resulted in two collection level records for this one organization. These are MS2017 designated Part I and MS2131 designated Part II. To combined these materials under one umbrella resource record this fonds was created. The records in both collections are from the same organization and together document the work of the Committee of 100 throughout its history. This collection continues to be added to and likely newly acquired materials will be added to either MS2017 or MS2131 as fits the subjects already housed in those collections, but will stay together within this combined fonds.

Please note that membership records exist in both MS2017 Series 4 and MS2131 Series 2. Series 1 for both MS2017 and MS2131 include governance records like Bylaws that may cover different time periods. And MS2017 Series 8 is a donation from 2011 that is not yet integrated and likely has content that is seen across both collections and in multiple series. The suggestion by processors is if you want to ensure you have seen all relevant information you search within the finding aid for appropriate terminology which will bring up a mix of MS2017 and MS2131 records.

Guide to the Committee of 100 on the Federal City records [Part I] and [Part II], 1909-2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America