This article examines the history of the Capitol Mall from its inception in 1791 to recent legislation prohibiting further development along the Mall's primary axes. This movement to restrict further development of the Mall's massive open spaces derives from concerns that fail to fully articulate the iconographic significance these spaces represent. Drawing from the Mall's 200-year history of master planning, this article examines the Mall's palimpsestic and emergent qualities and presents planning criteria that make it possible to build future commemorative works within the Mall's primary open spaces while retaining the overall integrity of its grandeur.