The West End is a neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., so named because it was the westernmost part of the original L’Enfant Plan for the city of Washington (before Georgetown). It is home to the embassies, the George Washington University and the George Washington University Hospital. It also houses luxury hotels, upscale condominiums, and fine dining restaurants. The neighborhood exists due in large part to a 1972 urban renewal plan prepared by the city’s Office of Planning and Management, designed “to bring life to a declining part of the city.” Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest late 18th and 19th-century neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. The area is thought to have received the name because its riverside location made it susceptible to concentrations of fog and industrial smoke, an atmospheric trait that did not prevent the neighborhood from becoming the original location of the United States Naval Observatory. Much of Foggy Bottom is occupied by the main campus of George Washington University (GW), but the United States Department of State, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the infamous Watergate complex also exist there. The southern edge of Foggy Bottom is home to many federal government offices. The Main Interior Building (headquarters of the Department of the Interior), the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters, and the Federal Reserve Board buildings all lie on or around Virginia Avenue. To the east lies the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, home to the Executive Office of the President of the United States and the Office of the Vice President of the United States. On the other side of the office is the White House, which is not in the neighborhood.
Foggy Bottom is also home to numerous international and American organizations. The World Bank buildings, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the Office of Personnel Management, DAR Constitution Hall of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Red Cross National Headquarters, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Organization of American States are all located in the neighborhood. In addition, the Mexican and Spanish Embassies are located in Foggy Bottom, both on Pennsylvania Avenue.