The Ellipse, part of President's Park, is just s. of the White House and runs along Constitution Ave. N.W. between 15th and 17th sts.; the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion is at 15th and E sts. This grassy open space is the White House's “backyard” and offers vantage points for photos of the South Lawn of the Executive Mansion and other buildings in the vicinity.
There are several monuments on the grounds. The Boy Scout Memorial, just south of the White House along 15th Street, consists of three bronze statues—a Boy Scout and symbolic male and female figures. The Zero Milestone monument, at the north edge of the Ellipse, is a 4-foot stone marker dedicated in 1923 that was originally intended to be the point from which all road distances in the United States would be measured.
In Sherman Park, along 15th Street near the U.S. Treasury Building, is the Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman Monument. This dignified equestrian statue of the Union general stands 17 feet, 6 inches tall and is mounted atop a granite pedestal.
Annual events taking place on the Ellipse grounds include the White House Easter Egg Roll and the National Christmas Tree Lighting. The visitor pavilion is open seasonally and has restrooms, concessions and park information.
Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.