Basic island data


Location: Potomac River, Washington DC


Coordinates: 38.88°N, 77.06°W


Area: c. 129 acres / 52 hectares


Population: uninhabited


Alternate names:

-- Alternate: Lady Bird Johnson Park

– Former: Alexanders Island

– Former: Holmes Island



– Coordinates: Geographic Names Information System, US Geological Survey

– Area: measurements from US Geological Survey topographic mapping

– Alternate names: Geographic Names Information System, US Geological Survey

– History: James T. DuBois, [1892], “The altograph of Washington City, or, stranger's guide” map, viewed at; memorial – “Navy-Marine Memorial,” Washington Post Weekend, July 25, 2008.

– Image: – usable with attribution and link.


Columbia Island


Columbia Island is a Potomac River island in the District of Columbia, opposite the National Mall and lying close to the Virginia shore, from which it is separated by the narrow Boundary Channel.  It is the second-largest island of the District of Columbia, and is about 129 acres in area.


It is linked to the mainland by multiple bridges and is heavily trafficked by cars traveling on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which traverses the island from north to south, and on the Arlington Memorial Bridge from Washington to Arlington Cemetery.


The island is occupied by Lady Bird Johnson Park—designated as an alternate name for the island—and is dominated by open parkland, with scattered groves of trees.  The park includes the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove.  At the south end of the island is the Navy-Marine Memorial sculpture (installed 1934) and the Columbia Island Marina.


Formerly known as Alexander’s Island, the island was crossed by a railroad over the Long Bridge in the 1800s.  The island’s size and shape have been heavily modified from its natural configuration since the late 19th century.



Navy-Marine Columbia WII.jpg

The Navy-Marine Memorial





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--------------------------- Copyright 1995-2009 Joshua Calder

Contact Joshua Calder at calder.josh[at] with questions or suggestions. 

island geography / biggest island