Friday, November 09, 2012

Daniel Wolkoff: McMillan Park update

See the message below from Brookland resident Daniel Wolkoff:
McMillan Park is 25 acres on Michigan and North Capitol,,,which DC govt. has wasted, fenced off and allowed to deteriorate for over 25 years. How a govt. so destructive to the public good has the arrogance today, to waste millions of dollars more, on a grudging process to over build the site with a dev. plan so mundane,, and eliminate it's potential as park and art, cultural, and job training.
One contributing factor to our youth crime problem is such great opportunities to benefit young people are over ruled by an all consuming city govt. with one land use model, it imposes on every available space... The diversity of opportunity we see in Glen Echo Park, so beneficial to area young people is not offered to us,,WHY? WHY is Glen Echo, in West Bethesda, a fantastic educational , art and cultural historic recreation area a priority for Montgomery County and the district does not offer this to us? A coalition of Maryland Parks, National Park Service, Montgomery County and an operational Glen Echo Consortium cooperates to bring 365 days a year of multiple activities to young people and adult alike. WHY don't we have the same benefits? What is it with our govt. that they do not feel we deserve the same healthy services enoyed in Bethesda?
On Thursday, July 12, 2012, the Washington, D.C., Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) met to address the District of Columbia`s development proposal for McMillan Park submitted by Vision McMillan Partners with a Master Plan by EEK and Associates.
There is concern the Vision McMillan proposal would result in the destruction of the site`s historic significance. Among those who have submitted letters to the HPRB objecting to such destruction are D.C. City Council Member Phil Mendelson, the Sierra Club, Howard University, and the National Association for Olmsted Parks.
An alternative plan was presented by Collage City Studio on behalf of McMillan Park Committee and Friends of McMillan Park, who oppose the District of Columbia`s development proposal for the historic water filtration site. Points of contention with the Vision McMillan Partners` plan include its lack of compliance with the District of Columbia`s Historic Preservation Regulations and its destruction of much of the landscape`s historic fabric, which the plan replaces with 2.2 million square feet of conventional mixed-use development.
Using the Olmsted Walk and the service courts as a historic template, the alternative plan preserves a significant proportion of the site`s unique underground sand filtration vaults, which were used to filter water, as well as the substantial green roof which tops them. The plan proposes that an urban farm be situated atop a portion of the green roof, while it is proposed that the vaults be repurposed as a bazaar-style shopping venue and community recreation center. Interpretive elements are incorporated into the plan, which include the preservation of a working vault which will demonstrate the original slow sand filtration process. The plan also proposes revealing a below-ground creek – this would be done as part of a stormwater management plan and the site would become an urban beach that incorporates some of the filtration sand.
The alternative plan proposes 1. 5 million square feet of mixed use and residential development on the property`s northern and southern edges, preserving the site`s historic core, with the hopes that the site would attain landmark designation in the National Register of Historic Places in the near future.
For more information, contact:
Miriam Gusevich, Collage City Studio, MiriamG123 @, 202-253-8035.
Hugh Youngblood
Daniel Goldon Wolkoff
12th and Randolph Street, NE
Tel: 202-232-8391

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