I have been remiss on not posting the three-part article by Jeffrey Anderson on McMillan. Good to get caught up.
The three part series appeared in the free monthly Hill Rag magazine by Capital Community News.
I have provided the intro paragraphs from each of the three articles.
Click on the links below to read the full articles.
With DC still in building mode, and a pile of development projects on her plate, Mayor Muriel Bowser faces unique challenges in ordering her priorities. One project particularly fraught with complexity and controversy has landed on the desk of her agent for historic preservation, who is expected to make major decisions in the coming weeks: The McMillan Sand Filtration Site.
Slated for residential, retail and medical office space, and a park, the 25-acre historic water filtration facility is located in Ward 5, bordered by North Capitol Street, First Street, Michigan Avenue and Channing Street, NW, adjacent to Children's National Medical Center, MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It consists of 20 underground sand filtration cells, 20 cylindrical, ivy-covered brick storage bins and regulator houses, and an expanse of open space adjacent to McMillan Reservoir, which is still in use.
In 1990, the District designated the 20th century water utility for mixed-use development. But the site languished until 2000, when the Office of Planning (OP) invited architects from Catholic University and Howard University to contribute a vision for its redevelopment. The resulting recommendations, made by OP in 2002, emphasized community input, historic preservation and re-use of the site's underground sand cells. Directives included "Be Creative" and "Be Responsive to Community Needs and Concerns."
Jump forward to 2015. Developers are now poised to demolish all but two of the sand cells and build two million square feet of residential, retail and medical office space, and a six-acre park. Not surprisingly, Norman and other community members object not just to the density and commercial orientation of the plan, but also to the process of its adoption.
Jeffrey Anderson is a veteran, DC-based journalist. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @jeffreyanders19
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