McMillan Park Town Hall Meeting September 14, 2013

Park Tours of the Past


Wanted: a park design worthy of a great city


June Surplus Meeting

Oral Histories: Benjamin Franklin, a longtime Bloomingdale resident, remembers the role McMillan played in the community during his childhood.

John Salatti, former Bloomingdale ANC representative, and Friends of McMillan Park member Kirby Vining record oral histories of neighborhood residents who used McMillan. Several of the neighbors recall the site as the first segregated park in DC.

“Every fourth of July we gathered here to watch the fireworks….which was the best place in the world because you could see everything downtown from here….this wall wasn’t here, the fence wasn’t here at “” I hate the time. All this was open in the 40s and 50s. You could walk or play in there. When my children came along this was all fenced in. I think it’s getting entirely too congested in this whole area up here. Clog it up with more cars and more buildings? No, I hate it, I hate even thinking about it. Leave us some open space here, some grass, instead of concrete everywhere—you know?” Ben Franklin, age 79

Bloomingdale Wants to Land on Park Place: After 43-Year Wait, Community Pushing For 'Place to Play'
Karen McAllister Special to The Washington Post The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Aug 4, 1988; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1996) pg. DC2

“The Bloomingdale Civic Association is urging that part of the 28-acre McMillan Reservoir area be used as a public park.”

Community Ideas for Adaptive Reuse:

•  80-90% Park: Contiguous Open Green Space (COGS) •  Formal Garden Park; Urban Gardens (for community) •  Garden Rooms (Dr. Iris Miller, CUA) •  Children's Park/Playground; Doggie Park •  State-of-the-art Swimming and Fitness Center •  Recreation Center or Skating Rink •  Urban Beach (Miriam Gusevich) •  Volley Ball Court (suggested as a way to use the sand) •  Farmer's Market or Grocers (stand-alone) •  Coffee Shop •  Museum (for interpretation of the site) •  Use of Caverns: •  Restaurants (family style and fine dining);Boutique-style retail

There is only one proposed development plan for McMillan. Created by Envision McMillan Partners, the plan turns most of the great, undulating lawn into private businesses and residences and leaves little open space or public land. The architecture is boxy, uncreative, and would be the tallest development for miles around. Friends of McMillan Park does not object to the idea of developing the site, but we request that an open, competitive process be undertaken. We believe a fair competition will result in creative proposals that respect the integrity of this National Historic Place.

Envision McMillan envisions some pretty tall buildings.

Envision McMillan Partners’ Website

The Proposed “Mausoleum”

Collage City Studio Proposal: One Example of a Design Created with Neighborhood Input

Collage City Studio Proposal: Example of a Design Created with Neighborhood Input

Basilica Creative Adaptions: Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

Creative Adaptions: Basilica Cistern Cafe, Istanbul

Gas Works Park in Seattle: Another park on the National Register of Historical Places. Now a public park, this industrial site was also once set to be condemned.

Gas Works Park is now a unique landmark for Seattle. The original structures qualify as industrial archaeology and are the last remaining examples of a type of technology. These structures have been double served by Gas Works Park for not only have they been preserved but they have been integrated into an innovative, groundbreaking park designt “Seattle [has] one of the nation’s most advanced pieces of urban landscape design,” wrote . Paul Goldberger in the New York Times.

Survey Sample Detail

Friends of McMillan Park hopes to offer some tours this autumn in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers.