October 1, 2009

District of Columbia World War I Memorial
(File Number 6979)

The National Capital Planning Commission provided favorable comments on concept designs submitted by the National Park Service (NPS) to restore the District of Columbia World War I Memorial and rehabilitate its grounds. Favorable comments does not mean approval, and the applicant will have to return before NCPC for preliminary and final approval. 

Located on the National Mall at Independence Avenue, SW, the memorial honors residents of the District who fought in the First World War. Authorized by Congress in 1924, the memorial was funded by District residents, organizations, and businesses. Construction began in 1931 and President Hoover dedicated the memorial on November 11, 1931.

The NPS plans to clean and repair the 47-foot tall memorial and return the surrounding landscape to the original plan. These efforts include adding new historic bluestone paving and elm trees, replacing non-historic paving with granite, and removing non-historic trees. In addition, NPS proposes widening the walkways from eight to ten feet. When completed, the memorial could once again be used as a bandstand, as it was years ago.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Washington Canal Park
(File Number 6713)

The Commission commented favorably on a revised concept design for the Washington Canal Park. The District of Columbia’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development submitted the project on behalf of the Canal Park Development Association. Located on a three-block site between I Street, SE and M Street, SE and between 2nd Street, SE and 2nd Place, SE, the park will span two acres of federal land under District jurisdiction.

Each park block will have a distinctive design. The southern block will feature a prominent water feature, a large two-story pavilion with cafe, and offer ice skating in the winter. The middle block will have a small pavilion located above a plane of cascading water, two lawn areas, and benches. The northern block will offer a large, open lawn area and a pavilion. The three blocks will be tied together by common features including a linear rain garden.

The site is located on a portion of the former Washington Canal that connected the Potomac River and Tiber Creek with the Anacostia River. NCPC reviewed the original concept design in November 2006. The park is now being designed by the OLIN Partnership, which designed the landscape plans for the Washington Monument grounds.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

(File Number 6573)

The Commission voted to circulate the draft CapitalSpace plan for public comment. CapitalSpace is a joint initiative by NCPC, the National Park Service, and the District of Columbia to provide a unified vision for Washington’s approximately 9,300 acres of parks and open space. The plan will be available for review and comment for a 60-day period beginning October 8.

The CapitalSpace partners aim to address these challenges and strengthen park assets by working together on six Big Ideas. These include better utilizing and integrating the numerous parks less than one acre in size, connecting the Fort Circle Parks, using recreational fields more effectively, enhancing downtown parks, improving public schoolyards, and preserving urban natural and ecological areas.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Consent Calendar: The Commission voted on Consent Calendar items without staff presentations or public testimony.

Delegated Decisions: Projects for which the Commission delegated decision-making authority to the Chairman, Executive Committee, or Executive Director.