Anyone Have An Opinion On The Meridian Hill Vs. Malcolm X Park Name Debate?


So from time to time when I write about Meridian Hill Park people get a bit upset because they believe the true name is Malcolm X park. But I just noticed walking by the other day that it has Meridian Hill etched into the stone on the border of the park. So is that a recent addition? When did the name change occur? Anyone believe one name is more appropriate than another?

29 Comment

  • It seems that your picture answers that question. Why the confusion anyway?

  • Well, I tried to answer the question, but my comment isn’t showing up. Oh well.

  • mine didnt show either.

  • I tried to answer the question too, and my answer didn’t show up.

  • I’m glad I’m not alone then. And at least faster than three people 😉

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Sorry about that. I wonder if it has something to do with the X (with porn sites spamming me all the time my filter some times stops comments with X) I should’ve thought about that. Sorry again.

  • Gentrification Blog Disenfranchises Malcom X!

    …story at 11…

  • Nope, didn’t work without the Ex.

  • My kids think I’m a geezer and we’ve lived in Petworth for over 20 years, born in DC and raised in the close-in suburbs. So I know DC and have lived here all my life. Meridan Hill Park’s name was never officially changed to Malcolm X Park; it just got called that in the 70s and the name has stuck. So that explains the name in stone.

  • Other “debates” these people may be having right now: Holland v. Netherlands, Britain v. England, etc.,

  • that was a joke right anon

  • Thought it was originally called Merdian, but locals called it Malcom _ Park.

  • This plays into the much greater issue of DC autonomy. The vast majority of locals call it Malcolm X Park though Congress and the NPS have both refused to acknoledge it as such. I learned the history when I came to DC 4 years ago and began to play Ultimate Frisbee there on a regular basis. While spending so much time there I figured I better get to the bottom of it. I suggest following up with Steve Coleman of Washington Parks and People which focuses on that park as well as others. They are way more focuses on it’s use and community engagement than the NPS folks who are quite aloof.

    Parks/People staff:

  • From the Historic American Bldgs Survey:
    “The park is also known as Malcolm X Park, however, that name cannot be officially adopted because the name of a park with a presidential memorial cannot be officially changed under federal regulations.”

  • The odd thing, is that it isn’t named for that President, so I wonder why that applies.

  • There’s a memorial to President Buchanan in the park.

  • The Park has a memorial to James Buchanan, our 15th and until recently worst president.

  • Right, it’s bizarre that a monument to Buchanan could or should prevent a name change of a park not named for him.

  • personally, i like that it has an official name and a local name.

    i call it malcolm x park, but i wouldnt want it officially changed.

  • A neighbor once said that she, as a Christian (and 90 year old DC resident) wasn’t going to let baby boomers name that park after Malcolm X instead of Dr. King. I’m paraphrasing, but…

  • I’ve always found the park’s name an easy way of distinguishing locals from transplants… much like people who call National Airport “Reagan”.

  • how come this site won’t let me post using the alternative name of the park?????

  • Anonymous at 12:25–

    FYI– Holland is made up of 2 of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. England is one of three states (England, Scotland and Wales) on the island of Britain, and one member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Calling the Netherlands “Holland” or Britain “England” is analogous to calling the United States “Carolina” or “Dakota.”

  • This is just a bad post. Anything of substance I’ve tried to post won’t take. … NEXT

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I’m really sorry about that. Can you email me what you tried to post so I can try to figure out why this post is rejecting so many comments? Thanks.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Sorry the comments have been so messed up on this particular post. It’s a bit of a mystery to me. Following is a comment from a reader that didn’t get through:

    “I’ve been a local my whole life – and I’ve found that it’s the transplants that call it Malcom ecks. Pretty much everyone I know (and I ain’t sayin’ that I, or my peeps, are consensus) who is a transplant about my age (36) calls it Malcom, whereas people a wee bit older, and people who have lived here much longer, tend to call it Meridian. I, too, call it Meridian. I prefer it, partly because it makes sense with everything else around it named Meridian.

    There’s an airport called Reagan? WTF?”

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