14th and Girard Street Park Opening Celebration a Great Success

DSCN0956, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

There is a time for doubt and a time for hope. This is most definitely a time for hope. When we discussed the park on Friday, some folks were rather skeptical. As I said in the comments there, I believe now is the time to offer the benefit of the doubt and to celebrate and enjoy the nice new facilities. In fact the opening celebration on Saturday afternoon was filled with joy, music, and good vibes.


There was an initial vote also held on Sat. to rename the park. The choices were picked by the “friends of the park” group. Nominees were Jim Graham Park, Mack Thompson Park (a local activist), Obama Park, Capital City Park, or a write in choice. The “winner” will be announced Monday evening. I put winner in quotes because the City Council will still need to pass legislation to officially rename the park. The park is being renamed because folks often confuse this park with the Girard Street Park which, incidentally, was also recently renovated.


A resident familiar with the background tells me:

“With respect to the naming of the park, this ‘friends of’ group established a shortlist for the community. The ANC commissioner for the park is Rosemary Akinmboni, and she agreed that the opening celebration of the park would be a good opportunity to get input from the community regarding the name. The main impetus for the renaming of the park is that there is another park down Girard St. closer to 15th St., which is commonly known as Girard Park. Needless to say, it is obvious how this could be confused with the 14th and Girard Park.”


14 Comment

  • It is indeed a beautiful looking new park. Much like there were predictions of graffiti and the destruction of the Girard Street Park and the center rubber play surface — none of that has come to pass. New public spaces can renew the sense of public pride, and perhaps everyone can simply enjoy this wonderful new park.

    On the renaming of the park, the Council of the District of Columbia will have to pass legislation to rename this park (c’mon PoP, we’re much more than a city! no city council references! “DC Council” or “Council of the District of Columbia” please! *grin*) but, if the neighborhood wants to name it after a person, that individual needs to be deceased as per District law, much like other jurisdictions, we can only name public space after folks who are deceased:

    “DC Code: § 9-204.05. Use of living persons’ names prohibited; use of deceased persons’ names restricted.

    No public space in the District shall be named in honor of any living person, or in honor of any person who has been deceased less than 2 years, unless the deceased person was a President or Vice President of the United States, a United States Senator or Representative, a Mayor of the District of Columbia, or a member of the Council of the District of Columbia.”

    DC Code online >> http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/search/default.asp?RS=GVT1.0&VR=2.0&SP=dcc-1000

  • What a happy afternoon for the neighborhood! I love the metal work on the fence in the last shot.

  • I was a little jealous missing this event last weekend, but will make up for it with a visit this coming weekend. Sans dance, off in all likelyood 🙁

    And I was a little dismyed at some of the serious and not so serious comments made in the earlier post you linked to. I know that running a blog can sometimes be a bummer when people write downer comments like those. But in the real world, with real people, events like this cheer me up and serve to get me out of the house and out from in front of the computer screen. Nice new park for the residents of Columbia Heights. Something positive to build on; and play on!

  • So dcvoterboy, that means the name by default is going to be ‘Capital City Park’? That’s rather disappointing. The ‘Friends of’ group should have been briefed on that law before the vote. I’m sure the neighborhood could have developed more (legal) options!

  • I mean, of course, unless a legal write-in received more votes than Capital City…

  • five blocks to the north and we totally could have had a “Park park”

    a rose by any other name…

  • Madelyn Dunham Park
    Barack Obama’s grandmother

  • For God’s sake, neither Obama nor his mother ever came to this park. It is not associated with them at all. I’m sure a name can be selected that actually makes sense. I mean, his election was historic and all, but come on.

    Whatever they call it, given its history and the fact public restrooms were installed, we all know that after a year or so it will be known as the toilet ho park anyway.

  • The untold story about the park is how hard folk had to work to keep the design process open, collaborative and inclusive. The project was delayed for almost a year has behind the scenes battles raged with some wanting the park completely closed. Folk fought to ensure that “community” won out over selfishness, meaness and petty politics. Moving forward, the success of this park is critical for this community. We all need to find small ways to make it a success as we have several other parks redesigns to go.

  • I have to agree with Anonymous…bathrooms in this park?! Are they kidding?! This will only make it easier for illegal activity to continue around this area. I can’t believe that anyone thought this would be a good idea. I live only a couple of blocks away, but will probably still not take my small child to play there. Seems this park (as well as the one at 11th and Monroe) is built to cater to adults with nothing better to do than to hang around.

  • Where is the grass? This is not what I consider a park. I live within 1 block of the ‘park’ and still am not a fan. DC could have done some great things by including the basketball court and then focusing the other half on less concrete. Thanks DC.

  • All you guys do is complain.. the new park isn’t awesome enough.. wahh wahhh.

  • It isn’t awesome at all.

  • It’s official…park gets a new name…Itchychoo Park!!!

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