Skate Park Demoed in Shaw, Room for More New Basketball Courts?

Anyone know the story here at the former skate park at 11th and Q St, NW? Are they going to put in more basketball courts or just upgrade the skate park?

And just out of curiosity – which do you think would be a better idea?

33 Comment

  • oh no! i love skating.

  • Poor groms 🙁

  • This actually made me really sad. I see kids playing in there all the time. I hope they plan on rebuilding!

  • I was shocked when I walked past it and it was all torn up. Sad to see such a popular spot get bulldozed.

  • As a skateboard (non-grom, I’m a practicing attorney) I am very relieved to see this thing go. It was unsafe for children and experienced skaters alike. Additionally, when American Eagle Outfitters helped build it in 2005, they thought it would be a good idea to pour ashpalt over the clay tennis basketball courts that already existed. This was a terrible idea as the asphalt was slow and acted like a cheese grater when you fell.

    The word on the street is that Palace 5 and the city are working together to build a new, somewhat DIY skate spot in that space. This would be a great development for skateboarding in DC, which, in the past few years, has been pretty much relegated to a space underneath 295 in Southeast (the Bridgespot).

  • I think they should make tennis courts so the dingalings over there can rip the off netting and play soccer.

  • Hard to believe this could happen w/o ANC2C approval, input or notification. Maybe they’re starting to redevelop the Shaw Middle School campus as promised — amazing considering the budget crisis. Our Ward 2 Councilmember should know, but I didn’t see any mention of this or the development going on at Bundy, 400 b/o P NW, in his e-newsletter last week. Nothing came up on a quick search at the DCPS site. Maybe we’re not supposed to know. …

    We might get an update at our CCCA Nov 30 face-to-tace meeting with Evans and DRES Director Robin Eve Jasper; and then, maybe not.

  • I was at the adjacent dog park last week and someone told me that the whole area was going to be repurposed. I’m not sure if the info is true or not – I can’t imagine losing that dog park!

  • If I remember correctly the dog park was “temporary” from the start. A few years temporary, but temporary nonetheless. I believe eventually the school is going to use the (dog park) land.

  • The last thing this town needs is another basketball court. There are already 3,245 of them within the DC boundaries.

  • As a lifelong skateboarder who loved getting back into the swing of it at that park all summer, I too am sad to see it go. The lack of legal skate-spots in DC is alarming, so any heads up on other spots out there would be greatly appreciated.

    • theres a sweet little concrete park across from my studio in mount rainier. on otis, by the train tracks. some seriously good skaters there too.

      also, theres a pool in brentwood, off of queens chapel NE.

      is fight club dead?

  • I live right down the street from this and I have to say this skate park was used a lot by kids and older skaters alike. Hopefully they are not just replacing it with basketball courts but upgrading it. That park gets a lot of use in the neighborhood and deserves to be kept up.

  • Langdon Park in NE has a skate park.

  • Looking forward to the new skatepark that’s going to be built here, hopefully the city will publish the plans for its design. The one they just tore up was a joke, every time I met people at Shaw we ended up skating flatground at the basketball courts because of how bad the ground was.

  • That just seriously set my morning off on the wrong foot. I’m pissed. I used to skate this park. The quarter pipe and the pyramid were really nice. The one person who said the asphalt was rough, I definitely agree with…but still I hate to see a skate park go!! What’s going to happen with the ramps? Those are at least salvageable. That skatelite material is NOT cheap!

  • Please please please let them duplicate the Stockwell Skatepark in Brixton. The best skatepark I’ve ever experienced. It’s got 70’s style curves with more contemporary stuff for all styles of skateing.

  • From what I can tell the new park is going to be totally separate from any of the previous design so it would be awesome if the old skatelite ramps were brought to Bridge Spot.

  • As of this morning, they’d leveled and were pouring concrete onto the south half of the old skate park. (The north end still needs to be torn up.) Not sure what this portend, but the fact that they’re not setting backboard poles into the concrete is probably good news for skaters.

  • Yup, basically what everyone has already said. The city finally got its act together and is rehabbing the park. P5 did get involved and wanted to make a few modifications to the city plans. The city said, no, we’re only paying $x amount. P5 wanted to have a fundraiser to make up the difference, but the city said if P5 wanted to go that route, they would have to start the whole permit process again, lots of red tape, bureaucratic BS.

    The best part, however, is that this spot is finally getting some attention. It was super schwilly. Hopefully there can be future modifications.

  • wow. did anyone at PoP or elsewhere think of just asking DPR what was up with a DPR skatepark?

    about 2 minutes on the DPR website ( and here’s the answer – DPR is renovating the skate park…

    Shaw Skate Park Renovation

    The site, formerly a tennis court, was assembled by a group of volunteers in 2003 and is approximately 11,000 square feet in size. The existing ramps, rails and other skate structures have fallen into disrepair, and the skate park is in need of new equipment and amenities. The new skate park will include a new concrete surface with new precast concrete skate park ramps, staris, grindoxes, half-pipes and more. The fence surrounding the new skate will also be renovated.

  • Now we know what the ellipsis after TBD stands for. … Another example that the local “press” has just become just another arm and jobs program of the government doing its PR (a lá the WPost). … DPR can’t even fix lights or park benches in other parks in the city but they prioritize rebuilding a skate park?

    Where are the answers to the hard questions like:
    • How much did this little project cost during a city-wide/national budget crisis?
    • How many people — and DC residents — are served by this facility?
    • Was this the best use of city dollars when the city can’t find space and is planning to bar homeless families, seniors and children from shelters this winter — likely condemning them to death or illness? (

    “With the temporary closure, that leaves only one designated skateboarding facility in the District for the time being, at the Langdon Park Recreation Center.”
    • (OMG! c’est horrible! …)

    • What do local residents think? (So much for the other perspective that would make this a “balanced” article)
    • Where is the quote from a “named” (not fictitious) stake holder (aside from the government lackey) to give this article real meaning and perspective? Too eager to “break news” before doing any real reporting and talking to a variety (or even two polarized) stake holders?
    • Is this another Fenty handout or a Council (Jack Evans) approved expenditure? Someone approved it. It’s in Ward 2. (ellipsis)
    • Why not reference the public to the other sources ( so we can find information on our own in the future and skip all the paid ads?
    • What other projects has “AMMKA International worked on? (
    • Was this another no-bid contract?
    • Are local District residents doing any of the demolition / construction work?

    “Reporters” have become so desperate to write a “news story” and afraid of doing any real investigation that they don’t dare mention or publish the inconvenient truths and ask uncomfortable questions of their government bureaucrat contacts for the sake of working for the public’s interest anymore.

    Perhaps this site should just be “re-branded” as

    Hard questions will just have to wait for public community meetings. …

    • All of the DPR capital projects, just like any other capital project in DC, are approved by the Council each year as part of the District’s budget, and capital projects are often approved many years out (sometimes 5 or more years).

      The CFO releases the Capital Projects budget as part of the annual budget, so anyone is free to review the details of any DC capital project.

      The funding for capital improvements (money to build stuff) is separate for the money to operate things (shelters, services, etc) – so any comparison of shelters vs. skateparks is disingenuous at best, as even if DPR or the Mayor wanted to move the money, it simply cannot be done.

  • I’d be willing to bet an equal number of residents are served by a skatepark as are served by a dog park. Justified tax dollars? Absolutely. It’s a great sport, an amazing outlet for kids to be physically active, and since i’ll be there on day 1, I fully support this.

  • The “news” story could have been lifted right from the DPR web site w/o quoting the bureaucrat — as if that added weight.

    This project ( has been sittin’ idle for a long while. Some of my neighbors don’t understand the priorities or the process for putting projects in queue. Our CM does not help make things more transparent nor does he listen much local advocacy for good projects.

    At a COTW hearing today with Vince Gray and Jim Graham, the CM’s praised all the advocates for working with them and staying engaged. In Ward 2, not just in Shaw, many advocates don’t get any encouragement at all much less the sense of working “with” our CM. He should get an ear full at MVSNA tonght.

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