“Why is Meridian Hill Park sometimes called Malcom X Park?”
A question we’ve been debating for quite a long time. One commenter has said:
“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 [President James Buchanan] cannot be officially changed under federal regulations.”
“The park has had a long and varied history. In 1819, John Porter erected a mansion on the grounds and called it “Meridian Hill” because it was on the exact longitude of the original District of Columbia milestone marker, set down on April 15, 1791 at Jones Point, Virginia by Major Andrew Ellicott assisted by Benjamin Banneker, an African-American astronomer and mathematician. It was to this mansion that John Quincy Adams moved when he left the White House in 1829. At that time, the entire high ground surrounding the park was known as “Meridian Hill.”
Construction was begun in 1914, but it was not until 1936 that Meridian Hill reached the full status of a formal park. In 1933 the grounds were transferred to the National Park Service.”
“A leader of the Black United Front began referring to the park in honor of the civil-rights leader on the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., says Simone Moffett, cultural-resource specialist for Rock Creek Park, the organization that deals with administrative issues for Meridian Hill. DC residents later voted for the name to be officially changed to Malcolm X. A bill to change the name was introduced to Congress in January 1970, says Moffett, but didn’t pass.”
So what do you guys call it, Meridian Hill, Malcolm, Malcolm X Park or Meridian Hill/Malcolm X park?
A reader passes on from the Mount Pleasant Listserv:
“A quick warning:
My roommate (a 5’2′ ‘ woman) was running down Klingle road toward rock creek park this afternoon around 5:30pm. Just before reaching the bridge, where there is a gap between the fence and the bridge railing, she saw a stocky, clean-cut latino man wearing a white t shirt and jeans exposing and touching himself (facing the street) and leering at her. After they made eye contact, he began running towards her, and she ran away towards Porter. He chased her for a few steps then turned and ran back up Klingle.
She called 911 and the police took a statement from her, and supposedly patrolled the area. She said she couldn’t tell if he seemed intoxicated, but was struck by the fact that he looked “so normal and clean cut, like anyone you’d see on the street.” I don’t know if they found him. Women running alone in the park should stay alert!!”
About a week after the shooting in the park at 2nd & Mass, DC police cleared the park and sealed it off. The police and another division of the DC govt (was driving by, saw the logo, didn’t catch a name) fully enclosed the park with fencing (the Mass and H St sides were fenced due to the construction).”
Last week I was riding my bike up Ridge Road NW (learning the hard way why it’s called that) when I started to hear a snare drum as I got to the top of the hill. Once I came around the final bend, I saw this guy with a whole drum set just doing his thing in the middle of the park! A treat for us riding and running by, and I suppose a clever practice space for someone who doesn’t want to disturb any neighbors. Anyone else ever come across him?”
“Councilmember Jack Evans gave us an update on the legislation session and budget, including the news that $10M had been appropriated for a park covering Connecticut Avenue where it cuts under Dupont Circle from Q Street.”
“[ANC Commissioner Mike] Feldstein said, “The next step is getting advice on what works in parks like that, and getting community input.” The park could break ground as early as October if plans can be approved, Lipinsky [Evans'communications director] noted.”
“As part of an extraordinary nationwide design competition, the 11th Street Bridge Park is excited to announce four nationally recognized design teams have been selected to envision Washington D.C.’s first elevated public park on the foundation an old freeway bridge spanning the Anacostia River.
The public is invited on June 10 to meet the designers, who were selected by the Bridge Park’s Jury of national experts for their vision, comprehensive approach and creative energy. More than 40 teams, and 80 firms representing some of the most renowned designers in the nation, responded to an open call for submissions launched in March. Selecting the four teams furthers the goal of choosing a final design for the Bridge Park – an iconic new civic space that will provide a unique venue supporting the community’s environmental, economic, cultural and physical health. (more…)
“The Yards Park Canal Basin splash pool, waterfall, and fountains are a favorite destination for kids and adults alike in the Capitol Riverfront. With Memorial Day just around the corner, we wanted to give you an update on their status in the wake of the record rainfall and subsequent flooding that hit the DC region and our neighborhood as well. At the heaviest point during the rainfall, our pump room was flooded. The equipment designed to keep the water features clean and safe was damaged. We are working diligently to determine whether these pumps can be fixed, or must be replaced. At this point, we have removed two of the pumps to have them inspected and reconditioned.
While we hoped to have features available for Memorial Day, unfortunately this won’t be the case. At this point, we do not have an exact time for when the water features will be operational. Our goal is to find a long-term solution and to take steps that will prevent this kind of incident from happening again in the future.
Like you, we are disappointed that the water features are down, but we are committed to have them in working order as soon as possible. In the meantime, we encourage you to enjoy other fun things in the neighborhood including our Friday Night Concerts, the Riverwalk Trail, and the 42-jet fountain in nearby Canal Park. Please check The Yards Park website (www.yardspark.org) where we will provide updates on our progress.”