07/30/14 2:30pm

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“Dear PoPville,

I’ve been concerned about the National Park Service’s apparent disregard for D.C. residents — reflected in stories about Fort Reno and Carter Barron concert issues, inadequate trash management, etc. So, nearly three weeks ago, when Shevchenko Park — an NPS site at 22nd and P in Dupont — was suddenly enclosed in barbed-wire fencing, I was eager to know what was going on. Demolition of the plaza began the next day, and my inquiry about the nature of the work and its completion date, submitted through nps.gov, went unanswered for more than a week. After getting a vague email from the communications office with few details and no completion date, but encouraging me to contact them with any follow-up questions, I responded with a second request for the completion date, but heard nothing back. I then contacted an NPS superintendent for D.C. and heard nothing.

So I emailed the acting regional director, who told me someone would get back to me, at which point – more than two weeks after raising the simple question – a deputy superintendent told me that the work (basically redoing the entire area except for the statue of Shevchenko himself) wasn’t scheduled for completion until the end of October. That makes it a disruptive four-month project in a residential neighborhood, with no public notice other than signs that just went up yesterday but seem inadequate, since they provide no completion date or contact info.

I am looking forward to improvements at Shevchenko Park, which many Dupont residents see and use every day, but why should it be so difficult to find out what the National Park Service is doing in your neighborhood?”

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07/24/14 2:30pm

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3000 Georgia Ave, NW

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“There’s a new structure going up at Bruce Monroe park. A large gazebo perhaps.”

Must be part of the $200,000 for Improvements we heard about in April 2013? Think a gazebo is a good addition for the park?

Still waiting to hear about the “NDC-developed mixed-use building on the eastern third of the site, comprising 88-175 apartments up to 1,000 square feet, 17,000-26,000 square feet of retail space”…

Also, Side Note: Found this old photo from the archives – what it used to look like – the old school back in 2008:

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07/21/14 1:20pm

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@Andrew_Flick tweets us:

“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 National Parks Service says:

“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.”

In 2008 Washingtonian reported:

“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?

07/15/14 10:45am

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Photo by PoPville flickr user dullshick

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!!”

06/16/14 10:55am

drummerguy

“Dear PoPville,

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?”

06/12/14 3:55pm

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From Dupont Circle Citizens Association:

“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.”

Greater Greater Washington reported:

“[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.”

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05/28/14 12:30pm

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Rendering via 11th Street Bridge Park

From a press release:

“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…)