This morning Mayor Fenty attended a ribbon cutting ceremony but you can join in the celebration on Sat. I took some photos last weekend but will update this weekend. It certainly looks like a really nice upgrade. Glad to see the built in chess boards. And bathrooms too!
More photos and full press release after the jump.
Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty was joined by DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Acting Director Ximena Hartsock; Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCAH) Gloria A. Nauden; Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham; and the Ward 1 community at the new 14th and Girard Street Park for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion and opening of DPR’s newest park.
Redevelopment of the park, located at 14th and Girard Streets, NW, began with a community-driven planning and design process in spring 2007 with the goal of completely redeveloping the existing park to better serve the community. Demolition of the old park, which featured large amounts of concrete and little usable green space, began in December 2008, and construction of the new park began earlier this year. The DC Housing Authority provided construction management for this DPR capital improvement project.
“The role of the District Government is to serve our residents, and the new park we opened today is truly a product of the good work that is accomplished when we work directly with the communities we serve,” said Mayor Fenty.
The design of the new 14th and Girard Street Park includes a number of exciting new improvements and features for the enjoyment of park visitors. With new fencing and lighting throughout the entire park, the 14th Street entrance now features stainless steel cityscape cutouts that echo the surrounding architecture, and new street-side banners with graphics that combine classic chessboard patterns, cityscape images, the District flag, and the DPR logo.
A new central plaza offers a welcoming open space, and at the center of the plaza is an interactive user-controlled play fountain with four water jets that spout out in random patterns. Landscaping throughout the park is comprised of plantings of shade and ornamental trees, flowering shrubs, and low-maintenance ground cover which will provide a changing palette of color and texture throughout the year. In addition to new outdoor seating, more game tables, which are ADA-accessible, have been installed preserving the presence of the amateur chess playing community, a regular sight at the park. Two new bathrooms with ceramic tile from floor to ceiling were also constructed.
The outdoor multi-use playcourt in the park was also rebuilt, and is now ADA-accessible and is finished with a state-of-the-art Premier Court® cushioned play surfacing system. Premier Court® is an all-weather cushioned sports surface ideal for outdoor installations. The playing surface is made of a patented composite with a standard acrylic recreational coating, and was developed to eliminate cracking and prevent weathering. The outdoor mutli-use playcourt will be open for the whole community and is painted for basketball and a soccer like game called Futsal.
“DPR is committed to providing recreational facilities that serve our residents and help build community,” said DPR Acting Director Hartsock. “The new 14th and Girard Street Park we see today is the result of a good partnership between DPR and the residents we proudly serve.”
DCAH, located just one block from the park, has joined with DPR as a community partner and will be overseeing an art installation by a professional artist or artist team which will work with local residents and youth to design and install the work on the east wall of the outdoor multi-use playcourt. DCAH has recently received applications from DC artists and arts organizations to be considered by an art selection panel comprised of representatives from the community, youth, District government agencies, and architects. The artwork is scheduled to be installed in fall 2009.
“The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is proud to participate in this great project,” said Gloria A. Nauden, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “The Commission is committed to giving every community in the District the opportunity to experience the great work that our city’s artists have to offer.”
Community celebration of the opening of the new 14th and Girard Park will continue on Saturday, July 11, as DPR in partnership with the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative will host a celebration from 12 noon to 8 pm. All are invited to come out and enjoy fun, food, and entertainment.