At the nation's front yard, things are no different. As we speak major improvement projects are underway at the National Mall, including a rehabilitation of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and new lawn panels on the Capitol side between 3rd and 7th. Hard hats are also near the Washington Monument, as work is underway for the new African-American History Museum.
Planners have now set their sights on re-designing and enhancing three other areas. The non-profit “Trust for the National Mall” is spearheading the effort to improve the Mall experience. They have just released the design teams picked to re-develop the areas.
Here is the breakdown. My two photos were taken yesterday. Renderings are from the above mentioned website.
I’m ashamed to say that other than visiting The Wall and the WWII Memorial, I had not been to this portion of the Mall, and I didn’t know it was called Constitution Gardens. What a beauty part it is, so much so that I can relate to those who worry about its serenity being broken. Still, the only food option there is just the one small pre-packaged place, and when the benches fill up, it’s standing room only.
By the way, if you go, don’t miss the “56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial.” Also beware that this part of the Mall is a Long Walk Zone if you will, with the nearest Metro over a half-mile away.
The design team will be Rogers Marvel Architects. The centerpiece is a new pavilion that will look over the lake and gardens. A new restaurant is proposed and a dock for model boating. An ice skating rink will also be built.
Another part of the Mall we locals don’t visit much, bypassing it to see the Cherry Trees.
“Olin and Wiess/Manfredi” will replace the run-down Sylvan Theater with a new grass amphitheater. If approved, a new café and bookstore will be built.
Wow, my knowledge of The Mall is much less than I thought. I’ve been to this part, but didn’t realize it was officially called “Union Square.” Grant’s Monument, the east side counterpart to Lincoln Memorial, is here. When it was built, planners envisioned both memorials would become equal centers of attention. Didn’t work out that way.
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and Davis Brody Bond propose new pathways and streets designed with pedestrians in mind. The term civic space applies here.
Ground-breaking is slated for 2016. The rehab project on the Lincoln Monument side (technically not the Mall) is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Not sure about the new grass panels, but one would think before January.