HPRB Follow Up
Yesterday VMP returned to the Historic Preservation Review Board, formally presenting our Design Guidelines (rules we created to govern how the components get designed) and the current evolution of the site’s Master Plan (retooling the park system with a stronger sense of the site’s history).
On hand to present the new park system was Warren Byrd, who walked the board through his drawings and talked about opportunities to develop water capture systems, restore the Olmsted Walk and create new ways for visitors to experience the history of the site. Emily Eig shared her recommendations for the preservation approach given the criteria in the landmark application focuses on the engineering function and its association with Senator McMillan and the city beautiful movement.
The meeting concluded with comments from each of the board, who aren’t actually tasked with voting on the masterplan. They emphasized that their interest is in the memorialization of site especially the plinth even as doing so conflicts with good urban design principles or community preferences. “I don’t know how you do that…,” one member lamented. They did acknowledge the useful tool of ANC 5C’s resolution, which carefully documents key historic issues, the community process and the expectations the neighborhood has as the plan goes forward. They lauded the clear hard work and continued effort on addressing the complexity of the project, but asked about ways to increase the sense of the plinth, and actually talking about importance of McMillan as a separate entity as opposed to one needing to be integrated into the surrounding community context. Because of their interest in its history and unique position, the comments in many ways ran contrary to what VMP has heard from other DC agencies AND community stakeholders on all sides — most especially the principle of integration into the city fabric. AS examples, removing the Channing Street berm and increasing permeability by restoring street connections.
VMP and its design team will weigh these comments as we further develop the plan and its components. We look to share a further refined Central Park and Community Center along with building designs in the coming months.
Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator
Gearing up for Next Steps: HPRB Sept. 27
Thanks to all the community members who came out last week for the DC Council’s McMillan Roundtable to speak about McMillan redevelopment plans. As you know, this is one of the many beginning steps in the approval process, and we are gearing up for the Land Development Agreement Hearing and Zoning Commission later this fall.
This Thursday, the Historic Preservation Review Board will be having a continuation of their hearing from earlier in the summer. The Board will formally comment on the McMillan draft master plans and design guidelines, after hearing more information from the Vision McMillan Partners.
On Thursday there will be no opportunity for public comment, but community members are always welcome to come sit in and listen. If you would like to attend the hearing, it will start at 9:00 AM in Room 220-South, 441 4th Street NW. You can also watch online if you can’t attend. Click here to watch the live video.
We look forward to continuing dialogue with the community to help preserve and activate this wonderful place.
See you on Thursday!
Economic Development Roundtable & City Paper Coverage
Hello! There’s even more in McMillan News:
On September 19th Councilmember Michael Brown, who chairs the Economic Development Committee, held a roundtable discussion on the McMillan Sand Filtration Site. Ward Five Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie joined him for the entirety of the hearing, and staffers for other councilmembers were on hand to hear testimony from the Vision McMillan Partners, neighborhood residents, ANCs, civic associations and area organizations.
On September 20th, the City Paper covered the roundtable and gave a McMillan Update. Taking over the Housing Complex blog, Aaron Weiner quotes Councilmember Brown who said, “I am extremely serious about getting past the rhetoric, the half-truths and frankly some of the deliberate false information that some chose to put out instead of having honest discussion.” The article also garnered an interesting collection of comments… knowing the actual players involved, I think it’s safe to say that there are some playful masqueraders weighing in.
Finally, on September 21st, Housing Complex followed up with a quick look into what it would take to expand the park space across 1st Street to the west and into the site controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, where the original McMillan Park existed.
ANC 5C Votes to Support the plan for McMillan
On Monday night Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C held a Special Meeting at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, and voted to support the Vision McMillan plan for redevelopment of the site.
Councilmembers Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and Michael Brown (I-At Large) were both present and spoke about the site. Councilmember McDuffie expressed support for the current plan citing his work as a former MAG member and the jobs that will be generated by development. Councilmember Brown, who chairs the committee on Economic Development, urged residents to attend his planned roundtable on the site.
Project Director Anne Corbett presented the new site plan, which adds another acre of green space, expanding the view down North Capitol and restoring the Olmstead Walk along the eastern side of the site. The central park now expands to take on a “T” shape, and retains the 170-foot height, with a center section that essentially takes the lid off of a cell, exposing the columnar structure and creating space for an amphitheater that will sit among the “ruins” of the filter bed.
Anne also shared the three recreation center sites options presented to the MAG, and described the team’s plan to exceed DDOE’s storm water management requirements and follow the EPA standard for 100% capture of rainfall on the site.
The ANC voted to support the master plan with a detailed resolution that includes the history of their involvement with the site, the promises made by VMP and the intent to continue to work with VMP to shape the details of the design and implementation plan.
Community Meeting July 28
Vision McMillan Partnership invites you to join us at our next community meeting this coming Saturday. We plan to address the four key community concerns we hear about the most: Storm Water Management, Transportation, Preservation/Open Space and a Community Recreation Center. We will provide our strategies for addressing these issues and take your questions and comments.
Saturday, July 28th
10 am – 12 noon
St George’s Episcopal Church
160 U Street NW
You may have received a flyer that said we’d present Buildings/Architecture — we’ve postponed that agenda until the Fall. I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience.
VMP Presents to ANC 5C
Thanks so much to all the folks who stuck it out at Tuesday night’s ANC 5C meeting to hear my presentation. Luckily, we had Stu’s cake for sustenance. If you were there, you know I tried hard to respond directly to the most critical concerns voiced by community members over the past few months. If you missed the meeting, here are the slides I presented. They should be pretty self explanatory.
If you see something you like, please let me know. If you think a critical issue is missing or our response is incomplete, please let me know that as well.
As you know, the community recreation center is a work in progress. Tania and I will be sitting down with the MAG this Thursday night to talk about the concerns in their letter to HPRB as well as drilling down on the program for the community recreation center. I hope that together we can bring recommendations back to ANC 5C in coming weeks.