Articles By tbj

Signs of Support

We’re happy to see so many signs saying “Create McMillan Park” popping up.  One of my favorite things about the McMillan project is the opportunity to tear down the fences around the site and create a new space for everyone to enjoy.

Looking forward to a  new year—we will be heading to and holding more community meetings.   Hope to see you there.


Tania Jackson

Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator


Latest News

On November 22nd, Vision McMillan Partners and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development jointly filed a Planned Unit Development– or PUD– application to the DC Zoning Commission.  The application included both a “Stage One” Master Plan and a “Consolidated Package” depicting the buildings planned for the phase one.  We will keep you updated on the public schedule moving forward, including hearings and meetings.  In the meantime, you can click here to view the application.  Simply click “Search by Applicant/Case Name” and enter “McMillan” as the search term.

Click here to view the Washington Business Journal’s recent coverage of the PUD application.

Take a minute to visit VMP on our new Facebook Page and “like” us to receive news and information via Facebook. We’ll be using the page to solicit your feedback on things like public art and park design and will keep you up-to-date on upcoming hearings, meetings and opportunities to engage in the process.

We look forward to seeing you on Facebook!

Tania Jackson

Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator


A Neighbor’s Opinion of the New McMillan

Here’s an excerpt of an email sent by a resident of the area, writing to the Historic Preservation Review Board.

I am writing to express my support of the McMillan Site Development Project.  I am a resident of the Ward 5, Eckington neighborhood and live 6 blocks from the future site.  Some of my reasoning is detailed below:

  1. The McMillan Development DOES respect and preserve the architectural and historical integrity of the prior Sand Filtration Site.
  • Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. is the landscape architect who envisioned this beautiful property.  As a lover or American History, I am familiar with his work.  As an Architecture graduate from the University of Florida, I studied his projects extensively, including work at Central Park in New York.  The homage by the Architect via preservation of a portion of the underground caverns and ALL of the above-ground silos is a great nod to an American legend.  Climbing vegetation and board-treated cement are features developed to address the site’s unique characteristics.
  • A fully-preserved site means no development.  The key is finding balance, which I believe Vision McMillan Partners has achieved.  

2.  What use does undeveloped land serve?

  • Bloomingdale, Eckington and Brookland are all what DC residents would consider “transitional” areas.  There has been tremendous revitalization , especially in the last 5 years.  I purchased my home on Rhode Island Ave NE with the anticipation that the neighborhood’s growth would continue.  I planned on it.  This development is a MAJOR step toward changing the DC social landscape.  The medical, professional, residential and recreational opportunities this development provides are tremendous.  Who wouldn’t enjoy a brand-new rec center?!  This development also provides the city with new income sources and an insurgence of exciting attractions in a largely residential area.
  • I am concerned that if we focus on the “what if,” we will limit our neighborhood’s potential.  Dismissing a project is easy . . . so is the “norm.” I challenge each of you to think outside of the box, envisioning the great capacity a site like McMillan has for supporting DC’s bright future.  DC can be where you work AND live.  You can be a single professional or raise a family, all safely.

I KNOW we can make this happen!  I am happy to assist in any way possible in support of this effort.




McMillan in the News

The  November 1st edition of the Washington Post includes coverage of this week’s Historic Preservation Board Hearing.

“It’s time for McMillan … to be of more use to the neighborhood and the city, and it’s time for it to be redeveloped,” said Graham Davidson, an architect who sits on the board.

Check out this article on this week’s HPRB hearing by Mike DeBonis from the Washington Post.


Approvals Progress on Halloween!

Yesterday the Historic Preservation Review Board voted unanimously to accept the Historic Preservation Office’s staff report, which recommended accepting the Master Plan and building design concepts, which moves the project forward to the Mayor’s Agent and the Zoning Commission.  We’ve been working long and hard on this project, refining the vision to reflect both community wants and desires, and HPRB’s recommendations so that McMillan will be a special place for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you to all of the community members and interested people who came to HPRB to testify today.  Thank you to all of you who have provided input and feedback; we truly appreciate your desire to make McMillan great.

If you haven’t seen it, now is a good time to check out our Vision Video, which made its debut today at HPRB.  And for more detailed information on the building designs, come to our community open house at St. George’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, November 16th anytime between 10AM and 1PM.

See you soon,

Tania Jackson

Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator

We’re Live!

Good Morning!
We have now officially rolled out the remixed, restyled and renewed  The new site is designed to give a better picture of what is planned, and provide opportunity for feedback and interaction.   If you want to access reports, drawings and all of our information it’s all organized on the Resources page. Check out the Twitter timeline and follow us @VisionMcMillan.  Look for more updates and images but most of all . . .
We are also debuting our Vision Video, which will be shown at today’s HPRB hearing, as well!  The video gives a more cohesive view of the entire site design, with fly throughs that show the park, Olmsted walk, service corridors, and buildings in context, so that you can see how McMillan will look when it’s built.
Please take the time to look around here.  If you experience any glitches, feel free to email me at  Thanks to all who took the time to tweet or email us with questions– we try to respond and repair as quickly as possible.
Tania Jackson
Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator


Fabulous Report From HPO!

Earlier this month, VMP submitted revised plans for McMillan that address the remaining concerns raised by the Historic Preservation Review Board at the June hearing.  The Historic Preservation Officer has posted their report on the new designs and it’s pretty fabulous news.
“(T)he latest version of the master plan represents a significant improvement over previous versions and now retains the significant above-grade topographical, architectural and engineering features that were identified by the Board as the most important.”
“The revised master plan would retain significant character-defining features of the landmark sufficient to convey its historic character.”
The report recommends, specifically, that the Board “find the concept designs to represent an architecturally coordinated and cohesive approach that specifically relates to the character of the McMillan site.”
If you would like to come support the project at the hearing, please let me know– email me at  We’d love to see you at HPRB, but if you miss that, please be sure to join us at the Open House on November 16th.
Thanks for your continued support,
Tania Jackson
Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator
Envision McMillan

HPRB Full Comments from 7/11/13

Dear McMillan Friends,

The Vision McMillan Partners team returned to the Historic Preservation Review Board to hear their full comments on the architectural plans that were presented on June 27th.  As you know, at that meeting we heard a few comments but were cut short because of time constraints.

At yesterday’s meeting the Board voted to approve our Master Plan and Design Guidelines, with Gretchen Pfaeler, the Board Chair, stating that the MasterPlan provided the appropriate framework for development of the site.

In her summation of the comments the Chair noted:

  • The design of the park and community center provides the organic look and feel that the board is seeking with regard to the site;
  • There needs to be a plan for better integrating Cell 14 into the office buildings on the north court (although she recognized the difficulty of such with DC Water’s  projected occupancy until 2022);
  • The architectural plan needs a unifying hand that brings together the adjectives and characteristics of the site.

We are excited to keep moving forward with our design plans on the site, and will come back to HPRB in the fall with building designs that address their concerns.  We will be sharing more with you as the plans progress.

Tania Jackson
Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator

More Information on Repurposing Cells

Christian Calleri, one of the masterplan architects for McMillan, responds to the testimony at HPRB about comparative underground structures in Turkey and Italy.

I know there has been a lot of interest repurposing more underground cells at McMillan, so I did some research in response.

Re: the Basilica Cistern, in Istanbul.

From Wikipedia: ‘…an underground chamber approximately 138 meters (453ft) by 64.6 meters (212ft)—about 9800 square meters (105,000SF) in area—capable of holding 80,000 cubic meters (2,800,000 cubic feet) of water.  The ceiling is supported by a forest of 336 marble columns, each 9 meter (30ft) high, arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns each spaced 4.9 meters (16ft) apart.’ For comparison, Cell 14 is 112ft by 340ft, and the normative cell type (15-29) are 154ft x 294ft.  So the cistern is about the size of 2 underground cells. Here is the wikipage with photos:

RE: the Piscina Mirabilis in Italy: 

It is about ½ the size of one cell. Here are interesting views of it, one in an old drawing, one in a photograph.”



Christian Calleri, AIA


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