Organize to Save McMillan Park
Context: McMillan Park is 25+ acres of open land at North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue, NW, still largely as it was when the federal government opened it in 1905 to control typhoid and other water-borne diseases in the city. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., it was a public, integrated park until WWII, when it was closed for security purposes. The national and local historic landmark, with panoramic views of downtown Washington, was bought by the city in 1987 for $9.3M.
The Mayor’s McMillan Plan and Unethical Behavior: The proposed plan is to privatize and demolish McMillan Park as we know it in order to build two+ million square feet of residential, commercial and medical space. This plan has in part been approved by the DC Zoning Commission, the Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation and a premature DCRA demolition permit has been issued. These decisions are being appealed, with a temporary stay now in effect from the DC Court of Appeals.
Current Status: The DC Court of Appeals has temporarily stayed the DCRA-issued demolition permit pending appeals of zoning and historic preservation approvals. This offers a fresh start window for an innovative, pro-environment, pro-community project with real affordable housing.
Reasons to Halt Demolition & OPPOSE the Current, Taxpayer-Funded Plan to Privatize McMillan Park:
- City taxpayers are putting up tens of millions of dollars for developers to take the park land from us and profit from privatizing it;
- 20,000 new vehicle trips/day projected by the developer at the failed N. Capitol/Michigan Ave. intersections;
- No significant public transportation, closest Metro >1 mile away;
- Worse air quality for an area already afflicted with high asthma rates;
- No truly low-income housing for a project on public land that is anticipated to have some of the most expensive units in the city;
- No environmental impact statement by city or developer;
- No competitive bid for development team, per DC Auditor;
- No neighborhood library despite community request, per 2002 Office of Planning report;
- Ignored Sierra Club 2012 request that “half or more of the surface [be devoted to] contiguous park and park-like use.”
- Doesn’t meet Secretary of Interior’s Standards for historic preservation.