Developer Releases Detailed Plan That Would Destroy Historic Park

Good luck trying to find these images on the internet.

They are Vision McMillian Partners (VMP) drawings of their plan to erect commercial and residential buildings that would destroy most of our historic Olmsted park.  Once you’ve seen their plans, you will understand why VMP has gone to such great lengths to avoid highlighting them, choosing instead to spotlight illustrations that make the green space look enormous, the historic structures protected, and the commercial buildings appropriate in scale.  In fact, in most of the illustrations, VMP makes the green space look almost comically huge — like New York’s Central Park from the air — while the commercial buildings planned for Michigan Avenue fade into the background, literally disappearing into a white horizon.

Sadly, the reality is far different.

The people of Washington, D.C. deserve an honest discussion of the VMP plan based on its merits — not deceptive advertising and gimmicks.

The following three illustrations show clearly just what VMP hopes you will not notice:

  • Nearly all, if not all, of the beautiful underground vaulted caverns would be destroyed.  In fact, only one small section remains on the northeast corner.
  • Of the little green space that would be preserved, it is far smaller than their wide-angled drawings lead you to believe.
  • The commercial buildings tower over the development, bringing into our neighborhoods a hulking slice of Crystal City or Silver Spring.

VMP 2013 Plan

VMP 2013 Elevations

View from Stronghold across North Capitol Street

The hastily-conceived VMP plan is plain wrong for the development of a park that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and that is intended to serve the needs of the citizens of Washington, D.C. and its visitors.

It is time our leaders got the message.

Take Action — Email the following message to the Mayor and City Councilmembers!

The McMillan Park Reservoir Historic District — both its above and below ground structures — is a tremendous asset for our city.  Any plan approved for its development must be appropriate for the restoration and preservation of a historic park.  I strongly urge you to reject the current plan proposed by Vision McMillan Partners.

Email to:

Sierra Club Opposes Vision McMillan Partners Revised Master Plan and Design Guidelines

The Sierra Club Washington, DC Chapter has updated its position on the McMillan Park Reservoir development plan proposed by Vision McMillan Partners. The organization calls for “a balanced and equitable McMillan Park development plan” that aligns with the results of the community survey of 2012.

Last Chance to Submit Testimony for McMillan Park HPRB Hearing by April 3rd at Noon

The DC Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) has scheduled a hearing on Thursday, 4 April 2013, to review the revised VMP development proposal for McMillan Park. Please join us for the hearing to testify in person or submit written testimony in advance to The deadline for submitting written public testimony for the hearing is noon on Wednesday, 3 April 2013.

The posts below contain useful information for developing your testimony. Additionally, please review HPRB’s comments from the previous VMP hearing:

The 4 April 2013 HPRB hearing will begin at 9:00 AM at 441 4th Street NW in Room 220-South, the office building immediately outside the Judiciary Square Metro station (Courthouse exit), 2nd floor.

The MCMILLAN PARK RESERVOIR portion of the hearing is planned during the following time period:

2:45 – 5:00 PM – VMP Revised Master Plan and Design Guidelines

Those interested in testifying in person should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the assigned time for the case. Please join us there to request that HPRB reject the revised VMP plan. Each person is allowed three minutes of verbal testimony, and you may submit additional testimony in writing. Please bring 15 copies of your testimony with you if you are unable to submit it in advance of the deadline.

Please also review the excellent alternative plan for McMillan Park prepared by Collage City Studio.

We look forward to seeing you there.