Washington Post, September 8, 1924: “Park Band Concerts For Week Announced”
Although it functioned below-ground as a water filtration plant, above-ground McMillan Park was just that–an open green space with a playground, tennis courts, picnic areas, and a dance pavilion. Landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted, Jr. designed the site to be part of the “Emerald Necklace,” a chain of parks encircling Washington, DC along the high points of the city, primarily hilltops with extensive views that were suited as peaceful reprieves from bustling city life. Influenced by the City Beautiful Movement, Olmsted Jr. and the Senate Park Commission set out to create a comprehensive plan to preserve park space and provide for the recreation and health of the growing city.
Friends of McMillan Park recently unearthed some articles from the Washington Post documenting McMillan’s use as a concert venue in the 1920s. Of particular interest is the address mentioned in the articles–First and Channing Streets Northwest. While much of McMillan’s recreation activities happened on the west side of First Street, (where the reservoir is located) Channing Street is on the east side of First Street. Why does that matter? The 25-acre eastern portion of McMillan Park is the site that the Gray Administration wants to demolish and rebuild. Proponents of the Mayor Gray’s plan often claim that the site was never used as a park. Here is more clear evidence to the contrary.
Washington Post, July 20, 1924: “Sherrill Announces Concerts For Week”
Dear Residents of Single Member District 5E07,
We learned yesterday that a last-minute change to the ANC’s agenda for this evening has Comm’r Dianne Barnes of SMD 5E09 moving to get the ANC to vote in support of the current Vision McMillan Partners plan for the development of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site. Because you are among over 275 residents of your single member district who have expressed opposition to that plan and a desire for a much more exciting, community-oriented plan, I am writing to ask you to contact your Commissioner, Wanda Foster, and ask her to vote AGAINST any motion in support of the VMP plan.
The vote is tonight so please contact Comm’r Foster today by either e-mail (email@example.com
) or phone (202-440-9253
). However you reach out to her, please let me know so that we can keep track of contacts with Comm’r Foster. Also if you are a member of the Bloomingdale Civic Association, you may also contact Comm’r Teri Janine Quinn of SMD 5E06 who is also President of the BCA and who will be voting tonight, that you oppose this effort to gain support for the VMP plan and would appreciate her voting against any motion to support it. Comm’r Quinn’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
. Just let her know that you are writing as a concerned citizen of Bloomingdale. And if you are not a member of the BCA, please considering joining today so that you can vote in next month’s BCA elections of officers. You must be a member by this week to be eligible to vote (Bylaws states that to vote in an election, a person must have been a member for at least 30 days before the date of elections, which this year is Oct. 21).
You can make a difference in the future of McMillan today with a single call or e-mail. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.
Many thanks for your help and continued interest in this critically important neighborhood project.
John T. Salatti
Held in St. Martin’s Church on North Capitol Street, the town hall attracted some 100 attendees.
Saturday was a great rally, updating people on what’s happening in the quest to preserve McMillan Park. “I hope that everyone was inspired to keep up the hard work and find new areas of interest to advance the cause of saving McMillan,” wrote a supporter afterward.
Take a look at the slide presentations from the meeting to find out what happened.