2,000 Petition Signatures Presented to Him at Mayoral Kickoff
The Friends of McMillan Park (FOM) asked Councilmember Jack Evans at his mayoral campaign launch on Saturday to take up their cause to save the historic McMillan Park Sand Filtration Site from destruction as planned by the Gray Administration. Members of FOM presented the city’s newest mayoral candidate with copies of the over 2,000 petition signatures that they have collected, mostly in Ward 5, against the current plan by the Gray Administration’s Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
“This is a chance for Mayoral Candidate Evans to set himself apart from the other contenders and support the clearly demonstrated desire of the residents around McMillan Park and Ward 5 for a park instead of the suburban-style development pushed by the Gray Administration,” said Tony Norman, long-time FOM member and Chair of ANC 1B. “We want to show him that the alternative vision that we developed preserves this national and local historic landmark while stimulating economic development, just like The High Line in New York City.”
The Gray Administration’s plan calls for massive development, including 12-story buildings on the north and generation of gridlock-level traffic. The community alternative, (The People’s Plan, designed by Collage City Studio) preserves the historic nature of McMillan Park and its underground caverns, maintains majority contiguous public park space, and allows for a generous amount of development with appropriate-sized buildings.
At a meeting called by DMPED on Thursday, June 6th, the community overwhelmingly rejected the Gray Administration plan to surplus the site in preparation for handing it over to a pre-selected corporate developer.
The 25-acre historic water filtration site along North Capitol Street purified all of Washington DC’s drinking water for nearly a century and served as a racially integrated community park space before World War II.