$45 Million Eastern Market Metro Park Draft Plan Unveiled
by Larry Janezich
Last night, architect Amy Weinstein of Esocoff & Associates unveiled her $45 million long-term plan to redesign Eastern Market Metro Plaza including the adjacent parks and the Pennsylvania Avenue median strips. The occasion was a meeting of the Eastern Market Plaza Task Force organized by Barracks Row Main Street, comprising community stakeholders involved with the plan.
The primary components of the main Metro Plaza’s redesign will include a new entrance to Southeast Library featuring a pavilion with benches and a water feature, skylights for a new below-grade part of the library under 7th Street, and numerous movable tables and chairs under a grove of trees on the south side of the plaza. The new entrance will provide access to a major underground expansion of the library and will become the facility’s main entrance. The current main entrance of the library would be closed but preserved.
The large park on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue would become a recreational and gathering space and include a children’s playground surrounded by a wrought iron fence. The play area would have a rubberized playing surface, a tree house with a slide, a playhouse, a jungle gym, an educational water feature, and picnic tables. The rest of the park would get new trees, new grass, and numerous benches.
The median strips would be redesigned with wrought iron fencing and features for storm water management and reclamation, while landscaping, trees and benches would be design elements of the small triangle at across Dunkin Donuts.
The whole plan for the entire project anticipates new lighting, relocated bus stops, more bike shares and pedestrian safety features.
The price tag for the project is $45,213,645 million – $13,517,595 for the parks and plaza,
$22,765,637 for the library, and $8,930,413 for DC Agency management fees, reorganization of traffic, and a $1.54 million maintenance endowment to provide the estimated $75,000 annual maintenance costs.
Weinstein said that if everything went without a hitch, her best guess is that construction could begin four years hence, though Sharon Ambrose cautioned that nothing at all would happen until after the election. The next steps, according to Weinstein, would be to find a DC agency to take the lead on the project and to enlist political and community support.
Weinstein will present the plan to the community in two meetings in the coming days, Saturday, June 21, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; and Monday, June 23, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm both of which will be held at Hill Center. The design team will receive the community’s input and come back with a final plan in September.
The plan will be available here: http://www.easternmarketmetropark.org/ probably after Saturday’s community meeting.
Capitol Hill Corner reported on the evolution of the redesign concept here: http://bit.ly/1duqZJd