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Chinatown Park Improvements Begin

Hat tip to Brian and Tony who have brought to my attention that Chinatown Park at 5th & Mass has been enclosed entirely with fencing. My first thought was the improvements I reported on in 2009 are finally set to happen.

Plans for Reservation 72 issued by Downtown BID in Sept 2009

That is indeed the case, as confirmed by the Downtown BID’s recent newsletter.

The DowntownDC BID, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is revitalizing US Reservation 72, better known as Chinatown Park. The project includes replacing the interior sidewalk, improving the irrigation system, and installing new sod, trash bins, and benches. In addition, NPS will plant new trees in the park this fall. (Yea, we love trees!) Construction is slated to begin next month and conclude by early June.

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Plans for Chinatown Park

The following is from a Downtown BID document created on 9/10/2009.

Rendering from Downtown BID; Click to enlarge

Reservation 72 (Chinatown Park)

  • Owned by National Park Service
  • Bounded by 5th, 6th, Eye and Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
  • Refurbishment plans begun by Yeni Wong and Chinatown 6-8 years ago.
  • Downtown BID asked to intercede.
  • Accomplishments:
    • Completed design plan
    • Developed project budget ($139,000)
    • Identified $96,000 in funding
    • Gained approvals of:
      • National Capital Planning Commission
      • U.S. Commission on Fine Arts
    • Coordinated with District Department of Transportation to complete streetscape surrounding the park (2 of 3 sides already are in Downtown BID area streetscape plan)
  • Remaining tasks:
    • Raise remaining $43,000
    • Secure approval of National Park Service for sidewalk paving materials
    • Continue to urge DDOT to complete all 3 sides
  • City’s Chinatown Cultural Development Strategy calls for even greater improvements. The current project should be regarded as Phase One.
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Linked up: The Arch, Noise and Streetscapes

Chinatown: Restoration work on the Chinatown Arch will begin on June 1 and last approximately 8 weeks. [PQLiving]

Downtown: Word from DDOT is that Fourth Street and the Chinatown Park will be included in the CBD Streetscape upgrade project. [DCDNA]

Downtown: Miles Groves outlines the steps for working with DCRA on violations of the Trash Collection Noise Abatements Act. [DCDNA blog]

NoMA: A planned “virtual” traffic circle where Florida Ave, New York Ave and 1st Street NE meet is tongue-and-cheekily being coined “Dave Thomas” circle due to the presence of a Wendy’s on the central parcel. [Washcycle]

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Include Chinatown Park in streetscape upgrades

From Miles Groves of the DNA:

DDOT will be presenting their Downtown Streetscape (trees and streetlights) report, which will disclose whether they will include trees and streetlights in the area around the proposed Chinatown Park at 6th and Massachusetts Avenue. We need concerned residents who are concerned about the plight of Chinatown Park to attend the ANC 6C meeting which will be held at the Heritage Foundation at 214 Mass Ave NE starting at 7PM this Tuesday. As you can see from the agenda, several items are being covered.

We need to show DDOT that the neighborhood is concerned with the state of Chinatown Park and the delays to include the public space streetscape improvements that the National Park Service wants to see put into place before the renovation of the park begins.

Please try to come and bring neighbors. Some of us have spent exhaustive hours trying to get this work done and we need to show public support to the ANC and to DDOT.

Reservation 72, aka Chinatown park, bounded by 5th, 6th, Mass and I

Upgrading the park has long been discussed but continues to be postponed due to NPS control of the land and lack of funds. The streetscape money presents an opportunity to infuse life into the project. The Chinatown Revitalization Council would like to renovate the park in a way that incorporates Chinese Heritage. Triangle residents would like it to be a lively space and not just a worn patch of grass.

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