A Neighbor’s Opinion of the New McMillan

Here’s an excerpt of an email sent by a resident of the area, writing to the Historic Preservation Review Board.

I am writing to express my support of the McMillan Site Development Project.  I am a resident of the Ward 5, Eckington neighborhood and live 6 blocks from the future site.  Some of my reasoning is detailed below:

  1. The McMillan Development DOES respect and preserve the architectural and historical integrity of the prior Sand Filtration Site.
  • Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. is the landscape architect who envisioned this beautiful property.  As a lover or American History, I am familiar with his work.  As an Architecture graduate from the University of Florida, I studied his projects extensively, including work at Central Park in New York.  The homage by the Architect via preservation of a portion of the underground caverns and ALL of the above-ground silos is a great nod to an American legend.  Climbing vegetation and board-treated cement are features developed to address the site’s unique characteristics.
  • A fully-preserved site means no development.  The key is finding balance, which I believe Vision McMillan Partners has achieved.  

2.  What use does undeveloped land serve?

  • Bloomingdale, Eckington and Brookland are all what DC residents would consider “transitional” areas.  There has been tremendous revitalization , especially in the last 5 years.  I purchased my home on Rhode Island Ave NE with the anticipation that the neighborhood’s growth would continue.  I planned on it.  This development is a MAJOR step toward changing the DC social landscape.  The medical, professional, residential and recreational opportunities this development provides are tremendous.  Who wouldn’t enjoy a brand-new rec center?!  This development also provides the city with new income sources and an insurgence of exciting attractions in a largely residential area.
  • I am concerned that if we focus on the “what if,” we will limit our neighborhood’s potential.  Dismissing a project is easy . . . so is the “norm.” I challenge each of you to think outside of the box, envisioning the great capacity a site like McMillan has for supporting DC’s bright future.  DC can be where you work AND live.  You can be a single professional or raise a family, all safely.

I KNOW we can make this happen!  I am happy to assist in any way possible in support of this effort.




3 comments on “A Neighbor’s Opinion of the New McMillan

  1. Shon Ogbebor

    I live directly across the street from McMillan on North Capitol Street and I eagerly await the transformation, this renovation will allow this area to finally become a integrated community.

  2. Matt

    I live within 2 blocks from the site and also eagerly await the transformation.

  3. Chuck

    I, too, support the development of the MacMillan site. At present, the land is fenced and inaccessible to all. It has the potential to be a beautiful–and useful–site. I have lived in Bloomingdale for seven years, and bought here anticipating the development of this land. And currently, there are very few services for Bloomingdale and the surrounding neighborhoods. This development will provide these necessary services and at the same time protect the historical significance of the property.

    I do have one concern, however. Over the seven years I have lived here, traffic on First Street, NW, has increased significantly. At 6 o’clock today, traffic was backed up to the north more than three blocks from the Rhode Island Avenue stoplight. I am concerned that this development will only exacerbate a growing traffic problem on First Street, NW, a residential street with parking on both sides and relatively narrow traffic lanes. What in the development plans anticipates an increase of traffic and will assure that the problem does not increase? Traffic from the development needs to be encouraged to use North Capitol Street, a larger road with a greater traffic capacity.

    Without some assurance that the traffic issue can be successfully addressed in the new design, my support for the development decreases. While MacMillan Park can become a very real asset to this community, increased and ill-managed traffic threatens the livability of the surrounding residential communities.

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