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:
- 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.