Percy Plaza: a Uniting Symbol for Our Time

In the divided, Red State-Blue State, conservative-liberal, right- and left-wing United States of America of today, there are very few proposals that elicit a unanimous, united response.

Here’s one: Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans has proposed a measure that would ceremonially rename the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and K Street in honor of Senator Charles Percy.

We can only say: Yes and yes again. We applaud, we approve, for many good reasons. Wisconsin Avenue and K Street marks the entrance to the finally, fully blooming and operational Georgetown Waterfront Park.

There is probably no single person who was more instrumental in getting the park project off the ground and on its way -- as a chairman of the Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park and as out-and-out booster and promoter for the park’s completion. The park's non-profit -- named "Georgetowners of the Year" for 2011 by this newspaper -- advanced the idea of Percy Plaza a few years ago.

Percy passed away at the age of 91 just days after completion of the park.  

Percy was a Republican senator from Illinois of considerable achievement and reputation, counted at one time as a possible GOP presidential candidate.  He also had an illustrious business career before entering politics.

As a politician, a popular senator, he was the kind of man who honored the trade, a true moderate who worked both sides of the aisle with style and aplomb, the kind of Republican that seems today to be as rare as a unicorn in a deeply divided American body politic.

When Percy left the Senate, he took up life as a Georgetown citizen and lived up to the highest standards of community citizenship by taking part with great fervor in the community’s affairs. The Georgetown Waterfront Park is rich evidence of his good works.

So: Name an intersection after Sen. Charles Percy? That’s the least we can do. See you at Percy Plaza.

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Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:19:34 -0400

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