C&O Canal to Get High Line Treatment

The C&O Canal in October 2016.
Georgetowner photo.
The C&O Canal in October 2016.

Will Georgetown's stretch of the C&O Canal become its own "magnificent" mile? It's all in the lines.

For Washington, D.C.'s oldest neighborhood, that means New York City's High Line, the unique urban park by James Corner Field Operations, which also arranged "Icebergs" last summer at the National Building Museum.

The design and landscape architecture firm was selected by non-profit Georgetown Heritage "to develop the Georgetown Canal Plan, a comprehensive master plan for a one-mile section of the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park in Georgetown," the nonprofit announced. "The National Park Service, Georgetown Heritage and the D.C. Office of Planning will work with the community to restore, reimagine and revitalize this treasured historic place."

The design team, which includes MakeDC, Robert Silman Associates, ETM Associates and Dharam Consulting, will create plans for areas around the C&O Canal — the Georgetown Canal Plan — details at www.georgetownheritage.org/canaldesign.

“The James Corner Field Operations team brings exceptional ingenuity, boundless energy and extensive experience partnering with cities, parks and community groups to create stunning, lively spaces that reflect each site’s distinct character and maximize its potential to engage people of all ages and cultures,” said Alison Greenberg, executive director of Georgetown Heritage.

“Over the next year, Georgetown Heritage and the NPS will seek input and ideas from the community on how to improve the park’s unique stone structures, locks, towpath, plazas and street crossings to maximize the park’s immense educational, recreational and aesthetic potential,” according to the nonprofit.

“The National Park Service is thrilled to partner with this distinguished design team—along with Georgetown Heritage, the city and the community—to realize our vision of the C&O Canal as a picturesque, safe and sustainable historical park where people come to have fun and learn about history, science, nature and art,” said C&O Canal Superintendent Kevin Brandt.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Washington, D.C., and the Georgetown community to create a transformative public space that blends historic architecture with rich landscapes to create a world-class and unique destination in the heart of the neighborhood,” said James Corner, founder and director of James Corner Field Operations.

“The Georgetown section of the C&O Canal NHP should be a landmark park for everyone, a lively center for social gatherings, a continuous link for recreation and contemplation, a connector of neighborhoods and networks and a model for urban livability and human health and wellbeing.”

Since November 2016, the canal has been under reconstruction, especially at Locks 3 and 4, and has been drained of water from Rock Creek up to Lock 5 near the Maryland border. Work is expected to last 18 months.

There are two public meetings scheduled to discuss the C&O Canal; one on current construction work, another on future designs.

The National Park Service invites the public to a briefing on the construction progress at Locks 3 and 4 — 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, Visitor Center, 1057 Thomas Jefferson St. NW. RSVP to Brendan Wilson of the NPS: brendan_wilson@nps.gov.

There will be a public introductory meeting with the design team, 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 29 at Foley & Lardner, 3000 K St. NW, Suite 500. RSVP to info@georgetownheritage.org.

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Fri, 26 May 2017 22:26:36 -0400

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