Walkers Circle McMillan Park to Save it
A diverse group of more than 50 walkers circled McMillan Park on Saturday to demonstrate their support for saving McMillan as a public park and stopping the Gray Administration's proposed plans to destroy the historic landmark Olmsted Park and replace it with a Tyson's Corner-like suburban office park development. In comfortable shoes and casual, warm weather clothes, the marchers, organized by Friends of McMillan Park (FOM), started at the popular Big Bear Cafe, walked up through Bloomingdale around McMillan Park, and ended up at St George’s Episcopal Church where the Mayor's development consultants, Vision McMillan Partners (VMP) were holding an open house event to tout the latest version of their destructive, unwanted development plans.
"It was great to join my neighbors from around McMillan and other communities across the District to show our support for saving McMillan as a park," said Gwen Southerland. "This shows Mayor Gray, Councilmember McDuffie, and all our elected officials the opposition to the Administration's plan that would destroy virtually all of the historic elements of McMillan Park, especially its majestic underground filtration caverns. We want a new inclusive plan for restoration of McMillan Park based on transparency and open competition rather than the current sole-source sweetheart deal with the Mayor's political cronies."
The protesters chanted "Save McMillan Park" and "Save Our Park from The Corporate Sharks" and carried a banner that said "Hey, Harriet Tregoning! This is Our City and We Demand Better Planning!" referring to the Director of the DC Office of Planning. At the VMP open house, the numbers of FOM and supporters overwhelmed the number of attendees who support the Mayor's destructive plan. The VMP materials included a hand-out, FACT VS. FICTION - including the FACT that the Administration's plan would destroy all the existing historic underground water filtration cells.
Friends of McMillan Park is calling for an international design competition to identify world-class solutions to the unique preservation and adaptive re-use challenges that McMillan Park presents.