Since January, 2003

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November 15, 2014
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I've been to a fair number of ribbon cuttings over the past decade, and I have to say that Friday's opening of Canal Park seemed to be infused with a level of excitement and joy that I don't think I've seen at any of the others.
While getting Nationals Park open in 2008 was a triumph of speed and scale, the 13-year journey of the three-block park at the heart of Near Southeast required so many hands and so much patience and resulted in a space with which the stakeholders are clearly thrilled that it shouldn't really be a surprise that on a gorgeously crisp late fall day so many attendees were walking around with what Tommy Wells described as "a huge smile on their face."
The speakers standing at a podium in the center block's small pavilion ran through the list of names and agencies that brought the park to fruition, starting with developer William C. Smith, whose CEO Chris Smith started the long drive to build the park, creating the Canal Park Development Association back in 2000. Then there was money from the federal government and the DC government, additional dollars and much support from the DC Housing Authority, work by OLIN landscape architects and STUDIOS architecture to design the park with innovative sustainable development and storm water management components (and a skating rink!). Props were given for the hiring of Housing Authority residents for 15 of the park's 25 part-time jobs.The Capitol Riverfront BID and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities also took bows for their parts in the park's creation (and future).
After the speeches, the festivities moved to the skating rink, where the ribbon was cut and Mayor Gray drove the Zamboni, and then the public laced up its skates and got out on the ice. And they kept skating, well into the night. (And I have no doubt there will be big crowds at the rink and park today as well.) For all the happiness seen in the park's founders about getting it finally opened, I saw equal measures of surprise and cheer that so many residents and neighborhood office workers had come to the opening, had stayed through the long speechifying, and now were skating and strolling.
I've joked that I sure have been saying the word "finally" a lot lately--the trash transfer station is finally demolished, Kruba Thai is finally open, Gordon Biersch finally admitted they're coming to 100 M, Vida Fitness is finally announced, Capitol Quarter is finally finished.... But it's the "finally" of Canal Park opening that hit me more than I expected, perhaps similarly to all those happy stakeholders.
I took a lot of photos of fenced-off schoolbuses in the early years, posted a lot of renderings (some for the park's first design that never materialized), and bugged a lot of people to find out the latest. It was, after all, one of the few projects that was already in planning when I started tracking Near Southeast in early 2003, along with the Capper redevelopment and Capitol Hill Tower.
And now the park is open (with the Park Tavern restaurant to follow "within a few weeks"), and everybody can enjoy it. Finally!
Hope you'll check out my photo galleries of the park, yesterday's ceremonies, and the park's opening night, along with my expanded gallery of before-and-afters from around the park (with some that I still need to fill in, oops). And you can also see coverage from the Post, NBC4, and WJLA. And the lineup of today's events and other details on the park's official web site. And tell us what you think of the park.
Comments (5)
 
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SBS says: (11/17/12 11:50 PM)
JD: These photos are such a wonderful landmark. Thank you for taking us all along with you on this journey. The park is gorgeous and really capture the vision of the future you feel in so many ways around DC. I may have to learn to skate!


Jaybird says: (11/18/12 8:54 AM)
JD,

Your night photo of the rink with the Capitol in the background is priceless!



Jaybird says: (11/18/12 8:58 AM)
And some remind of the Rockefeller Center.


MalS says: (11/19/12 5:13 PM)
Great work, JD - I was at the park Friday and it is a very exciting step for the area. The park is very beautiful and will only get more so as plantings mature. What a time for near Southeast! As always, thank you for the remarkable documenting that you achieve.


JeffreyGordon says: (11/19/12 11:46 PM)
JD, thanks for the update as usual! I am planning on being in town after the first of the year and really look forward to seeing all the progress since I was last there in july of 2010. I really appreciate any/all updates from you.

jg

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1331 2ND ST SE    Carlton Ray 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; excavation  
 02/10/14
to
02/09/15
1331 4TH ST SE    Forest City Forest City 
Issued
excavation; new  
 01/10/14
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02/10/15
301 TINGEY ST SE    Potbelly Sandwich Works LLC 
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new  
 03/21/12
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11/27/14

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1331 2ND ST SE   
11/13/14 
DC WATER
SB1400419 / CONSTRUCTION
TYPE OF WELL(S):OBSERVATION WELLS INCLINOMETERS VW PIEZOMETERS AND EXTENSOMETERS FOR UPGRADE OF DC WATER CLEAN RIVERS PROJECT DIVISION I. NUMBER OF WELL(S):112. DEPTH OF WELL(S):UP TO 60 FT. DIAMETER OF WELL(S): 6". DRILLING METHOD: CASED AND HSA. PLEASE SEE THE ATTACHED WORKPLAN.
1331 4TH ST SE   
11/04/14 
CLARK CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION
AH1500069 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTERHOURS TO POUR CONCRETE FROM SUNDAY TO SATURDAY FROM 11 / 1 / 2014 TO 1 / 31 / 2015FROM 7PM TO 7AM
1015 HALF ST SE   
11/03/14 
HALF ST SE LLC / JOHN GIUSEPPE-RAMCO
B1501165 / CONSTRUCTION
LANDLORD UPGRADE TO 1ST FLOOR VACANT TENANT SPACE INSTALL NEW DEMISING WALL AS SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED ARCH. AND ELECTRICAL DWGS. NO MECH. PLUMB. STRUCTURAL WORK INVOLVED. INTERIOR WORK ONLY. NO CHANGE IN USE.
332 K ST SE   
11/04/14 
KRISTIN L HENRIKSON / ASTRUM SOLAR
B1412602 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL SOLAR PANELS ON ROOF 3.25 KW SYSTEM 13 PANELS
   
11/10/14 
KRISTIN L HENRIKSON / JOHN A. TETI
E1501053 / SUPPLEMENTAL
80 M ST SE   
11/12/14 
WELLS REIT II 80 M STREET LLC / RONNIE E WRIGHT
E1501089 / SUPPLEMENTAL
901 M ST SE   
11/13/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1500084 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
1201 M ST SE   
11/13/14 
CARLTON RAY
AH1500085 / CONSTRUCTION
TO PERFORM TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES
801 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
11/12/14 
GREYSTAR / JOHN MORIARTY AND ASSOC.
F1500068 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL A TEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION SITE FENCE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. FENCE TO BE 6' HIGH ON BLOCK SUPPORTS.
880 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
11/19/14 
880 NEW JERSEY AVENUE LLC / OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY
EN1500172 / SHOP DRAWING
TYPE OF ELEVATOR : ONE (1) TRACTION / CENTRAL / VERTICAL TRANSPOTATION
   
11/20/14 
BAKER DC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500122 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 12:01 AM THRU11:59 PM
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
11/10/14 
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E1501060 / SUPPLEMENTAL
125 O ST SE   
11/14/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / JOPATRIC AMERICODE
SB1400418 / CONSTRUCTION
EIGHT SOIL BORINGS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. FOREST CITY F1 BLOCK CINEMA BORINGS SHALL BE 10 INCH DIAMETER MUD ROTARY METHOD; 2 SHALL BE DRILLED TO A DEPTH OF 100 FEET AND 6 TO A DEPTH OF 60 FEET; IF THE CONFINING UNIT IS ENCOUNTERED DURING DRILLING THEN ADVANCEMENT OF THE AUGERS SHOULD BE HALTED AND THE PERMANENT OUTER CASING SHOULD BE SET INTO 10 FEET (IF THE CONFINING UNIT IS THINNER THAN 10FT OUTER...
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
11/10/14 
BARR CONCRETE
TC1500004 / CONSTRUCTION
TOWERCRANE FOR JOBSITE USE
921 POTOMAC AVE SE   
11/20/14 
PAUL A GHIOTTO / MURRAY LYONS
P1501384 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
11/04/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LIC FC BOILERMAKER LIC / DENNIS STUBBS; FC BOILERMAKER FC BOILERMAKER LIC; DENNIS STUBBS
P24303627 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/04/14 
CHRIS WING / SHANDI COBB; CHRIS WING; CHARLES CLYNES
AR65033933 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/05/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / DIXON
B1501249 / CONSTRUCTION
PLACE A REMOVABLE WOOD BURNING GRILL ON THE PATIO OF A SUMMER GARDEN
   
11/12/14 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / FRED LATIMORE
E1501087 / SUPPLEMENTAL
401 TINGEY ST SE   
11/20/14 
FOREST CITY / FVI 2020
SB1500055 / CONSTRUCTION
EXTENSION TO WORK IN REFERENCE WITH PERMIT SB1200282. SECOND EXTENSION FROM 10.25.14 TO 4.25.15
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

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CUSHING PL   09/11/14
$ 9,000,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
HALF ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
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$ 9,000,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
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$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
N ST   09/11/14
$ 12,500,000
HALF STREET RESIDENTIAL PJV LLC
 
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